Lindy has a Prefect Memory
We had a great response to the recent black and white Throwback Thursday photo showing a group of LEH prefects from 1964, so thanks to all those who got in touch.
In addition to the lively discussion on our LEH Alumnae Facebook page, Lindy Sampson (LEH 1961-1970, nee Schasiepen), who now lives in California, wrote to us to share her memories of the prefects. While stressing that reminiscences are obviously very subjective, she hopes that her recollections will still be of use to our archivist. Thank you, Lindy, there are and we thought you might all enjoy hearing them.
She writes: “There were two tiers - black and red academic gowns. I think the red-gowned prefects were either final year students or were part of a committee that over saw the rest of the black gowned prefects. There was definitely a hierarchy. The room they hung out in was only for them, and definitely off limits to everyone else. I remember it being on the second floor facing out towards the playing fields. They had a kettle to make Bovril and tea! It was a huge honour to be a prefect – as they were almost a kind of a sub species of the staff.
Their duties were varied: monitoring skirt lengths with rulers, keeping order in corridors between classes, tutoring, lunch room duties - dishing up food at each table they were assigned. Basically, they ran the disciplinary part of the school freeing up teachers to teach!
The medals or badges you see on their gowns? These signified their positions - head girl, vice head girl, senior prefect, and right-hand person to the Headmistress!
Other badges were for deportment, sportsmanship and other awards and were coloured bar strips worn proudly under the school badge.This badge could also be clipped on your hat.
Prefects were a force to be reckoned with, to be looked up to, obeyed, feared, adored, admired and aspired to. Your class voted you in and it was an honour and a privilege to belong to this elite group. I think they were even allowed to wear stockings and watches, but absolutely no other jewellery.
The sight of a prefect in full regalia coming towards you in a hallway was alternatively either a delight or a foreboding of punishment to come! Mostly a delight!
Miss Garwood Scott was a formidable but glamorous headmistress - complete with stilettos, Chanel suits and an amazing collection of accessories. I don't think in all my Senior School years I ever saw her wear the same outfit twice! Quite the opposite of Miss Cable the Junior School headmistress at the time, who favoured sensible lace up shoes and beige twinsets every day.
I will never forget some advice Miss Garwood Scott gave me in her study as I was leaving LEH. She said an LEH girl is to go out in the world and be brave enough to fight for all things that are correct, humane and right. That our education was important and we should use it to stand up for ourselves and for others who couldn't or wouldn't stand up for themselves. I guess I took this to heart, and have always consequently been a champion for under-served causes my whole life.
Following my arrival in the States in 1974, I moved to the San Francisco area of Northern California with my husband Greg. I found that I had a love for charity work and joined the board of a local non-profit that raised funds for a women’s shelter.
I now live close to Lake Tahoe and have dedicated my time to Big Brothers Big Sisters, an organization providing mentoring for at-risk youth - facilitating relationship-building, marketing and donor appreciation with the occasional event to plan and organise. Fund raising seems to have been my career choice – 40 plus years and counting!
On a more personal note, our daughter Katy lives nearby in Sacramento with her family. Four years ago, we were delighted to welcome twin girls, who are the light of our lives. Being a grandparent is truly an amazing experience – all the fun and no responsibility!
Keeping in touch with our family in Surrey, we feel fortunate that our lives span two continents and frequent visits, interspersed with FaceTime, close the distance between us and make me a true Anglo-American.”