1. Welcome & Apologies
2. Minutes of the 13th Annual General Meeting
held on 20th September 2008
3. Matters arising from the Minutes
4. Chairman's Communications:
i. The Presidency
ii. Report for the Year
iii. National Council Business
5. Other Reports:
i. Secretary & Archivist
ii. Minutes Secretary & IT Co-ordinator
6. Date of next year’s reunion
7. Elections to the Committee for 2009-10
8. Any other business
SHRIGLEY HALL HOTEL
19TH SEPTEMBER 2009
1. WELCOME AND APOLOGIES: Fr. Albert Carette SDB began proceedings with a prayer. (10.55 a.m.) The Chair welcomed and thanked all present.
2. Minutes of the 13th Annual General Meeting at Shrigley 20.09.2008 - Document - follow LINK.
The Meeting closed at 11.45 a.m.
Eric Baggaley (Minutes Secretary/IT Coordinator) 30.09.2009
THE SHRIGLEY ASSOCIATION & THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF THE FEDERATION
OF SALESIAN PAST PUPILS (GREAT BRITAIN)
3. Most significantly, we believe that any section on the ‘Constitution’ should be explicitly inclusive. Our Constitution declares that all past pupils, ‘whatever their current persuasion’, are entitled to membership of the Shrigley Association. The document governing the operations of the National Council should do likewise. This is not only realistic, but positive, and would certainly align with Salesian practice elsewhere. Worldwide, many people of various faiths, and none, wish to support Salesian work. They should be entitled and clearly encouraged to do so.
4. There are other matters of detail which, we think, with benefit, might be amended. For example, the ‘draft’ has the Council ‘deciding’ the level of subscriptions from Local Associations. We think the Council should ‘propose’, not ‘decide, and that this would be likely to result in a better income stream, as well as recognising that Local Associations are going to‘decide’ anyway in the light of their current circumstances.
There is a good deal of support for our proposals among members of the National Council. We
hope that many of our views on these issues will prevail at the next meeting in November, so that
we can play a positive role in National Council business, encouraging Past Pupils’ endeavours in
support of Salesian work everywhere.
Annual General Meeting September 2009
My report covers some of what has taken place since the last Annual General Meeting and Reunion in September 2008. This report needs to be read in conjunction with reports from other members of the Committee.
Two weeks after that reunion, on October 4th, the Association marked the 50th Anniversary of the death of Damien Cocksey, the last boy to die and be buried at Shrigley. Damien’s sister and brother, and their partners, were guests of the Association at Shrigley to mark the occasion. Following a lunch there was a commemoration service in the cemetery led by Fr Albert Carette.
On November 28-29th there was a Southern Gathering, a business and social event organised by Paul Barnes. On the Friday evening members met at the Salesian House in Chertsey before going to a local Italian restaurant for a meal. A Committee Meeting, to which all were invited, was held on the Saturday morning in the parish church hall. Lunch was hosted by the Salesians and in the afternoon there was a programme of talks before Mass and another restaurant meal in the evening.
This was part of the Committee’s programme of reaching out to the membership by organising meetings and social events away from the Association’s natural base in the north-west at Shrigley and Savio House.
In Glasgow at the end of January, the Scottish members traditionally hold their Mass to mark the Feast of Don Bosco. This year a Committee Meeting, the Mass and Social were held on Sunday 1st February in St Benedict’s, Easterhouse, courtesy of Fr Charles Garrick. The evening before, at the Piazza Italian restaurant in Merchant City in central Glasgow, John Bergin had arranged a meal which was enjoyed by over a dozen members of the association.
At Shrigley, in February, the enlarged photographs from Salesian and Shrigley Archives went on display along the corridor that now runs alongside the outer wall of the former church.
April 1st was the 75th Anniversary of Don Bosco’s Canonisation and the cutting of the first sod for the building of the Shrigley. This was marked by a lunch and a programme of appropriate readings, again from the Archives, presided over by Fr Albert Carette who had been present in 1934. Macclesfield’s local weekly paper recorded the anniversary, with an article the week before the event and a photograph and report the week after.
There was a Committee Meeting at Shrigley following the celebrations, to plan this year’s Reunion, and a further Committee Meeting was held at Savio House on June 26th. Decisions made by these meetings and the earlier one held at Chertsey have been communicated to members in other reports and under Matters Arising.
During the year there have been three newsletters. These were posted on the Association’s website. Over 250 E-mail messages are sent to inform people each time a new newsletter appears on site. At the same time about 120 printed copies are posted out to those members listed in the Directory who do not have access to the internet.
Response to these newsletters has been favourable, though it is still a matter of conjecture as to how many reach the people to whom they are addressed. During the year, mail has been returned from about fifteen addresses, one taking almost a year to find its way back.
Members can see from my attached summary of accounts what this communication with members who do not have access to the internet costs the Association. The cost of maintaining links with members via the website cannot be estimated, chiefly because much of the cost, time and effort expended is borne by those who give voluntarily of their services to the Association.
My main activity this year as Archivist of the Association has been to mark in some way the 75th Anniversary of the commencement of work on the building of the Shrigley Church. This has resulted in the invitation to Sue Lynch, whose father and grandfather were among those who were involved in that work, to attend this year’s reunion.
To further mark this anniversary, I make available to those attending the reunion a transcript of the architect Philip Tilden’s account of the building of the church, in his book True Remembrances , and an updated account of the search for information on those who worked on that project, which I have entitled A Search for the Men Who Built the Shrigley Church. I feel that that search has come to an end, so next year will concentrate on maintaining what we have already in the archive and making further material available to the membership in the form of displays at our gatherings and in contribution to our website.
REPORT - AGM - 19-09-2009
The Association owes a great debt of gratitude to KEITH DRANSFIELD. His expertise and enthusiasm to update and freshen the site, almost daily, is never less than 100%. THANK YOU, KEITH.
A special effort was made to fully cover the extensive correspondence and tributes prompted by the death of FR. FELIX GLOWICKI.
Members are urged to consult the site with some regularity and also to contribute to its interest and variety by sending in their reminiscences, photographs, comments and the like.
Eric Baggaley (Minutes Secretary & IT Coordinator)
Shrigley & Savio 18th-20th September
The Reunion this year was attended by over forty members, wives and guests and was made more pleasant by the glorious sunshine. Members came from South Africa, Scotland, Ireland, England and Wales.
The Annual General Meeting took place in the Stafford Suite, a room previously known to many as Upper Elements, or the classroom at the bottom end of the Study Hall. Business was done expeditiously as lunch called. The meeting’s papers are available above.
A Buffet Lunch was taken in the main restaurant of the hotel, the Orchard Suite.
Special Guest of the Association was Sue Lynch, grand-daughter of James Lynch, the Chief Mason for the building of the Shrigley Church. Her father, also James Lynch, worked as an apprentice in the site. Sue had agreed to talk to the Association during the afternoon session.
After lunch the taking of an official photograph, on the steps of the former church, was, as usual, a production of order out of chaos.
The Service of Remembrance in the Cemetery followed, led this year by Fr George Robson. Though Marie Burke, the provider of our flowers over many years was not able to attend, she did prepare tributes for each of the graves, and these were laid by members as Fr George read the names of those who lie at Shrigley, and of some of those, boys and co-operators whose ashes are scattered there. As usual, the singing was impressive.
Back in the Stafford Suite, members gathered for the afternoon’s programme. First, our guest Sue Lynch spoke about her father and grandfather, both of whom worked on the building of the Church of St John Bosco.
Both were James Lynch, the elder being Chief Mason on the site, the younger being the apprentice. Her talk was warmly received. Her contribution was essential to the writing of ‘A Search for the Men Who Built the Shrigley Church’ (Click to view), in which her father’s account of his accident while working at Shrigley is quoted.
This was followed by the main event of the afternoon, on the subject of life at Shrigley in the 1960s. Tony Quinn and Louis Skehal had prepared a presentation of their collection of Shrigley photographs, with appropriate comments.
The premise on which Tony introduced the session was that the general perception held by the older members of the Association was that the tough regime endured at Shrigley had, by the middle years of the ‘60s, been so diluted that it turned a character-forming experience into a holiday-camp playground. This provided scope for both seriousness and humour. An exhaustive listing of the features of the decade, political, cultural, sporting and religious, was followed by claims that boys at Shrigley at the time either missed them, were deprived of knowledge of, or participation in them. This seemed to indicate that the strictness of the regime continued. But, to hear of Shrigley boys being allowed to go unsupervised to Bollington, to tidy up gardens, converse with house-bound elderly, in charitable works (which, occasionally were rewarded with boxes of chocolates!) and eventually to visit cinemas in Stockport, to compete in County Level Cross-Country Competitions in Lyme Park, to watch TV, left the ‘40s and 50’s veterans feeling ‘case proved’. Anecdotes flowed from the two speakers and a few of their camp-followers among the audience.
All in all, an excellent session, one of the best presentations seen in recent reunions. Thank you, Tony and Louis, and the cohorts from Scotland.
This brought to an end the Shrigley leg of the reunion and members retired to Savio House for dinner and evening concert.
That was excellent, too, and Tony and Louis contributed mightily there, but I leave Paul Barnes, originator, humorist and MC to report on that.
Photographs taken by Gerry Wright and myself can be seen HERE