Newsletter 43: February 2003

Dear Pelicans

I am so sorry I forgot the obituary of Fr Jeremiah O'Leary (WF) last time.  It was Fr O'Leary organised our 1997 reunion in Dublin and I remember how struck I was by his kindness confronted by the mob we were.

He was one of the Priory group deputed to travel to Kerlois for Philosophy in Dec 1939 on the grounds that the Germans could not possibly reach Brittany if they ever managed to break through at all.

Although he was taken p.o.w., he was soon set free as an Irish national (Ballydesmond, Co. Cork).  He was ordained at Rossington Hall on 31 July 1946 and spent his missionary life in Malawi.

His approach to a problem was seldom short of meticulous but no matter how long you discussed a problem with Jerry, there was one further step you had to take: "Let me have it in writing."

He died at Templeogue on 14 July 2002 and is buried with his family in Ballydesmond.

Fr Albert Gardner is also dead.  He appeared with his brother down the valley one spring day at St Columba's in 1950.  So naive was I, I thought he had walked up from the Priory.

Albert was a whiz on the accordion but had a dreadful nervous stammer yet did not give up training for the Priesthood until the start of April 1956 (in Philosophy at Blacklion).

He rejoined the WFs as a Brother but started out for the Priesthood again and died as P.P. of a wee parish near Glasgow. 

Picture taken from theScottish Catholic Observer, July 2000
(used to accompany the article displayed in the 'Other News' section: "Albert Gardner speaks up for the disabled")

May Jerry and Albert both rest in peace.

Our Bishop's Waltham reunion this Whitsun will be on June 7 and June 8.  Fr Buckley has made us as warmly welcome as ever.

Here are the usual 'phone numbers if you are looking for accommodation:

Brent Villa (Tom Wilkie): (01489) 890 88
Inchcolm (Mrs Eleanor Blick): (01489) 896 798
Priory Inn: (01489) 891 313
White Horse Inn: (01489) 892 532
Marwell Hotel: (01962) 777 681

I hope that we will also meet at St Boswell's sometime in September.  I have asked Chris Benton if he can organise B&B and as usual Chris has kindly consented to do his best.  Watch this space or watch the website.

How about this as A THEME FOR 2003: THE BUILDING OF AN ARCHIVE THAT CAN BE CLASSIFIED, CAPTIONED AND SENT TO FR IVAN PAGE AT THE GENERALATE?  You know what I mean.  The sort of stuff your progeny will commit to the skip the day after you are dead.  You don't have to send originals be they pix, mags or school reports.  We would be happy with the copies or to make copies.

Robbie Dempsey has already taken a wonderful initiative in this regard.  Robbie has made a CD of Fr Bouniol's book about the WFs in Britain and sent two copies to Rome.  Michael Gallagher has reviewed Robbie's work: "The CD is excellent...interesting stuff which I am sure would interest the Pelicans...Those early WFs had a faith and dedication that certainly gives cause for admiration."  Robbie will give you a free copy if you want one.  All the same he would like to use it to raise funds for Africa.

Which reminds me.  What about thinking Africa for Lent ?  Make your cheque out to the Pelicans and send to Pat Gibbons.  It certainly stops the annual wrangle with your conscience over whether to give up drink, fags or sweeties or to clean up your language.

Brother Paddy was 88 in January and is in the pink, so they tell me.  Tony Maguire has been in hospital with his ticker.  Vivant!  Vivant!!  Vivant!!!

I am hoping Paul West will address us on the topic of the website when we are at Bishops Waltham.  The number of names from the past who have hit the site and are delighted with what they've found amazes me.  Paul does a wonderful job and we owe him a mountain of thanks.

This is a message from Paul: "An up-to-date list of email addresses can be obtained via the website ( but because this is confidential information you can only access the list if your are IN THE KNOW.

When you go to the CONTACTS section you will be given a list of all known Pelican contacts (recently updated and reformatted for ease of access).  If you then scroll right down to the very end of the list until you come to THE BLACK SPOT (aye, Jim lad, right to the very bottom) and click on it—a fresh page of contacts will pop up, giving you all the email addresses that we know."  End of Message. 

"Roger, Paul, copy that."

Who luvs ya?  


13th February 2003

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