Newsletter 34: March 2001

My dear Pelicans

Jimmy Johnston died on Hallowe'en last and was buried from St Patrick's, Craigneuk, on 4 November.
Jimmy joined the WFs at St Columba's in 1949 and was at the Priory 1950 — 54. He left Broome Hall in January 1955 and I for one lost all trace of him until Jarlath got the Pelicans under way at Preston in April 1992.

I looked up at one point and Jimmy had arrived. All those years and it made no difference.

JiJo was a great friend to the priests and brothers at Rutherglen and raised thousands of pounds in the west of Scotland for the WF missions. So much so, if ever a man was indispensable, he was it.

His body was received into the church by the Bishop of Motherwell on the eve of the requiem and on November 4 itself. St Patrick' s was so packed, I think had Jimmy only known, he might have organised us to sell tickets for Africa. All the Rutherglen WFs were on the sanctuary and Pelicans present included Ginger Boylan, Bobby Brown (with Phyllis?), Chas Robinson, Frank Dillon, Andy Mooney, Mick Creechan and his sister Ann, Pat Tierney and Susie, Vinny Callaghan and May, Ann Hynes, John Kelly, Chris Benton, Zelda and me.

The interment took place in Arbiles cemetery. May he rest in peace. Our deepest sympathies go to Mary, his widow.

Eric Creaney was elected to his office on 24 January.

At Bishops Waltham parish, Major John Burdett Clark died on 25 January.

The Burdett Clarks treat us Pelicans like long-lost sons and John especially had a deep affinity for the old Priory. Peter Finn, Zelda and I attended the funeral Mass on Friday 2 February. Like the old soldier of the Queen he was, John was carried out of church, his coffin draped in the Union Flag.

Verna told me that within he was wearing his Pelican badge.
(Photo: Verna Burdett-Clark)

Fr Buckley spoke so warmly of us during the Mass, I felt like standing up and waving. Our deepest sympathies go to Verna and her lovely family.

The Priory reunion is on for Pentecost Eve 2 June and Whit Sunday 3 June this year. Fr Buckley will be delighted to have us.

If you want accommodation, the following addresses might be helpful:

Brent Villa (Tom & Mrs Wilkie):
(01489) 890 188

The Priory Inn:
(01489) 891 313

The White Horse
(Beeches Hill) Bishops Waltham: (01489) 892 532

The Marwell Hotel:
(01962) 777 681

Upland Park Hotel, Droxford:
(01489) 878 507

The Bridge, Shawford:
(01962) 713 171

You'll get The Swan Inn or The Hampshire Bowman (the old Jubilee at Dundridge) f'rom Directory Enquiries

I asked Tom.Wilkie about his wif'e Kate's problem with her hand and he shocked me with the news she's been in and out of hospital with severe abdominal trouble over the last 15 months. Please pray for her.

I have asked the Irish Provincial for 5,6,7 October. We need the southmen at Bishops Waltham and the Irishmen at Dublin where we had a splendid reunion in 1997.

Watch this space!

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