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Year 2003

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Jul 6th 2003 at 04:03:13 AM
NAME :  Jean Bibbo

Subject: Camp Lavigerie

Dear Jim (Butters)

My family used to go to Camp Lavigerie on vacation
every year back in the 60's and 70's. I was sitting down
with my mother this evening and we were reminiscing
about all the people that we used to know. All of the
wonderful Brothers that were there and were wondering
what happened to them.

I noticed that you mentioned Brother Jim Heintz and
I remembered that name. I also noticed that there have
been reunions. I also remember Brother Joe Sullivan,
Gene Robiti (?), Guthard (?) and many others.

Do you have any information on any of the Brothers and if there will be any other reunions ?

Any information you can provide would be wonderful.
Sincerely, Jean Bibbo

The history of the WF Brothers is scarcely covered in our website and they deserve better than this.
What can we do to remedy this ? Who would be a good source of information and photos etc. ?
Please contact me, also, if you can point us in the right direction. (Paul)

Jun 23rd 2003 at 03:36:31 AM
NAME :  Robbie Dempsey
I found it OK , but now it's excellent.
I have just rediscovered my old copy of the Pelican
for 1960 when I was a first year kid in St Columba's.
Its end-of-year group photo hasn't appeared on this site,
yet. One article entitled "The Priory Debating Society
1959-60" caught my attention. I quote:...

6th December : Motion, "It is the opinion of this house
that people suffering from incurable diseases should be
put away by painless medical means." Pro, Mr Mair; Con,
Mr MacDonald. Result: Pro 8, Con 35.

7th February : Motion, "It is the opinion of this house
that those not athletically inclined should be forced
to take part in sport." Pro, Mr Bagshaw; Con,
Mr Frederickson. Result: Pro 9, Con 34...........

Well, whatever loquacious disputation ensued and whatever syllogistic arguments were eloquently
postulated on those wintry nights, I guess the SAME 8 or 9 little gobsh#&%s were IN FAVOUR of
both motions and I sure hope none of them got ordained.

We are watching out for you !

Jun 20th 2003 at 02:33:38 PM
NAME :  Paul West

Now playing : a plainchant version of Salve Regina,
resonating down the ages and tickling the hairs on
the neck of even the most distant *diaspora.
It also seems to have become the Pelicans' anthem,
so I include the words in both Latin and English in
case you need them —in the thick of a Rangers' match, for example :

Salve Regina, Mater misericordiae,
Vita dulcedo et spes nostra salve.
Ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevae.
Ad te suspiramus gementes et flentes, in hac lacrimarum valle.
Eja ergo advocata nostra, illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte.
Et Jesum benedictum fructum ventris tui
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens, o pia, o dulcis Virgo Maria.

Click here to play it

Hail holy queen, mother of mercy,
Hail our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To you do we cry poor banished children of Eve,
To you do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us.And after this, our exile,
Show us the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary

To download a copy of the sheet music, go to :

*Sunday 2st June 2003 : Mike Mearns s to say that he can hear it in Toronto !
And loud enough to sing along to it. (What about Australia Mr Collyer ?)
**Ave verum (et al) will be available to you at a click of the button soon (plus an on/off switch, of course . . .)

Jun 16th 2003 at 02:50:25 PM
NAME :  Paul West

Postcard from Wolverhampton:

Travelling back from Bishop's Waltham recently, I passed Ted Heath's cemetery
at Twyford but didn't have the time to stop. I soon found myself humming
Mozart's Ave Verum— which I think was Ted Heath's favourite piece of 'sacred music' .
Whether it was or wasn't, it always reminds me of him, so here's to you, Ted.

Click here to play it

Please excuse the occasional bum note. It sounds as if it is being played on one
of those harmoniums that were stored in the old buildings by the side of the gym (1955 - 57).

I will change the tune when I get the opportunity. Hopefully, I will get a plainchant
version of Salve Regina up and running soon.

Weather is wonderful here, but I wish I had brought my own pillows.
Will write soon, Paul

Jun 16th 2003 at 10:37:54 AM
NAME :  Mike Ellis
Surrey UK
I enjoyed a very nice conversation with Eugene yesterday following his rather "self deprecatory" e-mail
expressing disappontment at the poor response to the invitation to vist St Columba's in September 03.

I apologised on my own behalf and said to him that we all appreciate the fantastic job done by him and
several other colleagues to maintain contact with so many - so long parted - friends.

I said he should not take it personally under any circumstances it is simply lack of thought, planning,
decision making and frankly, coutesy on all our parts! As with so many things these days, Eugene
feels that he is "herding cats" trying to organise us all, for events he has carefully planned!
I hope we all take a little time to help Eugene and his colleagues keep their chins up!

Keep up the good work Eugene, we do all appreciate what you are doing!


Jun 14th 2003 at 12:03:24 PM
NAME :  Mike Byrne
I'd just like to back Eugene and add my two pennyworth. I have very much enjoyed the three reunions
I have managed to get to and I'm a fully paid up, completely and irretrievably lapsed catholic!!!! It was
just nice to meet so many civilised, friendly, laid back people. I met the bishop who did the service on
the Sunday of the BW reunion (I'd been hanging around in the car park outside the church waiting for
the coffee to be served). He was a nice guy and told me that one day he knew I'd be back in the church.
Character analysis is obviously not one of his strong points!

I look forward to seeing old friends (Pat have an excuse)in September at St Boswells.
If (like me)you've returned your RC membership the Dryburgh Abbey Hotel has a great bar and wonderful
restaurant. You can have porridge for breakfast.......that should bring back a few memories

Mike Byrne

Jun 14th 2003 at 09:47:57 AM
NAME :  Eugene MacBride
Dear Pelicans:

I must say that had Pentecost at The Priory this year not turned out as it did, I was resolved to roll-up the Pelicans.

I was never the one desperate to found a WF Old Sweats' Association in the first place.  But once it got going,
I found the responsibility of secretary had fallen to my good graces and as we gathered strength it was an office
I quite enjoyed and did not really want to relinquish.  I wondered who exactly would be willing to take it on and
stay with it. 

One time at Preston, Jarlath told me he had been asked to give me the black spot but had demurred. 
A cabal felt that the Pelicans would be better off without me.  Decisions were taken that weekend to
which I was not party.

From time to time I get very welcome messages of encouragement but most of the time I feel that bar a
few of you out there, I am ploughing a very lonely furrow.

The Priory at Pentecost is an opportunity for a reunion of the southerners.  Last year we had one and
one half deputies from the south; this year that number was not exceeded but equalled.

St Columba's is the chance for the Scots to meet up.  Last April not one Home Scot appeared even
to pass the day with us (did I not say that Jimmy Johnston was a sad loss?).

Now I want to organise a second reunion at St Boswell's in September.  Will YOU come?  Those who
do come enjoy themselves but I just wonder why we cannot swell the numbers.  I actually find myself
wondering is it perhaps something I've done? 

But for the grace of God, a poorly-attended meeting could be a real morale-buster.

Thank Heavens for our regulars who travel from Dublin, Cleethorpes, Wrexham, Reading, Winchester,
Maldon, Sutton Coldfield and Liverpool. 
Christine Hughes (93) can't do enough for us at St Boswell's nor can Fr Buckley and his people at
Bishops Waltham.  We have a great time and we go home not with morale busted but boosted.

Chris Benton has been advertising on the website
for September at St Columba's in September and
has not had one single bite.

How can I or he organise Drybrough Abbey or B & B
up there if nobody demonstrates even enough interest
as to say Sorry, I can't come?

Perhaps you will say: "These are hard words, Eugene. 
You shouldn't be talking like this."  Maybe I shouldn't. 

Maybe I should roll up the Pelicans and we can all stick
to the website.

But I don't think that is the answer.  I don't think that would have been Brother Paddy's attitude.  I think what we
are lacking is an earthy enthusiasm and the will to stay the course.  I need your co-operation.


I thank you.


Jun 14th 2003 at 05:39:00 AM
NAME :  Paul West
Will be back in about 4 weeks stop. please feel free to use message board as and when stop.
(key under stone by garage, with change for meter, beer in fridge) stop.
will write if / when computer available stop. apologise to cat. goldfish normally that colour but could be water stop. please record simpsons but not over fr ted. no time to cancel milk. please drink if ok

Jun 11th 2003 at 04:46:34 PM
NAME :  Mike McCormick
I met some great men among the White Fathers.I studied Theology in the late 60's at St.Edwards.
After completing University ,I joined the Peace Corps and spent 2 years in Chad and later on 6 years
in Sekou Toure's Guinea working for a Multi-National mining co.I also spent some years in Albania
working with A.I.D. and ORT in a school for ex-political prisoners who were persecuted during the
Enver Hoxha Regime-One of the true bastards of mankind.

Presently I'm undergoing treatment for Cancer-Lymphoma -Stage 4-so far so good I'm happy to report.
I frequently remember the fathers and brothers at Mass.Please remember me and I would be glad to
hear from anyone of you who might remember me .

God Bless
Mike McCormick—Syracuse New York

Jun 11th 2003 at 08:30:28 AM
NAME :  Tony Smyth
Ottawa, Canada
Good point, Paul. Perhaps at this present time some other personal reflections on the re-union at
Bishop's Waltham wouldn't go amiss? I'm sure different people have different ways of remembering
when it comes to these events.

Jun 10th 2003 at 12:10:08 AM
NAME :  Bill Nimmo-Scott
I have just had another happy hour visiting the website and reading the messages while waiting for
the folks in UK to wake up (very difficult operating with a 7 hour time difference). There are two guys
I would particularly like to be in touch with again and they are John Lydon and Geoff Bickers. I lost
touch with John when I left The Priory - does anyone have any news of him?

Geoff and I kept in touch (more than that, got into a few scrapes together) after leaving The Priory but
I lost touch with him after he went to South Africa. Once again, I would love to hear about him.

I am working for six months in Singapore. Anybody passing through is welcome to get in touch.
(Health warning - I have been known to quaff the odd glass of Tiger).

Regards to all.

Jun 9th 2003 at 01:41:15 AM
NAME :  Paul West
Do you remember the gap in the hedge which bordered the Danube ? Was this the only way to get
into the cricket field ? Yesterday, Tommy Kelly and I went down across the meadow to find it once again.

It’s still there—and just as muddy as it ever was, after an overnight downpour. We entered this Secret
Garden and found it still abandoned and struggling to recover after having had most of its topsoil
removed some years ago.

Was that Brother Paddy waving in the distance, by the way, and still wearing those blue dungarees ?

Many years ago, in that hawthorn hedge by the Danube, I saw my first wren in her nest, sitting on a
clutch of 8 or 9 of the tiniest eggs you could imagine. Each egg , as I recall, was not much bigger than
a single popcorn. A little miracle.

(This was long before David Attenborough or the invisible Sony Walkman, remember).

In my innocence I presumed that the wren sat on the eggs and kept them warm until the shells were
large enough for birds to develop inside. I was too young, then, to extrapolate (and I don’t think it was
allowed, anyway). If I had taken the wren’s egg theory to its logical conclusion, I would have had to
believe that the farmyard chicken therefore sat on her eggs for much longer periods—in order to
produce egg sizes A, B or C, you understand.

And if I had actually gone on to Philosophy or Theology I would have been told that this was faulty reasoning.
A syllogism, in fact. Fortunately, the man at the top wrote Vatican 2 just in time and I returned to my Wopsy books.

HEY - you missed a good time at Bishop's Waltham this weekend. We sang Salve Regina at the end of the Mass
and one of the parishioners later came over and said that we had managed to bring a tear to her eye once again this year.

So I ask you, who got rid of all the good stuff while I was away ?

Jun 6th 2003 at 06:43:40 AM
NAME :  Jim Connelly
Dear Colleagues

Sad to read about Bro Paddy's demise.

It was Autumn 1959, I had just completed my studies at Osterley and he was the first White Father
to greet me on arrival at Blacklion gently whispering to me that his title was "Brother" not "Father".

We joined him in celebrating his Silver Jubilee in 1961 the highlight of which was a celebration
dinner with all the turkey trimmings but, unbeknown to Bro Paddy (at the time)we appeared to have
mistakenly slaughtered his prize male turkey (can't use the proper gender term as guestbook considers
it profane). For a short while afterwards the subject of "egg yield " was kept at low key.

May he rest in peace.

Jun 5th 2003 at 11:04:03 PM
NAME :  Tony Smyth  
Ottawa, Canada
To all those heading out to Bishop's Waltham this weekend, I wish I could join you but I doubt I could
make the trans-Atlantic swim. I hope you all have a great weekend and I look forward to seeing photos
in the Gallery in the near future.


Jun 3rd 2003 at 03:44:14 PM
NAME :  David Ritson
Just a quickie to all. Happy Feastday. Martyrs of Uganda.
God and Mary bless you.

Jun 3rd 2003 at 01:25:02 PM
NAME :  Bernard Melling
Just to express my sorrow at the passing of Bro. Paddy: a giant of a man in more ways than one! I was with
him both at The Priory and Blacklion and frequently worked beside him on the farm, with Hannibal,
the donkey with deformed hooves! May he rest in peace. Amen.

May 31st 2003 at 12:34:25 PM
NAME :  Peter Finn
Dear Eugene,

Thanks for letting us know of Paddy's death. Even though it was expected, it still came as something
of a shock. I had known him since I was 12 years old, and never imagined him as old or ill. He was
always the Bro Paddy I knew as a boy. A devoted brother of the Society, a holy man, a courteous man,
and a model for us all. Surely, if anyone is destined for Heaven it is him.

I haven't written to Gerry Murphy, as he will probably be inundated with letters of sympathy from around
the world. Perhaps in the fulness of time you could send him a note on behalf of us all saying how much
the individual Pelicans have reacted to the loss of Paddy, and how we are all praying for him. He must
have a huge family of WFs, former students, and benefactors offering up prayers for him at this very moment.
Oh, that we should all be so fortunate!

Love to Zelda,


May 31st 2003 at 12:30:42 PM
NAME :  Tom Mackle

I was sorry to hear about Brother Paddy.  Like anyone who met him, I have a multitude of memories. 
One of them was coming across him one day behind the cowshed.  He was digging into the earth at
various spots with a pitchfork, so I asked him what he was doing.  He replied that he was looking for
a piece of machinery he had buried.  "Never throw anything away.  You never know when you might
need it.  First you leave it lying around for five years and, if you don't need it during that time, you bury it. 
Then when you need it you can dig it up.  The trick is remembering where you buried it."

Please note new e-mail address.  See you at Bishop's Waltham.

Tom Mackle

May 31st 2003 at 12:29:07 PM
NAME :  Tom Kelly
Hello Eugene and Zelda.

Bro Paddy's death is very sad, made especially so that he had such expectations of being discharged.
Like many others, I have some very strong memories involving him, at the Priory and at St Augustine's --
he and Hannibal and a shotgun for shooting down the Local Rat population----every time I get 'ringing'
in my ears, I bless him for the time he took a potshot-- on the 'farm' at Blacklion, while I was within arms length!

He has been well and truly discharged from here, but no doubt starting another kind of Novitiate elsewhere--
or telling St P. the gates need some 3 in one--and not the Trinity!

We have just got back from Prague tonight, so I will cut this short.


May 31st 2003 at 12:27:10 PM
NAME :  WJ Nimmo-Scott OBE
Dear Eugene and Pelicans,

From around the world people I am sure people are reacting to the news of Brother Paddy's death.
 Here in Singapore, it has come not as a surprise nor as a shock but as a great sadness that a kind,
gentle and inspirational man such as he has left us. My earliest memories of him are as a boy cycling
to the Priory (5 miles away) to spend time with Brother Paddy on the farm.  He certainly inspired me to
join the Society and engendered a love of farming.  (Sold my last cow a few months before the foot
and mouth epidemic).

Please add my sincere condolences to those of others who knew him better than I in his later life.


P.S. Forgive me if you have received this before.  IT problems.  It seems the system did not like having
so many recipients. Eugene, please feel free to copy this to the others as your system seems to be able
to do what mine does not. God bless.

WJ Nimmo-Scott OBE
350 Orchard Road
Singapore  0065 6725 9852

May 29th 2003 at 08:27:58 PM
NAME :  Mike Mearns
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Well he's gone! But who can forget that strong, nasal voice calling the Priory milk herd with
"Giiiiiiiip, gip, gip, gip, gip, giip". God rest your soul, Brother Paddy.

I have two memories. One is being dragooned by Paddy along with Dave Airlie to go to Galleydown
just before Christmas 1957 to get the tree. " C'mon Boys" he said and off we went, Paddy driving the
Ferguson and the two of us perched on the mudguards. After a bit of searching we found "the one",
yanked it out of the soil and returned triumphant to the Priory with Dave and I holding the branches
off Paddy so he could steer a true course.

Another tractor story! Working on the farm, one of the hydraulic hoses split and the fluid jetted out.
Undeterred, Paddy grabbed a can, charged through the oily shower, saved most of it and gave
us a toothy, white grin, lighting up his blackened face in triumph.

May 29th 2003 at 12:49:49 AM
NAME :  Paul West
Photos of Brother Paddy currently on display can be found in the following Pages of the Gallery section :
2, 8, 15, 28, 62, 85

He also features on Pages 1, 15, 16 & 25 of the Histories section—as well as the obituary that he wrote
for Brother Aubert (Page 5)

I would be grateful for any other photos that you might be willing to lend me, along with tributes,anecdotes
and personal memories.

Many thanks, in advance, for your help with this.

May 28th 2003 at 12:14:42 PM
NAME :  Fr Gerry Murphy (WF's Irish Provincial)
From: "Missionaries of Africa
Date: Wed May 28, 2003 01:39:13 PM Etc/GMT

Subject: Br. Paddy - Funeral Arrangements

Dear Eugene

Please find below the funeral arrangements for Br. Paddy. I would be grateful if, as before, you would forward this e-mail to all Pelican in your address book.

Thursday 29th May:
7.00pm: Ceremony of Reception at Cypress Grove.
Friday 30th May:
5.15pm: Departure from Cypress Grove
5.30pm: Reception at St. Pius X Church, Templeogue
Saturday 31st May:
10.00am: Funeral Mass and burial afterwards in M.Afr. plot in Bohernabreena cemetary.

Gerry Murphy

May 28th 2003 at 05:08:55 AM
NAME :  Eugene MacBride
From: "Missionaries of Africa \(Irl\)"
Date: Wed May 28, 2003 09:06:43 AM Etc/GMT

Subject: Br. Paddy RIP

Dear Eugene and members of the Pelicans

It is with the mixed emotions of a great sense of loss but also of
thanksgiving that I bring you the news that Br. Paddy died this morning.
As you know, Paddy was is remission after an operation to remove a malignant
cancer in the colon early last year. At the beginning of February this year
Paddy began to loose the power of his left arm and leg. Initially we thought
that he had suffered a couple of minor strokes. However, a brain scan showed
that the cancer had travelled to his brain. We cared for him in Cypress
Grove until the middle of March when he was admitted to Our Lady's Hospice
in Harold's Cross.

Paddy was comfortable and happy in Our Lady's and could not speak highly
enough of the dedicated care he was receiving. But, at the same time, he
also spoke of how he was looking forward to the day he would be discharged.
There were mite boxes to be collected and Brendan O'Shea's ordination to
attend. He was tenacious to the end.

Last Saturday evening [24th May] his visitors noticed that he seemed to be
very tired. On Sunday the staff of Our Lady's informed us that his health
was deteriorating. He was sleeping a lot and when he spoke his voice was
weak. Last night when we were with him it was clear that he was living his
last hours on earth. He gave up his spirit quietly and peacefully this
morning at 6.50am.

For many a long day, many's the story that will be told about Paddy. At the
heart of them all will be gratitude for having known him and been enriched
by his presence.

No funeral arrangements have been made yet but I will inform you when they

P.S. Eugene, would you please forward this e-mail to all the Pelicans in your address book. Many thanks. Gerry

May 26th 2003 at 01:31:20 PM
NAME :  Tom Canning
Oakley near Dunfermline Fife Scotland
I first found the site some time ago and have been checking it regularly.

One thing I have noted is there is not many people around form my time at Broom Hall in 1967.
It makes me wonder where they all disappeared to.

I have found some photos of BH taken during my time there and a list of some of the Novices and Postulants
of which I was one of five Scots at that time I will post them on shortly.

Your present BH photos in the gallery bring back some marvelous memories.
Please keep up the good work.


May 21st 2003 at 04:52:57 AM
NAME :  Joseph Tyson
Bellport NY

What is the Title of your Web Site:  
Mary Immaculate Parish
A Description of your Web Site:  A parish web site
Please note: Joe's website is run for the parish —Mary Immaculate Parish on Long Island, where Fr Pat Fitzgerald is currently working. If you visit the site you will find a photo of Pat and some articles he has written to explain the background to his current involvement in the US.


(Thanks, Joe, for keeping us informed)

May 14th 2003 at 06:56:15 AM
NAME :  Tony Visocchi
Summit, New Jersey, USA
Haven't surfaced for a long time but perused the websit just before heading of for Rwanda for two weeks of
workshops on Small Christian Community training. I'll be 65 in August and these long trips are beginning to
take their toll.

Lauged out loud at the picture of the Maguire twins, Chris with the cigarette in his hand. I guess we have all
progressed from Players Weights and Wills Woodbine and India Pale Ale at Galley Down (what was the
name of the pub?.

Has anyone seen or heard from Jimmy Youdale?

May 4th 2003 at 12:56:49 PM
NAME :  John Prior (Contact with WF)
I was at St Columba's from Sept 62 until the fire then at Danby Hall Until December 64.

I was browsing through the Histories and found pictures of the fire and of Danby Hall. Michael Lenaghan
I remember well and also his brother whose name escapes me. The pictures were sold? to the boys when
we were at Danby Hall, I still have mine, but the are showing their years.

In the picture with Brother Owen O'Reilly and the two boys, one is named as Sean MacAnalley - I'm pretty sure his name was MacAnallen.

The tale of the fire was related by an Irishman and a Geordie. The lads from Glasgow and Edinburgh were
on a bus home together and on the road up to Edinburgh we passed a large column of Green

Goddesses. I still remember the feeling as we passed them.

Apr 30th 2003 at 04:16:45 PM
NAME :  Peter Fenlon
Wirral Merseyside
Was at St Columbas 1959/61, Just found this site, will come back when I can,(tomorrow). Have a lot to say but
it's a bit late now, have got a few 'photos, a lot of memories, and a few questions/requests


Apr 30th 2003 at 09:28:28 AM
NAME :  Gerard Murphy
Found the website very interesting it provides information and pictures of my brother and uncle of which I
was unaware. My brother Andrew Murphy was at St Columbas, Priory and Blacklion in the 60,s. He left to
go to Oxford University. My uncle Fr Andrew Murphy was Father Provincial and died in Australia in the 70's.

Apr 29th 2003 at 05:39:05 PM
NAME :  Mike Mearns
Calgary, Alberta Canada
Further to Robbie's message, I remember one of the locomotives that hauled the trains back and forth
was named "Wandering Willie." I don't know if this was a reference to Sir Walter's story or some railway
bureaucrat's confession of promiscuity!

Who recalls the bookstall on the Southbound platform at the Newtown station? Many a Leslie Charteris
paperback purchased there that didn't see the light of the " book approval process. "

Add Pete Smith to the Priory second team 1958-59, come on fill out the full xi for me.


Apr 29th 2003 at 05:20:39 PM
NAME :  Robbie Dempsey
TRAINSPOTTERS are asked to cast a wary eye over a St. Columba snapshot.
It concerns page 113 last pic (named good8) from Michael Goodstadt around 1952.
It shows the newly built chapel interior.

Question: Why was the photo taken ? Just a boy with a camera ?
No, it says probably Fr. Boyd.
So, it is a special occasion ? It is a dark evening and not summertime.
All the candles are lit. Not for night prayers then.
The boys are probably awaiting Benediction - is it Sunday ?

Page 1866 of the LIBER has a hymn [For the Pope] :
... Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Pio
... Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum,
... et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum
... in animam inimicorum ejus.
Then on page 1867 it's [For A Bishop]
... Oremus pro Antistite nostro ?????

Well, whoever ? Was this for a visit by Bishop Walsh, Bishop of Aberdeen
and founder of St Columbas' (back in 1936) ?? ref: The Columban mentions December 1952
(was the Chapel built by then ?)

Or, was it March 16th, 1953 - a visit from the Archbishop of Tabora ?
Was March 16th, 1953 a Sunday ?

Heck ,it's One O'clock in the morning.
I remember the train (Waverley Express ?) running through St. Boswell's
but really, I've not much interest in trains other than that they run !

Apr 22nd 2003 at 06:54:22 AM
NAME :  Paul West
I have transferred the website to a new location which allows for greater expansion of the site (badly
needed) and faster speeds for making changes and additions (also badly needed). It seems to be
working well in its new 'home' but I need you to report any anomalies that might crop up.

PLEASE USE THIS MESSAGE BOARD whenever the whim takes your fancy (whatever that means) —
I personally find it a very useful/simple/fast device for contacting everyone but it's embarrassing to see
my messages 'pushing in' all the time !


Apr 20th 2003 at 05:38:43 PM
NAME :  Mike Mearns
  Calgary, Alberta, Canada
I have just returned from a vacation in Spain and Tunisia. Last night I opened the duty free bottle of "Thibarine". This beverage is described in the guidebook as " a local curiosity produced in the village of Thibar. It's made according to a secret recipe dreamt up last century by french monks from the order of
the White Fathers."

How many times did I sit in spiritual reading at St Columba's and hear" Jimmy " Tolmie refer to Thibar. Well I
was there. Also visited the basilica of St Louis in Carthage which is now a concert hall and cultural centre.

Lavigerie's tomb was there before his corpse was transferred to Rome. However his legacy lives on, I am sending a photo to Paul to illustrate this. Regards to all.

Complete the Priory second team 1958 - 59:
Larkins, Mearns Bingham, ------Creaney, McDermott, Hart, Dooley.

Apr 18th 2003 at 12:22:55 PM
NAME :  Paul West
Reminder: There's just enough time to have that tummy tuck before the Bishop's Waltham reunion on June 7th and 8th. 

Eugene's last newsletter contained the following accommodation details:

Brent Villa (Tom Wilkie): (01489) 890 188
Inchcolm (Mrs Eleanor Blick): (01489) 896 798
Priory Inn: (01489) 891 313
White Horse Inn: (01489) 892 532
Marwell Hotel: (01962) 777 681

For further information please contact Eugene

(Brent Villas ceased to be a B+B in June 2007)

Apr 7th 2003 at 02:50:11 PM
NAME :  Eric (Pat) Creaney, Coatbridge, Scotland

What is the Title of your Web Site:  Street Child Africa
A Description of your Web Site:  Fr. Patrick Shanahan's work with the growing challenge of Street Children in Africa's Cities
Look out for a runner in the London Marathon on Sunday with the Street Child Africa Logo.
It is Matt Hodkinson running in support of Fr. Patrick (Albert to those of us who who studied with him) Shanahan's Charity.
Sponsership is most welcome either direct to
or via Matt's own page at

Visit just to hear how old Albert sounds at the ripe old age of 61

Apr 7th 2003 at 12:43:10 AM
NAME :  Eugene MacBride

Dear Pelicans

Brother Paddy is back in bed after a stroke and I think we should rally round and send him all our best. 
This is his address:

Brother Patrick Leonard
St Catharine's Ward
Caritas Block
Our Lady's Hospice
Haralds Cross
Dublin 6

If you know any Pelicans not on e-mail, perhaps you could let them know. 


Apr 4th 2003 at 10:02:51 PM
NAME :  Joseph Tyson
We are among the most fortunate parishioners in the world here at Mary Immaculate in Bellport. Our beloved pastor
Msgr. Bernard Ryan has recently suffered a stroke and is confined to a rehabilitation facility.

By God's will, Fr Pat Fitzgerald has taken up residence here at our rectory. We are so grateful for all the help he provides us.

Surely parish life would be poorer without his comforting presence.

Mar 31st 2003 at 02:23:57 PM
NAME :  Mike Creechan
Baillieston, Glasgow.
I have tried without success to contact Ged Hamilton, Peter McComiskey and Des Fitzmaurice. Any suggestions, anyone?

(Sadly, Des Fitzmaurice died 29th May 2007)

Mar 22nd 2003 at 01:09:31 AM
NAME :  Paul West

Have you got an email address that we can add to our list of contacts ?
A lot of people will have read your message and some may want to contact you.

Thanks, Paul.
PS Please email me if you would like a copy of this list - with proof of identity of course!

Mar 17th 2003 at 01:50:15 PM
NAME :  David Ritson
Have enjoyed what I've seen so far. New at computers so you'll just have to bear with me.Enjoyed reading
Dave Walker's reminiscences about trip to Rome. He missed out the bit about our rollicking from Fr.Conway
for missing out a trip to one of the Great Basilicas cause we were unable to be 'found' at the time. But we ended
up having extra choir practise with some french choir.

As for the L.P. - I always did wonder what happened to those. Nowadays I believe its referred to as 'Burning' discs. sorry. Dave.

Mar 16th 2003 at 01:40:22 AM
NAME :  Eugene MacBride
Dear Pelicans
I have been asked to let you know that Brother Paddy is not at all well and if you have prayers to say for this grand
man, please say them now.

Feb 27th 2003 at 11:29:55 PM
NAME :  Paul West

I received this yesterday and thought that many of you will want to contact Fr Fitzgerald and wish him
success in his new posting:

N.Y. 11713
TEL: 00 1 631 286 0154,
FAX: 00 1 631 286 2937
(The Oak Lodge address will soon cease, of course)

Feb 5th 2003 at 09:21:23 AM
NAME :  Mike Ellis
Scotland originally - last 27 years in Surrey, England
I was introduced to Pelicans web site by Pat McHale who was at St Columbas with me 1960-63. I had almost forgotten about the site until Paul West sent me an e-mail yesterday asking if I had any photographs from that time. I have just sent him a pile of aged pictures of many who were in St Columbas at that time.

I hope Paul can help identify all the individuals featured as I have to admit I cannot remember all the names! Anno domini creeps up on all of us!

I hope you enjoy having a look at them if Paul gets them up on the system.
Best regards to all who remember me.


Jan 29th 2003 at 04:16:48 PM
NAME :  Nick Kendellen
Originally Dublin --- Chicago since 1963
Great to re-establish contact through the Pelican web site.
Spoke to Pat Gibbons on phone - would like to sign up with Pelicans and attend future re-unions. Great pictures and articles on the web. Have some photos to send to Paul.

Message from Jock Halloran interesting.I sat opposite him in the refectory at Blacklion—he ate all my black pudding.

Hope to see you in 2003. Pax Tecum

Jan 27th 2003 at 11:59:33 PM
NAME :  John Halloran
Doncaster (originally Rotherham)
I was at The Priory in 1959 (Father Fitz was Head Warder) and at St Augustines the following year - I still think trying to learn Philosphy in Latin was like trying to climb Mount Everest in handcuffs!

When I think of those days, the feeling I get is more than nostalgia. There is a hole in me somewhere that will never be filled - "Into my heart a wind that kills, from yon far country blows.."

I don't know what made me join the White Fathers but I do know that it changed my life because it changed me. I would like to think I am a better person because of it. Don't get me wrong, it messed up my life big time. Getting back to civvy street to find all my friends had moved on didn't help, but not even that explains why, more than 40 years on, I still feel that I blew it.

I am now Chairman of a group of companies I founded during a lull in the storm. It keeps me busy and that helps, but the hole's still there.
I would love to hear from any fellow sufferer, especially anyone who is still addicted to fried black pudding a la Priory.

Maybe together we can make sense of it!

Jan 27th 2003 at 03:38:40 AM
NAME :  Paul West
John Kearney has kindly sent us a photo which you can find on Page 17 of the Gallery section.
Can you help to identify the people involved, pleased ?

Please note: I will be "filling up" existing pages of the Gallery with extra photos for a little while,
rather than increasing the number of pages. Now that an increasing number of people have
broadband facilities I am able to expand each page to include more material.

Those of us who have not yet switched over to this faster service will find that it takes just a little
longer to view these pages, however. I hope that this does not inconvenience too many people.

Jan 26th 2003 at 05:03:55 AM
NAME :  Paul West
You may be interested in reading about the history of St Columba's on Page 11 of the Histories section -
in which you will find the following written about the Mr Hughes that Chris refers to in the message below:

"Mr Hughes, a retired builder and stonemason from near Saltcoats, offered to act as Clerk of Works on
the following terms. He was to receive an egg for breakfast, an ounce of Warhorse tobacco, hot soup
whenever he wanted some - a special pot was kept simmering on the side of the stove - and eight
shillings (40p) per week. I think he also received his fare home from time to time. Later his son John
joined him as joiner."

Jan 26th 2003 at 03:50:33 AM
NAME :  Chris Benton
In April last Year a group of Pelicans and wives had a weekend reunion St Boswells.

We enjoyed a visit to St Columba's and a walk along the tweed, a visit to Wallace's statue and Scott's View,
followed by lunch nand a walk around Melrose.

We also attended mass in Our Lady & St Andrew's Galashiels where many White Fathers were ordained.
( I can still hear myself chanting the Te Deum up in the choir on the occasion of Tom McKenna's ordination
in 1956). We had the pleasure of Mrs Hughes' company, throughout,whose husband and his father did so
much building work on the college. She is still a very sprightly 95 year old teenager full of memories.

We intend to make a further visit in Sept 2003., So that we can arrange a date convenient for all will anyone
interested 'E ' MAIL me , write or phone.

Regards & Godbless,

Chris Benton

Jan 19th 2003 at 09:09:06 PM
NAME :  Dermot Clancy
Melbourne via London and other places
I was at St Columba's (1956) the Priory, St Augustines and Broome Hall
I teach sociology now here at Victoria University in Melbourne
Thank you very much for all the work that goes into your website.

The memories it stirs in one

Jan 19th 2003 at 01:16:42 PM
through pat tierney via my brother-in-law
  baillieston(formerly hamilton, lanarkshire.)
i have been trying to several old priorians with lack of success in some cases. i should be pleased to know if the fact that i am using an internet television can have a bearing on this.

Jan 17th 2003 at 11:14:25 PM
NAME :  John Kearney

*I took the liberty of putting this on the website, in the hope that people will get in touch with John (Paul West)        

Jan 7th 2003 at 04:51:56 PM
NAME :  Pat Mc Hale

Aren't Mike Bolan's paintings wonderful?

I printed out the one of Cathage and took it along to show the
headmistress of the lycée I work in here in Guadeloupe
(French West Indies .) Now , she is a French lady but she was born
and spent her childhood in Carthage where her family had lived for
generations. Their neighbours were the White Fathers !

On seeing the print out she exclaimed : "Mon Dieu, Carthage !"

She is going to frame the print !!

Isn't the world a small place ?
greetings to all.
Pat Mc Hale

Please note
: as you may know, website images are invariably of low resolution (to speed up downloading) and do not make good print-outs. Ebby's paintings have also been scanned at a higher resolution to produce better results. If you need quality print-outs, please contact Paul West.

Jan 6th 2003 at 10:11:29 AM
NAME :  Gerard Hamilton
from Leeds (formerly Liverpool)
I was a pupil at St Columbas from 1949to 1950 and at the Priory from 1950 to 1952. Looking through the 'Gallery' brought back many memories of happy times particularly at St.Boswells.
Playing football planting trees snaring rabbits for Br.David sledging and in the Summer swimming in the freezing River Tweed,trying to form a boy scouts unit with Jarlath Hynes and going to the pictures in Jedburgh only to miss the last bus and having to walk the 8 miles back in the dark with about 6 other boys. Happy Days!

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