PAGE 21

  1. Meet Fr Thomas Tye WF - an article written in August 1962
  2. Mr D J Williams - "Priory Interlude for a Truth-Seeker"
  3. A Bird's Eye View of The Beda by Mr D J Williams
  4. Glancing Back by Mr D J Williams
  5. Comings and Goings - staff on the move at The Priory in the summer of 1963
  6. Murder In The Cathedral - performed at The Priory in 1963
  7. The Association of Former White fathers' Students
  8. St Columba's College - a look back over the year by Fr Thomas Stoker
  9. The New Recreation Room (at The Priory)
  10. The Easter Cycling Tour - by John Madden
  11. Tour of the Isle of Wight

"Meet Fr. Thomas Tye, W F "
An article taken from the "White Fathers" magazine, August 1962 — lent by Mike Byrne


Father
Tye spent his first 8 years as a priest at Heston parish for about 8 years (1937-1945) — covering the
whole of the war period, in fact.

When I saw the picture below and read the article, it dawned on me that I was probably looking
at the man who baptized me! A quick check in the 'archives' showed it to be true.
(Documentation available for inspection - proving that 8th March 1942 was not a Friday afternoon, as some suspect)


(source: White Fathers magazine, August 1962)

"Meet Fr. Thomas Tye, W F "

THOMAS TYE, a wide-awake schoolboy viewing the world from the vantage-point of Fulham, made up his mind about three things: that he would be a priest, that Africa was the place for him and that the White Fathers' Missionary College at Bishop's Waltham was the place to start doing something aboutboth these things.

From Bishop's Waltham in due course he went to Belgium for Philosophy, Algeria for his novitiate and Carthage for Theology. He was ordained in 1937.

He was not yet to go to Africa, for his first appointment was to par!sh work at Heston, then the Provincial House. He remained there until 1945, when he went to St. Boswells to help Father (now Bishop) Walsh in the management of the farm.

In August of that year, he left for Oyo, Nigeria, where he worked successively in eight missions, two of which he founded (one of them, Otan, with the help of Father James Williams) and for a time he was in charge of the schools and finances of the Prefecture of Oyo.

Back in London in 1957, with health impaired but happily improved after a brief stay in the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, he was appointed superior at Palace Court and remained there until last September. He then moved to the Provincial House to take up secretarial duties. During the past two years, he has had the satisfaction of contacts with Africans in London through his work with Mgr. Coonan, National Chaplain to Overseas Students, amongst them, many connections with his old Nigerian mission.

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Mr D J Williams "Priory Interlude for a Truth-Seeker"
by J O'D
Taken from The Pelican magazine, Summer 1963 — lent to us by Mike Byrne

When summer came this year to Bishop's Waltham, a familiar figure was missing from the lanes which wander through the surrounding woods and downs. Had you been walking along Dundridge Lane, or up to Steven's Castle Down, any fine afternoon between two and four in 1961 or 1962, it is likely enough that you would have chanced on a solitary walker, striding along plunged in thought.

But to find that figure now, in 1963, you would have to travel far over land and sea to the Mother City of Christendom; and even then it would need close scrutiny to recognize in the soberly-dressed ecclesiastic the erstwhile hiker of Bishop's Waltham. For Mr D. J. Williams, who taught at the Priory from 1960 to 1962, is now the Reverend Mr D. J. Williams, student of the Pontifical Beda College, Rome.

Bishop's Waltham first saw Mr Williams in the early summer of 1960. Father English had died, with tragic suddenness, in April, and although the arrival of Brother Mennie at Easter meant that extra work could be coped with for the third term, it was thought necessary to find another member of the staff for the following year. Fathers, as always, were scarce, and it was suggested that a layman might be found to fill the gap.

Friends in Portsmouth heard of the situation, and eventually the news came to the ears of a master at Portsmouth Technical School, a recent convert, who had earlier worked for six years as a Baptist Minister in Wales. He was still largely unacquainted with the workings of the religious life in the Chiirch, and needed a period of tranquillity to think about his future; from every point of view the vacancy at the Priory seemed providential. So it came about that, among many other guests who sat down to supper at the Fathers' table on the eve of Pentecost, 1960, there was one figure conspicuous by his lay dress; Mr Williams had arrived.

It did not take either the applicant or Father Fitzgerald, then Superior of the Priory, lo 'ng to come to an agreement, and when Mr Williams returned to Portsmouth the following afternoon subjects had been distributed and terms arranged, and he had been invited to come into residence in
September.

It was an experiment on both sides. For the Priory, this would be the first time that a layman had been admitted into the community to share the daily life of the Fathers and Brothers; for Mr Williams it was very much a venture into the unknown. The experiment turned out to be a great success for all parties. A room which had previously served successively as Oratory and Boys' Infirmary was fitted out for our lay master's use.

Mr Williams fitted perfectly into the community, and proved an agreeable and stimulating companion. On the other hand daily intimacy with White Fathers and Brothers cannot have done as much spiritual damage to Mr Williams as some had feared, for after two years of it he decided to present himself to the Archbishop of Cardiff as a candidate for the priesthood. He was promptly accepted, and is now finishing the first of his four years of study at the Beda.

Those who had the pleasure of living with Mr Williams at the Priory have many happy memories. One thinks of his unremitting kindness towards the many learner drivers whom it was his misfortune to encounter just at this period; the Williams Driving School became famous, and many were the hours he spent patiently watching and instructing while the controls of his car were wrenched about by inexpert hands. He had all the unflappability of a modern statesman, and endless patience and generosity, both with his time and with his property. One remembers too his lively conversation, at table and in recreation. He had a special penchant for philosophy and the more remote areas of speculative theology, and liked to flavour his talk with favourite quotations from Holy Scripture or from profane literature. If you ever need to know who, and when, said, "We must squeeze them until the pips squeak," ask Mr Williams, or anyone who was at the Priory during his years there.

As for the boys, only they can say what their memories are, for the teacher is on his own in the classroom. But one can certainly say that there was no sign of any pips squeaking during Mr Williams's classes. In his first year he taught History to the Sixth and English to the rest of the school; in his second year, when the Sixth Formers had been transferred to St John's, he taught English and Doctrine to everyone. As far as one could judge, he proved an able and successful teacher; one always felt that although he was outstandingly successful in getting boys through examinations, his ambitions for them went much further than that, and the young men who were able to plunder his large and well-stocked mind have surely taken something away which will stand them in good stead for the remainder of their lives.

As the summer holidays approached in 1962, we heard of Mr Williams's plans for the future. After sundry mysterious absences, he informed us that Archbishop Murphy had accepted him as a candidate for the priesthood, and that he would be leaving the Priory at the end of the school year. One evening at supper it was suddenly realized that this would be the last meal that Mr Williams would take with us in community. Father Superior addressed to him, on behalf of all, a few apropriate words of thanks and of good wishes for the future, and the victim replied in an eloquent and witty ex tempore oration which those who heard it will not easily forget. Preaching had been his love in former days, and he showed us then that lack of practice had not deprived him of the old skill. We envy those who in future years will have the privilege of hearing Mr Williams's weekly sermons, from a Catholic pulpit this time, somewhere in Wales. It should go far to compensate them for the lack of a parish bingo club.

The following morning the boys performed, this time by choice, a service which they had often been called upon to render as a matter of necessity, by pushing THT 172 down the Priory drive, and the old Hillman, scarred with many a Hampshire adventure, disappeared down the hill for the last time.
Rome is far from Bishop's Waltham, and one does not easily associate the rather unattractive Hampshire village with the capital of the ancient world; yet the fact is that there are at present in Rome four people who in 1961 were together on the Priory staff. The present Father Superior is making his Long Retreat a few miles away in the Alban Hills; his predecessor is just finishing his studies at the Gregorian University for the licentiate in theology; a third Father is working in the Generalate of the White Fathers; and Mr Williams is at the Beda College. He is thus being closely followed by his former colleagues, and it is pleasant to report that he is in the best of health and spirits, in spite of some previous apprehension about donning the Roman clerical dress.

Mr Williams has already broken several records—as the first full-time lay teacher at the Priory, as the first ex-Baptist minister to study at the Beda College; it is a pleasure to wish him in the pages of the Pelican a successful end to his studies and many record-breaking years of fruitful apostolate when he at length returns to his own people of Wales. For those of us whose entrance into the Church demanded no conscious effort, and whose way to the priesthood was smoothed by family background and education, it is easy to forget the many and great sacrifices which Mr Williams has made for the cause of truth and in the service of the Lord.

One thinks of Newman's words about one "who has given up much that he loved and prized and could have retained, but that he loved honesty better than name and truth better than dear friends."

For Christ's sake Mr Williams abandoned a promising career, caused pain to those he loved, and in many eyes forfeited his good name; for there are still those for whom Rome is the mother of iniquities and the Holy Father the triple tyrant. Those noble offerings cannot go wit hout their reward, and it must be the hope of all who came to know and admire him at the Priory that he will receive, according to the Gospel promise, not only life everlasting, but also one hundred times the worth, even in this life, of those human satisfactions on which he has so magnanimously turned his back.

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A BIRD'S EYE VIEW OF THE BEDA
by Mr D J Williams
Taken from The Pelican magazine, Summer 1963 — lent to us by Mike Byrne

If someone five years ago had told me that within a few years I would resign the Baptist Ministry, become a Roman Catholic, teach in a Junior Seminary and then become a seminarist in Rome, I would have told him to pay a quick visit to the nearest psychiatrist. But it has happened; truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

My last few months at the Priory were made very interesting by the hair raising accounts given by the staff of the arduous life of the Roman seminarist. Fr. Duffy did not in any way help by asking me if I'd ordered my cassock and my Roman hat. I would not believe that I would have to wear that black, flat and wide brimmed headgear, designed I am sure, either to test a seminarist's humility or to make him look as unattractive as possible to members of the opposite sex.

Anyway I managed to survive the jestings and I duly arrived at the Beda College. It is situated near the famous basilica of St Paul's outside the, walls—what a vast and majestic edifice it is! From the outside, the Beda is not an attractive looking building, and thus when the visitor enters he is quite surprised at the pleasant interior. Its marble floors, long glass-lined corridors, gleaming refectory and ultra modem chapel are quite impressive. The students' rooms too are delightful—cool in summer and warm in winter,

The Beda can house about eighty students. These, -of course, are all late vocations and come from all parts of the English speaking world. 'They are a unique crowd. Where else in the world will you find living together voluntarily, one time lawyers, clergymen, businessmen, army and naval officers, scientists, tinkers, tailors ... the lot? It is thus impossible to become bored here, at least not with one's colleagues.

Basically the routine is much the same as in any other seminary except that we are allowed far greater freedom and we rise somewhat later than other less fortunate seminarists. But even so getting up at 6.00 a.m. is a bit of a strain on the nervous system—but for that matter getting up at all is no joke, when the faint and feeble spirit has to move a huge deadweight of flesh.

The morning is taken up with three lectures. Three does not sound much but I have become painfully aware that as one approaches the two score period of life, one's mental reactions are much slower (as many boxers have discovered to their cost and usually to their crown's!). The lectures in the first year are devoted to Philosophy, Canon Law and Scripture. We have a mid morning break and it is quite a remarkable affair. After the second lecture, students young and old of all shapes and sizes scamper away as fast as their legs can carry them to their rooms in order to "put the water on." This tea making session is one of the day's most important rituals, and all participate in it except the "half barbaric" Americans who go out for coffee.

Talking of Americans, we have eight of them and they are a great credit to their country. Two are ex-colonels of the U.S. army, another was one of the chief representatives for Pepsi Cola. He must find seminary life pretty irksome at times, having been accustomed to have two chauffeurs to cart him around.

Lunch at the Beda is in true Italian style, spaghetti, pasta, and lots of wine. Incidentally, we change our table colleagues at the beginning of each term and it is an occasion for some excitement "Who sits next to you this term?" I find keeping awake after lunch a physical impossibility and I can hardly summon sufficient energy to climb on to the bed. On sliding into a peaceful slumber my thoughts often drift to the Priory where lads would be "hard at it" after lunch. Again unlike most seminaries we are free for the afternoon, at least officially.

Supper at 7.30 is followed by the rosary and then recreation in common. This recreation can become most irksome but I think it is necessary. It prevents the formation of cliques which constitutes a danger in a college like this where the students have such a. variety of background. Recreation is followed either by night prayers or Benediction. And this brings me to the subject of ceremonies. The ceremonies at the Beda are carried out with extraordinary precision. At first they can be quite frightening, especially to someone like myself with a Nonconformist background. We are all given meticulous instructions for every ceremony. For High Mass there are rehearsals every Saturday morning and evening. When I first acted as acolyte I took off the humeral veil long before it was necessary and so I find myself holding it guiltily in my hand, much to the amusement of the community.

The chapel is pleasant, although the sanctuary is rather small. Visitors who attend High Mass must find the whole scene an impressive sight. From the balcony they look down and see eighty students from different parts of the world and from all walks of life gathered for the great act of homage to God. Some of them have given up prosperous careers; others have had to change their entire mode of life. In a few years most of them will be ploughing lonely furrows in God's vineyard. But in spite of this knowledge very few leave the Beda. They are prepared for the loneliness that awaits them for they have made their decision to take tip the cross in the full bloom of life and are thus aware of all its implications. In the priesthood the loss of years is compensated by a wealth of experience, and consequently the Beda men can bring to their task the sympathy and understanding so necessary to help the faithful live full Catholic lives in an hostile world.

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GLANCING BACK
by Mr D J Williams
Taken from The Pelican magazine, Summer 1961 — lent to us by Mike Byrne

ONE Saturday morning fifteen years ago I asked my ministerwhether I could enter the Baptist ministry. He was obviously pleased, for he began making arrangements for my entry into the South Wales Baptist College at Cardiff. A few months later I was accepted by the authorities and was to spend six years in the College.

During that time, Catholicism was a closed book to me as well as to my fellow students. For us, the Catholic Church was as remote and alien at Buddhism. We regarded it as an institution supported by superstitious fanatics who were dominated by bigoted priests. But in my sixth year I heard a welleducated Frenchman give a calm and reasoned lecture on Catholicism. He also managed to make short work of questioners who tried to ridicule his position. Many of my colleagues were amused, and some dismissed him as a crank. However, he had succeeded in making at least one of his listeners a little more tolerant.

My first and only church as a minister was in East Monmouthshire. It was a strong and active church, and I began to settle down to a comfortable, existence. Trouble howevet arose like an unexpected gust of strong wind. One of my members asked me to marry her daughter to a divorced man. This I did; but I felt most uneasy about it. Baptists have no definite teaching on the subject, consequently I was not sure whether I had done the right thing. This practical problem set me thinking and for the first time in my life I began to think seriously about divorce and other questions about which I felt uneasy.

So it came about that I started re-examining such fundamental points as the reason for man's creation, the Divine Sonship of Our Lord, the Roman Catholic claim to infallibility. Gradually I found myself making a personal investigation into the position of the Catholic Church. I read Catholic literature, nervously entered Catholic churches, and visited Catholic countries. The more I read and thought, the more convinced I became of the reasonableness of Catholicism.

After four years of this, I became mentally tired of trying to find a weak link in the strong logical chain of Catholicism. I then decided to drop the whole subject and carry on with my work.

In August, 1958, I spent my holidays in Dublin. I was immediately impressed by the many fine churches I found there, thronged daily with worshippers. This unsettled me again. I felt lonely and found myself anxious to whisper my troubles into the ears of some understanding priest. Eventually I plucked up enough courage to make an appointment with Father Bonaventure Fitzgerald, the Prior of the huge Carmelite church in Whitefriars Road. This was the first time I had spoken to a Catholic priest, and it so happened that he had become acquainted with Nonconformity in South Wales during a period as priest in charge of St Mary's College, Aberystwyth. I put my cards on the table; so did he, but he had a much stronger hand, for he quickly disposed of all the objections I could muster. It was a very bewildered minister that returned to his church in South Wales.

During the following months, I again examined carefully the doctrines which the Roman Church taught, and I had to come to the conclusion that they made sense. I soon realised that my position as a Baptist minister was becoming intolerable. Still, to believe is one thing, to act on that belief is another. The Baptists regard the Catholic Church as an evil, poisonous growth, spreading its insidious shoots everywhere. For a minister to embrace Catholicism was to commit an act of treachery. It was a degradation, an unnatural throwing away of all human dignity and freedom. In short, the Baptists would consider that a man guilty of such a deed was in danger of losing his soul. The prospect facing me thus appeared very uninviting. But I decided to risk it, and with mixed feelings I resigned the pastorate of the Church.

I spent the next two years teaching in Portsmouth, and it was while I was there that I entered the Church. Then came the invitation to teach at the Priory, and so I find myself now writing this little article.

To live and teach in a house such as the Priory is for me a very novel experience. Most ministerial students are what Catholics would call "late vocations." They have been clerks, army officers, teachers and so on. They have thus had plenty of experience and are quite mature. Furthermore, they gain a great deal by mixing with every type of student at the University; they join social and political clubs. All this is to the good. Another interesting feature of College life for a candidate for the Baptist ministry is the system of preaching practice. The students are out preaching every Sunday throughout Wales. By the time I had left College I had preached over six hundred times—but not six hundred sermons!

There are however grave defects in the training which a Baptist minister receives. Too much stress is laid upon examinations and on obtaining degrees. Apart from a brief morning service there are no spiritual or devotional exercises. This is left to the individual student. It is up to him to find the means of nourishing his spiritual life. Unfortunately he can without proper guidance find himself in a theological maze. There is little or no discipline. Apart from fifteen or so lectures, the student's time is his own. Indeed any attempt by the authorities to impose discipline is met with stiff resistance. In fact on one occasion the students went on strike! This lack of discipline very often has unfortunate consequences. When the student is faced with opposition in his ministerial life he is ill-equipped to deal with it, as he has never learned the hard lesson of obedience. In short, life in College is too soft and relaxed.

Here at the Priory the ethos is altogether different. The boys are much younger and naturally discipline is strict without being severe. If accepted in the right spirit, the discipline is a wonderful help to the formation of Christian character and braces the seminarian for the hard and exacting life of the priesthood. To run a junior seminary is not easy and requires great wisdom on the part of the Fathers. This they exhibit, for they themselves have learned that only those can rule who have first learned to obey.


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COMINGS AND GOINGS

by John Fowles
Taken from The Pelican magazine, Summer 1963 — lent to us by Mike Byrne

We are not unfamiliar with comings and goings of staff at the Priory. Each July we say "Good-bye" to a priest or brother on his way to another house in the Province or, if he is very fortunate, to the African mission fields, and each September besides welcoming new arrivals among the boys, we are glad to open our doors to those who will fill the vacancies in the teaching staff and help in running the school during the following year.

In September last, the two newcomers were Father Brian Garvey and Father John Conlon. Father Garvey, who spent one year at the Institute of Education after graduating at Oxford, is no mean asset to our staff. Besides having abundant academical qualifications, he is keenly interested in many of those extra activities which are so important a part of school life. Throughout the winter he devoted his "spare" time to coaching the rugby team and now the cricket team receives his full attention. Besides this he somehow manages to produce plays and look after the choir.

Father Conlon comes to us directly from the scholasticate to take up the arduous and unenviable office of procurator. Fortunately he is full of enthusiasm and energy, qualities which are eminently necessary if the storms and problems of house management are to be controlled.

In July, farewells were said to Father O'Donohue and Father Geraghty, to Mr Williams and also to, Mr Heath, who although not a resident member of the staff has certainly been a very active one for many years. As our choir master and organist, he has shown unparallelled zeal and devotion. When other commitments forced him to retire, we felt a little sad at the. parting. He can be sure that he will be remembered with affection by generations of Priorians—and with deep gratitude by members of the staff.

Father O'Donohue, a man of many parts, served the school wholeheartedly for four years, turning his attention to every aespect of school life. His amazing capacity for work was noticed by all his colleagues and—unfortunately for them—by his superiors in Rome who decided to take him off to the Generalate where he now renders sterling service to the whole Society.

Father Geraghty spent only a few months here as bursar—just long enough for the powers-that-be to realize that he was just the. man for the job at St Edward's College, Totteridge. His quiet efficiency made him respected and admired by the boys and we were all sorry to lose him. Mr Williams's departure for the Beda left a gap which could not be adequately filled for he became much more than just a member of the staff. His complete frankness and good humour won the hearts of all. We miss him a lot.

To those who have gone we say a sincere "Thank you" and to the newcomers a belated "Welcome."

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"MURDER IN THE CATHEDRAL" by T. S. Eliot
by Anthony Ryan (Form 5)
Taken from The Pelican magazine, Summer 1963 — lent to us by Mike Byrne

The air was cold and damp and its penetrating nature made the Cathedral at Canterbury an ill place to be on a black misty winter's night. The clink of chain mail broke the silence amid the shadows of the still, grey amphitheatre, an a drunken voice hurled a challenge through the blackness: "Where is Becket the traitor to the king? Where is Becket the meddling priest?"

Parishioners of the Priory parish church were watching one of the foulest murders in history—in the "amphitheatre" of the Priory's gymnasium. This was the climax of two months work. For those who are familiar with T. S. Eliot's "murder in the Cathedral" will doubtless realise that this, though an amateur production, at least had a script of genius, to which we, in our humble way, attempted to do justice. Fr. Garvey, the producer of the play, with his characteristic drive battered us into shape and showed us that these rather nebulous lines had meaning—the reader should grasp the significance of that!

In fact the night when we performed the play was cold and damp, and our clothing was far from warm. In the style of the Middle Ages the tempters wore thin tights and by the time the first act was over they were glad to don the woollen "chain mail" of the knights. The tempters entered one by one to be repulsed in turn by Thomas. It was the fourth tempter with his subtle language and suave demeanour, a complete stranger to Thomas, who nearly convinced him that his death would be in vain. The first act ends with a decisive "No!" from Thomas, which word neatly sums up the act.

The second act is concerned with the ultimatum of the knights and the death of Thomas. Then the play takes a curious turn. The knights go to the wings, collect a chair each, sit down facing the audience and proceed to lecture those present on the circumstances of the archbishop's death, claiming it to have been a political necessity. The speeches are very persuasive and would be irrefutable if the audience had not seen the actual murder.

Kevin Gregson as the Archbishop dominated most of the scenes. There were also many pleasing minor performances, and Liam Colgan as the third tempter and Peter Johnson as one of the priests could be picked out for particular mention.

A lot of thanks should be given to those who helped to prepare the stage and the lights—Bro. Colin Connisbee, Christopher Shirley and George Dunnion. Above all though, our thanks are due to Fr. Garvey who conceived and carried through the whole thing, virtually single-handed.

Cast
Thomas of Canterbury Kevin Gregson
First Tempter Anthony Ryan
Second Tempter Joe McIntyre
Third Tempter Liam Colgan
Fourth Tempter Sean Hughes
Priests: Terence May, Paul Maggiore, Peter Johnson
Chorus: Old Man: C. Campbell, Young Man: David Walker, Old Woman: Philip Mason
Messenger: James McKinlay
First Knight Anthony Ryan
Second Knight Ian Netton
Third Knight Ciaran McGuinness
Fourth Knight Sean Hughes
Prompter, Hans van Well

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THE ASSOCIATION OF FORMER WHITE FATHERS' STUDENTS
by John Baker
Taken from The Pelican magazine, Summer 1963 — lent to us by Mike Byrne

The Association of Former White Fathers' Students began its life in February 1961. Those old boys who were still in touch with the White Fathers were invited to spend the day at St Edward's College, Totteridge, to hear about the A.A.E.P,B.— Association des Anciens Etudiants Pêre Blanc. This is the organisation founded some years ago in France by Pierre Lesbros, a Frenchman of quite extraordinary dynamism and zeal, who explained how in France through reunions former students were able to keep in touch and help each other. He also explained, "Fratres". This is the quarterly newspaper published by the Association, in which news from each country is printed, each country having more or, less a page.

An international conference is held each year,,and this year Brussels was chosen as the place for it. George Penistone, John Teague and Hugh Tapping represented the British Isles, and George Penistone's impressions will be given on the English page in the next issue of "Fratres".

Since we began in this country we have heard from many old boys, the doyen of whom so far is Leo Gill. He wrote to us to say that he was the Leo Gill mentioned in Fr. Howell's reminiscences of the Priory 1912-22, printed in last year's Jubilee number of "The Pelican." He joined the White Fathers after serving as an R.A.F. officer in the First World War; the fact that over forty years later he should be in touch with the Association shows the impression the Society makes on its students.

Whatever impression the White Fathers makes on its students, it does not seem to result in a particularly unique product, for the Association finds old boys in every possible walk of life in every possible part of the world. Paul Wiseman's choice of life is perhaps. the least conformist. Fr. Brankin met him in Central Africa prospecting. Paul, it appears, has an inherent gift for discovering mineral deposits which he has been able, most profitably of course, to employ. I think this may be one of the few gifts the White Fathers would not claim to have discovered!

May I make an appeal through "The Pelican"? Since we began over here our greatest difficulty has been communication. We have some addresses but many of these are out of date, sometimes by many years. In'France they have a printed directory of members circulated to all. George Penistone is hoping to compile one over here, but badly needs up to date addresses. If any readers know of former students could they pass on the addresses to George Penistone? His address is: Challoner House, Challoner School, Woodside Avenue, Finchley, London N.12.

News of Former Students
Christopher McGuire (1950-57) completed his M.A. degree at Edinburgh in 1961.

Joe McDermott (1952-57) and Desmond Boyle (1952-57) graduated (presumably from Edinburgh) in June 1962, and Eric McCormack (1958-57) passed Honours English at Glasgow in July 1962. All four graduates were successful A. Level candidates at the Priory "under Fr. Monaghan in 1957.

Edward Harvey (1953-59) has completed two years of English and History at Edinburgh.

Brian Foley
(1953-56) from Armadale has also been at University.

Terence Pettit ((1953-58) is at the Ravensbourne College of Art and Design in Kent doing his final year in graphic design.
Gerry Cannon (RIP) now has his own Radio and T-V. business complete with workshop, twoemployees and a van. He is also doing quite well as a Cadet Warrant Officer in the local branch of the A.T.C.

Kevin Johnson has just completed his final year at St Mary's Training College, Twickenham.

Edward Creaney (1950-56) is now in Australia.

Peter O'Brien (1946-52) is happily married and has two daughters. He is working as a, Psychiatric Nurse at Our Lady's Hospital, Ennis, Co. Clare.

Finbarre Fitzpatrick (1955-59) has now spent two years at Leeds Training College. He says that he doesn't mind being credited with admission to Leeds University, but he cannot admit that this is true.

Jim O'Hagan (1939) still lives at Kingsbury in North London.

John G. Kelly is in his final year as a Chartered Accountant.

L. Unsworth (1920) has retired from banking. (William Unsworth?)

Geoff Bickers (1955-57) is with the British Forces in Cyprus. He spent six months in the former British Cameroons and some time in Nigeria, but was disapopinted not to meet any White Fathers.

Peter Jackson (1954-55) is studying as an architect. He took his intermediate exam last autumn.

GFJ (John) West (1954-57) was in the Forces for two years. He had just come out when he wrote to us from Heston.

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St Columba's College
by Fr Thomas Stoker, Superior
Taken from The Pelican magazine, Summer 1963 — lent to us by Mike Byrne

LOOKING back over the past year, which is quickly drawing to its close, it has, indeed, been a most eventful year in the history of St Columba's. The usual things which take place in a College during the academical year will be dealt with in the several articles produced by the students, but though the Retreat is numbered among the "usual things" of the year, one cannot let this go by without, thanking Father Anthony Maguire for the work he put in to preach a very successful Retreat to the students.

The new extension, destined to take another forty boys, has gone ahead very satisfactorily' under the guiding hand of Brother Ryan, Brother Leggett, Mr Belcher and Mr Campbell and,of course, Bobby Dixon, the foreman builder. The brickwork, should be completed within the next two or three weeks, the steel trusses for the roof have been hoisted into position and fixed so it should not be very long before the external part of the building is finished..

The organ which stood in Monteviot chapel for close on a century is now installed in our chapel. It was donated by the Marquis of Lothian almost a year ago and it is a valuable asset to the College. It was installed by Brother Augustine of the Brothers of Charity at Gattonside and a friend did the tuning.

Several improvements have been made during the past year both inside and outside the College. A Library has been made where the students can go and read without being disturbed. New racks for football boots have been erected in the basement. The sports field has been drained at one end and rugby posts set up. Basketball is now played in the gym and several matches have been played: Fathers v Students before an enthusiastic crowd. The cemetery has been "re-decorated": new crosses, paths, etc., and the path leading to it which will have its importance when the extension is completed, has also got a new look.
We were fortunate to have the help of an expert to coach the boys in boxing, and two ex-Scottish Internationalists to help coach them at rugby.

The students and Fathers from Drygrange continue to come to the College to play badminton and relations with the local people became very friendly during the year. Many have been to the few Whist Drives which were run to help the Building Fund, which now totals nearly £500.

An anonymous donor presented the College with a hand carved statue of St Joseph, destined to adorn one of the oratories in the new extension. We are now looking for some good donor who will present us with a similar. carving of Our Lady for the second oratory.

We had two very interesting trips during the year: one to Abbotsford where we were welcomed by Mrs Patricia Maxwell-Scott and her,sister Jean, and the other to Newcastle to see the Vocations Exhibition. Both trips were a great success an account of which is given in the following pages. On June 26th all the Students, Fathers and Brothers visited Monteviot House where the Duchess of Gloucester opened a garden fete in aid of the Hunger Campaign.

Among our visitors this year were His Lordship Bishop Ddungu, Archbishop Gordon Grey, The Rector of Drygrange, Very Reverend Father Provincial, Very Reverend Father Briody, Father Bradley and Father Coffey. Several of the Fathers from Sutton Coldfield and Rutherglen came to see us and we thank them for the films they showed to the community.

Parents' Day brought a record crowd of nearly two hundred: fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters of the students spent an enjoyable Easter with us.

In February the "Universe" held a nation-wide essay competition on the subject of. "Vocations." The competition attracted over a thousand essays. The results have just been published and we are very pleased to report that three of our boys, Thomas Hillas, Peter Coyle and Michael Byrne, are among the prize-winners.

It was with deep. regret that we learned of the sudden death of Peter McKenzie. He was a student at the College from September 1957 until July 1959 when he went t o the Priory. We offer our sympathy and prayers to his family and to all at Blacklion.

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THE NEW RECREATION ROOM

by "a Grateful Priorian"
Taken from The Pelican magazine, Summer 1963 — lent to us by Mike Byrne


The lowing of cows and the snorting of pigs can no longer be heard in the byre at the Priory. Indeed the lowing and snorting of animals has been transformed into the laughter and shouting, mingled with the staccato bursts of "pop" music, of young blood; for what was once the byre is now the new recreation hall, commonly called the rec' hut by all and sundry.

The conversion was carried out by the able skill of the brothers, and no one can say they have not made a good job of it.


(Source: The Pelican magazine, Summer 1963 — lent to us by Mike Byrne)

The new Recreation Hut in use
Are you able to identify anyone in this picture?
Have you got the original so that a better copy can be made?


The brothers started the work in September by putting a new floor in the hut, and from then until the official opening and blessing of the hut on January 14th of this year, a change could be seen each day in the appearance of the building. Now the transformation complete, a visitor would never recognise the new rec. hall as a one time byre, unless previously told.

New doors and windows have brightened up the outside, but the big changes have been inside the hall. The bare brick walls have been plastered over and painted a warm pale turquoise, the ceiling has been lowered by means of hardboard and the raised floor has been completely covered with blue patterned linoleum. This long, low ceilinged rec. hall is made very cosy by an original heating system devised by the brothers. Three batteries of fluorescent lights provide ample light in the interior.

Twelve new formica-topped tables were purchased along with a number of new chairs. Besides a new table tennis table and a half size billiard table in excellent condition given by the Fathers, there is an abundance of games, consisting of chess boards, card games and a number of Waddington games, all newly purchased. The most recent acquisition is a radio-gram.

All that is needed for the rec. hut now are a few pictures for the walls. It was hoped to remedy this defect by a "Priory Art Competition," but unfortunately owing to lack of enthusiasm and artistic skill this project had to be abandoned. Perhaps somethng in the painting line will be achieved by Priorians in the future.

The recreation hut is a lasting monument to the skill and tenacity of the brothers who built it, and it will provide private enjoyment and relaxation to generations of Priorians.

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THE BROTHERS' TEAM
by David Walker
Taken from the same edition of The Pelican

The green van of the Brothers' team is now one of the familiar sights of the Priory. It has been here since October when the Brothers' team arrived to begin work on a new recreation room. The weather was cold and the job large. However, Brothers Conisbee, Murphy and Cummins worked hard and just after Christmas the recreation room was finished, and a really good job they made of it.

Their next undertaking was the construction of a new sewerage scheme, an unenviable task on the heavy clay of Bishop's Waltham. Despite the snow, they dug so many ditches that the Priory grounds began to look like the set for a First World War film.

If everything goes well, the Brothers will soon be leaving the Priory. Even so, the splendid work that they have done will not be forgotten.

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THE EASTER CYCLING TOUR
by John Madden (Form 3)
Taken from The Pelican magazine, Summer 1963 — lent to us by Mike Byrne

On Monday April 16th six tramps left the Priory on a great Southern Counties cycling tour.

These six stalwarts of the road met their first trouble one hundred yards outside the grounds, when one of their number, attempting to break the world speed record, turned a slippery bend too quickly and was left prostrate on the ground. Undaunted however by this misfortune we all continued to Lyndhurst in the New Forest. There the house-keeper at the Parish Church promised us a free meal if we went in her name to a certain cafe owner in Lymington eight miles further on.

A few hours later we were leaving Lymington completely refreshed after a delightful meal. The next place to be invaded was Highcliffe Seminary where we were kindly offered tea. We then proceeded to Swanage via the sandbanks ferry.

Now the main trouble started for we did not know where we were to sleep the night. We had booked places at a hostel at Beer, but that was 40 miles away, and the Youth Hostel at Swanage was full. At last we decided to see if the local scouts were ready to live up to their motto of "Be prepared." They were, and so we spent a comfortable night in the local scout hut.

The second day saw us on the road to Dorchester in pouring rain. We went via Corfe Castle and Wareham. We then pushed on to Bridport and Lyme Regis. From this latter point of call we cycled to Axminster where we were to spend the night. Once again we had failed to reach our hostel and so we went to see the Parish priest. He was out at a Mothers' UnIon meeting. We went to the meeting hoping to touch the hearts of these good mothers. With the aid of a touch of blarney, we found ourselves at some of their houses for the night.

The third day was once again wonderful, and after cycling to Chard where we had dinner in a French Convent, we went to Yeovil situated in the heart of Somerset. From there we went to Wincanton, to the Carmelite monastery. Here we again had free board and lodgings, and breakfast together with Holy Mass.

On the fourth day we had not much cycling to do being only 20 odd miles from Salisbury where we were to spend the final night, this time at the Youth Hostel. Here there were two convents, and so we went to one for dinner and to the other for supper, visiting the Cathedral in between times.

The final day was once again wet and so we decided to get home as quickly as possible. It took us hours however to cross Salisbury Plain, mostly because the wind and the rain were against us. When we reached Romsey we had to have lunch and so we went to the de Montfort College where we were kindly offered a good meal. With something in our stomachs and with an improvement in the weather, we easily made the rest of the journey, and so ended one of the most enjoyable holidays I have ever had.

I would of course like to take this opportunity of thanking our leader Fr. Conlon on behalf of the group for everything he did in making the tour a bumper holiday.

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TOUR OF THE ISLE OF WIGHT: Easter 1963
by Ian Netton (Form 3)
Taken from The Pelican magazine, Summer 1963 — lent to us by Mike Byrne

Our Tour of the eastern half of the Isle of Wight began on Tuesday April 16th. The party of five rose at 6.45 a.m. and after donning T. shirts and khaki shorts we were soon speeding towards Gosport. We were in Ryde by 9.15 and here we met our group leader Fr. Fowles who had come over some days previously. We walked together along the beach to Quarr Abbey where we attended'mass sung by the monks. To me the monks looked like a lot of black robed witches in the gloomy unlit interior of the Abbey. Outside however the building is very beautiful and the style quite unique.

After mass we started across country for the Youth Hostel at Thitwell 16 miles away, where we were to spend our first night. Having cut through a wood and braved a few bogs we joined a road where we were able to ask the way of an old rustic. In brilliant sunshine we followed the road for a few hours until we arrived at Arreton, a small village half way along the road to Whitwell. The village contains an old Norman church of the Eleventh Century. We ate dinner in a bus shelter and then resumed the trek, crossing some fields encircled by mist and electric fencing—a dangerous combination. Eventually we came to a disused railway track which we followed all the way to Whitwell. We arrived at the Youth Hostel at half past five. Supper followed at 7.30 and bed at 10 p.m.

The next morning it was raining as we set out after breakfast and it continued to rain all morning. After going through a long pitch black tunnel we found the road and made our way to the path running along the cliff. The sea seemed rather angry that morning and it lashed the rocks spitefully.

An hour later we arrived at Ventnor where we heard mass, and then after a picnic lunch took the road to Shanklin. Meantime the weather had cheered up, and the sun condescended to show itself. The town of Shanklin is split into two parts. There are the old but neatly thatched cottages on one side and the new modern bungalows on the other. A beautiful "Chine" runs down to the sea. This is a wooded dell surrounding a stream that has hollowed a gorge right down to the beach.

We paused for a quarter of an hour in Shanklin to admire the sea, by now quite serene and undisturbed, and the long pier which we photographed. Then we walked along the pebbly beach towards Sandown, the pier of which was also in sight, the town being only three miles away from Shanklin. Here some of the more adventurous members of the party swam and thereby earned a sarcastic cheer from some warmly clad spectators on the promenade.

Thursday was really the best day of all as regards sunshine. Our destination for the day was Cowes about 14 miles away, where lay the third and last youth hostel on the island. We walked first to Newport where we visited Carisbrook Castle. Charles I was imprisoned here during the Civil War and he also escaped from the castle. At three in the afternoon we left the castle for Cowes, only about five miles distance. Walking first over fields we eventually reached Parkhurst forest, close to the famous Parkhurst prison.

On Friday, the last day, we contented ourselves with having a look at Cowes. We took a ferry across the River Medina from West to East Cowes, which enabled us to catch sight of a hovercraft anchored a few yards off. We then went to see Osborne House where Queen Victoria died in 1901. It is one of the stateliest buildings I have ever seen. The interior is beautifully decorated with mosaic floors, marble statues and priceless Victorian furniture. Certainly a residence fit for a king or a queen.

At length at 4.35 p.m. we took the ferry back to the mainland, this time to Southampton, On the quay the van was waiting to pick us up, and soon we were speeding back to the Priory, nostalgically thinking of the Isle of Wight, for the island possesses a charm that few places have.

Finally I would like to thank Fr. Fowles on behalf of all who went, for taking us, and for the enjoyable time that we had.

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