[Family stories have it that my great-great grandmother Margaret Cuddy won the math prize and her father John Patrick was so proud, he took her to Ireland as a reward. There it is said she met her future husband Timothy Corley. So here is evidence that she won the math prize, and she did meet Timothy in Swinford, Ireland. Not sure what happened in the ten intervening years between award and marriage…. But here is the proof that she won the math prize.]
Journal of Education, July 1876, page 107
Villa Maria Convent School
The annual distribution of premiums, medals and honors to the pupils of this Institution, took place on the 22nd June. The annual event was formerly counted among the most brilliant of the season, being witnessed by the elite of Montreal society who made a point to visit what was in former days the Vice-Regal mansion, eager to enjoy the treat there offered to the admirers of beauty, art and talent. It was, however, celebrated, without its usual éclat this year, owing to the death of the late Superioress, the well-known and lamented Sister of the Nativity. The exercises were conducted in private, a few only of the more intimate friends of the Institution being in attendance. The medals for general proficiency, presented by His Excellency the Earl of Dufferin were awarded as follows:- the silver one was awarded to Miss Josephine Perrault of Montreal; Miss Maggie O’Meara of Pembroke, Ontario, being almost equal in merit, received a handsome medal as a testimony of successful competition, from the Lady Superioress General. In the contest for the bronze medal, Miss Hortense Murphy of Montreal, and Miss Marion Murphy of Quebec, were proclaimed the successful candidates in a class of nineteen. The question of assigning it was decided by drawing; the higher number favoring Miss Hortense Murphy. The other young lady was compensated for her loss, by a beautiful wrought silver medal, presented by the Reverend Mother Superioress. Congratulatory addresses were afterwards tendered by the members of their respective classes to the happy winners of those honors. The Edward Murphy prize, a valuable microscope, with an accompanying treatise, was awarded to Miss Lizzie Brennan for success in the study of the natural sciences. The exquisite gold medal, presented by Mrs Edward Murphy, as the prize of culinary art and domestic economy, was taken by Miss Zoe Sache of Montreal. This course is complete, and affords young ladies every advantage for acquiring a practical knowledge of housekeeping. An address of thanks in the name of the graduating class was presented to Mr and Mrs Edward Murphy, whom this institution counts among its most distinguished and generous patrons. Medals for excellence of deportment were awarded to Miss Alice Collins and Miss Lena Kelly; for composition to Miss McLaughlin and Miss Gibson, and for mathematics and bookkeeping to Miss M Cuddy and Miss Marion Murphy. The names of the young ladies who received the graduating honors are as follows: – Misses Josephine Perrault, Zoe Sache, Lizzie Brennan, Katie Donnelly, Maggie Cuddy, Alice Collins and Agnes Donovan of Montreal; Miss Maggie O’Meara of Pembroke, Ont; Miss Bruneau of Sorel; Misses Fortin and Slavin of St John’s and Miss McLaughlin of Portland Me. A handsome volume was presented to each of the pupils. This work is a collection of the reminiscences of their school life, and personal recollections of Sister Nativity, made by the young ladies of the Institution, and to which have been added several letters, received by members of her community or by the pupils themselves at the death of this venerated Superioress; also the obituary notices and accounts of the obsequies as given by the press, and selections from the “In Memoriam” written on this occasion. Beautiful and touching valedictories were recited by the young ladies of the graduating class, during which the deepest emotion was evinced by those sweet girls, who, in their turn, had now to cross the threshold of their well loved “Alma Mater” where they are preserved from the world’s blighting contact, far removed from its pomps and its vanities, and where they are taught to prize and emulate those more real and noble accomplishments which constitute true worth and dignity in women.
At the close of the séance the Very Rev Superioress, who presided, made a few feeling and appropriate remarks on the general satisfaction given by the pupils to their devoted teachers. She bade them adieu and hoped they would enjoy their vacation, and announced that the Convent would re-open on the 31st of August.