Another year has passed. Your Committee is now sending the Newsletters from Chris and Johanna Stephenson’s magnificent Caledonian Hotel overlooking the Fort and Loch Ness.
Around 120 Newsletters and AGM minutes in a shortened version have been sent out by post to those who don’t have emails. Yesterday we had a conducted tour round the Abbey by the project manager who is an Old Boy of a Benedictine school in Belgium. We were very impressed by the progress made and the quality of the workmanship. They are now into the final phase — the conversion of the Abbey Church into 27 flats. If you go to www.corbie.com (section 2010) you will see the latest photographs of the Development.
Now that you have our News, what about your News? Please send us any information about yourselves or other OBs you know of.
Mike Turnbull, 5 Orchard Court, Longniddry, East Lothian, EH32 0PE
We made a point of looking at the Old Boys War Memorial which is now sited in a safe location behind the Lodge Chapel. It is made of granite and needs cleaning and the lettering needs to be re-painted. We discussed the advisability of returning it to its original location at the head of the drive but did not come to any decision.
The Cricket Pavilion is in a parlous condition and we would be interested to know if you would like an attempt to have it restored at this late date.
Please send your Comments on these two subjects.
OB John MacLellan’s new Boat spotted in Canal at Fort Augustus Loch Gate.
Calendar of Dates for 2010
Saturday 19th June: F.A. Annual Dinner Dance.
Saturday 2nd October: Annual Dinner & AGM. Holiday Inn, Glasgow.
Programme for 2010 A full report of last year’s events appears in the AGM Minutes under the heading ‘Committee Report’.
Dinner Dance Fort Augustus This popular event is organised by Martin Waugh and Colin Peteranna, class of ’87. It has been held for the past four years and all OBs and partners are welcome. Timetable: Meet at 12.30 pm Saturday 19th June at the Caledonian Hotel prior to cricket match against Lochaber at approximately 1.00 pm, on the Abbey cricket pitch. Champagne for all guests at the Caledonian Hotel 6.30pm. Dinner at the Lovat Hotel 7.30pm. Dance approximately 9.30pm. Book early, the cost is £38 per head, this pays for the Dinner and Dance, the champagne is complimentary. Please make your cheque payable to ‘ Fort Augustus Dinner Dance’ and send it to Martin Waugh, The Bathstore, 39-41 Harbour Road Inverness, IV1 1UA.
Annual Dinner and Report Last year’s Dinner at OB Maurice Taylor’s Holiday Inn, was once again a great night. The meal prepared by top Chef Gerry Sharky was superb. Thanks to Maurice, Alasdair and Ralph for the wine, port and bennies. Our guest speaker was Lord Matthews, the well known after-dinner raconteur, his talk was very entertaining and amusing. The night ended in the small hours with the well-watered OBs reminiscing on times gone by. This year’s 14th Annual Dinner for OB’s and partners will be on Saturday 2nd of October, usual venue the Holiday Inn, West Nile Street , Glasgow preceded by the A.G.M. at 7.00pm. Our guest speaker for the night is Leon Marshall CA who knew the monks and the Abbey very well.
Cost will be the same as last year, £33 per head. The accommodation with the usual OBs discount (Double/Twin £85 and Single £75, including full Scottish Breakfast). To reserve tel 0141 352 8300. Next door is Holiday Inn Expressway (£65 Bed and Continental Breakfast). It is advisable to book early for this popular event to Ralph Giulianotti tel. 01738 624674.
Menu: Smoked Salmon with Potato Salad, Orange Dill and Star Anise Dressing; Woodland Mushroom Velouté flavoured with Fresh Tarragon, Port & Garlic; Slow Cooked Rump of Lamb, Arran Mustard and Cheddar Mash, Seasonal Vegetables Red Onion Gravy; White Chocolate and Raspberry Box with Passion Fruit and Mango Coulis; Freshly Brewed Coffee and Tablet.
As agreed at the AGM a cheque for £500 was sent to the charity ‘Mary’s Meals’. This Scottish Charity is run by Magnus Macfarlane-Barrow, whose father and uncle are OBs of Fort Augustus. The charity is involved in many troubled spots, and provides food, education and hope to the world’s suffering children. We have received a letter from Magnus thanking us for our kindness ‘that will help the charity continue with this good work’.
Pope Benedict XVI The following Letter of Welcome to Scotland, proposed at the AGM in October was sent to Pope Benedict. ‘Dear Holy Father, The Fort Augustus Old Boys Association respectfully welcomes the news that you may be visiting Scotland next year. As former pupils of St. Benedict’s Abbey School, Fort Augustus we have a special connection to Bavaria, the place of your birth. The Community of St. Benedict’s Abbey. founded in1876 at Fort Augustus, which lies at the southern end of Loch Ness, was a re-foundation of the Irish, and later (after 1515) Scot’s monastery of St. James at Regensburg (Ratisbon) in Bavaria which was suppressed in1862. One of the examples of this link between Fort Augustus and Ratisbon was the collection of books, manuscripts and vestments brought to Fort Augustus by one of the last two monks of St. James’s, Dom Anselm Robertson who became a founding member of the Fort Augustus monastic Community and enabled the compensation money given by the Bavarian government to be used in the new St. Benedict’s Abbey and School. There were other links with Germany: in 1888 Dom Leo Linse of the Beuronese Benedictine Congregation was consecrated the first Abbot of Fort Augustus and from 1893 the Abbey’s liturgies were conducted according to the practice of Solemnes. In its long history (1878 – 1993) Fort Augustus Abbey School produced more than 50 priests and three bishops: Bishop George Bennett of Aberdeen (1875 -1946), Archbishop Maurus Caruana of Malta (1867 – 1943) and Archbishop Andrew Joseph Mc Donald of St. Andrews and Edinburgh (1871 – 1950). Sharing this common German and Bavarian link and Benedictine connections, the Fort Augustus Old Boys Association at its 68th AGM unanimously resolved to send greetings to your Holiness, with the hope that they may be able to welcome him to Scotland in the coming year. Assuring you of our prayerful love, sincerest regards, Ralph Giulianotti KSG, KCHS (Chairman ).
We received a reply from the Vatican Secretariat of State saying ‘The Holy Father has received your letter and has asked me to thank you. He appreciates the sentiments which prompted you to write. His Holiness will remember you and the alumni of St. Benedict’s Abbey School in his prayers. He invokes upon all of you God’s blessing of joy and peace’.
The development of the Abbey into flats is well advanced. The OB Association has been approached for permission to display pictures of the school in the cloisters. Fr. Edward has now retired to Ampleforth after being chaplain to the nuns at Colwich Abbey for many years. He will join our former monks Fr. Francis, Fr. Anthony and Fr. Bernard, all of whom we wish well.
OB Tony Dilworth wrote the following reflections translated from Gaelic in memory of his school pal Arthur Greco who died recently.
Farewell to you
as you go on the Path of Eternity,
Arthur, my friend.
I have warm memories
how we used to walk
and Henry Cardosi with us
up to Dairy Glen
when we were young
to where the sheiling was
seven miles south
from Fort Augustus.
A small fire kindled,
bacon and sausages frying,
a cup of tea boiling
in a tin-can;
to Corrieyairack Pass
or up to Carn a’ Chuilinn
with snow up to our thighs,
as Duncan Ban MacIntyre
would have said.
Camping at Torgyle
in Glen Moriston
and at Whitebridge
Those days which have gone
and will not return!
But people will meet
though the hills won’t
as the proverb says.
And we’ll come together again
in each other’s company
on the other side
of the Everlasting Mountains
May the day come.
Mo bheannachd leat
’s tu air Slighe na Sìorraidheachd,
Artair, a Charaid.
Tha cuimhne bhlàth agam
mar a bhiomaid a’ coiseachd
’s Eanraig Cardosi còmhla ruinn
an àrd gu Lagan a’ Bhainne
’s sinn òg
far an robh an àirigh gu deas
’s i seachd mìl’ air astar
bho Chille Chuimein.
Teine beag ga fhadadh,
hama’s isbeanan gam pràigheadh
’s cupan tì ga ghoil
ann an crogan-taoin:
’s an uair sin suas
gu Bealach a’ Choire-gheàrraig
no bràigh Càrn a’ Chuilinn
le sneachd gu ruig ar slèisdean,
mar a theireadh Donnchadh Bàn
Mac an t-Saoir,
bàrd Ghlinn Urchaidh.
Campadh aig Tòrr a’ Ghoill
an Gleanna Mhoireasdainn
agus aig an Drochaid Bhàin
an Srath Fhaireagaig.
Na làithean sona sin a dh’aom
’s nach tig air ais!
Ach ‘tachraidh na daoine
ge nach tachair na cnuic’
mar a tha an sean-fhacal ag ràdh.
Agus thig sinn còmhla a-rithist
an caidreabh a-chèile
air taobh thall
nam Beanntan Sìorraidh
Gum bu tig an latha.
Fort Augustus Old Boys Association.
Minutes of the 68th A.G.M. Sat. 3rd Oct. 2009
Holiday Inn, Glasgow.
Present: Pat Barron, Jim Brown, George Campbell, Brian Caulfield, Gerry Devine, Tony Duncan, Fr. Stephen Dunn, Chris Dunn, Mark Dunn, Iain Dunn, Joe Dunn, Ralph Giulianotti, Owen Halloran, Eric Harrison, Martin Harrison, Lawrence Hogarth, Vinnie Igoe, Paul Lombardi, Tom McLaughlin, Shane Mackenzie, Angus Mackinnon, Tom Murphy, Henry Murphy, Alasdair Macdonald, Jim O’Heay, Tom O’Heay, David Seed, Maurice Taylor, Mike Turnbull, Richard Welch,
Apologies: Billy Sinclair, Gerry Martin, Colin Bryce, Ralph & Mark Giulianotti, Chris Stephenson, Colin & Iain McAllister, Paul Valet, Colin Peteranna.
!. Opening Prayer: Our Chaplain, OB Fr. Stephen Dunn opened proceedings with a prayer.
- Minutes 2008 AGM:Proposed for adoption as an accurate record by Maurice Taylor, seconded by Mark Dunn.
- Matters Arising:Sadly, our President, 97 year old Abbot Alban Boultwood, passed away. He spent his later years at St. Anselm’s Abbey Washington DC, a foundation of Fort Augustus. He was extremely proud to be our president and his final letter to the OBs was read out. An obituary by Mike Turnbull which appeared in the press can be read at: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/obituaries/article6274820.ece. Thanks and apologies were received from the late Mike Drummond’s wife Lorna who felt unable to attend the dinner. We still get a few orders for Mike Turnbull’s book ‘Abbey Boys’ and we have only 42 left from a run of 600. Sales have raised £3,091, thanks again Mike. The Raven Group have started to clear out the Abbey Church in the next stage of their development, but the back of the church where the apse was is still open to the elements, however the overall development is looking much better.
- Website;Colin Bryce sent his apologies and gave us the following report : The forum on the website continues to initiate lively discussion on a number of topics. This year saw an epic introduced by William Wattie (59-64) requesting contributions from OBs on “how they rated the Abbey School in general terms on the basis of their personal experience”. After 5 months, 142 posts had been submitted and the subject was read over 5,100 times. The forum currently holds 818 posts from 216 registered users. In the photo gallery 93 new photos were posted. The move of the website to a new server did cause some issues which have been rectified by Chris Stephenson. The challenge for 2010 is to revamp the website but this requires web design and some programming expertise. The members gave a vote of thanks for all Colin’s hard work and expertise.
- Committee Report:We had four social events this year.
(a) We started in June with a Dinner Dance at F.A. preceded with a lunch at the Boathouse Restaurant, this successful event was organised by Martin Waugh and Colin Peteranna. After dinner Iain Dunn gave a fantastic recital with actions of Tam O’ Shanter.The next day eleven fragile OBs took on Fort William C.C. who now play on our old pitch. The OBs scored 61 all out but Fort William managed 84 for 7 and so won the day!
(b) Also held in June was a day at the Perth Races, attended by 34 OBs and friends. This year as there was no main sponsor they kindly gave us their room instead of our usual marquee. The facilities, company. weather and racing were first class and a good time was had by all.
(c) The golf outing was held in August at Strathmore , numbers were disappointing. The weather was fine and the course in good condition. Owen Halloran won the Stableford Abbey Quaich and David Sutherland the F.A. Handicap Cup.
(d) The highlight and last event of the year is tonight’s dinner at OB Maurice Taylor’s renowned Holiday Inn. The speaker is Lord Matthew a well known after dinner speaker. I am sure it will be an enjoyable and fun night with the usual excellent meal and service. Many thanks to the following OBs for providing tonight’s drink Maurice Taylor the wine, Alasdair Macdonald the port and Ralph G. the Bennies.
- Treasurer’s Report:Mark Dunn reported on the accounts, which showed a healthy balance of £6,962, an increase of £250 on last year. The members warmly thanked Mark for all his hard work and for continuing the good work which his father Joe had done for many years.
- Elections:Fr. Benedict Seed our Vice President was voted in unopposed as President. Chris Dunn proposed Owen Halloran as Vice President, seconded by Ralph Giulianotti and carried unanimously. The Chairman Ralph Giulianotti who had been in the seat for15 years and gave warning last year that he would only do another year was persuaded to run till our seventieth AGM in two years time. He accepted on condition that someone else would come forward to organise the Golf Outing perhaps in the West and the Race Day. Maurice Taylor offered to organise a tour of Glasgow for OBs coming from abroad if the Annual Dinner was combined with a Golf outing to make a long weekend.
- AOB:Alasdair Macdonald informed the meeting about Leo Harris and his brother Francis who had been at St Andrew’s Priory, Canaan Lane and lived in Jersey. Francis was the youngest ‘Political Prisoner’ for hostile acts against the ‘Reich’ awaiting transport to Germany but luckily the war ended in time. As he says” yet another first for the Priory/Abbey”. A proposed letter of Welcome to Pope Benedict XV1 was read out and agreed upon by the meeting. A stipend was voted to be given as usual to Chaplain Fr. Stephen Dunn for masses for deceased OBs. It was agreed to give £500 to the charity ‘Mary’s Meals’ a feeding programme providing a free meal at school for the world’s poorest children, it is run by Magnus Macfarlane-Barrow, whose father and uncle went to our school. Finally, the Chairman urged members to keep the Committee informed of Births, Marriages Deaths and any other news.
- Date of Next Meeting:AGM Saturday 2nd October, preceding OB Dinner.