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In 1960, the St Columba's choir took part in the "Pueri Cantores" event
in Rome, accompanied by Fr John Conway, their talented choirmaster.

Below is a copy of the programme of this event, sent to
us by Mike Ellis. (original supplied by Owen Gormley).

Also included below are three photos of some of the participants
— which first appeared on GALLERY Pages 29 & 288.
You will find further photos on GALLERY Page 197 .

Please note
: for those of you who did not know, a long playing record was made
of a selection of the songs from the programme. This included 'The Keel Row',
sung by the 'English' contingent (the St Columba's choir). A second contribution
from our choir —
'The Seven Joys of Mary' — was not chosen for the LP.

The version that you are hearing was recorded by Marlborough College.

David Walker went to a lot of trouble to produce a dvd copy of the original.
Information about this can be seen on GALLERY Page 196.


(source : Mike Ellis)

(source : Mike Ellis)

Translation below by Ian Scott

Pray in beauty

This vow so dear to St Pius X is at the heart of this assembly of young people which you are witnessing.

Far back in 1907, in the suburbs of Paris, a small group of students would gather together some young boys to teach them this praying in beauty, the sense of which had been lost in the Liturgy.

Their modest efforts were to be crowned with great success. From church to church the Little Singers of the Wooden Cross carried this faith and this ideal.

Since 1930, the fame of the celebrated “Manecanterie” and his white shirts has crossed the boundaries of France, under the influence of the then Abbe Maillet, and he little by little grouped around himself numerous ranks of child singers trained for their journey.

The two world wars did not slow down this effort. Following the example of the prestigious Capelle Romane, the Little Singers of all tongues and latitudes discovered Palestrina, Vittoria , J. S. Bach, Handel . . . .

Today, the International Federation of the Little Singers approved by the Holy Father, has more than 200,000 children from a hundred nations.

Successively, Paris, Rome three times (1949-1951-1954), Colonia, Chicago, Lourdes, Montreal, Tokyo, Bologna, Catania have hosted their national and international Congresses.

On the morning of the Nativity they have come, 4500 of them, from various continents, to offer the homage of their songs to His Holiness Pope John XXIII.

They are also happy to get their numerous friends from the Eternal City and in the majestic ambience of the Palazzo dello Sport to listen to their various groups which have come from 12 countries including distant America and even Africa. Japan also is represented at this Congress in the person of its National President.

Missionaries of sacred music, the Little Singers also intend to be the same for peace. They know that song is an instrument of this peace which is so difficult to attain. Dear listeners and Roman friends, may these moments spent together this evening be able to be a bond among the hearts and minds around this Worldwide Choir assembled here at Rome.

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(source : Mike Ellis)

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(source : Maurice Billingsley)

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(source : Patricia Hawkins de Medina)

Three members of Fr Conway's choir at St Boswell's 1960.

(L-R) : John Mattock, Ian Netton and Liam Lawlor

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(source : Patricia Hawkins de Medina)

Pueri Cantores 1960

(L-R) :

Front : Andy Murphy, Paul Maggiore, John Mattock
Middle : Mike Ellis, Ian Netton, David Ritson
Back : Liam Lawlor, Tony Gallagher (RIP), Peter Fenlon, Owen Gormley

(Source: Mike Ellis)

St Peter's Square, 1962

Fr John Conway (left), choir master and organiser of the Rome trip, and Fr. Tom Mc Kenna.