PAGE 18

Choose the article you wish to read:

  1. The Priory Shop ( 1965)
  2. From Our Letter-Tray — April 1962
  3. Experiences of a Guinea Pig (1965)
  4. Lay Brothers In The Society
  5. News from Old Boys (1959)
  6. News of the Year: 1958 — 1959
  7. Farewell to Fr Moody, Fr Fowles, Fr Rathe, & Brother Biewer (1959)


PRIORY SHOP TO MOVE
New premises proposed : Possibilities of enlargement
Author Unknown
Taken from the Pelican, Summer 1965 - lent by Pat Gritton

The suggestion that the Priory Shop should move from its present quarters to a more spacious establishment has been greeted by those who know about it with enthusiasm. They both said : "We are enthusiastic".

The location of the new premises will be kept a closely guarded secret until it becomes more widely known, In the meantime, the clientele of that exclusive boutique situated below the blanket room have been congratulating themselves on the evident success of their favourite shop.

Reasons for success

Our reporter was given a friendly reception by the shopkeepers when he called to discover the background to this success story of 1965. Having purchased only fourteen packets of buff envelopes, four brushes, a bottle of flavoured ink and a Complete Camping Kit, he was given the following helpful communication.

Reasons for success
"The success of the Priory Shop in 1965 has been due in every way to the accuracy with which the directors of this venerable establishment have recognised the needs of the modem Priorian and have, within the limits of the law, satisfied his aspirations".

When asked about the political affiliations of the establishment, and its response to the General Election, the Shop spokesman pointed out that every shade of opinion can only admire the organisation of the Priory shop.

Reasons for success

"Besides being one of the few publicly owned private enterprises in existence, the Priory shop is a bulwark against state monopoly and in the forefront of the defence of the small shopkeeper. In fact, we have one of the smallest shopkeepers in Hampshire. Added to this has been the success of our advertising machine, coupled with the names Shorras and Hillock and all they stand for in integrity, personal service and devotion to the causes of profit and the fair price. We are convinced that the proposed removal of our effects to some other place will confirm our clients in the confidence with which they have favoured us over the years. "

Our reporter then conveyed to the shopkeepers the heartiest congratulations of the Pelican staff to the Priory Shop for its diligent care for the interests of all its customers, and was given two halfpenny chews for the price of one as a token of appreciation by the Shop Directors. When asked whether the Shop would be purchasing advertising space in this year's New Pelican, the directors answered : "Not this year . . . Overheads going up . . . Removal costs to consider . . . very busy time ahead for us all. Perhaps next year, if the rates are reduced. Why don't you try some of that new Pepsi-Cola?"


Return to top


FROM OUR LETTER-TRAY
Author Unknown
Taken from a "White Fathers" magazine , April 1962 — lent by Mike Byrne

Note: This single snapshot of the early sixties is included purely for interest — and does not signal the onset of lengthy articles from of all previous editions of this publication! However, many of the names that appear below may be familiar to you and it might be interesting to look back at some comings-and-goings during this period in which so many changes were taking place.


Father John Miller has come down Kigezi country to Rubaga (Kampala) to work in the Uganda Catholic Secretariat. Naturally enough he laments his farewell to his mission at Bukinda . .. "And now" he says, "I am a bureaucrat!" You can imagine how valuable he is with his thirty years
of experience in Uganda.


Father Tolmie has also had a move. He has left the Seminary atLubushi and is now at Fort Roseberry. Amongst other things, he gives religious instruction in three schools and is responsible for the management of a Catholic book-shop.

Changes too, at home. Father J Byrne who was devoting his business acumen to launching the house at Templeogue, has now turned his attention to more exclusively spiritual preoccupations. He is chaplain to the White Sisters novitiate near Broome Hall: a busy round of conferences and Scripture classes etc. over and above the duties one normally associates with a convent chaplaincy.

Brother John Ryan and his team of Brothers, after completing their long job at Totteridge, turned their attention to altering a corner of Broome Hall
and then went on to Bishop's Waltham where further extensive work awaited their ability as bricklayers, carpenters and plumbers. Working on the job at Bishop's Waltham was a return to old haunts for Brother David Kelly, who, only a month or so before, had been postedfrom the Priory to Brother Ryan's team.

From Broome Hall, Father Rrancis Ball has been posted to the teaching staff at St Columba's, Newtown St Boswells and his place as Procurator has been taken by Brother Casimir. Father Joinet, from St Columba's, is now teaching Scripture to our novices at Broome Hall.

A new Procurator also at the Priory in the person of Father Geraghty, late of Oyo, Nigeria.

Father Michael Maloney, who terminated his studies in London last summer, is now teaching at the Priory, whilst Father Patrick FitzGerald, together with his name-sake Father Michael, is happily installed in Rome engaged in yet further intellectual delights.

Father John Murphy has had the happiness to return to Oyo and from West Africa has come Father John McNulty to replace him at Rutherglen. Farther McNulty will be renewing his acquaintance with many old friends in Scotland after being associated for so many years with the splendid mission of Jirapa in Northern Ghana.

A letter from Father John Bradley calls to mind that he is due to come home on leave very shortly. At the time of writing, he was planning yet another round of the outposts of his mission at Chungya. He did 120 days of hard-going safari in the course of the past twelve months. The results, he says, are very consoling.

There are encouraging developments, too, in the Kayambi mission in Northern Rhodesia. The huge mission of Chalabesa has been divided and a new mission founded at Kopa, the village of the paramount chief of the Babisa. A new catechist school is being built at Mulilanso and a new girls' secondary school near Mpika. The latter is to be staffed by the Sisters from Barrhead Convent. Father Patrick Boyd, who gives us all this news, says that all is now quiet again in Northern Rhodesia after the disturbances of some months ago.

Developments in the missions mean building and building means Brothers Brother Patrick Chambers wrote from Kabgaye, RuandaUrundi, that he was working with an old Brother from the Dutch Province who has seen many, many years with bricks and mortar under the African sun.

It is a story of buildings and Brothers (shortage of the latter) from Brother Eugene Leonard at Mzuzu. He has had to help out in two neighbouring missions besides coping with work in his own. The new church on which he worked at Katete was to be blessed, he wrote, shortly. Dr. Banda had been invited for the occasion.

Father Geoffrey Riddle, teaching at Tabora, Tanganyika, had the excellent notion of taking advantage of a brief respite from his school duties to write a long letter. He tells us that when the Duke of Edinburgh
piloting his own Heron on his way to Dar-es-SaIaam for the independence Celebrations, he touched down at Tabora for three quarters of an hour. Almost the whole population of the town went out the five miles to the aerodrome to see him. Father Riddle secured two successful colour snaps of him.

Besides a very full teaching programme, for the past three years Father Riddle has been looking after some two hundred African soldiers in the nearby barracks.

Two language study centres have now been set up in the district, one for Kiswahili and one for Kinyamwezi, for the young Fathers and other not-so-young newly arrived Fathers, who are unused to these languages.

From the Kiswahili centre, Father Leedal, of last year's ordination, writes that he and Father Alan Thompson and Brother George Ascott are busy with a very full study programme. He reports that Father Gerard Taylor, teaching at the Seminary, is, as he expected, valiantly coping with a dozen self-imposed projects for the benefit of his students. It is no wonder that reports reach us of splendid singing at Kipalapala in the tradition of Father Taylor's choir at Blacklion.

On top of letters from Tabora and thereabouts, we had first hand news from Archbishop Mhayo, the Archbishop of Tabora, who spent a week with us at the Provincial House. His Grace was particularly delighted to meet several old "Tanganyikans", amongst them Father Bernard Brown and Father Thomas Conway, both at Totteridge.

Return to top



EXPERIENCES OF A GUINEA-PIG

By Ian Scott (Form 6)
Taken from the Pelican, Summer 1965 - lent by Pat Gritton

The first stage in the experiment was that I and my fellow guineapigs, "squeaking", or was it "snorting", with some measure of excitement were packed into a dormobile and rushed to a "Man's Shop' in Portsmouth, where we were duly fitted with a blue blazer each, a blue cap streamlined with lighter blue strips, and a matching tie. So far things did not look too bad. We were all set for the place of experiment—St John's College, Southsea.

However, there were suspicious twitchings of the long "snouts" and beneath the silky guinea-pig skins, certain hearts must have held forebodings. The fact was that other guinea-pigs had already been launched into the experiment, and, in their breathers back at the observation centre which was also the breeding centre, we had listened with apprehension to their descriptions of their ordeal : they had to wear caps and keep their blazers buttoned, matters which were not enforced back at the rearing cum observation centre. Of course they furnished us with promises of scanty and disgusting meals and with vague descriptions of people ideally made to hate. Thus the forebodings. However, the day came and we were transported necessarily en masse to the place of experiment.

Here, at St John's, I think we all found that we had been misled. In general, there had been no need for "snout twitchings". But the result was not a mere vacuum of feeling; we had expected something worse than reality, thus reality itself proved very acceptable. The people in our class were very decent people (with the exception of the idiots) and the burden of wearing caps and keeping blazers buttoned did not prove at all irksome when one had grown accustomed to it. If one was not so adaptable then we found that even that seldom made things difficult. Even the lunches were tolerable but it was perhaps then more than at any other time that we were aware of our "guinea-pigness". We held forth our plates and watched helplessly as our allotted share was sparingly doled out. The potatoes are difficult to describe as regards taste but they fell on to the plates with amazingly athletic slopping noise.

As time passed, we gradually increased in the knowledge of the place and the people, and the general acclamation of my fellow guinea-pigs seems to have been that St John's was a "very tolerable place". So, despite an increased restriction as regards leaving the school at lunch-hour, despite a few skirmishes with prefects, and despite the potatoes, we passed quite contentedly through our first year at St John's. When, during the subsequent summer holidays, most of us learnt that we had gained a few G.C.E.'s, then St John's took on an even more tolerable aspect.

We are now coming to the end of our second year at St John's and no longer are we classed as "guinea-pigs". The research team has judged the experiments a success. Looking on matters from our vantage point of experience, it seems to have had as much success as could be expected. Admittedly there are difficulties—a slight division in the community, a conflict between two timetables, and even difficulties of going back and forth between two very different staffs. But these and perhaps other disadvantages are well balanced by such advantages as a better education and perhaps widening of the outlook. Anyway, as an exguinea-pig, I must admit I have been content to have been such. After all, the potatoes and other things are bearable.

Return to top


Lay-Brothers In The Society Of White Fathers
By Fr J Bouniol

Taken from a "White Fathers" , April 1962 — lent by Mike Byrne


WHEN a Missionary-Priest begins to write about Lay-Brothers he feels it necessary to impose a certain amount of restraint upon his pen. He knows so well the vital and urgent need for Lay-Brothers in the Missions, that he is in danger of making a fervent appeal for recruits instead of a plain account of the life and work of Missionary Lay-Brothers. Resisting this inclination I shall begin by stressing the position of Lay-Brothers in the White Fathers' Society.

The Brothers are missionaries just as much as the Priests. Fathers and Brothers are members of one and the same Society, bound for life by the same religious ties, the same oath of perpetual obedience. They conform to the same rules, live together in community and enjoy the same spiritual privileges. In fact they are true colleagues, striving side by side for the same great end, the conversion of Africa, but in different ways ; the Priests by the spiritual ministry, the Lay-Brothers by working with their hands.

The Brother is the organiser, the man on whose skill and devotion the whole wonderful material activity of the missions depends. Without a Brother a mission station is seriously handicapped. Of course, Missionary-Priests expect and know how to turn their hands to many occupations, and when there is no Brother they perforce become bricklayers and builders themselves. But then, far too much of their time has to be spent in manual labour ; they are overworked, torn between spiritual and temporal, anxiety, worried by the impossibility of attending properly to either set of duties. In the end every department of their work suffers.

A Lay-Brother is the only solution. Having his whole time to give to temporal affairs and having been specially trained for his work, he will gradually raise the impromptu workshops to the status of technical schools, and will turn out from them skilled artisans. In Africa, where the inhabitants are as yet backward from the industrial point of view, well-trained artisans have an excellent standing and are in great demand. Thanks to our Brothers, official reports from East Africa show that the pupils from our Catholic training-schools everywhere head the list.

The financial help afforded to the missions by our Lay-Brothers is evidently very considerable. During the first World War, when one Vicariate was deprived of financial aid from Europe for four years, a Lay-Brother raised enough money by his work to pay the salaries of 200 catechists and teachers. Many similar instances might be quoted.

From all this it might be imagined that only specially skilled and gifted men are welcomed as Lay-Brothers in the White Fathers' Society. Such is not the case. The first and foremost qualification is a real desire to seek personal sanctification by apostolic work for souls. If a young man who is not called to the priesthood longs, nevertheless, to devote his strength and energy to the salvation of souls, this vocation offers him a splendid life of service. A high standard of education will not be demanded. It is sufficient for him to have common sense, average good health and fitness for manual labour. During the Novitiate and afterwards he will receive training in the various crafts that are so useful in the mission-field. Like the White Fathers, the Lay-Brothers enter the Society by taking an oath of obedience, to which they add an oath of chastity. Their oath is taken three consecutive times for a period of one year each time, then a fourth time for a period of three years, and finally for life.

As already stated they obey the same rules as the Priests of the Society, performing in common with them the daily meditation, examination of conscience, visit to the Blessed Sacrament and spiritual reading. The Brothers hear Holy Mass daily, make a weekly confession and observe a monthly day of recollection. Every year they make an eight-day retreat. Fathers and Brothers take their meals and spend their recreations together. The Society provides for the maintenance of the Brothers. They are cared for in sickness, and after their death numerous Masses are offered for the repose of their souls.

It is unnecessary to insist on the extreme merit of the Brothers' labours. We have said that all the missionaries consecrate their whole lives to the special aim for which the Society was founded — the conversion of Africa. It follows that each member shares in the united merits of the general body; his individual merit is proportioned not to the nature of the task allotted to him but to the depth of his spiritual life and the charity, zeal and love of God which inspire the performance of his duty.

Cardinal Llavigerie, Founder of the White Fathers, had a very high esteem for the Lay-Brothers' vocation. Once he addressed to his sons, the Lay-Brothers, words which may serve to close this short article: "My dear Brothers, you see the simplicity and grandeur of your vocation. It may indeed have its difficulties and hardships, but it offers the sweetest consolations. Often, when the day's work is ended, you will raise your eyes to the African sky flooded with evening splendour and you will feel the enfolding love of the Divine Master who is ever near to His faithful servants. And in the evening of life, when your frame is worn from long years of toil and your place in the workshops is taken by others, with what joy you will think of the poor whom you saved from despair; how through your labours orphans were rescued and the sick were healed, and pagans received the blessings of the Faith and Civilisation. In that hour you will thank God that He chose you in spite of your weakness to do such great work for Him."

Return to top


NEWS FROM OLD BOYS
Author Unknown
Taken from the Pelican, Summer 1959 - lent by Eugene MacBride


Jim O'Toole sends us the following letter from the White Fathers, East View, Ottawa, Canada, where he is now studying theology.

'In my Priory days one of our most memorable occupations was the committing to memory of certain choice pieces of English Literature. Of all such pieces, none was more popular than Gray's 'Elegy in a Country Churchyard'. We learned how and where it had been written (Stoke Poges, was it not ?), and we were also told that while General Wolfe was sailing up the St Lawrence before storming the Heights of Abraham, he solemnly declared that he would sooner have written Gray's poem than take Quebec. Last August the Arosa Suit pushed its way up that same river; I stood on the deck and thought of Wolfe and Gray's Elegy and the Priory ; but I disagreed with Wolfe. Philosophy was behind me, and Novitiate also ; before me was the sombre mass of Canada's rugged coastline. You could keep the old Country Churchyard : my mind was set on the conquest of Canada.

That was almost a year ago, and the intervening months have increased rather than diminished my interest in Canada. As far as our daily life is concerned, of course, and the curriculum of studies, the Canadian Scholasticate has nothing to distinguish it from those of Europe and North Africa. We have no 'Theology without tears', no machines for solving knotty points of doctrine ; De Deo Tyino remains just as much a mystery for us as for our colleagues at home. Still, being in Canada does make some difference. There is always a suggestion of the Wild West, about it, and no British boy ever quite grows out of his affection for that part of the globe. The house here is situated very snugly on the outskirts of Ottawa, with a pleasant view over that young city with its towering imitation of the Mother of Parliaments. Our community is large and international, and a truly rich life is there for the taking. Languages are English and French, exams are twice a year, and we live with the pleasantest young men from many countries. What more could a man ask for ?

Canada really comes into her own in the field of sport. Here we have everything from soft-ball and table tennis, down through football and tennis to ice hockey and ski-ing. The only thing which Priorians could teach us is cricket. Ski-ing is perhaps the most popular of all sports. Life really gets going when Father Superior climbs behind the wheel of our big 'Apache Chev', with a whole circus of the Brethren stacked in behind, and goes bouncing off into the hills, out into the cold-crisp, biting cold—to the clear blue sky and burning sun, to the green forests and mountains of immaculately white snow.

For the present, however, that is of the past ; at the moment we are thinking rather of the summer holidays and our summer-house at Lac Vert, tucked sixty-five miles away in the depths of the forest. There, many hours will be devoted to swimming and boating and fishing, and the thought of theology classes will fade ever more into the background. We look forward to being joined by more Priorians in the fullness of time. We would love to have you, and I am sure you would love it here . . .

The other day I was called to the phone, to my great surprise; I picked up the receiver to hear a broad Scottish accent-owned by Willy Tonner, who was in our year at the Priory. He had drifted over to Canada, had married three weeks previously, and was phoning from Hamilton, a hundred miles away, to ask if I could spend Christmas with him. That could not be, so we had to be content with the telephone. The last thing I heard was that he was in the army in Germany.

I hope that you will be receiving some news from John Lynch in North Africa, where the Priory and St Columba's now have a force of three—all growing long beards and learning dirty Arab habits.

James Lee of our year at the Priory is now a Corporal in Singapore.

Kind wishes to all the Fathers, Brothers and boys of the Priory.'


MICHAEL FITZGERALD writes from Carthage. He is one of the bearded ones referred to by Jim O'Toole. His companion, JOHN LYNCH gives us a personal experience which he calls A NIGHTMARE WHICH WAS A REALITY:


'Watch out for scorpions' was a phrase I had heard frequently before my departure for Carthage. I laughed at it, and when I arrived here felt that my scorn was justified, for I saw nothing but dried-up ground, baked by the African sun. Someone managed to catch a couple of chameleons certainly, and I found their rapid change of costume intriguing ; but of scorpions there was no sign. At first.

One night, shortly after my arrival, I was just dropping off to sleep amid the soothing noises of my slumbering companions, when, horror of horrors ! I felt something crawl along my foot. A scorpion ! The horrible notion was born at once. I knew of their deadly sting, and was afraid to move. Everything around was pitch black, the only noises were those of the sleeping men about me. I feared to disturb them by switching on the light. So I just lay, as quiet and still as possible. All was still again at my feet. Then suddenly I felt a horrible tickling sensation on the inside of my foot. I banged the other foot against it with the intention of crushing my tormentor.

All was still again. I began to breathe more freely. Then it came again, much worse. I experienced one of the very worst moments of my life as I felt what seemed to be a cold, slimy creature crawling up my leg. I lay like a corpse. I began to wonder if scorpion's stings were ever deadly, and if perhaps I should be a real corpse before long. I wondered how long it was going to wait before it struck. Up and up it crawled, and still I lay there petrified. It must have been several minutes before it reached the middle of my back, and I could bear it no longer. Gripping the sides of my bed, I pressed down against the mattress as hard as I could, hoping to crush my enemy.

This time I was successful. The crawling stopped. Gradually my terror subsided ; I became conscious again of the breathing of my sleeping companions ; soon I heard nothing.

In the morning I had no difficulty in finding the corpse of my nocturnal foe. It was not a scorpion after all, but only a harmless back moth. But I did not forget the experience, and have taken care ever since to sleep under the protection of a mosquito net.

PATRICK BURNS is still in the Navy, but hopes to return to the Priory soon to resume his studies with us.

JOHN SMALL, now Brother Duncan, o.p., writes from Hawkesyard Priory, Rugeley, Staffs, where he is teaching novices to cook. He asks for the address of PAUL FARRELL. If any of our readers know it, Brother Duncan would be grateful if it could be sent to him.

JOHN MARTIN paid us a visit in army uniform. He was in an O.C.T.U., and we now hear that he has been commissioned. After leaving the army he will study for the priesthood, for the diocese of St Andrew's and Edinburgh.

Nimmo SCOTT is still living at his home at Bitterne, and we see him from time to time.

MICHAEL NERTNEY is with the Benedictines at Ramsgate.

We saw TERENCE PETTIT for a week-end. He is working in the City.

JOHN LYDEN is in the Sixth Form at St John Fisher School, Purley.

GORDON RUTLEDGE represents Smith's clocks in London.


Return to top


NEWS OF THE YEAR September 1958 to July 1959
By John Fowles
Taken from The Pelican, Summer 1959 - lent by Eugene MacBride

The Priory did not close down during the Summer Holidays. In fact, it was a veritable hive of activity. By the time the boys returned on 5th September the refectory, an upper corridor and one staircase had been completely redecorated.

New paint was not the only change with which the fifty-eight boys were confronted. Three new faces on the staff had come to fill the gaps left by the departure of Father Moody, Father Monaghan and Brother Joseph Francis. Father O'Donohue, already known to the newcomers from St Boswells, was to take over English: Father Cantwell from Blacklion replaced Father Monaghan as French teacher and Brother Columbkill, who had just finished his training in Luxemburg, came to carry on where Brother Joseph had left off.

The term opened with Solemn High Mass on the morning of 8th September and the boys began settling down to a new year of study.

Only a week after the beginning of term Bishop Kiwanuka came down to see us. The visit of an African Bishop is an event indeed and everyone felt that it would be ungracious not to mark the occasion with a holiday.

A month of the new year had not passed when the urge to re-organize the school time-table became irresistible and after a good deal of planning the new regime came into operation. Among the most notable changes were the inserting of P.T. before the morning break and the postponing of tea until all the day's classes were over. Other variations were to come later on, such as Compline in place of evening prayers on Sundays and High Mass at eight instead of 10.30 on Sunday morning.

With the intention of cultivating personal conviction, more freedom was given to the boys. There was to be no more herding into the chapel for rosary. The boys would say it where they wished.

The Sixth Form enjoyed special privileges ; a newspaper was at their disposal each day and Punch and the Illustrated London News were obtained each week. In the refectory, they enjoyed the company of their own class.

October saw the death of our beloved Pope, Pius XII, and the election of his successor, John XXIII. We celebrated a Solemn Requiem on the 13th and were able to watch on TV. the magnificent ceremonies in Rome.

The election of the new Pope took place on the day after the beginning of the boys' retreat, which was preached this year by Father Tony Maguire.
We were delighted to receive a reply to the telegram of congratulations which we sent to our Holy Father on the occasion of his coronation. It read : 'Augustus pontifex congratulationibus votisque suaviter affectus peramanter benedicit. Tardini Prosecretarius.'

The St Cecilia's Day concert took the form of a variety show in which the forms competed against one another. It proved to be such a success that the prize for the best performance—a day's holiday—had to be given to everyone.

The onlv scientific visit, apart from the trek up the Hamble River, was to Marchwood Power Station at the beginning of December. Marchwood is one of the largest and most modern power stations in the south. Apart from anything else, we learnt that when the wind is favourable, in one day, six hundredweight of soot is shed over Southampton from its smokestacks.

Visits were made during the Spring Term to Cheddar Gorge and Stonehenge by the Fifth Form. The Third contented itself with a trip to Alum Bay on the Isle of Wight.

Christmas at the Priory was very quiet. For the first time since the School opened in 1912, the boys left for home before Christmas Day. All the Fathers thought this a wonderful plan, and apparently parents did too, but the first reactions of the boys were not entirely those of enthusiasm. Two parties—one at school, the other at hom—-are better than just one at home ! Soon after the opening of the New Year another African Bishop visited us—Bishop Msakila of Karema, who had recently been consecrated in Rome by the Holy Father. We were very deeply impressed by his gentleness and humility.

Ordination Day, 3rd February, was celebrated here with a holiday and a film in the evening—Scott of the Antarctic. Quite a number were disappointed by the film—'Too much snow!'

February witnessed two hospital entries. Late one night at the beginning of the month an ambulance turned up to take away Liam McCana. He left his appendix in Winchester and returned home a few days later. Brother Columbkill, however, had a very serious operation. The morning after it had taken place we received a phone call telling us that his condition was critical. The hospital chaplain gave him Extreme Unction and after a few days he rallied. Although it took a couple of months to get over, the operation had proved quite successful.

At the end of February there was much 'Oh-ing and Ah-ing' among the farming experts at the Priory. Early one morning five chubby pink pigs had been sent off to Fareham market. In the course of the afternoon a telegram arrived from the market authorities which read, 'One of your five pigs reclassified as a bear'.


On 17th March, Father Superior's feast day, the boys staged The Amozing Doctor Clitterhouse, a drama by Barre Lyndon. It proved to be such a success that arrangements were made to give two public performances of it after the Easter holidays. All who saw it agreed that it was very well produced and one of the best performances of its type seen at the Priory for some years.

Two humiliating defeats were sustained at football during the month of March. The first was at Montfort College, Romsey, where our 1st XI was beaten for the first time in seven years. The second was quite a sound thrashing from 'the old men of Totteridge' on Easter Monday, the day of our visit to the Senior Seminary. However, we had such a grand day there that we almost forgot that we'd even played football.

Father Brown—our Father Brown from St Edward's—renowned in two continents for his prowess at cricket, came down at the beginning of April to give a little coaching to our Ist team. The fruits of his patient guidance were shown on many occasions, not least on Whit-Monday when we were robbed by time of a victory over the scholasticate team which came down from Totteridge for the day together with Father Smits, the Superior, and Father John Millar.

For the past few years it has been our custom to go on pilgrimage to a shrine of our Lady on the last day of April, the feast of Our Lady of Africa. Usually this has meant a walk over the downs to Winchester but this year, as the church at Winchester was being redecorated, we decided to go to the delightful little shrine at Bursledon overlooking the yachting harbour and the estuary of the River Hamble. lt proved to be a perfect day in every way—the journey there, the High Mass, with sermon preached by Father Superior, the picnic lunch.

A visit of Father R. Walsh, assistant to the Superior General, early in May swelled the number of illustrious visitors who have gone out of their way to see us during the year. The brief visit in May was followed by the official visitation in early June. We cannot complain that the Priory is forgotten by Mother House, however hard this has been tried !

One of the oldest visitors during the year was the father of Father Cantwell who spent the best part of May with us making an altar for the new infirmary oratory and doing a hundred and one odd jobs about the school. We were sorry to see him go. Not only had he proved himself an expert craftsman but splendid company too.

June 8th dawned very wet and cool but this did little to upset our enthusiastic welcome for the Queen as she drove through Bishop's Waltham on her way from Winchester, where she had opened the new council offices, to Portsmouth, to open the rebuilt Guildhall.

Excitement of a different kind was caused by the beginning of the G.C.E. on 16th June. The last exam took place almost a month later, on 13th July.
For the first time for some years we had no Sports Day-or rather, we had no sports. The day selected, Ist July, turned out to be too wet to carry out the whole programme. After the High jump in the morning, all other events had to be cancelled. Unfortunately it was impossible to hold the meeting on a later date.

The Garden Fete on 4th July was well attended but did not prove to be as great a financial success as last year. Perhaps this was due to the fact that the draw was on a much smaller scale than in the past.

The 'Philosophers' camp at Galley Down began on 6th July and apart from a very heavy thunderstorm one night—'The worst for years'—the nine boys at the camp had the usual splendid time.

And so we came to the end of another year on 17th July. The boys left early in the morning and with them went Father Rathe on his way to Africa.
Eleven Priorians left us for philosophy at Blacklion, where we wish them every happiness and success.


Return to top



FAREWELL TO FATHER MOODY
By John Fowles
Taken from The Pelican, Summer 1959 - lent by Eugene MacBride

In July 1959 Father Moody was appointed to Mwanza, Tanganyika Territory. It was his first nomination for Africa and an occasion to rejoice. But we knew that his departure would be a great loss for the school to which he had devoted so much talent and energy during his three years as Superior and Headmaster.

Father Moody's associations with the Priory were not limited to the three years immediately preceding his departure for Africa. He became a member of the staff in 1953, teaching Latin and English. He won the respect and love of the boys as Prefect of Discipline, an unpleasant office which he fulfilled admirably, tempering deserved severity with that human understanding and sympathy which was always such an outstanding characteristic.
After one year, he was appointed to carry out the same duties in St Columba's. He thus gained an experience of both schools which was to prove invaluable when in 1956 he was given charge of the Priory.

But it was in the late thirties that association with the Priory began for we find the name of Paul F. Moody among the list of Priory pupils.

After matriculating, Father Moody went on to Kerlois in France for philosophy, and it was in France that he remained until the end of World War I I. Unable to flee the country when it was overrun by the Germans in 1940, he, with other British students, was sent to St Denis, an internment camp on the outskirts of Paris.

He finally completed his studies for the priesthood and was ordained in Scotland in 1949. He was to remain in Scotland for some years reading for a degree at St Andrew's University, where he made a name for himself as a brilliant student.

While Headmaster, Father Moody did much to raise the academic standard of the Priory. He carefully studied and reorganized the programme of studies and it is mainly to his efforts that the existence of science and Advanced Level courses is due.

It must not be thought, however, that his interests were confined to studies. The spiritual welfare of the boys was his primary concern.
His physical relaxation (!) consisted in cycling and lawn mowing. It was obvious that he did not feel completely relaxed until he was literally bathed in perspiration.

Father Moody did much to revive and open up friendship between the Priory and many Catholics and Non-Catholics in the district. His perspicacity and energy coupled with a striking wit and healthy independence of mind could not fail to win friends for himself and the Society at large.

We have lost him but we know that our loss is Africa's gain. His talent and energy are now more immediately employed in the service of the country to the service of which he has dedicated his life. May it bring much profit to Africa and happiness to himself.


Return to top




FATHER JOHN FOWLES
By Bill Lynch
Taken from The Pelican, Summer 1959 - lent by Eugene MacBride

Since coming to the Priory after his ordination in 1953, Father Fowles has used many talents in the service of the seminary. His teaching time-table has included English, Elocution, Scripture, Doctrine, Science and Physical Training, and besides organizing all the sporting activities of the house he has often found time to give valuable help in the running of the dairy and of the farm.

It stands to his credit that in spite of considerable material handicaps, he has succeeded in soundly establishing a science course in the seminary curriculum, and in setting up the beginnings of what promises to be a good little science laboratory.

But it is perhaps for the enthusiastic stimulus which he gave to sports and athletics, and for his able organization of these activities, that Father Fowles will be chiefly remembered. The energy he displayed in this field, as indeed in everything else he undertook, was an example to us. Without this familiar figure on the P.T. yard and playing fields it will seem that some life has gone out of the Priory.

We wish him a happy and successful term of higher studies in the realms of science before he returns—we hope, if he does not!—to make a yet more valuabie contribution to the life and work of the Priory.




Return to top



FATHER THOMAS RATHE
By Fr Alan Thompson
Taken from The Pelican, Summer 1959 - lent by Eugene MacBride

We regret to announce the departure of Father Rathe, who has been our Father Steward for the past three years.

Our loss is the gain of the Missions. An excellent confrere, we will miss the unfailing good humour which survived all his difficulties in satisfying so many 'inner men'. Even when the unpaid bills surrounding him in his den promised to pass his eyebrows and bury him completely, his unruffled voice could still be heard cheerfully intoning his theme song, 'Rejoice, rejoice !'

We wish him many successful years of work in Africa and a more rewarding post than that with which he has had to wrestle at the Priory.






Return to top

BROTHER PETER BIEWER
By Fr J O'Donohue
Taken from The Pelican, Summer 1959 - lent by Eugene MacBride

Brother Biewer, or Brother Aelred as he was known until recently, came to Bishop's Waltham in 1956. He had previously spent two years in Ireland, proving himself in that time a truly holy Brother and an energetic worker. He came to the Priory at a time of transition.

For almost as long as man can remember, three Brothers had cared for the farm and the grounds at the Priory—Brothers Modeste, Aubert and Patrick. Brother Aubert had died some years earlier; in 1956 Brother Modeste also received from His Divine Master the reward of his long service and later in the same year Brother Patrick, after twenty-two years at the Priory, was appointed to Ireland.

Brother Aelred, as he then was, was one of those called to replace this famous trio. White Fathers are trained to expect anything, to be prepared to turn their hand to whatever task is assigned to them. Brother Aelred had received no special training in farm-work. Middlesbrough is his native town, and that fine city provides few opportunities for country pursuits. Nevertheless Brother addressed himself to his new task with zest, and has now the satisfaction of looking back on three years of hard work during which he has raised the efficiency of the farm considerably.

He was largely responsible for the erection of the new byre, and he has never spared himself in attending to the many daily tasks of the farmer.

We are sorry that he is leaving us, but rejoice with him that he is at last being sent to the work he most hoped for. We wish him a prosperous time in Mwanza, whither our prayers follow him.

Return to Top
Return to HISTORIES Index