SHRIGLEY OLD BOYS REUNION 2016
Over 24 Old Boys, their wives/partners, Fr Gerry, our new Provincial, volunteers and staff from Savio all joined us and enjoyed the camaraderie of meeting old friends, confreres, colleagues and teachers
What a fantastic Weekend!!!!!!
As much as we try, can never recreate the ‘olde Shrigley spirit’ that made it so unique but at least we shared lots of the memories!
As a dying breed, we must make the most of keeping those memories alive and keep fostering that Salesian Shrigley spirit,
The Reunion was attaended by Michael McManus & Trish Duffy, Bernard O'Neill, Patrick O'Neill, Keith & Virginia Dransfield, Joe Lomax, John & Patricia Ballard , Tom McCormick , Martin McArthur, Tony & Maria Galcius , David Murphy - all arrived from various parts of the UK and Ireland on Friday and Terry & Sheena Devine, Tony & Margaret Quinn, Michael Gormley , Louis Skehal, Joe & Tricia Doogan , Michael Pratter and Greg Bell all drove down from Scotland.
Fr Gerry Briody SDB, George Holly, Gerry Wright and Eric Baggaley all joined us on the Saturday.
A great lunch was then enjoyed at Shrigley , and we were joined by Bro Michael Winstanley, followed by tea or coffee in the old study hall, now the Cheshire suite!
Bernard then welcomed everybody, gave apologies from Mike Kilduff, John Crowshaw, Terence Gerighty, Fr Bob Gardiner, Fr Michael Winstanley, Terry Prendergast, John Murphy, Paul Barnes, Bill McElany, Alan Burns, Kevin Dean, Felix Gilfedder, Brendan Gill . He then advised the 6 SDB’s who had died since the last reunion in 2015. Fr Ivo Pisacarne, Fr Hugh O’Sullivan, Fr Paddy Gillan, Fr Bill Carroll, Fr Bill Boyd and Fr Francis Sutherland.
Bernard gave a short resume of last year's meetings and asked if SOB should resume a more formal formation as previous or continue as an informal group. He explained the difficulty in not being able to open a new bank account and it was agreed by all to continue as an informal group…and David Murphy agreed to manage the banking for us going forward.
Keith Dransfield then provided a very enlightening reading of Frank O'Connor's short story, "First Confession". He hoped that it would counteract the impression of abusive Irish life in the early part of the 20th Century which was presented by Frank McCourt in "Angela's Ashes". He reccommended O'Connor's short story collection "My Oedipus Complex" as an antidote to McCourt's pesimistic allegations.
Fr Gerry then gave us with an insight on the future concepts of the SDB’s in the GB Province. Several SOB’s asked how we can be part of different projects and even though a“Dying Breed” - are not dead yet!!! There’s plenty of life left in us and with a wealth of experience and knowledge to be used and passed on in the spirit of Don Bosco teachings.
Fr Gerry also encouraged us to apply for a Rualink connection with Clare Lewis in the media office firstname.lastname@example.org for updates of all SDB news.
Tom McCormick's Report“A reluctant attendee this year. Too many things going on, house move grandchildren etc. I made a last minute booking with encouragement from Bernard O’Neill to whom I will be eternally grateful.
I set out from Marlborough at 2.30 expecting to arrive at Savio at around 5.45pm. However due to congestion and traffic problems did not arrive until 6.55pm,just in time for supper, on the way passing an old friend,“The Poachers”, promising to see it later in the evening. I was greeted by Bernard, Paddy and David (Spud) Murphy on arrival . As usual Bro Michael Winstanley was there to welcome us just as he was when I was in the 60’s at Shrigley. After a delicious supper I unpacked while the earlybirds headed to Shrigley for just one drink with the Scottish contingent who were staying there.
When they arrived back we headed down to the Poachers using my iphone for a light source. At the Poachers we were joined by some of the Savio volunteers from Germany and Australia. I sampled a guest “Tantric India Pale Ale” which helped jog my memories of our times at Shrigley. When the evening finished we headed back to Savio suitably warmed by drinks for the long walk back. However it was still early (about 11.30ish) so we (myself,Paddy and Bernard) retired to the hall, with a bottle of Glenlivet, where we regaled each other with our memories of our yesteryears.
Saturday morning was a brisk day for a Southern softie. Bro Michael et al provided us with a breakfast to set us on our way. We were joined at mass by the new Salesian Provincial Fr Gerry Briody, a fantastic start to the day.
We then headed down to the cemetery at Bollington, joined by Fr Provincial.
We then headed for lunch to Shrigley. It still seems very strange to approach through the new drive rather than the old via the gatehouse (which is still there). After a wander around the grounds (excluding the golf course), saying hello to St Patrick on his island, I was joined at lunch by Bro Michael and Fr Provincial. As usual conversation and memories proved to be very fruitful.
We then headed for the afternoon meeting at which we had a very useful conversation with Fr Provincial on the future. Bernard as usual managed all of this with his enthusiasm of all things “Shrigley”.
We then paid our traditional visit to the Cemetery at Shrigley. I must admit I missed Fr Albert’s thoughts on the residents. However they were well remembered by others who were there.
We then headed to Savio where we were treated to a curry before the main event, “The Concert”, as only old Shrigley boys can put on. Michael McManus had cajoled and persuaded many to take part. Not myself as I had stopped singing and playing at Shrigley some 51 years before. The concert party with the MC Martin McArthur who could do the Oscars anytime provided the highlights of the weekend. Greg Bell along with a very dodgy piano provided and excellent musical accompaniment throughout the evening.
Tony Quinn provided us with his own comic, Scottish version of Shakespeare which has to be heard to appreciated. Michael McManus minus his guitar provided us with some old tunes plus a very original song. One of the volunteers, Clara from Germany entertained us on the clarinet. Michael Pratter, another Scottish old boy, gave us a rendition of the Rollin Stones number Ruby Tuesday. Tony Galcius gave us a very moving extract from his autobiography, on his first impressions of Shrigley in 1941.
The concert ended with usual sing song, the Salesian Hym and olde Lang Syne.
Sunday started with breakfast then Mass celebrated by Fr Roman. A great end to a wonderful weekend. When you think it cannot get better it does. I look forward to next year and thank God for the many blessings and friendships I have though the Salesian family.