1. Present: Jim Brown, George Campbell, Peter Caufield, Brian Caulfield, Gerry Devine, Tony Duncan, Fr. Stephen Dunn, Mark Dunn, Ralph Giulianotti, Neil Godfrey, Nigel Guthrie, Martin Harrison, Erich Harrison, Owen Halloran, George Herraghty, Laurence Hogarth, Vinnie Igoe, Roddy Igoe, Bernard Johnstone-Stewart, Colin MacAllister, Vic Macari, Paddy Mulligan, Henry Murphy, Tom Murphy, Ian Mclaughlin, Thomas O’Hey, Dermot O’Reilly, Colin Peteranna, Brian Sparry, Ian Traquair, David Traquair, Mike Turnbull, Richard Welsh.
2. Apologies: Fr. Benedict our president who sends his good wishes to all, Chris Stephenson, Kevin Deady, Colin Bryce, Pat Barron, Alasdair Macdonald, Ralph & Mark Giulianotti, Vincent Policella, Maurice Taylor (who was at a wedding but made it later) and Mike Cipolato and Angus Mackinnon who have a fight on their hands due to ill health and have asked to be remembered in our prayers.
3. Minutes of the 2017 AGM: The Minutes having been circulated they were proposed for adoption by Gerry Devine and seconded by George Campbell.
4. Matters Arising: A mass card had been sent to Fr. Francis Davidson, who had celebrated the 60th anniversary of his clothing as a monk in April 2018. Unhappily he died on the 9th April 2018.
5. The Website:
The report of Colin Bryce our Webmaster stated that “During a relatively uneventful year the site has recently been upgraded and relaunched at a cost of £60 per annum, but some patience was necessary with the photo gallery, which contained images as far back as the 1920’s, in order to establish a secure and reliable upload facility. The website (www.corbie.com) remains a point of contact for some users; one user emailed looking for details of his great uncle – Fr. Aelred (he presumed the surname was White) who it was thought to be a monk at Fort Augustus in the 20th century. He was delighted to be provided with full details of his uncle from his ordination in 1921, including teaching French and Music at FA 1921-30 to completing his pastoral work near Newcastle.” Once again all present gave a big vote of thanks to Colin for his sterling work in keeping us up to date via the site and looked forward to the reinstatement of the photo gallery.
6. Committee Report: The OBs’ Dinner of 2017 was once again a great success, with many new faces and reminiscences of happy schooldays. We wined and dined in style and hanks go to Maurice for the wine and Ralph for the Bennies. A letter of thanks from Fr. Ronnie, Provincial Superior of the Redemptorists had been received with news how the £300 speaker’s donation had been used for the Missions in Zimbabwe for priests and brothers, AIDS orphans, literacy classes for grandmothers with assurance of prayers. April saw three of your committee in FA in Chris’s Caledonian Hotel sending out the Newsletter. The all- weather cricket pitch for which the OBs contributed £150 is in regular use and is a boon to the local and visiting Highland teams which the OBs can use whenever we wish. The Monks’ cemetery is looking well cared-for with all the crosses legible. We were very impressed how well the Old Fort and Abbey now known as the Highland Club looked. The apartments are very popular and they are still investing money to improve the complex. We had a nice lunch in our old boathouse, which was busy, and recalled names displayed on the cricket colour-boards that now enhance the bar frontage. It was noted that unfortunately the alleged accusations of sexual abuse at our old school is still ongoing and there are now also allegations about Ampleforth and Downside. OBs Laurence Hogarth and Kevin Deady attended the funeral of Fr. Francis Davidson at Ampleforth which was attended by around 70 mourners including Fr. Francis’ sister Lady Amelia Dunbar.
7. Treasurer’s Report: Mark Dunn stated that the cash balance of our accounts was £4,171. Expenses were greater than usual as we owed Chris £200 for two years printing and posting of the Newsletter but Chris donated this money to the Highland Hospice in Inverness. The cost of Membership remains at £10 per annum, with £100 life membership. Dermot O’Reilly asked if the FAOBA Minutes and Newsletter could also contain details of the Bank Account for anyone wishing to pay membership. They are: Royal Bank of Scotland Sort Code 83-21-27 / Account Number 00144993. A big vote of thanks was given to Mark for all his hard work in keeping the accounts and carrying on the good work of his dad Joe.
8. Elections: The following were re-elected: Fr. Benedict president, Owen Halloran VP, Ralph Giulianotti chairman, Mike Turnbull sec., Mark Dunn treasurer, Colin Bryce webmaster; Committee: Chris Stephenson, Laurence Hogarth, Brian Caulfield, Colin Peteranna and Vinnie Igoe. Ralph noted we could do with a younger and fitter chairman as he had been in the chair for over 20 years. He also revealed that seven people had called off for the dinner the previous week and felt earlier warning of absence should be given.
9. AOB: Colin McAllister pointed out that it was 26 years since the school had closed and thanked the Committee for keeping the school alive for that time. The chairman intimated that there were only 7 copies of our book Abbey Boys left. Vincent Igoe asked if it could be re-published, but it was agreed it would be uneconomical. However, the chairman added that a profit of £3,197 had been made on their sale to date, and thanked the author Mike Turnbull for the history of our school.
10. Deaths: It was with sadness that the following deaths were recorded: Antonio Cedrone Oct. 2017; Peter Reilly (died aged 93 Feb 2018), the oldest OB, one-time head boy and in the Guinness book of Records as the world’s oldest altar-boy serving from age 12 in 1924 to age 91 all in the same church at Saltcoats. Peter was also honoured by two Popes. Fr. Francis Davidson April 2018, Chris Dunn July 2018 and more recently Bill Hill Sept. 2018. Our Chaplain will remember them in his prayers and masses. RIP.
11. Date of next AGM and Dinner: Saturday 5th October 2019 at the Holiday Inn, West Nile Street, Glasgow, with the AGM at 7.00 followed by dinner at 7.45pm.