Welcome to the Newsletter
of the Shrigley Association

Shrigley college

Newsletters from previous years may be viewed HERE


Newsletter                                                                  December 2009



The Committee


Honorary President: Fr Albert Carette SDB (1932-37)

Chairman: Peter Roebuck (1953-59)

Secretary: Mike Kilduff (1953-59)

Treasurer: David Murphy (1961-65)

Minutes Secretary/IT Coordinator: Eric Baggaley (1946-53)

Events Coordinator: Paul Barnes (1954-57)

Co-opted Member (Scotland): John Bergin (1965-70)


A few months ago Gerry Wright (Shrigley 1958-61) sent me for the archive scans of the pages of the autograph book he had as a boy at Shrigley. I was much taken by the contribution of Fr Robert Coupe that I reproduce below. I think it gives us all good advice and a warming smile at this time of the year.




2009 has been a good year for the Shrigley Association. Members gathered in Glasgow at the end of January, at Shrigley in April and September, in Bolton in October and for lunch at Savio in December. The Committee also met at Savio in July. Each event will be remembered for the particular celebration that brought members together.

Though reports of all these events can be found on the website, and earlier newsletters have given them coverage, I must refer to them again here because taken as a whole year’s activities they give a clear picture of the nature of the present state of the Shrigley Association, the strengths and weaknesses, the problems we face and elucidate the decisions your Committee has made.

Numbers attending our events this year have not been great and we need to think carefully how we deal with our ageing profile and the inevitable slow reduction in numbers able to attend our functions. Last year we experimented with committee meetings and events in the south of England and came to the conclusion that enjoyable though they were for those able to attend, the cost and effort involved in mounting them could not be justified and so they have been discontinued.

Glasgow winter weather in January is exactly that, wintry, but it contrasts with the warmth of the reception that members from the south receive. The Saturday evening meal organized by John Bergin for the last two years has the potential to become a regular feature for those committee members who can make it to Glasgow. The Mass on a Sunday afternoon near Don Bosco’s Feast Day has been part of the Scots’ routine for a number of years and we are grateful that they have welcomed the Committee’s incorporation of it into our annual programme, enabling us to hold a meeting there to which all are invited. Attendance over this weekend has been good.

The Reunion and Annual General Meeting later in the year at Shrigley was, if not ‘made’ by the Scots, heavily dependent on their contribution. Their numbers and relative youthfulness lead us to believe that the future well-being of the Shrigley Association needs their enthusiasm. The Committee hopes to expand its size to include a further Scottish member.

Shrigley weather in April and September was amazingly good and made the two gatherings held there memorable. What else made the two occasions so memorable?

I believe that thoughtful planning was essential. April 1st was a celebration of a notable anniversary. Attendance was modest, but the event was incredibly enjoyable for those who could get there. The September Reunion was better attended, and there were two strands to the occasion. There was the focus on life at Shrigley during a particular decade as remembered by our Scottish members. There was a presentation on those who had contributed in the task of building the Shrigley Church, the cutting of its first sod having been the theme of the April celebration.

In October at Bolton we celebrated our President Fr Albert Carette’s 90th birthday – another small but very enjoyable and memorable celebration. When talk of a 100th party was mooted, he was quick witted enough to instantly express the hope that some of those present would be around long enough to attend!

Our gatherings benefit from having a theme, an anniversary to be marked, or a particular contribution from a group of members with a unique Shrigley perspective. Knowing what milestones are ahead, deciding which merit celebration and which members can be recruited to lead the commemoration are things with which all our members need to be involved.

I chose the illustration from Gerry Wright’s autograph album because what is recorded in that book has been important to Gerry for his life after Shrigley. All of us have something to contribute from our life experiences at and after Shrigley. We are mature and objective enough, I believe, to evaluate Shrigley’s value and contribution without pulling punches. Our collective affection for the place is not in doubt. Perhaps a future theme for 2010 could be ‘Life After Shrigley’ in which we look for reflective, analytical contributions.

Whatever we get will be enjoyable and meaningful.

A Happy Christmas and Prosperous New Year to everyone.                  Mike Kilduff, Secretary


Newsletters from previous years may be viewed HERE

Enjoy our site, and keep in touch!