Shrigley Association

Glasgow Meeting February 2010

"Please wear tartan" was the request that John Bergin made to those intending to meet at the Piazza Italian restaurant in Glasgow on Saturday evening 6th February. This was not meant as a deterrent to those travelling from south of the border, but as an invitation to enter into the event that was to be a celebration to mark Bro Donald MacDonald's 80th birthday. People complied and the dozen or more who attended enjoyed an excellent evening. The craic was good. 

Sunday afternoon saw many of the same people, with others beside, at Easterhouse for a Shrigley Association Committee Meeting, the annual Don Bosco Mass and further socialising. Another birthday cake appeared and Donald, never short of breath, blew out all the candles at one go. There were not actually eighty of them, probably only one per decade, but the achievement of extinguishing them was noted and commented upon. 

Though the weather in Glasgow is usually cold at this time of year, the welcome is warm, and the committee from the south are grateful for that.



PRESENT: Peter Roebuck (Chairman), Mike Kilduff (Secretary), John Bergin (Scottish Rep.), David Murphy (Treasurer), Eric Baggaley (Mins. Sec. / IT Coord.), Robert Caulfield, Gregory Bell, Terrence Devine, John Clark, Joe Doogan, Jim Hughes, Michael Crossan, Louis Skehal.

APOLOGIES: Paul Barnes, Frank Riley, Jamie Polland


1.  Minutes of the last Meeting - Savio House 26/6/09
2.  Minutes of the AGM – Shrigley 19/9/09
3.  Matters Arising from both
4.  Chairman's Business, including
- Report from the November Meeting of the National Council
- Contact with Blaisdon Old Boys' Association
- Haiti Appeal
5.  Secretary's Business
6.  Web/It Co-ordinator's Business
7.  Treasurer’s Business
- Enrolled Membership as at January 2010
8.  Scottish Business
            - John Bergin’s Report
            - Co-option of another Scottish Member to the Committee
9.  Annual Re-union 2010 
- Programme
          - Dates (in view of those proposed for the Pope's Visit to Britain)
10. Any Other Business

WELCOME: Opening the meeting at 1.00 pm, Peter Roebuck welcomed all present and thanked them for attending. He moved a special vote of thanks to John Bergin and his team, who organized this weekend's Event for the Association.

  1. Minutes of the Committee Meeting - Savio House, 26.06.09.
  2. Minutes of the AGM at  Shrigley, 19.09.09. Both sets of Minutes were approved as accurate.  See website REPORTS for these documents

Matters arising - none.

  1. Chairman's Business
    Paul Barnes, with regret, has resigned from the Committee as Events Coordinator.
    The National Council's revised Constitution (largely Peter Roebuck's creation), which was discussed at the November Meeting at Battersea, had been presented by Peter Hunter. There was considerable support for the emphasis on inclusivity. (See
    A posting from Pat Morrissey from the Google site (RELIGION - don bosco's way) seems to confirm acceptance of this proposed change of emphasis.  Contact with the Blaisdon Old Boys' Association is as yet only tentative. 
    Haiti Appeal: National Council is hoping to launch an Appeal to support Salesian Works. The Shrigley Association will discuss joining this at a later date when the Salesians themselves have produced plans for re-building etc. In the meantime Members are encouraged to make their individual donations through Provincial Office at Thornleigh.
  1. Secretary's Business:
     Document presented by Mike Kilduff (see Appendix 2). The very few replies to recent mailings (costing    approximately £90) indicate that a new Directory, up-dated, should be used to target those Members who are either Enrolled or express the wish, personally, to be contacted. 
    Reunion Programme for 2010 - see later.
  1. IT Coordinator: document presented by Eric Baggaley (see Appendix 3). Peter Roebuck reaffirmed the gratitude of the Association for the work done by the Web Team: Keith Dransfield and Eric.
  1. Treasurer's Business: with Enrolled Membership increasing from 45 to 65, and donations received, the bank balance remains stable and healthy (approx. £3000). The Haiti Appeal and our BOVA donation will be realistically discussed at the next AGM.  Pauline Whyte is the official GB Province Coordinator of the Haiti Appeal (Thornleigh)
  1. Scottish Business : John Bergin reported on the activities of the last 12 months, noting the changes of SDB personnel in the Easterhouse parishes. Events included a June/July Gathering, the Michael Power Memorial Mass, celebration of the SDB 150th. Anniversary and Salesian Study Day in January. The contribution of the Scots to the 2009 Reunion was also highlighted. The Scottish group will meet to discuss the proposal for further representation on the SA Committee. As regards the next Committee Meeting (May/June) Peter Roebuck has proposed his Penrith home as the venue.
  1. Annual Reunion 2010: the dates of 17, 18, 19 September are confirmed with Savio House and Shrigley and will be kept, despite possible clashes with the dates of the Papal Visit. The suggested theme will be "Life After Shrigley" and the Committee will enlist the help of a number of presenters. Mike Kilduff will liaise with Shrigley and Savio House. It is proposed to arrange a longer Saturday programme at Shrigley and a shorter programme at Savio House on Sunday morning with departure after breakfast, Mass, coffee, enabling earlier departure for travel and giving the Savio community more time to relax and to prepare for the following week's programme.
  1. AO.B. : None

The meeting closed at 1.50 pm.

Eric Baggaley (Mins. Sec.) 14.02.2010

Appendix 2: SECRETARY

 Item 9                     Reunion Planning

This was sent to Paul Barnes, Event Organiser.

Could I share with you these ideas for themes/subjects for next/future reunions?
I feel we need serious as well as lighter, nostalgic, retrospective items.

1. Life After Shrigley: My last Newsletter gave preliminary mention to this topic. I said there that we are now mature enough and confident in our regard for Shrigley to handle objective discussion of Shrigley's effect on our lives afterwards. Peter has already broached this topic, which I feel could go deeper than the largely adulatory and, sometimes superficial tone adopted over recent years, when members may have felt inhibited from being critical. It is possible to love Shrigley without believing life there was heaven on earth.

2. Shrigley and Thornleigh: As our present event organiser you have Shrigley and Bolton antecedents, it set me thinking what an important 'feeder' institution Thornleigh was for Shrigley. There are still many old boys alive in the Bolton area who have experienced both places of education, who do not attend our gatherings, who could be lured to attend a reunion when links between the two places can be meaningfully explored. Again, we are capable of facing mature and objective contributions.

3. Life as seen from the Quad: In a lighter vein. If one stands in the Quad at Shrigley, where the leader of the 'rush' game might have stood, one can see almost every venue or location that played a part in our lives.
Turn to the left, at ground level, you see around the quad itself the 'brush room' (What was its official name?) where we collected brushes, dustpans, big shiners etc.
Move along to the 'boot room' where we gathered several times a day to collect our shoe brushes.
Pass the doorway that led up to the dorm and chapel. In the corner the library. Turn right for the notice boards, the bread room window, the steps to the boiler room, the door through to the refectory etc. All this under the ambulacrum where we walked and played head tennis etc.

At first floor level, from the left again, the steps to study hall, corridor to Prefect of Studies office, showers, etc, opposite the infirmary.

You get the idea, life lived largely within a radius of 100 yards of the quad. Lots of photographic material for display and presentation, scope for reminiscence and anecdote. All in a place that is not much changed, where we can still gather and stare at the place where the angelus bell once hung.

Mention of the bell reminds me we have to ring the changes to keep our reunions fresh and interesting.

Mike Kilduff


Committee Meeting Glasgow 7th February 2010

Item 5: Secretary’s Business

  1. Response to the last Newsletter


Before Christmas I posted out approximately 100 copies of my latest Newsletter.

At the same time I sent out approximately 275 e-mails with the message that the latest Newsletter could be read on the Shrigley Association Website.

In both versions of the letter I said that an acknowledgement of receipt would be appreciated. I requested this as part of my effort to ascertain how many of the people contacted were in receipt of the letters, were at the same address, still wanted the mailings to continue.

In response to the posted mailings I got 3 acknowledgements, two thanking, one specifically asking for the letters to continue.

In response to the e-mail notice I received 15 failure notices, all from addresses that had produced one or two similar failure messages following earlier postings.

By Christmas I had received 22 e-mails acknowledging receipt and asking for best wishes to be passed on to the Association. (I have since had a couple more.)

I sent this message to Eric & Keith dated 23rd December 2009:

Could you pass on to the Association best wishes received in response to my last e-mail notifying members of the latest Newsletter and the tributes to Fr Michael Power?

Below that I give a list of members whose mail has been returned for the second or third time. I intend to delete their addresses from my list for future mailings. If they wish to contact me to give me new addresses or tell me that their mailboxes have been cleared, I will reinstate mailings.

Alan Donald,               Joe Blenkinsop,          Robert Burgess,          Ted Carless,
Fr Robert Coupe,        John Crowshaw,         Fr Tom Dunn,                         Luigi Galea,
Fr Bob Gardner,          Fr Michael Hartley,     George Holley,                        Jim Highes,
Michael Kiely,                         Frank McGreal,                      Bernard/Diane Murray,
Fr Sean Murray,         Fred O'Gorman,         John J Parker,           
Terry Prendergast,      Sean Riordan,                         Edward Rivera,                       John Ward


Rinaldo Baldachino,    Fr John Bennett,        Pat Bracken,               David Condon,
Mike Cox,                   Michael Hennessy,    Fr Dennis Higgins,      Frank Lennon,
Tom Medina,               Walter Miller,              Fr Canice Dooley,      
Bernard Roddam,       John Tully,                  Peter Williams,                       Joseph Zahra 

The Shrigley Association Directory

The Directory was last published in 2008 and this is the one I have used for sending out newsletters and e-mails. My experience leads me to conclude that much of it is out of date. To date about 20 posted Newsletters have been returned to me, most marked ‘Gone Away’ or ‘No longer at this address’. A number of those listed have died.
 I have concluded that there is little point in publishing a new edition until we have more accurate information.
Since I became Secretary I have sent out 6 Newsletters. The cost of those on the website cannot be calculated, but is minimal. The cost of those posted has been over £530, which is an expenditure directed at just over a quarter of the membership listed in the last two editions of the Directory.

Enrolled Membership

Since we created the category of Enrolled Members – i.e. subscription paying members – I have worked on producing a Directory of Enrolled Members, in the belief that most of our resources should be directed at these people. I believe these members should receive a posted newsletter, perhaps more frequently than at present, even though they have an internet address and can be informed of each Newsletter posted on the website. Enclosures with such communications can help to remind them when annual subscription is due.

My first draft of such a directory lists about 60 members, on the basis that these people have either completed Standing Order forms to make annual payments, or have paid by cash or cheque at least once in the last two years. On present information there are 15 paying by Standing Order. Some of those paying by cash or cheque have paid more than the notional £10 subscription.

I intend to continue work on this Directory, with the help of the Committee, and publish it in time for the next Annual General Meeting.

I intend to continue to produce a printed Newsletter for all those listed in the present Directory in until the next AGM. At that meeting future arrangements need to be discussed.

Mike Kilduff
February 2010

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Appendix 3


 Significant changes and improvement have been made over the last 12 months, notably:

  1. HOME PAGE : now adorned with a reproduction of the commissioned watercolour painting of Shrigley, this page has 16 different sections listed.
  2. REPORTS and NEWSLETTERS : these pages have been expanded to show documentation from previous years as well as the current 12 months.
  3. MEMORIES : this page has 17 different items, contributed by various members, including information about Beckford, Malta and South Africa.
  4. ARCHIVES : 11 sections currently, which include extensive research results regarding the building and the builders of the Shrigley Church.
  5. SALESIANS AT SHRIGLEY : this section has been extended to include DATES & PERSONALITIES, plus LINKS to 7 important publications and articles concerning the history of Shrigley and its Past Pupils' Association.
  6. GALLERY : finally, with notable contributions, especially from Ted Carless, about the 1996 and 1997 Reunions he organized, Gallery has photographic and other coverage of every Reunion 1996-2009.
  7. LINKS : now provide anyone interested with contacts to news from Britain, Ireland, South Africa and the whole Salesian world.


It is hoped to expand the historical content of the website, especially with, for example, articles about Shrigley's 3 Pioneers, or Founding Fathers, Eneas Tozzi, Angelo Franco and Joseph Ciantar.

Another possibility is to record items concerning the careers and notable achievements of Shrigley Past Pupils, some of whom have been recognized by State or Church Awards. For instance, Peter Roebuck, CBE, for services to Higher Education in Northern Ireland (2002); Eddie Rivera, Papal Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, Pope John Paul II (1995) for services to Church and Sacred Music; Fr. George Robson, MBE, for services to Community Works on Merseyside (2010); Fr. John Briffa, Order of Australia Medal for services to Education, Chaplaincy Work and Care for the Elderly (2009).

 Other stories will, hopefully, tell and record for posterity, the achievements of many Shrigley Old Boys, all of whom are the History and the Legacy of our Alma Mater.

Eric Baggaley  (for the Web Team) 05.02.2010


MEMORIES: now contains 20 items.

FRANK LENNON MBE - for services to Education in Scotland - also to be noted.

E.B. 17.02.2010

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Bro Donald, Mick Crossan


Terry Devine, Bro Donald, Mick Crossan


Fr Brian McGraw, Jim Hughes


Fr Jim McGarry, Marie-Rose Caulfield


Fr Michael O'Meara, Robert Caulfield


Josephine Caulfield, Diane Murray


Tricia Doogan, Joe Doogan


John Bergin


Fr Jim Gallagher, Greg Bell, Eric Baggaley


David Murphy, Fr Michael


Mrs Sheena Devine

Bro Donald, Joe Doogan

Bro Donald, Joe Doogan


Bro Donald


Terry Devine,  Bro Donald, Mick Crossan, John Bergin


Terry Devine, Bro Donald





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