Items that may have been
added since your last visit
(starting January 2016)



December 28th 2016

We have a new update from Fr. Dave Cullen in the Appeals section


December 24th 2016

As we share this blessed season with our relatives, friends & loved ones, let us not forget those less fortunate than ourselves.
On behalf of all of us involved with The Pelicans' website may I wish all Pelicans a very happy & blesed Christmas.


December 14th 2016

Peter Finn has, kindly, supplied us with a photo of the late Fr. Tom O'Donnell saying Mass at the Priory back in 1950.  We've added this photo to the end of Gallery 2 which covers the reunion at the Priory in 1998, which T O'D attended.


December 9th 2016

We have added Ratho and Birkdale to the main menu using what little material we have on those houses. (Thanks to Robbie Dempsey for pointing in the right direction for Ratho and to those that supplied that material.)  Any other contributions would be very welcome.


December 4th 2016

As we continue to clean-up and revamp the website we notice that there appears to be a distinct lack of articles and/or photos regarding the student house in Ratho.  If anyone has anything they would like to share regarding their time at this 'St. Columba's replacement', please, feel free to email the webTeam.  Thank you.


November 19th. 2016

Pat McHale has sent us an article from 'Le Petit Echo' on the continued Anti-slavery fight which was written by the late Fr. Dick Kinlen.  This article can now be found in the 'observations' section.


November 17th. 2016

The official Society's announcement of Fr. Dick Kinlen's passing and his missionary milestones are now available in the obituaries section.


November 17th. 2016

We begin a short series of 'observations' on the city of Jerusalem and, in particular, the church of St. Anne. Compiled for us by Robbie Dempsey from dispatches he has receive from Pat MacDermott who was recently in the Holy Land.


November 16th 2016

It is with great sadness that we learn of the passing of our former confrere and friend Fr. Dick Kinlen.  Dick passed away in Brussels after a fight with pancreatic cancer. 

Fr. Chris Wallbank writes:

       "The funeral will take place next week  in Belgium. Let us keep him in our prayers for an eternal reward and peace after a life spent in the service of the Gospel.  We remember too his brothers Martin and Robert."


November 11th. 2016

Today we have redirected the website to a new server so visitors may notice that the address (url) may change from thepelicans.org.uk to thepelicans.org.uk. Not to worry, both addresses are valid and either will bring you to The Pelicans' web site.

As a UK born, naturalized, Canadian, I would like to share with you all on this Rememberance/Armistice Day the poem "In Flanders Fields" by John McCrae recited by Leonard Cohen, another great Canadian poet, who passed away yesterday.  


November 7th. 2016

Robbie Dempsey's excellent transposition of Fr. Bouniol's "The White Fathers & Their Missions" is now available in its entirety, in the PUBLICATIONS section.


November 2nd 2016

It is with sadness that we hear of the passing of  Michael McNamara.  Michael was a student at St. Columba's from 1960-1963 and then at the Priory from 1963-1966.  Thank you Paul Glover for sharing this with us.


November 1st 2016

As we enter a new month we also enter a new era of The Pelicans web site. The site's founder and long time webmaster, Paul West, has decided it is time for a well deserved rest and has handed over the reins of the web site to a Pelicans web team (Robbie Dempsey & myself, Tony Smyth). At this point we would like to thank Paul and his family for all the hard work they have done in building and maintaining the web site for the past 16+ years.

When Eugene & Jarlath founded the Pelicans at the end of the last century (1992) I am sure they did not envisage the appeal this group of former White Fathers' students and friends would attract.  When Paul started this site  in 2000 "The Pelicans" became a world-wide, not only group of former students and friends, but a source of information and resources on the history and memories of those people.

We would like to take  this opportunity to say a much deserved THANK YOU to Paul and to assure him that we will continue the work he has started.  As a perpetual thank you Paul's name will remain on the website as 'Webmaster Emeritus' and as such we welcome any further contribution he may wish to make.  Thank you, Paul.


October 28th 2016

Maurice Billingsley is currently uncovering the life of Archbishop Hughes.  He has sent us a sketch that Archbishop Hughes sent to his sister soon after being moved from the Priory to Heston. "His sister was a Sister of Mercy: Christian name Winifred, Religious name Edith; two princesses, one Welsh, one AngloSaxon.", according to Maurice.   We've added this sketch to the Heston Parish section.


October 25th 2016

We have updated the message board to allow for different forums. Please, check it out and feel free to comment in the appropriate forum.


October 24th 2016

As we revamp The Pelicans website, we have an updated message from Fr. Dave Cullen in Appeals plus an obituary of Fr, Michel Graeff in Obituaries thanks to Maurice Billingsley and Google translate.

September 20th 2016

Page 25 of the OBITUARIES section provides a link to obituaries for Brother Eugene Leonard, Fr Geoffrey Riddle and Fr Stephen Collins.

September 12th 2016

• I have added a tribute to Fr Pat Shanahan by Peter (Prof) McMurray : go to Page 24 of the OBITUARIES section.

More to come from Maurice Billingsly etc.

August 19th 2016

• Go to Page 24 of the OBITUARIES section to read a heartfelt tribute from Pat Shanahan's friend Mike Mearns.

• Patrick's funeral will take place at The Secred Heart Church, Teddington, Middlesex — at 12:00 noon, on 1st September. His body will be received into the church at 7.30 pm the evening before.

Our thanks to Eric Creaney for passing on this information. (He sent this on Wednesday but it wasn't picked up by my email provider).

August 16th 2016

• Several other White Fathers have died recently : Fr Steve Collins, Fr Geoffrey Riddle, Brother Eugene Leonard and Fr Timothy Murphy,

Please send/ email me with any contributions that you might wish to add to the obituaries that I will be preparing in due course.

August 11th 2016

• I have started an obituary for Fr Patrick Shanahan on Page 24 of the OBITUARIES section.
Please send me any contributions that you might like to add.
Funeral arrangements to follow soon.

August 9th 2016

•The CONTACTS section is now working properly. Send me an email (webteam@thepelicans.org.uk) if you have forgotten the password — and please let me know if your contact details have changed.

* The Message Board is 'broken' — goodness knows why. The system is now telling visitors that their message will not be posted/ registered until it has been 'approved'. This is nonsense.(Quis custodiet . . ?)

I will look for a reliable substitute asap. In the meantime, send me your message as an email and I will print it on this UPDATE page.

Sorry for any inconvenience you may have suffered.

August 8th 2016

• Sad news today from Eric Creaney: Fr Patrick Shanahan died late yesterday evening (Sunday, 7th August).

July 25th 2016

• An obituary for Fr James Smith can now be found on Page 24 of the OBITUARIES section — an extract from the article written by Dr Jonathan May for the 1991 edtion of the Hampshire Magazine (see below).

July 23rd 2016

• As yet, I haven't got an obituary for Fr James Smith WF, who died in 1985 (after 54 years as a Missionary). However, I am now able to piece together various dates etc from a very interesting article in the January 1991 edition of The Hampshire Magazine. The item was written by Dr Jonathan May, whose family were part of the early Catholic community from in and around the Bishop's Waltham area. To read it, go to Page 61 of the HISTORIES section.

This is another excellent contribution from Peter Finn— whose "History of The Priory Bishop's Waltham" includes many a reference to Fr Smith.

Many thanks, again, Peter.

July 18th 2016

• Peter Finn has found two photos taken at reunions in 1968 (Dublin) and 1997 (London). These can be found on Page 422 of the GALLERY — and also in the Appendix 'Previous Reunions'.

Many thanks, Peter.

July 12th 2016

• Please can you help?

In his latest news of life from Chipata, Zambia, Fr David Cullen makes a special appeal for a hardworking family who need your support.

Against all the odds, Benard, the eldest child, has achieved very good grades that qualify him for a University place.

Bernard wants to become a doctor— a goal which is unlikely without financial help. To achieve his dream he will need about £60.00 a month (£2.00 a day)

Please go to the APPEALS section for more information.

July 4th 2016

• For some time now, many people have had problems with the Message Board. For some unfathomable reason, it provides two boxes in which you type your message. Both boxes have to be used —even when the text is brief — and BOX 1 must be kept to just 2 or 3 lines of text.

Unfortunately, BravetNet does not provide an online (email) support system and, as yet, the forum hasn't responded to my frequent request/ cries for help.

In the meantime I suggest that you look at the test-sample that I have provided on the MESSAGE BOARD.

June 23rd 2016

• A photo of Kerry Bagshaw has been added to The Times Obituary. (OBITUARIES Page 23

June 12th 2016

Our thanks to Maurice Billingsley for keeping the MESSAGE BOARD alive with up-to-date news from the WFS.

• Contact details for Robin Russell and John Fowles have been updated. (Please let me know if your details need changing).

Robert Shaw has been in touch. He would like to hear more news of his contemporaries who attended St Columba's (1959-61) and The Priory (1961-65). (see the CONTACTS section).

20th May 2016

John Morton has sent me a printout from Times Newspapers in which a further obituary for Kerry Bagshaw was published. You will find a copy of this by going to OBITUARIES Page 23. (Many thanks to John, who has waited several weeks for this to appear).

31st March 2016

• Dermot Clancy — Leo's brother — contacted me this week to put the record straight.

He writes: "A small correction for Leo. True his accent was West London, he was Irish born, however. He lead a wonderful uncompromising unorthodox life.
I remember Him recalling his times with Nick Kendellen with wry affection".


16th March 2016

• If you have visited the Message Board since yesterday, you will know that Martin Boylan has died.

I have started an obitury for him on Page 24 of the OBITUARIES section. Please send me any contributions that you may wish to record asap.

As yet, I have no details of Martin's funeral. His contact details were recorded as : 59 Wishaw Rd, Waterloo, Wishaw ML2 8EA, tel 01698-356240

14th March 2016

• One of Leo Clancey's colleagues refers to his "near-incomprehensible Irish growl". (See OBITUARIES Page 23) — yet most of us knew Leo as a 'Cockney'. Nick Kendellen rang (from Chicago) to put the matter straight: Leo's parents were Irish born and bred but Leo had a distinctly London accent.

No doubt he switched to 'Irish' when charming those birds.

Thanks, Nick

ª Thanks, also, to the people who alerted us all to the passing of Kerry Bagshaw: Bill Nimmo-Scott, Eric Creaney, Michael Goodstadt and Pat Burns.You may have met Kerry at St Columba's (1955 - 57) or at The Priory (1957 - 60). Kerry had an astonishing life. Go to OBITUARIES Page 23 to read an extract from the Telegraph.

As always, please send me any memories that you would like to add. (There's a very interesting interchange between Kerry and Michael Goodstadt in the OBSERVATIONS section).

I think that I have solved my computer 'gliches' — which I must admit were largely of my own making . . . It has taken me some time to get to grips with the changes that have been made to the 3 main programs that I use. I now accept that all software upgrades involve an uncomfortable re-learning phase. It's gratifying, though, to see more people using the Message Board to keep in touch.

16th February 2016

• I noticed this week that there hasn't been a link to Mrs Christine Hughes in the OBITUARIES section.

Apologies for this: Mrs Hughes played an important part in the lives of countless junior seminarians at St Columba's — so this has been a serious omission.

Click here to read the obituary that has been waiting on the site since June 2010.

• The website's WELCOME page has been re-designed so that the APPENDICES are always available at the bottom of the page (etc). Many thanks to Daniel for help with this.

2nd February 2016

Brother Timothy Murphydied on 8th September 2015, aged 88. Go to Page 23 of the OBITUARIES SECTION to read of his busy missionary life.

Peter Finn wrote to inform me of the sudden death on 15th December of his contemporary, Patrick Holmes. (The Priory 1947-52). Please let me know if you would like to contribute to Patrick's obituary.

23rd January 2016

• Did you know Brother John Murphy? He died on the 25th October 2015, in Glasgow, at the age of 78 years old — 56 years of this as a WF brother. Details of his life can be found on Page 23 of the OBITUARIES SECTION. Please let me know if you would like to add a contribution of yor own.

Maurice Billingsley informed me of Br John's passing as soon as it was announced on the WFs international website. Apologies for the delay, Maurice.

22nd January 2016

Brother Eugene Leonard died on Sunday (17th). I have reproduced the item that Fr Cassidy recorded on the WFs international website. This is now displayed on Page 23 of the OBITUARIES section — hopefully, with more information to follow.

19th January 2016

• This week, Mike Mearns wrote to ask if I had an obituary for Leo Clancy. News of Leo's passing took me by complete surprise: I had been hoping for years that he would turn up. And now it was all too late.

Mike referred me to Nick Kendellen (in Chicago) who gave me a link to the PressGazette, from which I would find eulogies from several of his journalist colleagues. You will find copies of these and a contribution from Nick on Page 23 of the OBITUARIES section.

As you will see, Leo was quite a character, and someone who is greatly missed.

My thanks to Mike, Nick and Leo's friends.

17th January 2016

•The Website Diary has been updated with entries from 2015. (see Appendices section)

17th January 2016

• Our thanks to Robbie Dempsey, who sent the following update this week:

"I visited the Missionaries of Africa at Templeogue, Dublin, last Saturday and said hello to Eugene Lewis and Fr. Sean O'Leary. Vincent O'Neill was also there from Mullingar.

We had a splendid Mass and commemoration for John Byrne. His family were very appreciative of this.

Mass was celebrated by Fr. John Paul - a Congolese WF who had just
that morning arrived from Bukavu via Johannesburg and Addis Ababa.
HE told me they live in perpetual fear from the marauding rebels in Eastern
Congo. HE met John in Dublin many times a few years ago."

• Robbie also forwarded the latest letter from Dr David Cullen — now on display in the APPEALS section.

9th January 2016

• Belated New Year greetings to all those people who kindly sent me best wishes at Christmas — and apologies to anyone whom I forgot!

• One of my resolutions is to keep the website up-to-date. 2015 wasn't a particularly good year for me and things slipped a little. For example, Mike Ellis dutifully sent me a follow-up to his report of 17th September regarding the re-furbishment of the graves at St Columba's — one of three items which gathered dust on my desktop since some time in November.••

To see Mike's update please follow the link in the APPEALS section.

• A reminder: have you checked that your contact information is correct? (see the CONTACTS section). John and Carole Fowles have moved house and will be sending me details soon.

•• One major problem occurred because I neglected to upgrade the 3 software items that I use for running the website. One of them became corrupt and its replacement needed an update of the other two. Needless to say, substanial re-learning was required — but I hid in the corner a while until it felt safe to come out. I am including this as a warning to anyone out there who thinks that they can get away with running software that is over 10 years old!

••• Did I tell you about my email facility that converted to arabic without warning. No? Perhaps another time . . .