Fort Augustus Abbey School
Old Boys Association
FORT AUGUSTUS OLD BOYS ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER APRIL 2013
Calendar of dates for 2013:
September - Golf Outing Blairgowrie.
Saturday 5th October Annual Dinner & AGM Holiday Inn Glasgow.
Golf Outing :The date has still to be arranged, but it will be on a Sunday in September at Blairgowrie. Date and details will be on the website nearer the time.
Annual Dinner & Report : Last year's dinner was well attended and a great success. Our guest speaker Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow OBE gave us a talk on his charity “Mary's Meals”. This world wide charity started in his father's shed at Dalmally, now provides a daily school meal for 600,000 hungry children in 16 different countries . He told us how that one meal provided for as little as £8.50 a year is a passport to education and a way out of poverty. He had many heart rending and at times hopeful stories to tell. Thanks to hard work and volunteers 93p out of every £1 donated goes to Mary's Meals' charitable works. The OBs gave him a cheque for £500 and he also received other personal cheques as well. The meal as usual was superb and thanks go to Maurice for the wine and Ralph for the Bennies. It was a very happy and long night !
This year's Annual Dinner for OBs and partners will be held on the 5th of October usual venue the Holiday Inn, West Nile Street, Glasgow preceded by the AGM at 7.00pm. Our guest speaker for the night is OB Dr. Michael Turnbull who has written a book on Scotland's patron Saint, and I don't mean Alec Salmond but will say a few words on St. Andrew.
The dinner will cost the same as last year, £35 a head, the accommodation with our usual OB discount is still, Double/ Twin £89 and Single £79 including full Scottish Breakfast: reservation number 0141 3528305. Please book early for this ever popular night to Ralph Giulianotti 01738 624674.
Warm Smoked Haddock Leek Tart with Asparagus and lemon Beurre Blanc
Spice Turnip Velouté with Cracked Black Pepper Roast Duck Breast with Red Cabbage and Dauphinoise Potatoes Orange Sauce
Chocolate Cube with Hazelnut Cream, Passion Fruit and Pineapple CompÔte
followed by Freshly Brewed Coffee or Tea served with Tablet.
News: A rumour reached the Association that there was a plan to demolish the cricket pavilion by the owners of the Highland Club — The Santon Group. We wrote to inquire if this was true and if it was the case of our displeasure of losing a building with so many happy memories for the OBs. Their Chief Executive Bim Sandhu said this was correct and that they already had permission to demolish the pavilion due to the state of the building and for health and safety issues. He also stated they intend to put up a replacement building "similar in design and outlook" when money was available. They have given the Fort William Cricket Club permission to play their matches on the ground for the next ten years in order that they could get funding for an all weather pitch.
A memory of a great day on our pitch by Peter Barry.
It was the glorious summer of 1938 Bradman was making cricket history 500 miles away at Lords but the the match I remember best was played at the Abbey School's beautiful cricket ground on Sunday 28th June. Mr Bruce Stenhouse brought a formidable team of players drawn from the best clubs in the South of Scotland, ostensibly to play the Abbey School XI which was reinforced by some players from the North including a young officer Alan Macgregor from the Cameron Highlanders Depot in Inverness. The pitch looked wonderful. The wicket was laid out east and west instead of the usual north and south and, somehow it made the field look bigger and just magnificent. The visitors batted first and put up a more than useful score of 241 for 6. My job that day was telegraph boy", putting up the numbers on the scoreboard which for some reason was100 yards away from the score-box so I had a rather energetic afternoon. The home team started nervously and things were beginning to look ominous at 49 for4. Enter Lt. Macgregor. His first ball went back past the bowler like a bullet for 4. It had been effortless, with the minimum of movement. Did I really see that? Well, the next 90 minutes convinced me that indeed I had. We were treated to an unforgivable exhibition elegant, graceful, controlled aggression that saw the score go from 49 for 4 to 168 for 4. The Lieutenant was in complete command and the bowlers were visibly wilting. He never went for big hits over the top. He made his runs with boundaries that flashed like missiles all along the ground, swept away with the ease of a true artist. It was not only thrilling but I felt it was a privilege just to be there. Then I heard a whisper go round the ground. "He's in his 90s". Whether he heard them or he'd been counting, I don't know, but he suddenly strode up to the wicket and went for the big one. What a hit. The ball shot miles into the air - only to be caught a yard short of the boundary. It was a great catch but it was one of those things one felt should never of happened. Almost in tears I hung the numbers on the scoreboard, Total 179 Wicket 5 Last Man 95. Postscript 1. We discovered later that he'd used the first bat he picked up - a 2nd set practice bat. What might have happened if he'd found a better weapon. 2. With the score at 214 for 7, the warning bell went for Vespers match drawn. 3. In June 1940 Lieutenant MacGregor was killed in action in France. And that shouldn't have happened either. RIP
Frs.Bernard McInulty, Anthony Hain and Edward Delepine who is aged 98 are all still at Ampleforth.
Fr. Francis Davidson now Prior at St. Benet's College Oxford.
Fr Stephen Geddes is in Weymouth Dorset.
Fr Paul Bonnici in Malta
Fr. Benedict our President still PP at Brora Sutherland
Fr. Aelred Grugan PP at St. Mary's Whitehaven Cumbria.
Fr. Aelred, who was left Fr. John Lane-Fox's M.C. when he died, has donated it to the London Irish Regiment, their Colonel was delighted. Ad Multos Annos.
Robert Steuart Fothringham 1937-1912 . His obituary appears on the website. RIP
Paddy Crossan Aged 83 Proprietor of Paddy's Bar Rose Street and Tilted Wig Cumberland Street. RIP