Fort Augustus Abbey School
Old Boys Association
Corbie Newsletter April 2004.
Calendar of Dates 2004.
Sunday 6th June Gold Cup Day - Perth Races.
Sunday 1st August - Golf Strathmore Golf Club.
Saturday 2nd October - Dinner Holiday Inn Glasgow.
During a meeting of The Old Boys Committee in Perth on the 29th February the following business was dealt with :
Programme for 2004. ( A full report on last year's events including weekends at Fort Augustus and Ampleforth appears in the A.G.M. Minutes under the heading Committee Report).
Perth Races Scone Palace
Our season of events starts with a day at the Perth Races for O.Bs. and partners. This very popular outing at the track (Perth was voted best small racecourse in the country) is on Sunday 6th June, also Gold Cup Day and therefore attracting many quality horses. We have once again secured a package of Marquee (situated beside winning post) complete with CCTV in case of rain, finger buffet, afternoon tea and Club Badge plus cash bar. All this for £48 a head including V.A.T. Please book early to avoid being disappointed; phone Ralph Giulianotti on 01738 624674.
This year's outing will once again take place at O.B. Pat Barron's picturesque and challenging Strathmore Golf Club on Sunday 1st August. The first Tee is booked for 1:30 pm and the price, which includes High Tea, is the same as last year, £36. This event is always well attended so book early for The Abbey Golf Classic to Ralph G. 01738 624674.
The O.B's Dinner is the highlight and final get-together of our year. It will as usual be held at O.B. Maurice Taylor's much acclaimed Holiday Inn, West Nile Street, Glasgow on Saturday 2nd October, preceded by the A.G.M. at 7.00 pm. The guest speaker will be our very own Fr. Aelred Grugan who will give a talk on The West Highland Line on which he is an authority. The Dinner for Old Boys and their partners will cost £32 per person. There is the usual O.B. discount for B&B so you only pay £35.00 inc. Maurice is once more kindly providing the wine and Ralph the Benedictines. Please book early for this great night to Ralph G. 01738 624674.
The Fort has once again been sold for over £1 million, this time to the Raven Group (could this be a good omen, Corbie?!), a Knightsbridge Company with many successful developments and awards. They propose to convert the buildings into flats costing £200,000 each, and have been in touch with the Association, we replied positively. Humphrey Kelsey, development executive at the Raven Group, said "Our aim with Fort Augustus Abbey is to restore the building to its former splendour through its conversion into quality residential apartments. We are aware that the building is in a deteriorating state of repair and that it is critical to start the restoration as soon as possible."
His Eminence Cardinal Keith Patrick O'Brien thanked the Old Boys "most sincerely for your warm message of congratulations and your ongoing support, especially for your prayers" on his elevation to the College of Cardinals.
Dom Edward Delepine O.S.B. celebrated his Diamond Jubilee of Ordination last year on the 8th of December. He is still Chaplain to the Benedictine Nuns at St. Mary's Abbey, Colwich, Stafford and is soon to undergo an operation for cataracts. Congratulations Ad Multos Annos.
Our successful web site www.corbie.com, which Mike Drummond has been running so efficiently for eight years, has cost us nothing, thanks to the generosity of Mike and our server Trinite, owned by O.B. Sean Stephenson. This matter was discussed at the A.G.M. and referred to the Committee. The Committee has agreed that in future we will be paying £225 annually for our important site which keeps us all in touch far and wide. Mike intends to totally revamp the web site with new innovations. If any O.B. who uses this facility wishes to give a contribution for this new expense, please send cheque to Ralph Giulianotti made out to F.A.O.B.A. at 'Mountview', Kinnoull Hill Place Perth PH2 7DD.
Pat Barron has pointed out that next year, 2005, will be 50 years since 1955 and suggested that it would be a good idea if the classes of the fifties come out in force for our Annual Dinner. Where are you all ?
Abbot Alban Boultwood of St. Anselm's Abbey Washington was delighted to be made Honorary President of the O.B. Association. He is 93 years young and went to Fort Augustus in 1924. Last year he celebrated the 73rd anniversary of his solemn profession. He remembers well the lay staff who played an important part in his life, Commander Fairie, Mr. Pimley, Mr. Scholes, Miss Ellis and Matron Winifred Taylor. On the Monastic side Abbot Wulstan Knowles, Fr. David Parker, Fr. Victor Lejeune, Fr. Mathew Stedall, Fr. Ambrose Geogehan, Fr. Cyril Dieckhoff, Fr.John Lane-Fox. He also remembers the boys who he grew up with many of whom entered the monastery: Abbot Oswald Eaves, Fr.Anselm Richardson, Fr.Gregory Brusey, Fr.Andrew McKillop. Fr.Maurus Whitehead, Fr.Thomas McLaughlin, Fr. Edmund and Fr. Aloysius Carruth and others who successfully followed careers outside the monastery like Angus Macdonald, "Big J.B."and "Little J.B." Brown, John F. Dunn, and David Paterson, to name a few. The Old Boys are privileged to have Abbot Alban as our new Honorary President.
"A Recollection" by Ian Daly
We felt that the following anecdotal memoir would lighten up our Newsletter which some may regard as being a rather dry epistle. This is surely a well balanced view of life at our two schools.
I think we all have had unpleasant experiences in our schooldays, but dwelling on them for any length of time is not what the website should be about.
In an attempt to change the direction of recent emails I
thought that I would like to touch on other aspects of my experiences and it may
encourage others to record theirs. My time at Carlekemp and FA saw a gamut of
experiences, some farcical, for example when Fr. Maurus thought he was dying and
flung all the confiscated toys out of the window onto the cricket field at
Carlekemp, much to the amusement and laughter of those of us playing there at
the time....some were dramatic, for instance when the senior tables decided to
have a food strike one lunchtime at FA, the look on Fr. McLaughlin's face as it
slowly dawned on him what was happening as the plates sat untouched brings a wry
smile to me even now.
Others were brutal but others again were what for me is part of the overall rich experience...... the stunning scenery of both places, the seasons in both..............the thrills of sledging down Glendoe Hill, the fun of skating and ice hockey on Loch Unnagan, the Monday holiday treks, the camaraderie of friends (clearly evident in the messages on the site)............ my pleasure in listening to classical music was undoubtedly set in train by lying in bed at Carlekemp on warm summer nights and listening to Fr. Gregory going through his repertoire. Being non musical myself did not deter me from becoming totally absorbed by the Gilbert & Sullivan operas put on so engagingly by my peers, today I cannot hear any G&S piece without memories flooding back of those great nights in the 50's...................I could go on at greater length, but I think I have touched on aspects of life at Carlekemp and FA, which show there was more to life there, and more to be gained from life there, than the darker moments which we all probably had to endure at some point or other. None I venture to suggest is more enduring than the obvious pleasure that the website generates for so many, long may it continue and let's keep it that way !!!
Peter Elliot aged 55.
Douglas Shannon after a long illness.
Geoffrey Wycherley aged 71.
Robert Halloway (1939-44) aged 76 died of a stroke last November.
Abbot Mark Dilworth aged 79.
Joe MacLaughlin Carlekemp and FA from 1951 -60 died quite suddenly on 15th August 2002.
Masses were said by our Chaplain for the repose of their souls R.I.P.
Abbot Mark Dilworth
Born: 18 April, 1924 in Bolton
Died: 28th February, 2004 in Edinburgh, Aged 79
Gerard Mark Dilworth, the last Abbot of Fort Augustus, died at St Columba's hospice after having been diagnosed as suffering from a brain tumour.
The son of a licensed grocer and hotelier, he was sent at the age of seven to the Benedictine school, St Andrew's Priory in Canaan Lane, Edinburgh. In 1937 he went to the Abbey School, Fort Augustus where he showed an aptitude for languages and Science. After taking his highers he decided to enter the Monastery and was ordained a priest on September 29th 1947. Two years later he went to St Benet's Hall, Oxford to study French and Italian, graduating in 1952 with a BA. For the next twelve years he was a schoolmaster, first at Carlekemp and then at Fort Augustus. From 1960 to 1963 he was headmaster at the Abbey school. In 1964 he began post- graduate studies at Edinburgh University, department of Scottish history and was awarded a PhD in 1967. After a second term as teacher and headmaster at Fort Augustus, Fr Mark held a research fellowship at Edinburgh University from 1971 to 1973. Fr Mark was by now one of Scotland's foremost medieval historians and an outstanding linguist. He spoke every European language and had a special love of Scottish Gaelic. In 1971 he celebrated his silver jubilee of priesthood by taking a sabbatical to the U.S where he discovered and was bowled over by the Charismatic Renewal Movement. He continued his writings and academic research for the next thirteen years. From 1989 to 1993 Fr Mark was keeper and archivist of the Scottish Archives. In 1991 he was elected Abbot of Fort Augustus, a position held during the painful period of the closure of the Abbey School (1993) and the monastic community's decline, culminating in the monks leaving Fort Augustus in 1998. When the Community was dispersed to other Abbeys, he was given the honorary titles of Abbot Emeritus of Fort Augustus and Titular Abbot of Iona. He retired to Edinburgh where he continued his historical research and writings. At the end of his life his approach was one filled with Christian joy and hope. He would say: "Life is simply bound to get better, I have no regrets. I am going to be with God."
After masses at St Andrew's Ravelston and St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh, there was a final mass at St Peter and St Benedict's Chapel at Fort Augustus. Abbot Mark was then buried in the Monks' Cemetery beside his and our many illustrious friends, R.I.P.
Note: Subscriptions always sought £10 Annually or £100 Life Memberships. Cheques made payable to F.A.O.B.A at Ralph Giulianotti, Mountview, Kinnoull Hill Place, Perth PH2 7DD
'Could Do Better!'
Abbey Schoolmaster Chris Stephenson (Wee Boris) overseeing the Abbey Boys, Ralph Giulianotti (Joe), Mike Turnbull (Rico) and Mike Drummond (be bop) sending out the newsletter.
Minutes of the 62nd A.G.M. Holiday Inn Glasgow Sat. 4th Oct. 2003
Mark Giulianotti, Pat Barron, Gerry Devine, Fr. Stephen Dunn, Laurence Hogarth, Brian Murray, Thomas O'Hea, James O'Hea, Tony Duncan, George Campbell, Maurice Taylor, Paddy Mulligan, Chris Dunn, Owen Halloran, Mike Drummond, Henry Murphy, Vincent Igoe, Michael Curley, Colin Peteranna, Richard Welsh, Shane McKenzie, Mark Dunn, Brian Caulfield, Tom Murphy, Joe Dunn, Mike Turnbull, Ralph Giulianotti.
Apologies: Philip Mooney, Geoffrey Wycherley, Iain & Jimmy Marin, Tony Barry, John Maclellan, Ralph Giulianotti Jnr, Roy McCarey, Chris Stephenson.
1. Opening Prayer:The meeting opened with a prayer by our chaplain, Fr. Stephen Dunn.
2. Minutes of last meeting: The minutes were Proposed for adoption by Joe Dunn and seconded by Chris Dunn.
3. Matters Arising: At our request Abbot President Richard Yeo has replaced the wooden crosses at the Abbey Cemetery with the traditional (white) cast-iron crosses.
4."Abbey Boys" (update): Mike Turnbull's excellent book on our old school has grossed £7,520, it had cost £5,000 to print and the profit has helped O.B. Funds. Sales have now slowed down, however we only have 110 copies left from the 600 printed. On behalf of those present and all Old Boys the chairman thanked Mike profusely for this lasting memory of our school days.
5. Website: (corbie.com) The website maintained by Mike Drummond is responsible for keeping the F.A.O.B.A. alive and thriving. Mike reported there are 214 registered e-mail addresses on the site (now 225 on 20/04/04) and suggested that a payment of £15 a month should now be made by the Association to Trinite to cover costs, as well as an annual domain fee of £20. After consulting with Treasurer Joe Dunn, the meeting agreed this proposal in principle and referred it to the Committee. Many thanks again Mike, we are indebted to you for your time and effort on the site, keeping us all in touch and up to date. The re-design work has now commenced and the site should be changed over within 4 weeks.
6. Committee Report: The O.Bs. year started with a weekend in May at O.B. Chris and Johanna Stephenson's Caledonian Hotel. On the Saturday, Henry Murphy won the Stableford Golf and Hamish and Alyson MacDonald were our guests for dinner that night. Next day Treasurer Joe Dunn presented Fr. Paul Bonici with a £250 cheque to help the parish. Fr. Paul was delighted and during Mass he thanked the O.Bs. for their generosity on behalf of his parishioners. After Mass we had a sail on the Loch then all departed homewards. Many thanks Chris and Johanna for looking after us so well. In June 25 OBs and partners attended our second Perth Races Outing. In our marquee situated beside the winning post we enjoyed a buffet lunch, bar, afternoon tea and CCTV and even had our own tote lady in the corner!! It was a great success and all present fancied another tilt at the bookies.
The August Golf Outing at O.B. Pat Barron's Strathmore Course was another great day. The course was playing well and the High Tea afterwards excellent. Tony Duncan's son won the Scratch Quaich and Colin McAllister the Handicap Cup.
A sunny long weekend in August at Ampleforth was great fun. Fr. Piers Grant Ferris a real character and close friend of the late D.L.K. looked after us very well. We had outings to Rivaulx Abbey which before it was suppressed by Henry VIII had 640 monks, the biggest Abbey in the land. We also visited the Mouseman Showrooms and had a very convivial pub lunch at the Running Hare where Alasdair Macdonald's O.B. Tie is now displayed! The statue of St. Benedict with the two kilted boys by Arthur Fleischmann (originally at Fort Augustus) is now sited outside the Ampleforth Church. A request was made to erect a plaque explaining the history of the statue.
Finally in October the year ended with 51 O.B.'s and partners attending the Annual Dinner at O.B. Maurice Taylor's acclaimed Holiday Inn. The meal was superb and a good night was had by all. Once more, Maurice kindly provided the wine and Chris Dunn a lovely vintage port, many thanks to you both. Also a big thank you to Mike Turnbull for his after dinner slide show, a super collection of Abbey archive photos.
7. Treasurer's Report : On the 31st of August 2003 the
Association Funds stood at £6,151. Income from the previous year was £1,257 and
expenditure mostly on charities and stipends £964. Joe Dunn was warmly thanked
by the chairman for his sterling work on behalf of the Association.
8. Elections: A letter of thanks and a series of memories of the Fort from the new Honorary President 92 year old O.B. Abbot Alban Boultwood, Washington was read to the meeting. The present office bearers: Chairman R.Giulianotti, Treasurer J. Dunn, Chaplain Fr. S. Dunn, and the Committee: M. Turnbull, C. Stephenson, M. Drummond and Brian Caulfield were re-elected en bloc (proposed by Pat Barron).
9. A.O.B. : Ralph and Gay Giulianotti attended O.B. William McLean's Ordination in Arisaig on 2nd July 2003. It was a memorable day and William warmly thanked the Association for the second donation of £200 with which he had bought a Corbie-red vestment. Mike Turnbull suggested that the Association should send a letter of congratulation to Cardinal-elect Patrick O'Brien. Ralph Giulianotti read a letter from Archbishop Mario Conti of Glasgow regretting that he could not attend the Annual Dinner as guest-speaker because of a prior engagement in Geneva. A further cheque for £100 was received from the Royal Commission of Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland for more glass negatives (£200 received last year).
10. Date of next A.G.M.: Preceding Old Boys Dinner Holiday Inn Glasgow October 2004.