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Fr Peter Walters
Fr Peter Travers
Fr Paul Moody
Fr Bernard Duffy
Archbishop Arthur Hughes
Bishop Francis Walsh
Sister Alice Lynch WS (Sister St Patrick)
Peter Walters WF 1920 - 1999
Taken from The White Fathers - White Sisters magazine October-November 2000 issue
(Source: Group photo at Rossington Hall, July 1947 - taken from an article that appeared in the White Fathers - White Sisters magazine by Fr Patrick Boyd WF "Missionary Study In A World At War")
Has anyone got a more up-to-date photograph of Peter please?
Fr. Peter Walters was born in Bristol on the 11th. May, 1920. When he arrived at the Priory, Bishop's Waltham, to begin his studies it seems that he spoke with quite a strong Bristol accent. In the days, before regional accents were generally appreciated and accepted, Fr. Peter was regularly told that a student for the priesthood was expected to speak more properly.
Along with the other British and Irish student, Fr. Peter went to Autreppe in Belgium to begin Philosophy studies in the September of 1939. However, the clouds of war were gathering over that part of Europe and they were moved to Kerlois in France, where they were considered to be in more safety. At the time it was supposed that the war would be over before the Germans reached that far. History has shown that supposition was wrong and Fr. Peter with the rest of the Philosophers would spend next few years interned at St. Denis, near Paris.
During this time of internment, Fr. Pete's boy boyish sense of humour and good spirits kept the others going and helped them to see their tribulations in a different light. They finished the course of Philosophy and began to study Theology in the camp. After the liberation of Paris in 1944, Fr. Peter and the others returned to Britain and did their Noviciate at St. Boswell's before continuing their study of Theology at Rossington Hall. Their final year was spent at Monteviot and Fr. Peter was ordained in Jedburgh in 1949.
Immediately after ordination, before he re received his appointment to go to Africa, Fr. Peter was asked to teach in the Junior Seminaries in England and Scotland for a couple of years. Fr. Peter was especially popular with the boys because apart from his other duties he was Games Master and did what he could to foster sport.
When his appointment to Africa arrived in 1951, he was asked to make his way to the North of Ghana, or the Gold Coast as it was then. Fr. Peter was first sent to Tamale to learn Dagomba. Tamale was still just a mission station at that time, but there were a lot of building and other things going on: a new house, the Cathedral, and the Junior Seminary. Fr. Peter got involved with what was going on and his language studies suffered. He also found that most of the workmen came from elsewhere and did not speak the language he was studying. However, he used to go out and in all simplicity sit down and talk to the children.
It was not long before Fr. Peter was asked to join the teaching staff at the Junior Seminary, first at Wiagha then at St. Charles in Tamale, when the new building was complete. He was to stay there for over twenty years. At the memorial Mass celebrated for Fr. Peter in Tamale, when they got the news of his death and attended by many of his former students, one of the Bishops said that he still remembered how Fr. Peter would teach them Mathematics. The school was still getting on its feet and did not have all the textbooks it needed so Fr. Peter got down and produced his own. Besides his teaching, Fr. Peter enjoyed working with his hands and mending things. He sometimes spent the whole of his Christmas holidays working on old motorbikes for himself and his fellow priests.
Fr. Peter came home on leave several times | during this period but never for very long because of his commitments at the school, and when he made his thirty-day retreat in 1959. After that he had to hurry back to Tamale to be there for the beginning of the new term at St. Charles.In 1977, Fr. Walters was appointed to the Diocesan Office in Tamale. Besides assisting the Diocesan Bursar with accounts and correspondence, Fr. Peter was also in charge of Immigration Documents and helped people working in the diocese to find and procure all the things they needed to do their work. He was also called upon to help the Archbishop with some of his correspondence and especially with the work of the Diocesan Projects Committee. All the time, he made sure that all the equipment was working and repaired typewriters, projectors and other machines.
During this time, Fr. Peter continued the work he had started when he was still at St. Charles as chaplain to the Army barracks in Tamale and the hospital and also said Mass at the prison. He used to ask people he knew back home to send him papers and magazines so that he could give them to his soldiers and patients, and the people he visited in prison.
Fr. Peter was 72 when he left Ghana. He was getting a bit old for the kind of work he had been doing but did not wait until he was too old and tired to do anything. On his return to Britain he was able to take up an appointment on the staff of the house for the retired White Fathers in London. Fr. Peter was an able assistant to the Superior/Bursar of the house, allowing him to do other things and even follow a course of studies. Although he could not lift and carry, Fr. Peter kept the house accounts, and could be seen looking in the shops or going to the bank in the mornings. He also became a regular feature of the landscape of the tree-lined avenues and parks of Ealing as he took his afternoon walks in the company of Tess, the communitys golden Labrador. Fr. Peter did not stop being a missionary just because he was no longer in Africa. The number of people he had got to know on his daily walks, and the influence he had on their lives, only became apparent when he and Tess no longer appeared in the street at the usual time, because Fr. Peter had been taken into hospital. People phoned or came to the house to ask what had become of him. Many went to visit him in hospital. Fr. Peter had suffered a stroke which, although it did not stop him walking and getting about, meant that he would never speak or write another word for the rest of his life. Still he would smile and try to make a sound to show that he was pleased to see you.
Another stroke followed three months later, at the beginning of 1999, leaving Fr. Peter more paralysed and unable to swallow food or drink. The hospital did everything they could to help him but to no avail, so Fr. Peter was taken to Nazareth House in Hammersmith where he received constant care and attention from the staff and Sisters. When he took ill again, he was readmitted to hospital but suffered a heart attack and died on the 17th. September, 1999.
White Fathers came from all over the country to assist at his funeral. A comrade from the camp was main celebrant, a former seminary rector preached and a White Father who had known him in Ghana spoke to his assembled family and friends at the end of Mass. And there were also two boys from Ealing, who assisted at the funeral and even came to the cemetery. It turns out that they are Muslims !
May He Rest In Peace
Peter Mary Travers WF 1875 - 1927
A History of The Priory published in The Pelican magazine Christmas
1954, Summer 1955 & Christmas 1955 - author unknown
Paul Moody WF
Moody was Superior at The Priory during the period 1955 - 58 - to be
checked and written up, after speaking to Pierre Federle. He died in
a motorbike accident, apparently - but no detail as yet.
Fond Memories of Fr Duffy
by Tim Pascall
(Blacklion : 1963-65, Broome Hall : 1965-66, Totteridge 1966-67)
Fr Duffy was Novice Master at Broome Hall when I was there in the mid-sixties.He was quite a characterand to illustrate this I'd like to quote some examples that typify this kind man and his lovely dry sense of humour.
He told us quite early on that : " Every now and then we Fathers invite you into our lounge to watch TV. You are very welcome. We love to see you there. We want you to be infor med. So please do come in. Sit down. Make yourselves comfortableand SHUT UP !" as he slammed his fist on the table!
In the middle of the 30-day retreat after a heavy night-time storm he made the following observation : " You are all, of course, keeping faithfully to the Rule of Silence. So how is it that within half an hour of getting up, every single one of you had been down to the bottom of the grounds to see the fallen tree? Stange how news can spread when no-one's saying a word ! "
And the day before the General Election (which also took place during the 30 day retreat) he pronounced : " Some of you can votethose of you who are old enough and British. Of course you can go and vote. You must go and vote. It's your duty to go and vote. So go up to Coldharbour village, cast your vote and VOTE LABOUR ! "
He also threatened to expel two of the Dutch students who had spent hours until quite late in the evening producing some document that was needed the next day, and so felt entitled to a reward of a quick little smoke. Fr. Duffy had a keen nose and smelt the smoke coming out from under the door. He was furious, but happily was prevailed upon not to carry out his threat, since both students are still with the White Fathers. (No names and no packdrill, therefore).
And finally, when Fr. Duffy was appointed as Provincial at Totteridge he was rather concerned about the tension that had built up between Totteridge and the Provincial House. To calm the waters he suggested that people from both places should go out to dinner together. Totteridge was to arrange everything. So a restaurant was booked in Barnet.
When they arrived at the venue, they heard that ties were required. This was one thing Fr Duffy had never worn in his life (or so he claimed). The restaurant insisted, and even offered to supply him with one. " I've never worn a tie in my life and I'm not going to wear one tonight just for you " was the answerwhich is just the reaction that anyone who knew him would have expected. So they all walked off in a huff, and relations between Totteridge and the Provincial House took a little while longer to be repaired!
Taken from The Tablet, 22nd June 1968
New Provincial of the White Fathers Fr. Bernard Duffy has been appointed Provincial of the British Province of the White Fathers in succession to Fr. Andrew Murphy.
to Rev Fr Duffy, Superior a priori, 1964
Arthur Hughes WF 1903 1949
Father Walsh, as he was known to us when he was parish priest at Heston, was a outstanding character as you will have gathered if you have read "The History of the White Fathers in Scotland" on Page 11 of the HISTORIES section (attributed to Fr Marchant).
Archbishop Gray said of him : "He is a deeply spiritual man of outstanding Christ-like charity."
John Morton (Priory 50 - 53) knew him well and has good reason to remember Fr Walsh with great respect and affection.
John was given a copy of a biography of this great man and it has been reproduced on Page 10 of the HISTORIES section.
Eugene writes in Newsletter 31: "John Morton and I have found Bishop Walsh's gravestone here in Grantham and gave it a wash and brush-up in icy water as the snow drifted down one day in January".
Left: A frozen John Morton at the cemetery in Grantham.
Alice Lynch (Sister St Patrick)1911