Recently, BSN Alumna Penny Carson got in touch to share her #MyBSN story with us. Penny attended ‘The English School’, as the BSN was known back then, from 1959-1962, with five of her friends and then-classmates. The friends gradually lost touch over the years, but over forty years later, they were able to reconnect thanks to today’s technology and the power of social media.
Read on to find out more about Penny and her friends’ moving story.
“I first attended the school when it was housed at the Protestant Church in Scheveningen. While there, Peggy Lambly (assisted by her friend Jane Grant), taught us Scottish dancing. One year we performed at the Robbie Burns dinner in Rotterdam. I adored Miss Lambly and Miss Grant. They were kind, lots of fun and obviously liked children. A couple of years later they took three of us on a week-long holiday in the east of Holland. We had long walks, read, wrote in our diaries and learned embroidery.
Penny, Nakissa, Eduardo, Peter, Donald and Lynda’s class in Upper School, 1961
Several of us who attended the Tapijtweg school in the early 1960s were very close during those years. Mr. Petrie and Mr. Swanson in their black Oxford robes terrified all of us equally, when they first arrived. We had been used to mild-mannered Geoff Flowers who read Winnie the Pooh to us at the Protestant Church. We would spend Saturdays at the Pier in Scheveningen or at parties our mothers helped us organise.
The staff in 1959 with the first male teacher, Geoff Flowers.
Over the years Nakissa Taheri Modirzadeh and I had been able to stay in contact. In 2007 through social media, Eduardo Valdez contacted me. With his help, we located Peter Rowland and with Peter’s help, Donald Meredith. Lynda Maltby we tracked online through a professional paper she had written.
In 2014 the stars aligned and we had a three-day reunion in Fort Collins, Colorado with our spouses. It was as if we had never been apart. To our surprise, the spouses were as wonderful as we remembered our friends to be. We laughed, reminisced, cooked for each other and had lots of wine and Pisco Sours. Through Eduardo, Pete had met Virginia and they all lived in Peru. Donald and Marit lived in Switzerland. Nakissa and Mahmood lived in California, and I (Penny Carson) live in Colorado with my husband, Gary. Sadly, Eduardo died a couple of years later. We are all still in touch, and talk of another reunion in Scheveningen. It was supposed to happen in April 2020 but has been postponed.”
The group of friends, reunited in 2014! Back row, left to right: Penny Carson, Donald Meredith, Peter Rowland, Eduardo Valdez. Front row, left to right: Lynda Maltby and Nakissa Taheri Modirzadeh.