1. Cavern in Cavan by Michael Fitzgerald & Philip Leedal

  2. Prefect's Holiday by Eddie Creaney

  3. St Columba's Report

  4. The Tide of Time by James Lee

  5. Fifty Years Hence by Anon (written 1955)

  6. Editorial by Anon (The Pelican, Summer 1956)

  7. "America" by Eddie Creaney

  8. The Summer Term by Gordon Rutledge


by Michael Fitzgerald & Philip Leedal
Taken from The Pelican magazine, Christmas 1955

THE rock of County Cavan is composed mainly of Carboniferous Limestone, estimated to be about 200,000,000 years old. Limestone usually contains many cracks and moreover is subject to solution by water. Thus water running over the limestone seeps down through the cracks, widens them by solution, and so forms caves.

There is a system of caves in the college grounds, a few hundred yards from the main building. There are three separate caves. The upper one is very short and is used as a natural bridge by the road to Sligo. The central cave is 400 feet long and up to 40 feer, wide, and the lower cave is roughly 1,100 feet long.

St Augustine's caves are especially fine for their formation, composed of insoluble carbonate. They are formed by water dripping from the roof. The insoluble content of the drops is deposited to make carpets of lime, or columns, either growing up (stalagmites) or hanging down from the roof (stalactites). In some ports of the caves, after many thousands of years of formation, the stalagmites and the stalactites are joined together to form one column. In the central cave the deposit resembles closely the icing on a cake.

In some parts, curtains of stalactites hang down in the form of organ pipes—and even emit musical notes when struck.

Some names have already been given to outstanding formations. There is the "devil's tooth," a vicious looking stalactite, and St Augustine's Bridge, a wonderful curtain, spanning the stream channel. Just above it is Our Lady's grotto, a lovely little niche sparkling with millions of tiny calcite crystals, encased in the deposit. Little pools of water in these crystal basins make the grotto singularly beautiful.

The students "fell" upon the entrance to the lower caves one evening soon after the beginning of the term, After a few preliminary investigations, a determined attack was planned for a Sunday afternoon. The party of about nine, including three Fathers, entered the cave at the lower entrance, through the back door as it were. Each member wore swimming trunks and to complete their costume some wore shoes. A few carried torches, though these were unnecessary as a Tilley lamp on a small raft was pushed through first and lit up a good portion of the cavern.

(source: Anthony Whelan)

"Marble Arch" in 1956?

The icy water took one's breath away but the party persevered, although in places the depth of the water made swimming unnecessary. After about half-an-hour shouting was heard ahead and suddenly, as the group came round an arm of rock, they were greeted by a flash-light photograph, and treated with the respect due to pioneers. The largest of St Augustine's caves had been traversed, as far as is known. for the first time ever.

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by Eddie Creaney, V1
Taken from The Pelican magazine, Christmas 1955

THE day dawned bright and clear." Well anyway, it should have but it did not. When we were called at half-past six, half an hour before the other boys, it was hardly taking time to rain. However we had been looking forward to this day for some time now and were determined that we would not let a trifle such as rain prevent us from enjoying ourselves.

After Mass and a hearty breakfast we set out. Fortunately, we did not have to wait long in the rain and were soon on the bus bound for Southampton, en route for Salisbury. The bus went by a very devious route which could have been accounted a delightful and inexpensive way of seeing Hampshire in any but the actual circumstances. However, we finally reached Southampton and the subsequent journey to Salisbury did not seem half as long as we expected after our Hampshire Tour.

Our first stopping place was the cathedral, one of the most interesting in Britain. It was begun in 1220 AD, consecrated in 1258 ADand the final details added in 1265 AD. The spire is the highest in the country and the third highest in Europe. I will not say that we were all bored by this historic monument of England's Catholic past but its charm did not hold us for longer than an hour so we took our leave and turned our minds to a more serious thing—lunch. After a delightful meal we took ourselves off to Smith's bookshop for a matter of minutes before it closed for the day, the day being Wednesday. From there we made our way to a local cmema where a very entrtaining mystery film was being shown. Supporting it was the usual crammed-full-of-action Western.

On leaving the cinema—tragedy! We discovered that the sandwiches had been left behind. 'i'hey were retrieved in a very short time and having put them to good use we paid a visit to the Catholic Church of St Osmund. Last of all we went to a fair which was on its last evening in Salisbury. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves—Father X included. Then we were on our way back to The Priory. After a brief stop at Southampton, where we had a quick glimpse by night of the liner "United States," we were soon in The Priory again. Two of us were already in bed and the rest of us were almost there when we were told that supper was waiting for us in the refectory. During the meal we had many hearty laughs over our day—and so ended a very enjoyable prefects' holiday.

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by Anon
Taken from The Pelican magazine, Christmas 1955

At present the College houses 71 boys, English, Scots and Irish grouped in descending order of size whose ages vary from 11 to 16. They are divided into two almost equal classes, the first two standards of secondary schooling, with average ages in the region of twelve and a half and thirteen and a half, and are under the care of a staff of five Fathers and one lay brother. All the Fathers share the teaching which includes in addition to the normal secondary school subjects training in Plain Chant and Elocution.

For long the college building presented a dual aspect—partly white and partly red, and loath as we were to cover up the fine sandstone of what we term the front of the house, we decided that in the interest of uniformity of appearance it had to be done. Now all the walls are glistening Snowcem and the change has been welcomed by all the neighbours.

Early in the term it was thought advisable to fill up the gaps in the fir plantations that lie near the house. Accordingly, a large number of young spruce and larch were ordered and a call went out for hole diggers. Small groups of volunteers during recreation, picked squads of young labourers during the manual work period, an occasional energetic Father and one or two passing tramps persevered with pick and crowbar until through turf and boulder well on 300 holes were cut. Then in one afternoon as many trees went in, to which we wish better luck than their predecessors of the "age of the rabbits."

(source : Bill Hart)

To the new playground adjoining the chapel a high fence has been added on the two open sides and powerful lights have been installed at opposite corners. Already ball games are possible at night and when another two lamps are added, as planned, there will be abundant light for the evening recreations. As in previous years, a group of the heftier lads were lent to a local farmer for potato lifting. They seemed to give full satisfaction. That they enjoyed the day themselves was evident.

A recent Thursday evening at seven o'clock, the boys, then in their books in the study hall under the eye of the Superior, were surprised to hear a fire bell ringing outside but near the house. They were instructed to rise and in an orderly fashion to walk out of the room and down the fire escape. Below to their delight was a fire engine—not one of your small grey water pumps but the real thing—large and red and complete with ladder. A team of burly locals, helmeted and armed with axes were running around the playground with ladders, ropes and hoses as the boys formed a phalanx at the far end. We watched the men shinning up on to the chapel roof carrying "victims" along the cloister roof and lowering them by rope. To give a realistic touch the Father Infirmarian clambered down the fire escape with something wrapped in a blanket —one boy who happened to be confined to bed at the time. The drill complete, the fire chief addressed the boys and then in a moment of rashness acceded to their clamour to "have a go" on the fire engine. The rest can be left to the imagination. We were told that in the event of a fire three engines would come to our aid, one to be stationed at the water's edge to draw water from the Tweed, another halfway between the river and the college as a booster and the third in operation at the scene of the trouble.

It would be hard to name the most popular game among. the boys at the moment. Rin-tin-tin and chain-tig (if you know what we mean) are always great favourites. There was a pea shooter phase at the beginning of the term with the stem of a local river weed as the fire arm and haws as the ammunition. At present, parachute flying is in vogue with an infinite variety of weights in use. What crazes are yet to come and in what order we would not like to say, certainly not on paper if only from fear of giving ideas. Though nothing was officially arranged for the fifth of November this year, intermittent explosions all round the property but especially near the Fathers' windows suggested that it was not passing unobserved.

Preparations for Midnight Mass and the Christmas concert are already under way and the prospect of that happy season urges us in conclusion to send our friends and benefactors the College's earnest wish—may the Saviour's peace and joy be with you all.

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by James Lee
Taken from The Pelican magazine, Christmas 1955

THE early morning mist was rising from the calm waters of Lough MacNean. Overhead a fresh September sun gazed obliquely over the shadowy hills, which lowered on all sides of the landscape. A slight breeze sighed over the water leaving ripples on the normally smooth surface.

As yet the air was sharp and one could feel the cold of autumn creeping on apace. Shouts and laughter broke the wonted silence of the scene. To the left where two hills flanked the valley lay the shallows, a natural bay and the favourite haunt of swimmers. Thence came the noise which echoed across the silent hills. The various splashes marked the progress of the swimmers. Here and there the usual non-swimmer gazed forlornly about with water up to his neck. The sun brightened and raised herself above the skyline causing birch and pine to merge on a green hillside.

September soon became October. The sun rose in the same unvarying arc but not with the same bright look. Cloud hung low and blotted the horizon. The treees on the other hand stood out more, and looked rather the worse for wear. Shouts and laughter still echoed in the hills, but the sounds had a peculiar quaver. The forlorn figure now, with blue face, red nose, and chattering teeth, looked as dejected as ever, as he stood with the water up to his gasping chest. It was noticeable that the water had crept landwards.

Weeks passed; came November. By now the sun was later in making her appearance, slowly emerging, red and dull, above a background of lowering cloud. Rain cast a slight mist over the water. The trees stood out sharply on the hilly slopes, and the air was very cold as it whipped drifts of rain across the lake. No shouts of laughter broke the silence; only the swollen waters which lapped against the receding shores.

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(A Flight of the Imagination)

by Anon
Taken from The Pelican magazine, Christmas 1955

Cast—CARETAKER, Visltor .

Scene opens: Caretaker alone, sweeping. Enter nervous gentleman who makes a very uncertain approach towards. the caretaker and eventually manages to attract his attention.

Caretaker: Good afternoon, sir.

(resumes work and after a pause looks up)

May I show you round, sir ?

Visltor : Thank you. I would be much obliged if you would. ,

Caretaker: Well, here we are in the hall. Ah, I see you are looking at the ceiling. Yes, a magnificent frescoe, sir. The feeding of the five thousand.

Visltor : By jove, extremely impressive. Who did it?

Caretaker: Father Mulligan, sir. Perhaps you have heard of him. Just now he is working on the Sistine Chapel in Rome, touching up the frescoes I believe.

Visltor : I see. And whose is this bust? I can just make out the lettering B. . E . . N. .

Caretaker: Must confess it's a bit of a mystery, sir. No one seems to know much about him. The bust was dug up a few years ago in the old tennis court where the Price Memorial now stands: but there isn't much information about the man himself.

Visltor : How very interesting. And along this corridor?

Caretaker: As you can see by the walls, sir, many of the old boys have left their mark on the place. This here is believed to be the imprint of the hand of the Venerable James O'Toole, whose beatification comes forward next month.

Visltor : And did he . . . ?

Caretaker: Yes, he made the ink marks too . . . always the one for a bit of fun, sir. And here's the tomb of the first Superior of the house, the Reverend Doctor Dooley. After being Superior here for more than thirty years he met a very tragic end—blown to pieces.

(Profuse weeping. Each tries to console the other).

Visltor : Dear, dear. A sort of gunpowder plot.

Caretaker: Oh no, sir, nothing like that: he was blasting rock out there on the playing fields. . . it was his favourite recreation, the poor soul.

Visltor : And who is the present Superior?

Caretaker: Father Reilly, sir. You must have heard of him.

Visltor : (mutters) Oh, really.

Caretaker: No sir, Reilly. That's it, sir, author of the book, "Call me Moses." Why, come to the window. That's him standing there, saying his breviary. As you probably know he tried to set on foot the White Fathers of the Strict Observance, but Cardinal O'Mahoney, the Superior General, wouldn't approve.

Visltor : Ah, Cardinal O'Mahoney. I've heard of him. And does he still go for a swim every morning?

Caretaker: No sir, not since Father Taylor was drowned . . . he took it very badly. This is Father Taylor's Memorial Tablet . . . yes, that's right, the one with "Asperges me" written on it. And here we are at the old chapel. As you know we now possess the biggest organ in the world.

Visltor : Ah yes. Made by Wildsmith and Wetz. Are they still in partnership?

Caretaker: Ah no, sir. A few years ago the Reverend Wildsmith broke his neck running downstairs. A great pity. That man had talent.

Visltor : And is Dom Jeddery Wynne still at Blacklion?

Caretaker: Oh yes, I can hear him playing now.

(Organ music. They look into the wings).

Visltor : Why, I am sure I saw someone there in a football jersey.

Caretaker: Dom Jeddery, sir. Very temperamental . . . insists on wearing his old First Eleven jersey and his old soccer boots whenever he plays, and we can't do anything with him or he insists he will go off and play in the Blacklion Odeon.

Visltor : I can see a monument through this window; is this the Price Memorial you were speaking of?

Caretaker: Oh no, sir. Archbishop Price's Memorial is further to the left. This is the Doherty Memorial.

Visltor : You mean the Father Doherty?

Caretaker: The same, sir.

Visltor : I heard him speaking at Farm Street. Last week.

Caretaker: He asked that a little memorial be erected to commemorate the work he had done here and his admiration for the Jesuits. Oh, do be careful, sir. You've torn your coat on the barbed wire. Yes sir, it is inconvenient having barbed wire in the corridors. It's poor Father Halligan . . . he keeps fencing in little bits here and there.

Visltor : Shall we go upstairs?

Caretaker: Well, let me see . . . I don't think it's advisable, sir ; you'd be torn to pieces.

Visltor : What, more fences?

Caretaker: No, the dogs, sir.

Visltor : Which dogs?

Caretaker: Well, sir, it's poor Father Cantwell. He keeps ten dogs on the first floor—and they are all called Fido. No one dares go near them. Sometimes they break loose and then . . .

Visltor : Well, I think I will be getting along now. (in panic).

Caretaker: I'm sorry you are in such a hurry, sir. I should like to have shown you the Cronin room. It used to be the Refectory but after Bishop Cronin's return from the U.S.A. it was converted into a museum to commemorate his exploits. Yes, his glass of milk is there, too. Shall I call you a taxi, sir?

Visltor : Yes. I'd be very much obliged if you would.

Caretaker: You're a taxi, sir.

Visltor : Thank you. Good day.

Albert Gardner, Fr Thomas Dooley and Fr Richard Cantwell

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by Anon
Taken from The Pelican magazine, Summer 1956

THE elephant, apart from being a beautiful bird who lives in a rhubarb tree, has that other endearing quality of mental retentiveness. Mnemotechny like any other art must be discriminating; by repute the elephant works within simple categories. He is a bird of taste. He knows that a friend is a joy for ever.

Were we to seek a heraldic mate for The Pelican we would choose the elephant to be at once his completion and foil. Rejoicing in an ever-increasing family we would also be sure of not forgetting those who pass on. It is within the heredity complex of the Pelican's brood that they should fly away to show love in other climes. Other fledglings follow hot-foot and-heart, in their tracks. But them we must not forget. An admixture of the elephantine becomes us all.

Some of The Priory staff in 1954:
(L-R) Fr Cassidy, Fr Dickson, Fr Fowles and Brother Paddy

Boys come and boys go. Thirteen leave us this year and thirty are expected to arrive
. And to add to the melée we lose and acquire staff. Changes in staff are not rare events at The Priory, but the news that Father Dickson would be leaving for Africa at the end of the school year came as a surprise. With us since 1948 he had come to be regarded as an indispensible prop of the old firm. He is one of the few who have been long enough at The Priory to see the boys who had sat at his feet kneel at the Bishop's for ordination. Father Dickson saw two of his "boys" advance to the priesthood on 24th May this year. "The Pelican" can but join in wishing him a happy and prolonged apostolate in Tanganyika. No crocodile tears for him.

Father Dickson finds a successor in Father Lynch (photo, left) who became a White Father student in the year Father Dickson came to The Priory. But he was already a B.Sc. and we look for rare flights among the brood when he lends us his talents for high-flying. To one and the other much happiness!

Some effort to read between the lines of the contributions in the present issue will show that. neither study nor athletics have been neglected since we last went to press. Enough to say that we still try to keep a regular measure of progress in facilities for one and the other. Enthusiasts in both fields have never been lacking in the nest.

With a happy year behind us, and many pleasant memories in our baggage, we look forward beyond the holidays to a new year full of zeal for all at The Priory, to learn and to fulfil in some way the missionary ideal which is our raison d'être after all.

A correspondent in a recent number of a transatlantic weekly referred somewhat scathingly to the "mushroom growth of a not-too-obvious and hence much too insidious kind of journalistic promulgation." He was making allusion to editorials, and continued: "For ambivalence, ambiguity, and at times, I suspect, equivocation, the Delphic Oracle had nothing on these latter-day prophets." .

With the possibility of equally searching criticism of our own efforts in mind, we go into print with not a little trepidation. Ours is not the realm of prophecy, nor even of oracular pronouncement. We simply seek to introduce again to our subscribers further efforts of our tiro scribes.

May God bless the work.

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by Eddie Creaney, Form V1
Taken from The Pelican magazine, Summer 1956

ON Saturday, 21st April, forty-nine boys left The Priory for Wembley to see the Schoolboy International between Scotland and England. That left eleven boys who, for one reason or another did not choose to go. What did they do all day?

The eleven were asked if they would like to go to Southampton as there was the possibility of their being shown round one of the liners in port. Only four wished to go. We four left for Southampton by bus shortly after dinner.

The first thing we had to do was to pick up our pass at the office of the United States Shipping Line. When we received it we were told that the ship the SS America, was arriving at half-past four and that we were to go on board at five o'clock. We then walked to the entrance to the docks and showed the pass to a policeman who expressed some surprise that four such young looking characters should be in possession of a boarding pass. We did not enlighten him.

S.S. AMERICA at Southampton, Martin Cox collection AMERICA

We proceeded to the Ocean Terminal where the ship was due to dock and had hardly arrived when we saw the liner moving slowly up the water. We watched it being manoeuvred in by the tugs and firmly secured to the quay. Preparations were soon made for passengers to disembark and before making for the gangway we watched some of these people as they went through customs formalities.

On showing our pass to a policeman we were told how to get aboard. We reached the top of the gangway and were invited to wait for a moment until the chief passenger agent for the United States Lines came forward and told us that he himself would show us round.

We learned that the America is the second largest ship of the United States Lines, carries nine hundred and sixty passengers and the cheapest berth costs £59.

We saw the sports deck, swimming pool, dining rooms, ballrooms, theatres where the latest American films are shown, and many other luxuries. Altogether we spent more than an hour on board and the impression was that we had visited a first class hotel.

Reluctantly we left the boat, pleased with our visit and an opportunity which might never present itself again. When we arrived back at The Priory we discovered that the seven who stayed in had contrived to see the second half of the football match on television, so everyone without exception enjoyed themselves that day.

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by Gordon Rutledge
Taken from The Pelican magazine, Summer 1957

MANY of our readers will think that the Summer Term is for the Priorian the same as any other. Far from it! This term is one longed for by each and every boy in the college. Time passes quickly for the Priorian at any time but the Summer Term goes like lightning.

For some boys—principally those from North of the Border—it has its disadvantages in that football is stopped and cricket, our main summer sport, begins. But after a few inter-school matches have been played even the most fanatical football lovers take an interest in this typically English summer sport.

During the summer months some adjustments are made to our time-table. Fifteen minutes extra recreation after supper is most welcome but the major changes are on the two halfdays—Wednesd
ay and Saturday. On Wednesdays the normal evening studies are transferred to before tea so that after 3.45 we are free to take part in any of the organised sports—cricket, tennis, athletics—or to work in the gardens or on the farm. On Saturday the manual work is transferred from morning to afternoon and once that is done we are free for the rest of the day.

The many holidays for the feasts of the Church and other annual events tend to speed the term up to such an extent that we hardly notice its passing and before we know where we are most of us find ourselves faced with G.C.E. exams : most, for all members of the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth sit for some subjects.

The Sixth Formers who devote each holiday morning to study throughout the term are recompensed with a weeks camping on the downs once exams are over. And then . . . . We find cases and trunks on the floor in the dorms and the term and another year has come to a close.-No wonder this term is looked forward to!

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