Thursday, 17 December 2015

Hi, Fellow Salesians,
 The Scottish Shrigley Old Boys are meeting for their annual Don Bosco Mass on Sunday the 24th.January in St. Benedict's Church, Easterhouse, Glasgow.

The celebration will be in the theme of the '' Salesian Family ''; the Sisters, the Co-operators and of course the Shrigley boys and their partners.

The Mass , hopefully concelebrated by various Salesians, will be at 12.00pm. followed by a buffet and refreshments,and plenty of laughter and nostalgia.

Anyone wishing further information please contact Joe Doogan on 07868180254 

Thursday, 19 November 2015

From the Chertsey Cooperators, 16.11.2015

Hi all,
Just a quick update on Ken Greaney's condition, which is all good news today. I wasn't going to generate another email until he was out of intensive care, as there hadn't been much to report, just gradual daily improvements. However, due to lack of beds in the wards he's being kept in intensive care for the time being, but will be 'kicked-out' as soon as a bed is available.​
Today he's been at his best yet; all his tubes and wires have been removed, his speech and communication is strong, he's eating​ and drinking normally, has been out of bed sitting in a chair and the best news is that he now has a reasonable amount of movement in his left hand. ​ ​His arm has been getting gradually stronger, but following work with the physio today the hand is also starting to function.
There's still no conclusive news on the impact of the stroke, but the signs are currently all positive - he's still due for a CT Scan, but there's no indication as to when that will happen.I've advised him that if he dictates a message then I'd be happy to circulate it on his behalf, so if he remembers, that's his task for tomorrow - watch this space ... ... ...

Thanks again to everybody for all the support, love and prayers - both Ken and Barbara are overwhelmed with the response and apologise for not being able to get back to everyone who has text. They will catch-up with everyone in due course.
God bless everyone.


Friday, 6 November 2015

Don Bosco 200th Anniversary
Reunion in Counting House,Glasgow on Nov 1st 2015

Present : Joe Doogan, Greg Bell, John Bergin, Terry Devine, Sheena Devine, Felix Gilfedder, Roisin Gilfedder, Brendan Gill, Rosemary Gill, Jim Hughes, Frank Reilly, Phil McMahon, John Quinn, Joe Quinn, Tommy Walker.
Apologies for absence: 3 people had sent apologies to Joe Doogan.

The reunion took place as part of the Salesian celebrations marking the 200th anniversary of Don Bosco's birth in the form of a meal and refreshments in the Counting House, St Vincent's Place,Glasgow.

A number of Shrigley Old Boys gathered along with 3 wives. 

While the occasion was highly informal and most enjoyable,two items of "business" were  raised.
1. Annual Don Bosco Day Mass
It was agreed that we should continue to meet around Don Bosco's day.With the Salesians no longer in Glasgow a number of options for the venue for Mass were discussed including:
St Benedict's Easterhouse with Mass being said by the parish priest (if agreeable).This would keep the ties with the Salesian sisters' community on that site
St Benedict's with Mass being said by Fr Billy Bergin (if available) who is a former Shrigley boy)
St John Bosco's parish,New Stevenson ( because of the association with the name of Don Bosco)
Fr Billy Bergin's parish in East Kilbride ( to have a link with  a former Shrigley boy)
St Andrew's Cathedral,Glasgow (ease of access and proximity to the Counting House if this was wanted)
Joe Doogan agreed to explore these options further.

2. Shrigley Reunion 2016
Joe Doogan alerted those present to the probabilty of a reunion at Shrigley to be organised by English Old Boys in October 2016.
Once details were confirmed it would be for individual Scots to make their own arrangements to attend if they so wished.

The reunion ended with a vote of thanks Joe Doogan for arranging this particular get-together.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Shrigley Old Boys.

In early Sept 2015 the Shrigley Old Boys Association was revived after its closure in 2011.

Thanks to Bernard O'Neill and Patrick O'Neill for all their work and for the support of the die-hards who turned up for another weekend of nostalgia.

We have decided to relaunch the website, frozen since 2011, and this "blog" is our start; it will be integrated in to the original site in the coming weeks...or months!


On a lovely September Friday evening Old Boys of the Salesian Missionary College Shrigley began arriving at Savio House, Bollington to begin a reunion weekend of celebration for Don Bosco’s Bi-Centenary. They came from far and wide including Scotland, Ireland, Cornwall, London and various other places in England driving through the usual heavy Friday evening. Some then made their way to the Shrigley Hotel ( the former college) whilst the rest who were staying in Savio House enjoyed an hour or two in the Poachers, the local hostelry, catching up on recent news and telling stories of yesteryear, yet again!
After breakfast the Celebration Mass was held in the lovely chapel in Savio House. Fr. Michael Winstanley, himself a Shrigley Old boy, was the main celebrant representing the Province and together with Fr. Robert Coupe other Salesians from Savio and Thornleigh, including Bro Donald MacDonald and over 30 Shrigley Old boys, wives and friends, witnessed a truly memorable celebration with the fantastic musical direction of Fr Martin Poulsom, a Salesian of 25 years who was too young to have been a Shrigley boy! He led the musicians (Kevin Dean and Gerry Wright) and Polly Witter (Volunteer leader at Savio) sang the Psalm beautifully. Fr. Michael’s homily was built around the “Good Night” given by “Don Bosco” at the Thornleigh Bi centenary event. The message was clear though for us all to be DON BOSCOS and help him to continue to realise his dream to be there for the young in the years ahead. During the mass we prayed for Shrigley Salesians who had died since the last reunion including Fr. Albert Carette, our former President, Fr. George Robson, always the first to book his place at our events, Fr. Bernard Parkes, a former staff member of Savio House who hosted many of our previous reunions, Fr. Micheal Lindsay and Fr. John Booth who although not a past pupils had taught at Shrigley.
After the mass and a cup of coffee we then went to the local cemetery to visit the grave of Fr. Bernard Parkes and other Salesians buried there over the years. A rose bush was planted in memory of Fr. Bernard by the class of 58’ (Gerry Wright, Greg Bell, Keith Dransfield and Bernard O’Neill) and  Fr. Robert said a few appropriate words for the occasion leading us in prayer and singing the Salve Regina.
The next stop was Shrigley Hotel where we gathered for a pre lunchtime drink followed by the lunch. In good Salesian style we had a collection to buy some drinks for the evening concert and Bernard O’Neill, the main organiser of the event outlined the programme for the rest of the day thanking those who had contributed to the programme in one way or the other.
There then followed presentations in the Cheshire Suite, better known to most as the former classroom for Lower Elements in days gone by. Paul Barnes presented a power point entitled “This is your Life” of Fr Albert.  Fr. Michael then paid a tribute to Fr. George, a fellow Wiganer of Michael’s home town and Bernard O’Neill then paid a tribute to  Fr. Bernard, as he explained, a blood brother of his resulting from a clash of head and teeth whilst playing the game of ‘Rush’ September 1958..
Finally in this session Paul  spoke briefly about the Salesian Vocation of the Cooperator quoting Don Bosco who had said before the first General Chapter, that  “The Salesian Cooperators are the very soul of the Congregation” Paul encouraged all to consider becoming a Salesian Cooperator and a leaflet was distributed outlining more about the role. Paul also spoke briefly about BOVA (Bosco Volunteer Action) which provides an opportunity to do Salesian volunteering abroad. Paul will be returning to a Secondary School in Moshi, Tanzania at the end of September for his 5th visit since June 2012 where he is also fundraising for them to build three Science Laboratories and a Geography Room.

We then visited the Salesian Cemetery where Kevin Dean led us in prayer for the occasion and flowers were laid prepared by Marie Burke, on each of the graves.

 We then returned to Savio House to enjoy a lovely meal prior to the concert which started at 7.45pm. There were 10 items in all compered by Paul Barnes. 

There was great variety starting with a piano contribution by Kevin Dean of a melody of songs through the decades where we recalled the various Rectors over the years. Ken Greaney shared some of his jokes, Michael McManus played his guitar, Keith Dransfield read humorous poetry, the Savio Volunteers sang a song in three different languages,

Gregg Bell played some singalong favourites and Joe Lomax sang some classical songs accompanied on the piano, Marie Kay who also played some fantastic music on her own. Bernard O’Neill paid a poetic tribute to Fr. Bernard and finally Gerry Wright entertained us for 20 minutes with his rock and roll song repertoire and his guitar. Fr. Tony then gave the “Good Night” encouraging us to hold onto our memories and expressed his appreciation for the high standard of entertainment provided.
Some then returned to the Shrigley Hotel, some to bed in Savio whilst other enjoyed a further two hours or so of what Marie said was the “best Jam Session” she had had for a long time – thanks to her and Gerry and the remaining contents of the bar!

The lovely weather continued on the Sunday as we gathered for Sunday mass. Fr. Bob Garner was the celebrant officiating in his new role as Vice Provincial for the renewal of vows for two Polish Brothers working in the Province, Bro Lukasz Duminski and Bro Janusz Garus. The music for mass was up to the usual high standard including the singing of Laudato Si, by Polly (one of Fr. Bernard’s favourites.) In his homily, Fr. Bob encouraged us all to help the less fortunate than ourselves, especially the young in the true spirit of Don Bosco..
There then followed a three course meal after which thanks were expressed to the chef and volunteers who had looked after us so well. Before the final good byes, following some consultation, it was unanimously agreed that those present wanted to meet again next year, God willing. The chosen date is to be September 23rd to 25th  and it is hoped that the numbers might be at least doubled as we felt the gap of three years since the last one was too long and that it had been such an enjoyable weekend and so memorable in many ways. As you read this and you are interested then please put a note in your planner and respond to the reminders which will be sent out from time to time on our SHRIGLEY OLD BOYS website which  Keith Dransfield has  agreed to open again.
Paul  Barnes

September 2015.