The reunions at Bishop's Waltham & Preston in 2005
were covered in Eugene's Newsletter 49 (Jan 2006)

The following is a more complete and convenient compilation of both reunions.

Newsletter 49, New Year 2006

Dear Pelicans

I've been out of touch since February  last year for which I have an excuse of sorts (bowel cancer).

We had 2 reunions during 2005: Bishops Waltham in mid-May for Pentecost and Preston 6 June.  Zelda and I were at Blacklion for Cemetery Sunday at the end of July to stand by Peter McKenzie's grave.


May 2005 : the Reunion at Bishop's Waltham

Carissimi Pelicani:

Zelda and I made good time down to Bishops Waltham on Friday 13th. Thanks to an early departure and the pax britannica, the roads were all open and we were at Tom Wilkie's in good time.

Poor Tom is thinking of shutting up shop on account of the feral youths who rent rooms. Some of them can't go outside to smoke. They bung up his smoke detectors with plastic bags and papier mache. We felt very sorry for him.

Peter Vale-Humphreys
, Zelda and I went out to the Jubilee which is open all day on a Friday.Ê Then up to Galley Down.Ê Back at the Jubilee we met John and Margaret (Morton) and the five of us were at Banks' (the restaurant) in the evening where we were joined by Mike and Andrew and Tony (Guilfoyle) and Pauline.

Next morning we went up to pay our respects to Fr Buckley who was on his way to see the Bishop. I got Peter to give his (Sunday) talk to us in the chapel as so many people had said they would be racing off on the 15th.Ê We practised the Veni Creator and set off for Portsmouth on another of Margaret's wonderful trips, this time to the Historic Ships Dockyard where we saw the Mary Rose (awesome!), the Victory and HMS Warrior.Ê

A splendid day despite the rain. Peter Finn appeared after Mass and then the apparition of apparitions: Robert Clyde whom I hadn't seen since 1951!!! He hopes to come to Preston and I have circulated all his old classmates in the hope that more than Pat Menzies can make it. The priest (not Fr Buckley) preached a very odd sermon about the WFs in Africa and I'll tell you about it sometime.Ê Just magine you have 60 miles to go on your pushbike before you reach the mission station and I pass you aboard the station lorry with a merry wave and no lift. Apparently this will be a good lesson for you.

(source : Michael Byrne. Names shown on photo below. Note the old Priory pews.)

At Mass on Sunday : Chris Cooper.Ê The Veni Creator got a great burst of applause. Verna Burdett-Clark was there looking a lot better than last year but Paula was on crutches.Ann Butler (Terry's wife) looked good too but she has had an operation for hernia. We walked the bounds after Mass and then took off for home.

(source : Michael Byrne)
(L-R) :
Front : Pauline Guilfoyle, John Morton, Zelda, Margaret Morton, Eugene MacBride and Peter Vale Humphreys
Back : Tony Guilfoyle, Mike Byrne and a lady whose name will come to me . . .

I felt deeply sorry at that point not to be spending the Sunday at Bishop's Waltham as was our custom (Zelda's and mine). In fact I don't think I'm over it yet. All in all, another morale booster. Brenda Finn has given us a marvellous wee book of her writings that sometimes make me roar out loud and at others reduce me to tears.

Preston 2005

(larger copy below)

At Preston (to fete Leslie Croaghan and his wife Joyce home on holiday from New Mexico): Fr Patrick Harrity (our host), Peter Finn, Pat and Pauline Menzies, Robert and Jess Clyde, Pat and Norma Gibbons, Chas Robinson, Paul West, Bernard Melling, Chris Benton, Zelda and me.  Muriel and Jean made us an absolutely A-1 lunch and the craic was good all through. (Photo below)

I learn to my amazement  that at the end of this academic year, the WFs are closing up St Edward's, Totteridge where they've had a theology school since the end of 'sHeerenberg in 1958.  I don't know what happens to Oak Lodge.  Theology students will now train in Africa or France.

John Strain tells me that the present student body will say goodbye at St Alban's church, Tilford Road, Beacon Hill, HINDHEAD, Surrey GU26 6PX on MOTHERING SUNDAY 26 MARCH 2006.  The service will start at 10.30.  Fr Pat Shanahan will preach.  There will be lunch afterwards.

With Fr Buckley's blessing we will be having our annual reunion at Bishops Waltham this year on Friday 2 June, Saturday Whitsun Eve 3 June and Pentecost Sunday 4 June.  If you need accommodation, Tom Wilkie is still in business.  Phone him now on (01489) 890188.  For our Saturday (3 June) trip this year, we plan to do the Watercress Line at Arlesford.  My number is (01476) 561890 if you need to be in touch

Are you thinking Africa?  Well, it would certainly seem so to judge from the money flowing into our treasurer's pouch.  Remember that if you send a cheque made out to The Pelicans (Pat Gibbons, 84 Albert Rd West, Bolton, Lancs BL1 5ED) Pat gets it out to Africa  without a penny skimmed-off.  And you can nominate where you want it to go!

Might you be interested in a Pelican Reunion in Rome for October this year, our first in the Eternal City since 1999 when we were mistaken at the General Audience for Juridical Vicars? I've been asked to float the idea but as ever, if I don't get any positive or quasi-positive replies, I shall quickly allow it to sink.

If you're interested, say yes and I'll see what we can do.  I shall take a prolonged silence as a heartfelt no.


Dominus vobiscum, Eugene

(source : Paul West — Scroll right to see the whole group)

6th June 2005 : Preston 'mini reunion' in honour of Les Croughan and his wife Joyce.
Missing from this picture are Norma Gibbons (who took the photo) and Chris Benton (who had to leave early)

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