Melrose July 14th./15th. 2018
Organised by: Mike Ellis & Ian Scott
Attended by:
Ian Scott, Tony Smyth, Robbie Dempsey, Paul Glover, John Joe Prior, Hugh McVey, Bernard Melling and Mike & Tricia Ellis

Report on the get-together for Pelicans in July 2018


Nine of us enjoyed a very relaxed and informal get-together on 14th July 2018. Accommodation at the above three-star Hotel in Market Square Melrose TD6 9PN was good and they provided an excellent private dinner for us in the hotel on Saturday evening.

We were joined by the following individuals, some of whom had travelled a great distance to get to us in Melrose. The group comprised: Ian Scott, Tony Smyth, Robbie Dempsey, Paul Glover, Joe Prior, Hugh McVeigh, Bernard Melling and Mike & Tricia Ellis.

The photo below was taken by JohnJoe Prior who is particularly expert in the photographic arena!


From Right to Left: Bernard Melling, John Joe Prior, Paul Glover, Ian Scott, Tony Smyth, Hugh McVey, Robbie Dempsey, Tricia and Mike Ellis.

We made two visits to New Horizons Conference Centre as the college is now known and our sincere thanks are due to Brian who caretakes the place and he kindly opened it on both Saturday and Sunday to let groups visit again. We did express our sincere thanks to Brian and to Elizabeth who manages bookings etc there now.

The group enjoyed excellent weather with not a cloud on the horizon and a temperature in the mid 20’s centigrade. Ian Scott led the group on Saturday afternoon on a walk along the Tweed past “red-rock” as we used to call it, then down to the bridge and some climbed up to the Wallace statue etc.


Ian Scott, Tony Smyth and Bernard Melling

John Joe Prior

The grounds at St Columba’s looked splendidly well kept and the full effects of this year’s drought was not yet clearly evident. The quadrangle wall around the car park which was built by Fr. Tom (Bill) Stoker WF is still in very good condition and a testament to the quality of mortar that we all had to mix for him in the early 60s!

We enjoyed an excellent dinner on the night of 14th July and Bernard Melling entertained us all by reciting two pieces, the first entitled “Marksman Sam” the second “The Return of Albert”, without notes or aides’ memoir - very impressive and amusing! Thank you, Bernard!

We had many good laughs at ourselves from all round the table remembering issues that were amusing and entertaining. The revision books that used to be available when we were all youngsters entitled Brush Up your Latin, French, Maths or Irish language made many laugh a good deal.

A discussion was initiated by Tony Smyth who was concerned that funds were not available to pay for the ongoing hosting of The Pelicans website at It was agreed by all that Tony could put up a Donate button on the front page of the website and Tony would report on the progress of fundraising for the just over £200 necessary to keep the site going for several more years. Some of us have already contributed and we will all be most grateful if more could make a contribution to this effort which is managed by Tony on a day by day basis. Thank you, Tony, for all your help with this.  We feel sure that the funds will be provided shortly.

The following morning, we departed after a leisurely breakfast and some attended Mass in Melrose after which we all went our separate ways. Some went back up to St. Columba’s as they had not been able to attend the previous day. They then departed onward to their next destinations.

A great weekend was enjoyed by all and we hope that this will not be the “Swan Song” of these get-togethers.

Here are some more pictures!

Tony Smyth

Hugh McVey

Ian Scott deep in thought.

Bernard Melling

Robbie Dempsey

Left to Right: John Joe Prior, Ian Scott, Bernard Melling, Tony Smyth, Mike Ellis at St Columba’s.

The Plaque outside the St. Columba's Graveyard.

The St. Columba's Graveyard

A kind of familiar site.

A 'Red Rock' view of the Tweed.
Photo credits: John Joe Prior, Mike Ellis & Tony Smyth

Mike Ellis                                             The Pelicans                                       July 2018

Further information on this event from

Pat McHale visited the St. Boswell's area after attending the Society's 150 anniversary in Glasgow and sent us the following photos.
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