Shrigley Association Reunion 2010



  1. Agenda
  3. Chairman's Communications
  4. Secretary's Report
  5. Treasurer's Report
  6. IT Co-ordinator's Report
  7. Report of the Reunion
  8. Photos from the Weekend


Minutes of the 15th Annual General Meeting of the Shrigley Association
17th September 2010


1. Welcome & Apologies

2. Minutes of the 14th Annual General Meeting held on 19 September 2009

3. Matters Arising: i. The Presidency
ii. National Council Business
iii. Date of the 2011 Re-union

4. Reports from Officers:
Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Webmaster, Co-opted Members

5. Proposal from the Committee to Wind-Up the Association following a Final Re-union in September 2011

6. Any other business

1. Members were welcomed by Chairman Peter Roebuck.
Present at the Meeting: John Bergin, Greg Bell, Fr George Robson, Bro Joe Adams, Fr Albert Carette, Keith Dransfield, George Holley, Tony & Jill McCarthy, Tom Bushell, Bro Donald MacDonald, Gerry Wright, John King, Bob Hilton, John Burke, Tony Kerrigan, Mark & Eleanor Kelly, Michael Dewane, Bernard & Diane Murray, Fr Ivo Pisacane, Lawrence & Daphne Tucker, John Clark, Gerry Haddock, Peter Roebuck, Mike Kilduff.

Apologies: Listed are those sending apologies for not attending the AGM, and also those who apologised for not being able to attend the Reunion :
Tony Calway, Terry Devine, David Murphy, Brendan Cleverley, Tom McCormick, Paul Barnes, Fr John Briffa, Bernard O’Neil, Louis Skehal, Fr Michael Winstanley, Frank McGreal, Alfred Gatt, John Crowshaw, Peter Stubbs, Joe Cuff, Eric Baggaley, John Burnett, Norbert Gough, Hubert Hallman, Fr Bernard Parkes, Brendan Gill, Fr Robert Coupe, Fr Lawrence Essery, Fr Charles Garrick.

2. The Minutes of the 14th Annual General Meeting were accepted as a true and accurate record.

3. Matters Arising:
i. The Chairman informed the Meeting that Fr Albert Carette had agreed to continue as President of the Association.
ii. National Council Business: The Chairman gave an account of his dealings with the National Council of Salesian Past Pupils, reported on the unsatisfactory outcome of negotiations with this body on an inclusive and acceptable constitution, and announced his intention to distance the Association from the Council. His decision was accepted and supported by the meeting.
iii. The Secretary announced that both the Shrigley Hall Hotel and Savio House were available to host next year’s Reunion from 16th-18th September, should the meeting so decide after discussing item 5 of the agenda.

4. Reports:
The Chairman reported on the successful celebrations last October to mark
Fr Albert Carettes’s 90th Birthday, Christmas Dinner held at Savio in December,
and the Committee Meeting, Mass and Social Event held in Glasgow in February.

The Secretary presented his report to the meeting (see papers).

The Chairman delivered the Treasurer’s report (see papers), announced that David Murphy
had agreed to continue in the post for another year. Accounts were healthier than had
been expected despite a fall in the number of subscriptions paid this year.

Webmaster, Keith Dransfield, presented and spoke to his report (see papers), outlining
changes that had occurred since Eric Baggaley’s resignation from the post of IT Secretary
& Coordinator.

John Bergin, Co-opted Member for Scotland, reported that most gatherings in Scotland over
the year had unfortunately been memorial masses for deceased members.
He said that changes in Salesian personnel at the parish in Easterhouse, and Fr Charles
Garrick’s leaving had had some bearing on matters. He reported on a successful Education
Day on Michael Rua in the parish, the celebration of Fr Brian McGraw’s 25th anniversary
of Ordination, and on the Don Bosco Mass and Social gathering in February at which Bro
Donald MacDonald’s 80th birthday had been celebrated.

5. The circulated statement on the Committee proposal to wind-up the association and make the 2011 Reunion and AGM the last one was discussed. The decline in recent attendance, the difficulties involved in organising and financing the running of the event in view of both attendance and decreased number of subscriptions, were all accepted as factors in convincing the meeting that the proposal was appropriate. It was agreed that a final decision be made only after attempts by John Bergin to recruit active support from the Scottish members had been mounted. The Committee Meeting to be held in Glasgow in January or February of 2011 would assess any offers that were received.
Other matters discussed were the future of the Archive, the position of the Shrigley Cemetery.
It was pointed out by members that although fewer people attend, many take comfort from the fact that we, the Association, continue to exist.
The meeting urged the Committee to go ahead with arrangements for next year’s reunion in the expectation that the Association will close if nothing emerges from the Glasgow meeting.

6. There was no other business.

Mike Kilduff, Secretary

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The Chairman's Report

The Chairman reported on the successful celebrations last October to mark Fr Albert Carettes’s 90th Birthday, Christmas Dinner held at Savio in December, and the Committee Meeting, Mass and Social Event held in Glasgow in February.
He also referred to the Committee statement which was issued in August and invited discussion of same.

The August statement is repeated below for sake of clarity

In the last Newsletter we announced our conviction that it is time to wind-up the Association in its present form. We hold that view even more strongly now. Three considerations in particular are relevant:
i. There has been absolutely no response to the request in the Newsletter for expressions of interest in Committee positions.
ii. For various reasons - work commitments, holiday arrangements and family illness - it has proved impossible since Glasgow in February to hold a Committee Meeting. We have remained in touch with one another, but all business has been conducted at a distance, which is fundamentally unsatisfactory.
iii. Organising the Annual Re-union has proved so problematical as to leave us with a very difficult (and ultimately costly) task in trying circumstances. Despite all our best efforts, via the Newsletter and the website, most members are unwilling to commit themselves to attending until the last minute; and then request a variety of different types of booking, or simply turn up/do not turn up according to their immediate circumstances. Neither Savio House nor the Shrigley Hotel find this congenial; nor do we. The contract with the Hotel has had to be revised downwards and we still doubt whether even these revised numbers will be met. Similarly, and unsurprisingly, Savio House also now operates on a contractual basis, and any underbooking automatically incurs a loss to the Association. There is simply insufficient firm interest to justify continuing in our present form.
Earlier in the year Paul Barnes felt unable to discharge the duties of Events Co-ordinator from his base in Cornwall. Later Eric Baggaley resigned as Minutes Secretary/IT Co-ordinator. And, having indicated last September that he would serve one more year as Treasurer, but only one, David Murphy will cease to be Treasurer at the AGM.

Thus, if people do not step forward at the AGM to fill the posts of Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Events Organiser (as a minimum), fully realising the work involved, we propose that we should arrange to wind-up the Association, as follows. Peter Roebuck and Mike Kilduff, in liaison with John Bergin and Keith Dransfield, would organise a final Re-union - a Grand Wake - for September 2011: there will be an absolute cut-off date for bookings of 31st August 2011. During the coming year arrangements would also be made, firstly, to get the Archive to the point where it could be lodged permanently in a suitable location; and secondly to 'freeze' the website - both as a permanent record of our activities since 1996.
Groups of members would perhaps continue to meet from time to time at Shrigley, Savio House or elsewhere: but in our view we have come to the end of the road as a formal Association; and we should disband in good order rather than get into further difficulties and simply fizzle out. We intend to place this proposal before the forthcoming AGM.

Peter Roebuck

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Secretary’s Report

There were two newsletters sent out this year, one in December 2009, one in April 2010. These go out over the internet to nearly 280 people listed on our original database of members, through the post to almost 100. It is not possible to put any cost on the former. It is the latter which costs, a total of £132 over the year. Less than 20 of these posted newsletters go to those listed on the new Enrolled Members database. The Treasurer’s account shows an income of £510 from subscriptions.

There was only one Committee Meeting held this year, in Glasgow in February. This was a meeting open to those attending the annual Don Bosco Mass in Easterhouse, and 8 non-committee members were present in addition to 5 committee members.

Archivist’s Report

A number of items were presented to the Archive this year. The most notable item was a diary kept by a 1952 by a member who wishes to remain anonymous. There was also a collection of correspondence presented by Ray Mongan (Shrigley 1948-54) and a small number of items passed on by Bro Donald from another anonymous donor. Gerry Wright, one of our speakers this year, sent copies of his photo albums. Tom McCormick (Shrigley 1960-65) contributed a large collection of photos and cards as well as some film of a clothing ceremony

I hope in the next year to complete an up to date catalogue, though I intend to discard some items presented as they have little long term interest. Items of most interest, of course, relate to life at Salesian Shrigley itself, though there are many papers generated during the life of the Shrigley Association which may be worth careful attention.

 Mike Kilduff                                       September 2010

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As you can see from the Accounts, this year was not as successful as last. We had a small deficit (£23) compared to a surplus of £379 in 2009. There are three reasons for this; two negative and one positive.

The positive is that we reduced our costs by
a.) not holding a Southern meeting this year. In the past this has been quite costly
b.) because of ongoing uncertainties, not contributing to BOVA this year. Last year we donated £600.

The negative reasons are:
a.) a decline in donations to £588 from £898. This was partly expected as last year there was one particularly sizeable donation from one past pupil which skewed the figures slightly.
b.) membership has fallen to 49 paid up members from 62 last year.

A further reason for the decline in the surplus was that the Annual reunion was in deficit this year to the extent of £349, whilst we managed a considerable surplus in the previous year.
However our financial position remains strong. Our cash requirements are low and we currently have cash at the bank and in hand of £3,268.
Should the Association wind up its affairs over the next 12 months then these cash balances will be partially used up but we should endeavour to marshal our resources such that any surplus funds can be passed over to whichever worthwhile cause or causes we deem fit and proper to receive them.

As already indicated I have decided to remain in post (subject to the AGM agreeing to this) to wind up our financial affairs should we decide to do so.

David Murphy
12th September 2010


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IT Coordinator's report

Our Web Page continues to attract a steady number of visitors (over 800 per month) and is both a source of information and an archive of memories. Eric’s work over the last two years organised the pages into an easy to follow, well ordered asset.
Since Eric’s resignation the amount of material submitted for publication has dropped a great deal. Apart from the fact that Eric actively sought material for submission, his knowledge of the Shrigley connections of people mentioned in Rualink e-mails meant that he was able to submit relevant notices with an explanatory note even if it was only that someone mentioned in the mail spent time at Shrigley.
I lack his extensive knowledge and so e-mails now number only two or three per month when previously we could see that every week. Members may use e-mail ( to pass on news and point out relevant items in the Rualink news.
The Pages are hosted on Servers where my company has rented space. Any costs are covered by my commercial web customers and I am happy to continue this arrangement.

Web Statistics for 2010 to date


Page Views




January, 2010









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Three computers accounted for most of the high traffic on the site over one weekend in April


April Statistics



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The Shrigley Association
Reunion & Annual General Meeting
17th-19th September 2010

The Reunion started at Savio House on Friday evening as members gathered for a buffet meal. Though numbers were small, this was anticipated, as many of those attending had to travel long distances, some after finishing a week’s work late in the afternoon so they could not reach Savio in time for the meal. Some of those who had enjoyed the buffet gathered afterwards for conversation and reminiscence, some went into Bollington to visit local hostelries, while others who were staying the night at Shrigley returned to the hotel.

The Saturday programme, in the Shrigley Hall Hotel’s Cheshire Suite (better known to all as the Study Hall), showed a departure from the pattern of recent years, in that the day did not start with the Annual General Meeting, but with the first two of the ‘Life After Shrigley’ speakers, Ted Carless and Bob Hilton, each speaking as arranged for almost half an hour on their subject.


When Ted left Shrigley in 1953 he still had over half his Salesian life ahead of him at Burwash, Ingersley Hall, Chertsey and Cowley. When he left the Salesians in 1961 the last thing he wanted to do was teach. However, he was destined to spend most of his life in education - secondary, further, adult and, for many years, penal education. But after taking early retirement in 1989 he still works for himself.
PS In the midst of all the above work, there have also been some play-times!

Bob Hilton (Shrigley 1943-55)

Left the Salesians in November 1956
Hospitalized 1955-1959 on and off, mainly 'on'
Resumed teaching career 1959
Head teacher, Comprehensive School 1972
Early retirement 1981
Owned and ran Care Home 1981
Late retirement 1998
Married 1959: 4 children
Widowed 2005: 9 grandchildren

The Annual General Meeting followed – the minutes can be seen elsewhere – before members enjoyed a hot buffet lunch in the hotel’s main restaurant.

After that, as members made their way up to the Cemetery for the annual service of remembrance, there was a pause on the steps outside the main entrance of the former church for a group photograph.

Group at 2010 Reunion

Fr George Robson led the ceremony in the cemetery. Those buried there were remembered, as were former Shrigley boys and wives who had died during the year since the last service. Flowers, beautifully prepared as usual by Marie Burke, were laid on each grave.

The ‘Life After Shrigley’ programme continued after this with Michael Dewane, John King and Gerry Wright speaking about their experiences since leaving Shrigley. The five speakers have led such varied lives, facing challenges while carrying with them their experiences of Shrigley. They spoke so well with modesty, humour and self-knowledge. We are grateful for their candour and for the thought-provoking sessions they gave us.

Michael Dewane (Shrigley 1953-59)
• Arrived in Cape Town in Dec 1959 with two other novices from Burwash
• Left the novitiate in 1960 and went to the National Seminary in Pretoria
• Ordained a diocesan priest in 1968 and appointed as General Secretary of the Archdiocese of Cape Town and Private Secretary to Cardinal McCann
• A teacher in the Cape Flats from about 1973 to 1976
• Returned to England in 1976 and laicised in the same year.
• 1976 - 1990 Worked as a mental health social worker, then manager, then head of mental health services
• 1990 - 1995 : an SSI Inspector with DoH
• 1995 - 2002 : Social Care & Mental Health Policy Adviser at DoH Headquarters
• 2002 : retired; did consultancy work and trained as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language.

John King
John left Shrigley, after 4 years there, in 1962. He left the novitiate, Burwash, after only 6 months there.
A few months as an assistant in a Salesian school in France followed, then another few months in the House of Lords (as a pen-pusher, not a peer!!), before going to university.
1964-67 University of Edinburgh. Then a couple of brief jobs –(including actor at the Nottingham Playhouse) – before settling in social work.
Most jobs thereafter involved training social workers, either “in the field” or, for 4 years, as a college lecturer.
Married more than once. No children because of infertility.
Worked in hospital with cancer patients 1984-91. Lived in France 1991-98.
Became a therapist (massage, craniosacral therapy, Bowen technique) in 1998, on his return to Scotland.
Retired in March of this year and lives in Edinburgh.
Any questions…?

Gerry Wright (Shrigley 1958-61)
Three years at Shrigley. Left in July '61 and returned to Glasgow. In August '61 I re-entered the state school system and by October it was obvious I was not going to settle down, so I left.
Got a job training to be a colour chemist.
Emigrated to England in July ‘63 and went to Oxford University. In 1965 I joined the Civil Service where I remained until retirement in 2003. My career was varied, interesting and enjoyable. In 2004 I was head hunted by Homebase and asked to join them as their Health and Safety Officer. I am still doing that.
In 1975 I married Sallie and we celebrated our 35th anniversary this year. I have one surviving daughter, our first daughter sadly died.
My biggest pastime since leaving Shrigley was continuing with music. Again this has brought many interesting times.

Dinner at Savio was followed by the usual concert. Paul Barnes, our usual Master of Ceremonies, had arrived hot-foot from London where he had attended the Papal Mass in the morning. He had little time to use his skills of persuasion to create a concert programme, but he managed it. Fun was had by all. Even after the concert ended members gathered round the piano with Greg Bell, Gerry Wright on guitar, for an impromptu sing-along session.

The Reunion did not include Sunday Lunch at Savio this year, to allow those who had to travel long distances more time to get home. There was Mass at Savio for those who wished, followed by coffee before final departure.

Mike Kilduff

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