|Newsletter||St. George's College Old Boys AssociationOntario Chapter|
St. George's College
. Part 1
The Good & True
The Good & True ...issue# 27...December,
Stanley Chin '57My heartfelt thanks to the St.G.C Old Boys' Association for a very enjoyable and emotion-filled weekend.
The bus trip was relaxing and fun. For the ten hour ride each way on this large and luxurious vehicle, I was surrounded by continuous laughter, great reggae music, really bad jokes and continuous domino playing.
There were a variety of drinks and snacks available including Bulla and Pear.
Most memorable moment of laughter occurred when the U.S.Customs officer looked at Keith Lowe and exclaimed 'I know you, you are Dr.Suzuki: I watch your program every week!'
A few fellows busted their guts laughing, and this gave Keith's impersonation away.
I was deeply moved when I saw the joyous looks on the faces of the Fathers when we arrived, and also the glimmer of tears on the faces of those we visited in the infirmary wing.
The Saturday Mass was a wondrous event. The sight of all our beloved Priests in their full vestments marching to the altar brought a lump to my throat. Never have I heard How Great Thou Art, Holy God We praise thy name sung so lustily and joyfully. The solo rendition of Soul Of My Savior by Fulford Chin Choy was a happy addition to the celebration of the Mass. Well done Fully! I saw a lot of moist eyes among the Old Boys. We still have a soft heart.
In his speech at the banquet, Robbie asked "How can we repay these men who dedicated their whole lives in the service to St.George's? How can we repay them for all the Christian values they have instilled in us? We cannot repay them, as they gave freely. We can only say thank you, thank you."
We can all feel justly proud and happy that our trip to Campion Center brought a little joy to these wonderful priests and mentors. Now they know that while they are in retirement and out of sight, they are not forgotten.
We visited some good friends recently
Peter Rickards '59
A ten minute walk down a gently sloping roadway from Campion House and we stood at the edge of a field about twice the size of Winchester Park. There in the distance, stark against the background of the maple leaves in their autumn glory stood a white crucifix which marked the graves.
As we walked, more silently now, towards the crucifix and the spreading rows of headstones we began to make out the names of the Jesuit Priests who had served as our teachers at St. George's and Campion and served as our parish priests in Jamaica. Some of these men served 30, 40 or even 50 years.
Each headstone carried the same information. Date of Birth, date entered the society of Jesus and date called home to God.
As we walked among the graves accompanied by Fr. Quinlan, Fr.Hosie and Fr.O'Toole I realized that this was not a place of death but of life. As we recognized the resting places of these men who had touched our lives, from Archbishop to Jesuit Brother, we were overwhelmed by memories of Algebra and Latin, Chemistry and Shakespeare. We saw again the altar boys and heard the bells of the cathedral and the morning prayers at assembly. We once again trained for track around Winchester Park, played handball and cricket and soccer and did PT at Emmet Park. Most of all we remembered the men in the white cassocks who gave us so much. We remembered a time when life was innocent and right and wrong were clearly set out in the pages of the Baltimore Catechism.
Dear Fr. Reil, oh how we remember- Peter,Robbie & Lloyd
This cemetery filled each of us with our own poignant moments. There was the grave of Fr. Riel, so recently deceased that it had no headstone but a simple wooden cross. Here lay Fr. Matthew Ashe who married Diana and me over 30 years ago and baptized all our children. Here lies Fr. Feeney "Putts". These men were our friends.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus says "Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain: but if it dies it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life".
The lives of the men who served as our priests, those living as well as those called to God, are testimony to us that limited human existence in this world is not the goal of man. Life is good and a precious gift from God. However to love one's life in this world above all else is to act as though no greater life existed. These men took their lives and handed them to us so that we might know the freedom of the risen Jesus, the freedom of giving one's life to God.
And so we were free to walk among these graves and rejoice in the lives of these men. Just as we accept the death of Christ to rejoice in His resurrection so too we accept the death of these good men as part of the lives they gave to us. To each of them we say 'well done, thou good and faithful servant. Go into the kingdom of your saviour."
"May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, rest in Peace."
Robbie Vernon '59
The cool Autumn breeze swept through the glade, flushing out the golden leaves from the towering maples: some of which fluttered down onto the sprinkling of priests and twenty some alumni of St. George's College gathered in this peaceful cemetery.
Fr. Quinlan, you offered prayers and gave a blessing, and the group shuffled off in pockets among the white tombstones; with soft murmuring as they reminisced. There were many familiar names on these head-stones: Fr.'s Donahue, Fuhs, Hannas, Hagerty, Bowman, Butler, Kiley, Osbourne, Dorsey, Cronin, Balou and Bishops O'Hare and McEleney.
The inscriptions were appropriately in
Latin. This one I sought out. It started out
I.R.S, and then beneath P Carolus A
MacMullan S.J, Natus Mar.24.1911,
Ingressus Aug.14.1930, Obut Sept. 22,1994,
and below R.I.P. Fr. Charles MacMullan,
Fr. Mac, my former Principal: The tough one,
the inscrutable one. In the strict headmaster's
role, how many were able to witness your
softer side? I did, and benefited greatly from
it. Do you remember my Aunt pleading with
you to accept this unsettled youngster into the
school, even though he had not passed the
entrance exam? Yes, you relented and let me
in, and I went on to success in the Senior
Cambridge Exams. There was too, after graduation, that job opportunity from the Shipping Association, which you referred on
to me. Thank you, thank you so much for
thinking of me.
Not all the graves had headstones. Some were too freshly dug for that. These bore wooden crosses, with names on them. And as I approached one, the name Fr. Joseph Riel leapt up at me, and not far removed from tears my mind raced back to far away days and the influence of this gentle Jesuit teacher, who cared so much for his students and whose mind-set made him carry the responsibility for their success on his tiny shoulders. Dear Fr. Riel: I remember well our telephone conversation in March this year. I had just finished talking to Fr. Quinlan, who had advised me you were bedridden, and when I offered to mail you a copy of our Toronto newsletter your feeble voice whispered "If it's not too much trouble". Too much trouble! And this coming from one who had given so much. I was glad that we had talked, and pleased too when Fr. Quinlan told me how much you appreciated the call.
These telephone conversations spawned the idea of the trip to Weston to express our thanks to those who were still with us before it would become too late.
We came: you were not able to wait, but others have seen that we cared and were grateful for what was done for us, and that we had come back to tell them so.
Fr. Hosie, you summed it up so well in your moving oration at the banquet: "These are not headstones merely; mile-stones more, small Stonehenge with no myth or mystery, Rosetta slabs whose hieroglyphics are three, Natus(Born); Ingresses(Entered); Obit(Died); -meagre sum and score to mark a man; compress his very core between the I.H.S and R.I.P. His mind, his hopes, his high esprit, his surging always toward a distant shore. They sleep beyond the boys, the books, the bell, beneath the cross, who served the cross so well."
The Reality of Jesuit Results
Don Barnett '60
It all began for me in 1954 at St. George's College Everything was strange and the priests and scholastics in their immaculate white cassocks created a mystique in my mind which made them larger than life.
Mr. Brian Duffy, SJ. then a scholastic and form master in lB spoke about preparing us for the road ahead in Godliness and life. He introduced me to the Sodality which was spanking new to me, but even today I still remember my morning and evening prayers which I heard from that association. Mr.Duffy spoke of Boston and Weston and the STATES. These places were in distant worlds and I never thought one day I would visit the source of my religious and academic influence.
Much will be 'written about our bus ride down to Boston on October 22, 1999, forty five years later when Neil gave us a lesson on how one should graciously accept defeat in dominoes. I won't get into the pleasure of meeting and bonding with old and new 'Old boys'. The bus ride was truly memorable and I still think of the bulla and pear and bun and cheese and a little spirituous compound which in moderation proved harmless. Who can forget the fun we had with the customs officers? We were giggling like school boys.
The thought that stays with me however is the blessing of proven results stemming from preparation charted by our teachers. We were there to show them how we have turned out My perception of the group was one of awe. Everyone on that trip was a product of excellence. I may be biased but I was proud to be associated with this group of guys. Our teachers must have been proud of our acknowledgment of the part they played in our development.
Words can't adequately describe the emotions experienced over that weekend highlighted by our Mass said in a chapel where our teachers were ordained and our visit to the cemetery where our priests are buried. It was perhaps one of the most moving and important times of my life. It was truly a feeling of fellowship and Godliness and for that I am grateful.
Laus Deo Semper!
Lloyd Chung '59
Peter, in his first epistle, wrote thus: "Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind".
As I walked onto the grounds of Campion Center, these words said it all.
It started on the bus that first day, as we gathered to make that historic trek to the place where it all started for us Georgians. There was a sense of urgency, of joy, as we greeted each other.
The bus trip proved to be an extra bonus, providing the opportunity for us to become better acquainted with each other. Many of the Old Boys were familiar to me, some were better known to me than others, but after 20 hours, a closeness developed that will last a long time.
Skedron and I started out sitting beside each other, but by the end of the trip, my seat was the one next to everyone on the bus. Everyone had something to share on the bus: spirituality, food, drink, experiences, jokes, general knowledge, humanity, homilies, and for that I'm a richer person today. I found out about Fulford's outstanding bass voice, Francis Cooke's culinary artistry, and Neil's unrequited love of dominos. I even had a medical diagnosis done for an acute pain in my finger. Thanks fellows.
Campion Center provided an insight into the priests' life that I had never imagined before. I saw the joy in the face of Fr. Quinlan, the twinkle in the eyes of Fr. Sullivan, the tears of Fr. McCluskey, and the bravado of Fr. Sarjeant.
The most moving moment came for me during the visit to the cemetery. Each grave I passed held precious memories for me, the authoritative Fr. Charles Mac Mullan, the very warm and human Fr. Riel, the improvisatory humour of "Putts" Fr. Feeney, Fr. Brian Duffy- my first teacher at St. George's, and on and on.
I am forever thankful to Robbie Vernon, who came up with the idea, and Neil who took it and saw it to fruition. Neil, you did a magnificent job. God bless your indomitable heart.
Campion Jesuit Center Residence Visit
Michael (Buski) Charley '60
On Friday, October 22, a bus load of Old Boys from Canada and the U.S. visited our priests at the Campion Jesuit Centre Residence in Weston, Massachusetts . That night Fr. Bob Higgins had wandered among us, proudly decked in his St. George's College golf shirt embracing us all. The following morning I shared a few moments with Fr. Brian S. Duffy, now deceased, the first priest that had ever influenced me. An emotional Mass and Banquet ceremony highlighted Saturday night and left us all with our own unique memories that we will never forget. During the Mass led by Fr. Jim Hosie, I remember seeing Fr. Larry O'Toole discreetly caution Fr. Ray McCluskey as he tried to get out of his wheelchair to stand. We left Sunday morning safe with the blessing given to us by our dear Fr. Leo Quinlan.
I guess we all, Old Boys and Priests, knew the kind of reunion this would be, but it was Francis Rutty's sister-in-law Andrea Cha-Kim visiting us from nearby Boston, who drove this truth home. With tears in her eyes she had confessed to the 'awesome' emotion she had felt during the Mass, at the closeness we had and the beauty of the hymns we sang.
On our return home I found myself standing alone on my backyard patio talking to St. George. "St. George, it is our hope; the hope of one hundred and fifty years of Georgian souls and our families, that our Holy Family will bless all of these Jesuit Priests who have guided us so long and so completely."
by Neil Dalhouse
It was drizzling slightly, and at 8:10 a.m., just about everyone had arrived except one person, Lipton!
Where could he be? It was anybody's guess. We took a few pictures outside the bus, and then the smokers lit up.
But still no Lipton!
8:20 a.m. Morgan, our driver asked me to get everyone seated in the bus for a head count. 23 in all were present.
Still no Lipton. 8:29 a.m., a car pulled up. It was him. I told him we were all wondering where be was, and with his patented 'Lipton smile' he asked why was there a problem, as he wasn't late. True enough, there was 1 minute to go before 8:30 a.m., the exact time everyone was told the bus would be leaving. I was in shock, as this was the first in the history of my association with old boys that we were on time, for anything.
We crossed the US border in Kingston, Ont. and the saviour of the day was Keith Lowe, Dr. Suzuki's (the well known Canadian scientist) twin. It seems the US immigration officer came on board the bus and was quite disappointed that Keith wasn't Dr. Suzuki, and left the bus in a huff, not checking any of us for ID. Great, cause this always takes so much time to do. We moved on, through the state of New York, and down into New England territory.
Reggae music rang out, so did the loud whack of dominoes hitting hard surfaces, sometimes 2 whacks simultaneously, as at any time there were always 8 people playing the game throughout the trip. Fen was quiet most of the time, probably thinking of next year's golfing expedition. Robbie laughed a lot, but then, he always does. I got to know Fulford real well, as he and his partner dropped a six love on me quickly. Every time I looked to the back of the bus, Francis Lopez had a giant smile on his face. I knew it wasn't from gas pains. He was truly happy to be there.
Others watched movies. Some got into discussing excerpts of their private lives with others. A closeness and a type of brotherly love could be felt during the entire 11 hour ride down. Gary Williamson flew several thousand miles from Calgary just to ride on the bus and be with us. His response when asked why. was, 'Me wooden mis dat trip fe notten man!"
It was dark when we arrived at Campion House in Weston Ma. The air was cool and smelt fresh. Frs. O'Toole, Quinlan, Higgins, Hosie, McGrath, Sullivan, and a host of other priests came out to meet us. Marsden and Jimmy Chen, Staniey Waite, Bernie Chin (all the way from California) had arrived earlier. Donovan (Lucky) Wong came all the way from San Diego too. During their sincere handshakes of warm welcome, not one of the priests offered to take back any of the demerits they issued to us years ago. Campion House is a cavernous old building, with a built in mini North Street Cathedral they call the "Chapel". Stanley Chin jokingly said the building would make a great shopping mall if it were in Canada. The prepared snacks were devoured while the "remember when" stories came forth, way into the night.
Saturday went by quickly. Breakfast, then a stroll through the Jesuit cemetery. We prayed for those departed, stopping at head-stones of those we remembered, and did more reminiscing. Later we were given a tour of a seismograph building where the scientific brains in our group stood out through the questions that were asked.
The highlight of the trip for me was the 4:00p.m. Mass that Saturday afternoon. There was a large turnout of priests, including Frs. Winchester, Barry & Hughes. Then it was time to give the sign of peace by the shaking of hands, which turned into long hugs. It was very emotional. Priests were crying, we were crying. I gave Fr. McClusky (who is now confined to a wheelchair) a hug. And with a tear running down his right cheek, he looked into my eyes and said sincerely, "Thanks!" I knew right then and there how much the trip meant to him, and everyone else in the chapel. I would have made a fool of myself if I had hugged one more priest, so I sat down and continued crying silently. The banquet later that night was another emotional event. We presented the Jesuits with a painting of the O'Hare building and a plaque to be hung up in Campion House. We gave all the priests in the room an StG.C. T-shirt, and Lipton presented Fr. McClusky with a book of photos of Ja.
Sunday morning came too soon, and before you knew it, Morgan had the bus in gear, sounding the horn as we drove off, cheering S-T-G-C GOOD AND TRUE, GALLANT BOYS OF THE WHITE AND BLUE.
In my view, this was an historic event. Like the time Barnett scored that big 1 nil goal against KC at Sabina Park, just a few seconds after the starting whistle. You were there, you remember it! Or the day you graduated from George's. You'll remember that too, forever! Well, the Boston Trip is now history. I was there. It was an event I'll remember, forever. Pity all you who weren't there too.
Reflections of Andrea Cha-Kim
The "boys" have asked me to write an essay of what I saw, but I'm not good at this at all. I am stumped to figure out the words to write, to relate to you, what I witnessed. How can I make you see the building, that grandiose means, with its high dome and cathedral ceilings? What can I do to make you feel the calm and peace, the "old house" held within? How do you find the words to express the priests' joy and the excitement of seeing their "boys"? How do you show faces of grown men turned to boys? Where are the words for the warmth and tears that were shared? How do I express what seeing forty-odd years pass before me means?
Andrea with Fr. Barry
What words are used to show the love, gratitude, pride and admiration felt by all? Show me the words that would make you understand, the respect and nostalgia that was in the air. Which ones do I write to make you see how the priests' felt, at a job well done. I have none.
I saw them gather last night
The proud and strong, the "boys" of long ago
Their "guides" were there, some moved to tears, of being remembered by these boys, they had scold
I saw large children, not an adult between them
Ages, ranged from four scores and more; to youngsters of fifty and below
All played happily and reminisced of times of old
These things, they had to do alone
I felt privileged, to see them play and to know each one, felt at home
Those times may be gone, but their influence, lingers on
The effects, were not left to the "boys" alone
We, their families have much to say
For their "guides" created these men, we love, in such a wonderful way.
Thank you, having allowing me stay.
Our task now is to move on,
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