Visit to the Jesuit Retirement Complex,
Campion House, Weston, Mass.
On Friday, October 22nd, 1999 a group of
twenty-five over zealous St. George's Old
Boys boarded a bus in Toronto - our destination - The Jesuit Retirement Complex near
Our driver, Morgan, whom we immediately dubbed "Captain
arranged two tables for the avid domino players. Neil Dalhouse made the roll call, and
then we proceeded on our well-anticipated
journey. The ten-hour trip took us via
Kingston, Ontario with plans to return
through Buffalo, New York.
The regrouping of twenty-five Old Boys
for this trip created much excitement in our
anticipation to visit and converse with St.
George's stalwarts such as:
Fr. Leo Quinlan, Fr. James Hosie, Fr.
Robert Higgins, Fr. James Barry, Fr.
Richard Coakley, Fr. William Raftery, Fr.
Lawrence O'Toole, Fr. John Sullivan, Fr.
Eugene Brissette, Fr. Raymond Mc
Clusky, Fr. George Winchester, Fr. James
Hayes, Fr. Francis Sarjeant, Fr. Bill Sheehan, among others who paved the way
for our education at St. George's College. My
apologies to any of the participating priests
whose name is inadvertently not listed above.
On arrival at the retirement centre, the
equally excited group of Jesuit priests led by
Fr. Leo Quinlan warmly greeted us.
Emotions began to flow as our distant memories and associations with these prominent
leaders were finally realized.
All plans were well in place for our visit.
A complete agenda outlining activities for our
two-day stay was distributed.
Our first afternoon began with refreshments and appetizing sandwiches while we
intermingled and chatted with various priests,
re-bonded and showed our appreciation for
the Jesuits' long standing contribution to St.
Later we all gathered in the Loyola
Wing of the building where Patrick Smith
showed his photo album that vividly captured
highlights from the St. George's Old Boys
Chapter here in Toronto.
Fr. Hosie had a display with his Tennis
pictures of days long gone by. Pictures of
those priests who had taught at St. George's
and who are no longer with us were also on
display. In addition, there were at least seven
recent St. George's Year Books for our
review. The display and in particular the conversations with the priests visibly triggered
Saturday, October 23 was the day to relive our dreams and firmly re-establish our
connections with the priests. At breakfast and
lunch, a priest was strategically seated at each
table where "great" stories were retold. Many
were heart rendering, while others highlighted
the mischievous antics some of us displayed
in our boyhood days. There were touching
moments as well as humorous - "blushing"
recollections that resulted in much laughter.
A few priests who were not able to make
it to the banquet were later visited in their
rooms. They were equally excited and amazingly, they remembered us all despite the
many years that have passed. What else could
we expect - these are Georgians that we are
A visit to the graves of all the priests who
are laid to rest at Campion Centre further
highlighted the importance of our visit to
share warm moments with those priests who
are still with us. Fr. Leo Quinlan said a
prayer at the graves in addition to extending
blessings on all of us.
Later fifteen of the twenty-five Old Boys
from the visit were taken on a tour of the
Seismology Lab. (a building housing instruments for automatically
recording the intensity, direction and duration of an earthquake
shock). Note: only the fifteen brightest were
selected (do not ask who did not make the list.
In the afternoon, we all attended Mass
where we further solidified our relationships
and connected with God and our souls. The
sermon by Fr. Hosie was very moving as
were the hymns that were selected by Fulford Chin:
Holy God We Praise Thy name, Soul
Of My Savior. Everyone sang their hearts out.
At the end of the Mass, we all offered each
other the Sign of Peace, shook hands and
hugged each other with a warm embrace.
Mass ended with the singing of
"How Great Thou Art".
This activity by far was the greatest moment of my life.
It is with regret that
more of us were not able to attend and share
in this heart rendering re-union.
The final activity was a banquet that featured a superb meal and great speeches that
were delivered by Marsden Chen, Peter
Rickards, Fr. James Hosie, Fr. Quinlan,
Gary Williamson, and Robert Vernon.
Neil Dalhouse was the Master of Ceremonies
for the evening. The touching speeches
emphasized the bonding of the Jesuit's Priests
and the Old Boys of St. George's. Tears came
to my eyes with the realization that our trip
would soon be over.
Don Barnett, a member of the Old
Boys here in Toronto presented the priests
with a Plaque of the Toronto Chapter as well
as a painting of St. George's College. The
painting was signed by all the visiting Old
Boys. Individually, the priests were presented
with golf shirts bearing the St. George's crest
as a reminder of our visit.
On behalf of all the St.GC Old Boys, I
must conclude by saying that we felt and still
feel quite privileged to have been a part of the
visiting group to Boston. We returned across
the border so energized that we rendered the
St. G.C's song
as well as the Jamaican and
Canadian National Anthems.
We all returned safely to home on
Sunday, Oct.24, 1999 feeling re-vitalized
and spiritually fulfilled. The increased bending developed from the visit was still very
obvious as we disembarked the bus and
reunited with our loving families. The rekindled memories and bonding gained at the
Jesuit Retirement Complex will definitely last
for many years to come.
Members from Canada- Don Barnett,
Fen Chang, Ray Chang, Michael (Buskie)
Charley, Fulford Chin, Stanley Chin, Francis
Cooke, Lloyd Chung, Neil Dalhouse, Greg
Lee, Dr. Louis Lee, Patrick Lee, Francis
Lopez, Keith Lowe, Dr. Stanley Lowe-
Ching, Herb Phillips Jr., Deirick Potopsingh,
Peter Rickards, Francis Rutty, Patrick
(Skedron) Smith, Robert Vernon, Gary
Williamson, and Lipton Wong.
Members from the USA:-Jimmy &
Marsden Chen, Stanley Waite, Bernie Chin,
and Donovan Wong.
A Trip down Memory Lane
Fulford Chin Choy '54
This past summer the Old Boys had a
banquet to honour a stalwart Jesuit
who left a lasting influence on many
Old Boys in the class rooms and on the field
of sports. That stalwart is Father Ryan, S.J.
His speech that night rekindled the school
boy days, and years, in each of us there. That
was later followed by the bombshell of the
evening when the Old Boys Executive told us
about a tentative trip to Boston in the latter
part of the year to see the Jesuits. We would
journey in comfort: Coach bus with VCR
and washroom; Only three hundred dollars.
Price included the bus ride, accommodation
and a big banquet. Sign up now as only so
many can go since, I surmised, only so many
rooms are at the Campion Centre Residence.
But that night there was no maddening crowd
stampeding to register for the trip.
Apparently many had to check their social
calendars with their wives. Besides, the price
was more than quattie. Anyway thirty eventually decided to make the trip.
On the morning of the excursion the
weather was bleak. It had rained overnight
and the morning was overcast. In addition,
the forecast was for rain in Boston all that
weekend. Departure time was set for eight
thirty. No waiting, we were told, for delinquents. So a Jamaican departure time of nine
thirty is out of the question. That morning
there were a few at the Ford Centre for the
Performing Arts by seven thirty. Believe it or
not, the last Old Boy showed up at eight
twenty nine. So away we drove off alter Neil Dalhouse made sure, through a roll call, that
all those who signed up were on board.
Gary Williamson, Fulford ChinChoy, Khus(Herbert Lee)(back to camera) & Neil Dalhouse
The Old Boys Executive had booked a
thirty seat bus. To our good fortune the transport agency provided a sixty seater. So we
traveled in style. The driver, whom we later
nicknamed Captain Morgan, saw us taking
three domino 'tables' (a flat piece of board)
onto the bus. He came up with a better solution. Two proper bus tables were put in place
and the appropriate set of seats reversed for
two four-seat table settings. Furthest from
our mind, at that moment, was how these settings were to result in many memorable
moments. These tables were later graced
with bulla and pear as well as Jamaican
crackers buttered with home-made jam laced
with scotch bonnet peppers. More treats followed such as solomon a'gundie on a biscuit.
Who cared about the rain outside beating on
the bus. Wait 'til you hear from those there
how lovely this set up was. let's put it this
way - there were three six-love domino
games. Naturally, each ended with some
rambunctious mouthing. As a matter of fact
not everyone on the bus who could play, in
my opinion, played. Maybe they dreaded
getting on the short end of a six-love game.
There was one set that came pretty close to
that. The score was five love with one pair
sweating out the sixth game. Near the end of
that game three players had only one piece
with the fourth player holding three. He was
very conscious of the fact that he was staring
at six/love in his face. It was his turn to play.
It took him what seemed like ten minutes to
play and pass his opponent so that his partner
could win. But the story, and excitement, did
not stop there. Believe it or not, the luck had
turned and the other side faced a 'technical'
situation. That set ended at six-four. The
stress around the table was so great that one
Old Boy watching declared he would have
had a heart attack if the set continued even
one more game.
We made good time. We reached
Campion Centre in Boston around eight thirty that evening. It was pitch black; dark all
around except for the lights of the bus and
from the Campion Centre building.
Anxiously awaiting was Father Hosie and
Father O'Toole. More anxiously awaiting
was Father Quinlan. Our welcoming mentors were happy to see us. Also awaiting us
was hot chicken soup with real noodles, sandwiches and alter dinner treats. After supper
we all checked in and got together in the
Loyola Room on the second floor. Father
Hosie gave an overview of what was to come
and then the personal reunions began in
earnest. There were St. G.C. papers and publications of past years spread out over two
tables. 'Not to be taken away as each of these
was the only copy'. There was a lot of informal personal catch up as many hadn't seen
each other in donkeys years. Many did not
get to their bed until midnight.
The next morning at breakfast the reminiscing continued. Then it was time to visit
our ailing Jesuit mentors to whom personal
assistance is given right around the clock.
Father Quinlan was a guiding light to each
within their room. Reminiscing with each
seemed to take them back to Winchester
Park. Tales of those days brought peals of
laughter. Even a nostalgic tear. It was touching to see our Jesuit mentors being cheered
through our presence. It is, for me, too emotional to jot down any details. In case you
would like to know more about this mini-visit
then get in touch with an Old Boy who was there.
The toughest part was next. Our welcoming mentors took us to the two cemeteries at the Jesuit Centre. Here is where all
those Latin lessons were put to use. All the
inscriptions on the tombstones were in Latin.
Even the proper names. At each recognizable tombstone our Jesuit mentors gave an update of the deceased's personal history
since leaving George's. A few tombstones
had an American flag waving beside them:
signs that these Jesuits had served in the
American Armed Forces. Many, many pictures were taken as individuals wanted to capture that special moment next to the final
resting place of a personal Jesuit mentor. At
the end of the stroll Father Quinlan, led us
At St. George's Father Blatchford
would caringly look after the seismology
equipment and building. It was a building
many students held in awe. You should see
the seismology equipment at Campion
Centre. It makes the one at George's look like
boy. Man, there were so many doodads and
doohickeys. Even jumping on the floor produced a recorded tremor. A selected few saw
this equipment after lunch. Most of the others took a nap. Fatigue, possible from the
excitement so far, seemed to have set in.
What came next was a natural ceremony of bonding. Our Jesuit mentors celebrated Mass with us.
Father Hosie, encapsulated the historic moment so beautifully in his homily. Naturally we celebrated the Mass
with organ music and with everyone singing
hymns. For a brief moment we were back in
the Cathedral pews on North Street.
Incidentally, like Holy Trinity, the kneelers
were so-so hardwood board. Just the names
of the hymns would put any Old Boy in the
North Street setting.
Holy God we praise thy
Name, Jesus My Lord My God My All, Soul
of my Saviour, and
How Great Thou Art. We
all sang our hearts and souls out. A few shed
a nostalgic tear.
What came next was the biggie. It was
the banquet. But before that happened there
was a little bit of socializing and cocktails.
Man, it was a challenge not to full up the
belly before the banquet. Finger treats like
dirt. Drinks like water. Then it was picture
taking time. First were our Jesuit mentors.
Then the Old Boys present. Finally everybody. There were so many flashes it was like
looking up at the stars on a clear night sky.
Well, maybe a slightly clouded night sky.
The banquet was done in immaculate taste
with mementos to all for this special occasion. That was followed with a few toasts.
Neil Dalhouse emceed that session. Old
Boys were given a chance to have their say.
Talking about memorable moments of their
school days. Thanking personally our Jesuit
mentors for all that great tutoring and personal development. It was emotionally moving,
for a few, putting into words one's appreciation of what they have done for each and every one of us.
Father Hosie and Father
Quinlan graciously replied. Then presentations were made to our Jesuit mentors collectively and individually. Long after the banquet Old Boys and Jesuits kept on talking. A handful of us even kept going until a few
minutes past midnight.
Next morning the visit came to a close.
Checkout was done alter breakfast. More
group pictures. More blessings. Naturally,
we drove off chanting, if not shouting,
(St.G.C. Good and True.) Naturally the
domino sessions resumed shortly thereafter.
Everyone was in high spirits all the way
home. As much as we each would like to
make another trip like this to see the Jesuits,
we all knew, deep down, that none can ever
match this one. The trip turned out greater
than imagined. Even the weather cooperated.
For instance, the Saturday in Boston the forecast was for rain all day. Well, shortly after
ten that morning it started to clear and the day
turned sunny and bright. Likewise the trip
back on Sunday was in gorgeous sunshine.
All in all a fantastic trip! For those who could
have come, but didn't, you missed out. Big
time. Just ask anyone who went on the trip.
Top Of Page