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Father Thomas Tryers WF 1914 - 1996
Taken from the WF / WS magazine, Issue No. 330 dated October/November 1996

This tribute was given as the homily at the funeral mass for Father Tom Tryers at Saint Edward's College, Totteridge on 16th April 1996. The tribute was given by Father Patrick Shanahan W.F.

The privilege of giving a tribute to Tom Tryers has fallen to me and I am honoured and glad. We fought and loved each other but I knew I was always beholden to a remarkable man.

I wish to address the young students present at this Mass, in the third instance: I wish to address my brothers and sisters present here in the second instance: I wish to address his nephew and nieces and their children in the first place.

Your uncle was a great man. A tough man, a no-nonsense man, but a great man. He lived as he preached. He was a man for and of the poor. Every penny he received for his work he spent on his people. He cost me a fortune in buying him clothes — he always ran out of white socks. I had to make sure that he had a regular supply of Guinness and milk and Embassy cigarettes. In the bad times we smoked brown paper together. In the bad, coup times he covered for me in very difficult circumstances.

Your uncle was very much loved, much revered, and, in the best Ghanaian tradition, much respected. He had reached that position of reverence whereby he could say what he liked as strongly and pointedly as he liked and be listened to. If I said some of the things Tom said I would have been arrested and deported. But Tom had become a grandfather. This means, in West African tradition, that you can disagree with your grandfather's words but you can "never trip over his stick". You can never usurp his position as a keeper of wisdom. Many groups sent for your uncle when they were in trouble and needed some swift pushing in the nether regions. I have seen teachers leaving a meeting where Tom had berated them. "Eee Father as for your Fr Tryers - eeee . . . he is tough pah. He gave it to us proper." And so he did - he was at once their grandfather and their mentor and their task master. He also lived frugally. Rode on an outrageous Honda 50cc and had the awful habit of waking you up at dawn with a new idea. But he was great and you should be proud of him.

To my brothers and sisters — some my peers and some my elders - I speak in the second place. Tom is one of the last of a breed. Pioneering and bush. And yet he was also one of the first to accept a new way — an urban way. But not before a great struggle. The Archbishop of Tamale had appointed me overall youth chaplain for the north of Ghana. One of the problems was to persuade Tom's generation to move into line. Others accepted my ideas — Tom could not. We argued one Sunday for more than four hours. At the end of it he stormed off to the Archbishop to resign. The Archbishop and himself were of the same generation. "Tom" said Peter Dery, "you can't resign because of a youngster like Pat Shanahan." Tom came back to me and said, "I'll work for you if you convince me you're on the right track." It took a year but once he was assured that I was following his lines, in my own way, he came on board. And once Tom was on your side he would back you forever.

To his generation here at Mass I say a heartfelt thanks. Tom and you worked to bring the basic justice inherent in Christianity to the poorest people. There is a lovely story of Tom in Damongo town parish going to the British Colonial District Education Office and asking permission to open two more village primary schools. The permission was refused. Tom — who never spoke softly in these situations — shouted at the naive officer that he would be back within twenty four hours for a better reply. The next morning followed by every child in the area, he went back to the education offices. Again the answer was no. Tom picked up the poor fellow by the front of his shirt and told him "Sunshine, we are going to build the schools." The children cheered and Tom built his schools.

Fifty years of work in Ghana meant that Tom was one of the great instigation of basic development amongst people in Northern Ghana very often downgraded by both the Colonials and the Ghanaian Elite. But he had a vision of what had to be done and he started to implement it. My generation struggled to follow in his wake. So this afternoon I remember those of you present here who belong to his age. I salute you all.

To the new generation who have come to this Eucharist virtually straight from the lecture hall and seminar room I speak thirdly. "When I was your age" is a classic turn-off — a sure way to lose your sympathy. Eel when I was your age I had to challenge Tom. He took it. Now you should challenge me. Don't run away from it. Don't dismiss us. Be strong enough to drag us along with you. Yet I must say this: please do not hide behind your academia. Yes you must be as articulate and well read as any professional. But your real profession is to be men and women of the poor. Dismiss liberation theology at your peril. Don't go near Africa if your intellectual baggage contains mere 'nice', 'middle class' approaches. You are to bring a social theory as well honed as any theology and scripture study.

Tom Tryers taught a theory of liberation — and lived it. I come back then to the man before me — now quiet and at peace in his coffin. His wit was Liverpool, his love was Ghana, his true home was Tamale. I look at his coffin and see a missal and a stole on it. Maybe we should have placed a 'Complete Works' of the Social Teachings of the Church alongside them. Tom Tryers lived to put those teachings into practice.

I will return to Ghana to tell everyone that Tom was buried in the proper manner. I will tell the Archbishop and Bishops of the North that we were present as he went to his ancestors. I will tell them that our Eucharist in his honour was in the presence of our own paramount chief — our Superior General. I'm proud to have known this man and to have worked with him and I pray we can try and copy him.

May He Rest in Peace

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Bishop James Holmes-Siedle WF 1910 - 1995
Taken from the WF / WS magazine, Issue No. 324 dated October/November 1995

An appreciation by Fr John Sandom W.F.

There have been five British White Fathers who became bishops, James Siedle was one of these. Relative to the number of Britons in the Society, one would have expected more. It was not that our fellow countrymen lacked the necessary qualities, rather that we were needed for educational and administrative work, where a thorough knowledge of English was necessary. I used to taunt Jim with this fact, implying some of us were too talented to be come bishops.

Though I never served in either Bishop Siedle's dioceses, and he was by formation and generation of quite a different set of mine, we've been good friends for thirty or more years. He enjoyed a joke and liked being teased. I shall always remember his chuckle and the grin on his face— for he could give as well as he got.

James Holmes-Siedle was born on 1s. November 1910, in Penarth, South Glamorgan, but grew up in Streatham, London. There he did his secondary studies at St. Joseph's, Beulah Hill. From there he went to the White Father Seminaries in Belgium and North Africa, being ordained a priest in Carthage on the 29th. June, 1935.

He was posted to the then Vicariate of Tanganyika which occupied the whole of the western half of today's Tanzania. His heart had been set on this spot since his student days. For ten years and more he served in various mission stations or at the Teacher Training College at Ujiji. His culture and talents didn't go unnoticed, for he was appointed Vicar Apostolic of Karema in 1946, being consecrated in his old school in December of the same year. In those days that was quite a youthful age for a bishop. His energy and zeal were apparent in the nine parishes he opened in the first twelve years of episcopate. He also opened a hospital and founded an association to promote traders and businessmen. A trailblazer in setting up Parish Councils, he maximised lay participation and leadership at all levels of Church activity. At the same time he consolidated and developed the diocesan congregation of sisters.

In 1958 he had the joy of handing over his diocese, renamed Sumbawanga, to a Bishop Charles Msakila. He himself moved to Kigoma, taking over from its elderly bishop who had asked to retire. Here, Bishop Jim carried on his splendid apostolic work with such success that he was able to hand over to Fr Alphonse Nsabi, who took over as bishop in 1970.

This was by no means the end of the bishop's missionary work. At Gaba, in Uganda, then later Nakuru and Sotik (in Kenya), he lectured extensively on the role of the laity, and in particular on the formation of Small Christian Communities. It was his conviction that the future of the Church in Africa had to be built on these. He also undertook retreat work throughout east Africa.

In 1990 Bishop Siedle came back to Kabanga where he was well received by Bishop P Kuzoka, and worked as a curate in the parish. He kept a lively interest in the Kiha language and customs. In community he liked to tell stories of the past, and was a charming confrere. But his strength was slowly diminished and in 1994 he returned to England, residing in the White Fathers' home in Ealing.

Early in 1995 he underwent a serious stomach operation from which he never fully recovered, for it left him confused and disoriented. After convalescing in the Bon Secours Hospital Beaconsfield, he went to St. David's Home, Ealing, before returning to his community. His final days were spent in Nazareth House, Hammersmith, where he died early 22nd May. His requiem was at St. Edward's College, Totteridge, North London, followed by his burial in the White Father plot at St. Mary's Cemetery, Kensal Green.

May He Rest in Peace

Adapted from the Catholic Hierarchy website

Bishop James Holmes-Siedle, M. Afr

A priest for 59.9 years and a bishop for 48.5 years

Bishop Emeritus of Kigoma

Titular Bishop of Ard Mor

Vicar Apostolic of Karema

Events in his life

Date Age Event Title
1 Nov 1910 Born Penarth, Ireland
29 Jun 1935 24.7 Ordained Priest Priest of Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers)
29 Jul 1946 35.7 Appointed Vicar Apostolic of Karema, Tanzania
29 Jul 1946 35.7 Appointed Titular Bishop of Adraa
8 Dec 1946 36.1 Ordained Bishop Titular Bishop of Adraa
25 Mar 1953 42.4 Appointed Bishop of Karema, Tanzania
5 Aug 1958 47.8 Appointed Bishop of Kigoma, Tanzania
15 Dec 1969 59.1 Resigned Bishop of Kigoma, Tanzania
15 Dec 1969 59.1 Appointed Titular Bishop of Ard Mor
22 May 1995 84.6 Died Bishop Emeritus of Kigoma, Tanzania

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Fr Francis Dickson WF 1910 - 1993
Taken from the WF / WS magazine, Issue No. 311 dated August / September 1993

A tribute by Fr Herbert Herrity W.F.

Father Dickson died on the Vigil of Palm Sunday. The way he died illustrated the way he lived. His friend, Canon Rogerson, asked him to come over and help him with his Lenten Service of Reconciliation in his parish about twenty miles from us here in Edinburgh. Father Dickson found it difficult to refuse any request, so he went.

At about nine in the evening Fr Frank returned to the house and then did what he did nearly every evening. He took his breviary and walked up and down the landing outside his room saying his prayers. Suddenly he took ill and collapsed and he died almost at once. He was seventy-two.

Fr Frank was born in the centre of Edinburgh and after his ordination spent most of his life training young men for the priesthood in this country and in Africa. His first appointment was to teach maths at the White Fathers' Junior Seminary near Southampton. He held this post for eight years. Then he was appointed to Tanzania, once more to a Junior Seminary.

Some of those young men he taught are now prominent in the Church and in the political life of the country. He often spoke of those days. Obviously he got on well with the students and they appreciate him.

In 1975 he took unwell in Africa and was forced to come back to this country for treatment. He never regained his health sufficiently to be able to return. For the last eighteen years of his life he was plagued by ill health. Towards the end it was mainly angina that troubled him.

When people speak of Fr Frank almost the first thing they mention was his sense of humour. He loved to be among people where his warm personality put everyone at their ease immediately. God gave the Church and the world a beautiful gift in this loving, friendly priest.

May He Rest in Peace

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Fr Joseph Brankin WF 1930 - 2005
Adapted from the WF's international website

With regret we inform you of the death of our confrère

Father Joseph Brankin

31st December 2005
At the Mary Garth, George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton - Great Britain


Joe had been ailing for some time now and was recently admitted to the Mary Garth, George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton.

Mary Matthewman and her daughter-in-law, Jennie, spent the night at Joe’s bedside and the priest was called in for the Anointing of the Sick.

Joe died peacefully —at the age of 75, in the 52nd year of his life as a missionary in Uganda, Zambia and Great Britain

Details of the funeral arrangements
Monday 9th Jan 16.00 hrs - Reception of body into St Edwards and Evening Prayer.
Tuesday 10th Jan 11.00 hrs – Requiem Mass

Those who are going to the cemetery for the burial at 13.00 hrs can follow the hearse.

The address of the cemetery is St Mary’s Cemetery
Harrow Road (KENSAL GREEN)
London NW10 5NU tel: 0208 969 1145

There will be a snack back at St Edwards after the burial around 15.30 hrs.

May he rest in peace

Source : Fr Peter Smith WF, UK Provincial

Mention to any of ‘s'Heerenberg’s scholastics of the 1950s the name “English by Soundmirror” and it will conjure up a picture of Joe Brankin, who with inexhaustible energy launched the non-English speaking students on a course, unique in its time, on English pronunciation and Intonation. Unique, because the Soundmirror was the very first domestic tape-recorder on the market. It provided a language laboratory.

This came about because his parents together owned a TV and Radio shop in Coventry. As devout Catholics they had assured that their only child should have a good Catholic education. He was sent as a boarder at the tender age of eight, first to Alton Castle Preparatory School, run by the Sisters of Mercy and then to Cotton College, a diocesan establishment.

Immediately upon leaving Cotton in 1947, at 17, he joined the White Fathers in Philosophy. When in his second year, the philosophy students moved to Broome Hall in Surrey, his many practical skills became evident: as a carpenter (the students had to make their own chapel benches) as a printer (he had his own Adana table-top printing press, the letters being set with tweezers) in drawing, in calligraphy and in play production, both live and puppets. He had a great gift for acting and, as with many actors, the face of the real Joe appeared as a mask : it gave nothing away. This lack of emotional reaction caused him to seem cold in his relationships both with his confreres and years later was a handicap in his relations with Africans.

His tremendous organisational abilities together with his desire to be industrious every moment the day gave him, might be the reason why social skills were not his most evident characteristic.

His Noviciate and first three years of Theology were completed in ‘s'Heerenberg (Oath and Diaconate 1953) and his last year of theology at Monteviot.

Straight after Ordination (in Galashiels in May 1954) he was appointed to Uganda where he was in a parish (Mubende) for eighteen months and then to Bukalasa Junior Seminary for a teaching post for four years. As a teacher he was in his element, with an encyclopaedic knowledge and a great gift as a communicator of facts.

In October 1960 he was brought home for promotion work in England, based at Sutton Coldfield. Being an accomplished photographer the slide-shows he produced to accompany his talks in schools were very professional. He did this work for thirteen years taking over as Superior in 1963. Again, his organisational skills were to the fore in arranging weekly appeals in the parishes, schedules of school visits and interviewing and following up candidates. During this period he was also editor of the “White Fathers / White Sisters ” magazine, which was remarked upon for the professionalism which he brought to it. Being so hard-working himself, he had high – sometimes too high – expectations of his confreres who were not encouraged by his apparent lack of human warmth.

In Zambia in 1971 a media organisation – Multimedia Zambia – was launched. It was unique in the world as combining all the media resources, material and personnel of the Catholic, Anglican and nine Protestant Churches, covering production of all the religious TV and Radio programmes, a press office, a publishing house, a film-making unit and publishing the only Christian newspaper in the country. Such a body was in need of a Director with exceptional organisational and communication skills. The services of Joe Brankin were sought for this post , which he took up in July 1973. Before he moved on in 1976 to lecture in journalism at the Africa Literature Centre of the Mindolo Ecumenical Foundation, Kitwe, he had set up MMZ on a sure administrative and financial basis for its continuance under Zambian leadership.

By 1978 he had returned to London and was considered the ideal person to become the General Secretary of the National Missionary Council of England and Wales as well as Secretary to the Episcopal Commission for Missionary Activity. This included responsibility for the Catholic Mission Education Centre (CAMEC) which gradually became his main work. By this time Joe was heavily into computers and produced no end of informative booklets full of statistics, diagrams and pie charts on various aspects of overseas mission for the education of the Church in Britain.

This post he filled with great efficiency for twenty five years, assisted by Mrs Mary Matthewman (who had once worked with him as a secretary in Sutton Coldfield). She and her family took him under their wing, eventually providing an office and making a home for him in their own house. In April 2000 it was confirmed that Joe was beginning to show the symptoms of Parkinson’s. Despite medication the disease gradually became worse so that in 2003 he had to relinquish his post, but even so continued to build up and maintain the CAMEC website.

The Matthewman family continued to care for him even after he had to move to St Joseph’s Home, Coleshill, for full-time nursing. The family arranged his hospital appointments and regularly visited him in hospital. He celebrated his 75th birthday on December 8th with his adopted family, but the very next day he had to be moved to a local hospital where he deteriorated rapidly and died on the morning of 31st.

His body was received into the chapel of St Edward’s College on the evening of January 9th. A Requiem Mass in the presence of his confreres and other friends, presided over by the Provincial, was celebrated the following morning. He was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery on January

10th 2006. May he rest in peace.

Nationality : British
Originally from the diocese of Birmingham
Spiritual Year :
Taking of the Oath :
Ordination :

Arrive à
  Sutton Coldfield
Superior Sutton Coldfield
Conseiller Provinc.
St Edward's College
Multimedia Lusaka
  London,15 HollandV.R
Miss.Institute Lond.
Sec. Miss.Secretar.
Miss. Secr. H.C.:
Residence H.C.:
Residence H.C.:
31-12 -2005
Retour au Seigneur (75)
at Nuneaton

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Fr Hugh Regan WF 1933 - 2005
Taken from the WF / WS magazine, Issue No. 386 dated February / March 2006

Compiled by Fr Peter Kelly W.F.

He was lovingly referred to by the many priests and bishops he has taught as a 'moving encyclopedia'.

Fr Hugh Regan
was born on 8th July 1933, in Tranent, East Lothian, not far to the East of Edinburgh. He was the eldest of a family of four children — two boys and two sisters. His father worked in the Co-operative hardware store in Tranent. The family moved to Galashiels when his father became manager of the hardware department in the Co-op there, and they lived there from 1938 to 1948.

One of Fr Hugh's sisters recalls how the Church, the faith and the Mass were always very important in their lives. They always had night prayers and the family rosary and kept the First Fridays. Fr Hugh was bright and precocious and interested in everything that was going on. He was an omnivorous reader, collected stamps and was keen on athletics and rugby. Fr Hugh also picked up from his father an ability to mend anything mechanical or electrical.

Fr Hugh felt called to the priesthood from a very early age and the White Fathers from St. Boswells were well known in the area. He attended the Catholic primary school and then he went to Galashiels Academy. At end of the third year he had to decide which subjects to concentrate on, in view of his future career. So he made enquiries at St. Boswells and began studies there in 1948. From 1950 to 1952, he was at Broome Hall, Surrey, for philosophy studies.

He got his first bike when he was twelve years old, and became a great cyclist and on free days he cycled for miles around the local countryside and persuaded others to go with him. On two occasions he cycled all the way to Scotland and back again for his holidays.

Fr Hugh made his noviciate at 's-Heerenberg in Holland from September 1952 until September 1953 and then did three years of his theological studies there. He was a good student and gifted at languages. The students were not encouraged to learn Dutch, but Fr Hugh managed to learn French and pick up quite a lot of Dutch, discovering it had affinities with the old Scots language.
He was ordained in 1957 at Galashiels, after which he spent three years in Rome studying dogmatic theology at the Gregorian. He was then appointed to Nigeria, where he first worked in three parishes: 1964 lnisha; 1965 St. Peter and Paul, Ile-Ife; and from 1967-68 in St. Benedict, Oshogbo.

During these years in parish work he was able to learn the language and get to know the people and their culture. In 1968, Fr Hugh was appointed to Ss Peter and Paul Major Seminary in Ibadan, where he spent the rest of his life, nearly forty years, on the staff of the seminary, apart from two breaks for further study in order to enhance his work in the seminary.

Fr Hugh always sought and worked to be as competent as possible for his work in the seminary. He soon acquired skill in the use of computers, when they became generally available and he had several in his room. Not only did he have this one appointment for nearly forty years, but for all that time, he occupied the same two rooms.

From 1975 to 1978 Fr Hugh was also the White Fathers' Regional Superior, and combined this job with his work at the seminary. The seminary was not in Oyo Diocese, where all the White Fathers were stationed, which meant a lot of travelling for him, when the seminary was not in session.

For the last four years of his life, Fr Hugh struggled with prostate cancer and connected health problems. He came home each year to see the doctor, but insisted that he could just as well take the medication in Nigeria as in Scotland and continued with his work in the seminary.

He was still giving some lectures at the beginning of June 2005, but had to come home on the 23rd June. He was so ill that he went straight to hospital that day. He died two weeks later on the 7th. July. His two sisters Catherine and Josephine were with him during his last days.

His funeral at Rutherglen was attended by his family, many relatives, friends and White Fathers.

Here are some appreciations of Fr Hugh from people who knew him in Nigeria.

Fr ENGLEBERT BEYER, who was with him at SS PETER & PAUL SEMINARY for 29 YEARS, writes :

"Fr Hugh was very practical, he had tools to repair all that could be repaired and to prepare works that could be done by himself. He could do it in a meticulous way, carefully paying attention to everything. Is his small, precise handwriting an indication of his quality? He was devoted in his priestly life and ministry. What he demanded from himself he also expected from others.

The training of the African clergy, to help young men to become competent, reliable, faithful and holy priests, was his main task, which he tried to perform wholeheartedly. He prepared his lectures well. He was strict and demanding as regards the studies and the discipline.

He helped with the ministry outside the seminary. The Medical Missionaries of Mary had perhaps the priority: they also helped him most in the last weeks he spent in Nigeria."

An appreciation from Fr BENEDICT ETAFO, the current rector of SS PETER & PAUL SEMINARY :

"The Rev. Fr Hugh Regan is our oldest member of staff in this Seminary. He has been here since 1968. Fr Regan has trained over 1,200 priests and about twenty Bishops for the Church in West Africa, especially Nigeria. Fr Regan also taught every Nigerian priest that is now on the Staff of this Seminary.

He is like our father. His ability to still relate with us as a colleague, even though he was our Professor and Mentor, is one of his gifts which we always marvel at. As a colleague Fr Regan was very concerned and solicitous about our good and our welfare. As a Professor, Fr Regan had a sincere love for the students and the Church. Fr Regan has taught almost every course in all areas of Theology. It was Fr Regan who single-handedly developed our Library to its present enviable size and standard. In this, as in other fields, he had an encyclopaedic grasp of detail. He Was interested in everything. He never agreed to lower his standards since his idea of the Catholic priesthood was sound and lofty. Fr Regan was respected and loved by the students for which he sacrificed his life right from a tender age. He shall surely be missed by all Staff and Students."

An appreciation from a sister of THE SISTERS OF OUR LADY OF APOSTLES

"Fr Hugh was a wonderful priest, a friend and brother to all the Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles (O.L.A.). He made himself available at all times to assist, support and encourage others. He was kind, thoughtful, self-sacrificing, always ready to fulfil a need, not counting the cost to himself. There was such a good rapport between him and his students that he could make similar demands upon them.

He was one with his colleagues and a father to his students, concerned that they become mature priests and working tirelessly to this end.

He lived a simple life and was quietly effective and gentle. The words of Isaiah's first song of the servant of Yahweh: 'He does not break the crushed reed nor quench the wavering flame' could well be applied to Fr Hugh.

His homilies were always unique: they were short, interesting, based on current, personal, real-life stories, demanding whole-hearted attention and with a punch line which challenged us to a greater gift of self to the Lord and to one another. Without doubt they reflected the demands he made on himself.

Many times he could be seen making his way to class in the Seminary, encircling his brief case with one arm, a stack of books on the other. If one visited his office on business or to enjoy a cup of coffee with him, one must expect firstly to pick one's way through the many books on the floor or scattered on chairs, tables and every available space! Not surprisingly his students named him affectionately the 'mobile library'.

In spite of Fr Hugh's busy life and complete dedication to the students, he was always ready to have a chat and to give of his time if he was not due in class.

His selfless dedication did not cut him off from his family and friends in Scotland. He spoke of them with the greatest concern and affection. Fr Hugh's passing leaves a deep void in the many lives he touched. No doubt he will pray for all of us and never be far away from the people he loved."

May He Rest in Peace

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Bishop Owen McCoy, M. Afr. (Bishop Emeritus of Oyo)

The following is taken from a newspaper cutting, dated some time in July 1988 — kindly supplied by Andrew Rampling, a parishioner at Heston:

Bishop Owen McCoy WF, the first Bishop of Oyo, Nigeria, died suddenly in London last week, aged 81. He was about to celebrate his Silver Jubilee as Bishop.

Born at West Derby, Liverpool, he entered the White Fathers in 1926 and was ordained in 1933.

His first appointment was to the White Fathers' parish at Heston, west London. In 1937 he was sent to the missions in northern Gold Coast (now Ghana). Six years later he was posted to Western Nigeria where, in 1949, a new mission territory was carved out by the Vatican department for missions (Propaganda Fide), and was entrusted to the White Fathers. It comprised two-thirds of the Oyo Province of Nigeria and was designated by Rome asa Prefecture, the first stage in the development of a new mission territory. Fr McCoy was appointed by Rome as its ecclesiastical superior.

At that time the new Prefecture, one-and-a-quarter times the size of Wales, had only four mission stations and a total of 14,000 Catholics in a population of upwards of four million. By 1963 things had developed so well that the Prefecture was made into a diocese, with Bishop McCoy as its first bishop.

Under Bishop McCoy, new mission stations were founded, hospitals and rural clinics, mothercrafts and women's social training centres were opened as well as a wide range of boys' and girls' schools, vocational training units, agricultural settlements and self-help projects.

He opened a junior seminary with 125 places for Nigerian students for the priesthood. Aware that the Church would only take permanent roots if there was eventually an African bishop, in 1971 he obtained from Rome the nomination of an auxiliary bishop, who, however, was taken from him to be Bishop of Lagos two years later. But a second Nigerian auxiliary succeeded Bishop McCoy in 1973.

Returning to England that year, Bishop McCoy offered his services in several dioceses until his retirement to White Fathers' communities in 1982, first at Rutherglen, Glasgow, and latterly at Ealing, West London. He was buried at the White Fathers' corner, Kensal Rise Cemetery, London.

Information gleaned from the Catholic Hierarchy website
Date Age Event Title
27 Sep 1907 Born West Derby, Great Britain
29 Jun 1933 25.8 Ordained Priest Priest of Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers)
Sep 1935 27 Appointed Parish Priest at Heston, Middlesex
August 1937 30 not known  
1 Apr 1949 41.5 Appointed Prefect of Oyo, Nigeria
18 Jan 1963 55.3 Appointed Bishop of Oyo, Nigeria
28 Apr 1963 55.6 Ordained Bishop Bishop of Oyo, Nigeria
13 Apr 1973 65.5 Resigned Bishop of Oyo, Nigeria
28 Jun 1988 80.8 Died Bishop Emeritus of Oyo, Nigeria

Bishop McCoy was parish priest at Heston from September 1935 to August 1937.
He was a priest for 55 years and a bishop for 25 years.

May He Rest in Peace

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Mrs June Briveau

Good friends to generations of White Fathers

June died on 24th January 2006 in Barnet Hospital. The funeral will took place on Wednesday 8th February 2006 at 10.00 a.m. in Barnet followed by cremation. June was buried in the tomb of Len her husband (+ 2000).

"We seem to give June back to you, O God, who gave her to us.
Yet, as you didn't lose her in giving,
so we do not lose her by her return.
You do not give , as the world give, O Lover of souls. What you give, you do not take away,
for what is yours is ours if we are yours.
And life is eternal,
and love is immortal,
and death is only an horizon,
and an horizon is nothing more save the limit of our sight.
Lift us up, Strong Son of God, that we may see further;
Cleanse our eyes that we may see more clearly;
Draw us closer to you that we may know ourselves to be nearer to our loved ones who are with you.
And while you do prepare a place for us,
prepare us also for that happy place,
that where you are we may be also for evermore.

(According to a prayer found in Fr. Bede Jarrett's handwriting in his prayer book)

Source: the White Fathers website

MP for Chipping Barnet attends Barnet Hospital Fete

Tuesday 7th June 2005

Theresa Villiers MP,at the fete,
with organiser June Briveau

This Saturday, the newly elected MP for Chipping Barnet, Theresa Villiers, joined the Friends of Barnet Hospital for their annual fund raising fete.

Speaking just after the event Theresa said, "I was very pleased to be able to join the Friends of Barnet Hospital for their fete. The Friends do a fantastic job in raising vital funds for the hospital. The fete had all the traditional stands like the tombola and the coconut stall, but with some more unusual attractions like reflexology and neck massage. The fete organiser, Mrs June Briveau, did a wonderful job. I'd like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the wonderful work done by June Briveau and the Friends of Barnet Hospital.

The fete is just one of the many events the Friends organise every year. All the money raised goes to improve services at the hospital and to provide the best care for patients. As MP for Chipping Barnet, I will do all I can to support out local hospital."

Taken from the MP's website

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Fr John Sandom , M. Afr. 1930 -2006

The following information was taken from the White Fathers-White Sisters magazine (Feb/March 2007)

Fr John Sandom will always be remembered as a teller of stories.? He was too charitable for gossip.? Early on in a conversation, he would launch into a tale. It might be about some journey he had made, or about his beloved Kangaroo Point.? Mostly he told tales about the Africa that he had known.?

Ordained in 1958 for the mission in Africa, this man of Dartford in Kent soon arrived in Uganda.? His fellow missionary in Uganda, Fr Peter Kelly, says quite simply that he ‘did good work in Africa.’?? He worked in three different parishes and in the Ibanda and Kitabi Minor Seminaries.? During these years of hard graft, he stored in his mind the raw material for his stories, about eccentric colonial Europeans and wild animals.?

His love of the Mass and the breviary grew and shone out.? So did the ease with which he moved socially.? Not one to complain, when President Iddi Amin’s unstable regime failed to renew his visa, he willingly moved to what was then Upper Volta, now Burkina Fasso. It was not that he did not miss Uganda, for he truly loved his work in Uganda but he had a gift for adapting to new circumstances.? Teaching again in the seminary in Burkina Faso, he was meticulous in his work and quickly felt at home.?

There followed a period in which he took courses at L’Arbresle and Marianella and went to Jerusalem for a thirty day retreat.? Fortified again, he was sent to help the White Father mission in Australia.? This was a short-lived project to make the African mission of the Church better known in Australia.? The White Fathers took responsibility for the parish of Kangaroo Point, Brisbane, and set about making contacts and showing how the White Fathers work in communities, with a view to attracting young Australians to our missionary task.? Fr John laboured for eight happy years with that aim, in the mean time becoming an Australian citizen.

When he was appointed to Scotland after that, he fulfiled his duties and renewed his contacts.? He met up with people from his school days in Our Lady’s High School, Dartford, in the Salesian’s school in Burwash and in Cowley, Oxfordshire, with people from his home parish of St Anselm’s, Dartford, from his National Service days in the R.A.F. and elsewhere. His Christmas correspondence was legendary.?

Throughout his adult life, Fr John had managed his diabetic condition.? As the years passed, his health gradually declined.? His last years were spent in? London.? His old habits remained: writing letters, story-telling and collecting junk.? He loved to show White Father students of English round the sights of London, speaking with his wonderfully clear voice, forever tinged by Australia.? His habit of rescuing tools and, frankly, rubbish from tips (‘it might be useful some day’), became more acute as time passed. He had not been born wealthy and was appaled to see any waste.? It meant that throughout his life he was willing to offer his services for maintenance jobs.

It was fitting for a man who valued his contacts that when the time came, a friend from his youth, Bishop Frank Walmsley, Bishop Emeritus of the Forces, presided over his funeral and burial.? His heart had finally given up on 22nd October 2006.? He was buried, surrounded by his nephews and members of his family, his missionary brothers and others, in the White Fathers’ plot in St Mary’s Cemetery, Kensal Rise, London.

Eternal Rest give unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him.? May he rest in peace.

The following information was taken from the White Fathers' international website:
Nat.: Bri
Original Diocese
Spiritual Year

Tutor Ibanda,College
Curate Rubanda,D.Mbarara
Teacher Kitabi,seminary
Seminary Kitabi,D.Mbarara
Grande Retraite
Villa Cavalletti
French course
Prof. Interséminaire
Burkina Faso
London,15 HollandV.R
Great Britain
Session 3 mois
Superior London, Holland Vill
Parish Priest
Kangaroo Point
London Oak Lodge
Session +60
Monte Cucco,Roma
London,Oak Lodge
London,Woodville Gdn
Session 70+
Roma Italy
Back to the Father (69)

May He Rest in Peace

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