The 150th anniversary of the Xaverian College

There are so many American movies where former high school students return for a 5th or 10th anniversary event – but we don’t have this sort of tradition in Britain. Imagine my surprise then when I was invited to return to the secondary school which I left in 1966 – an amazing 46 years ago.

At that time, Xaverian College in Manchester  was a Roman Catholic, single-sex, direct grant grammar school. I attended from 1959-1966 and, in the last year, I was the School Captain. Here I obtained nine ‘O’ Levels and four ‘A’ Levels before going on to university.

This year the staff and students, both current and former, are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the founding of the college.  The Xaverian Brothers – the Catholic order who ran the school – first came to England in 1848 to teach at St. Marie’s parish school in Bury.  Two years later, they moved to Granby Row in Manchester and began teaching in the crypt of the church. In 1862, the Brothers were asked to take charge of the Manchester Catholic Collegiate Institute.

In 1907, permission was given for the Brothers to relocate to new accommodation in Victoria Park in Rusholme in south Manchester where the school has remained ever since and where I walked each day from my home in Fallowfield. The Manchester Catholic Collegiate Institute was renamed Xaverian College.  In 1977, the grammar school was changed into a Sixth Form College and it is now co-educational and reflects the ethnic diversity of the city. The trusteeship of the College was transferred from the Xaverian Brothers to Salford Diocese in 2001.

This weekend, I went up from London to Manchester to attend a special mass and reception to mark the foundation of Xaverian College one and half centuries ago. It was a weird experience returning to the site of my secondary school after four and a half decades. There are now twice as many buidlings and three times as many students and the range of ‘A’ Levels on offer is vastly greater than in my day. The room where the refreshments were served used to be the gym and the former music room now houses a Costa cafe.

But the afternoon was a very pleasant experience to which I owe particular thanks to Tony Knowles who invited me.

Tony arrived at the school in 1965 when I was the School Captain and he still remembers my speech at the college’s Speech Day at the Free Trade Hall (now demolished). He returned to the school as an economics teacher and is now the Vice-Principal. Tony showed me round some of the college and gave me a packet of personal mementos including the full examination results of my class in 1963 when I was top of the class.

The highlight of my visit was an opportunity to meet my former headmaster Brother Cyril. He appointed me School Captian and I used to visit him often in his study where he was noted for his intimidating reticence. I thought that he was old at the time, but I now realise that he was only 40 or so. Today he is aged 87 and lives in retirement with the American Xaverian Brothers just outside Boston.

It was a delight to sit with him and have a little chat. He told me: “You were a very good public speaker  … I thought that you would go into politics”. He wasn’t far wrong: I still do public speaking (I’m addressing an Ofwat conference tomorrow) and, early in my career, I worked for the Parliamentary Labour Party and a Labour Government for six years and contested two General Elections.


Roger (64) with Brother Cyril (87)


46 Comments

  • Dana Huff

    Roger, is School Captain something like Head Boy? The British educational system is so different, and sadly, my main frame of reference is the Harry Potter series! Which are higher, O or A levels? What did you have to do to earn them? We don’t have anything like that in America, and I’m always curious to learn more about other countries’ school systems.

  • Roger Darlington

    Yes, Dana, School Captain (which is what I was called) is the same as Head Boy. I got to choose a team of prefects and i set up a School Council with an elected representative from each class – even then, i was a democrat and a politician!

    O Levels were Ordinary Level examinations – they’ve since been replaced – that one took about aged 15 or 16 (what you would call 10th grade, i think) and A Levels are Advanced Level examinations that one takes at 17 or 18 (what you would call 12th grade, I think).

    All these exams are set by bodies external to individual schools so that the results are independent and comparable.

  • Nodge Carnegie

    Hello, Roger. This is fascinating. I was a year ahead of you, taking my A levels in June 1965. Thanks to Mr Barratt, the excellent art teacher, I had a late interview for Manchester College of Art and joined for the foundation course. Next came Norwich (1966) for three very good years. I kept in touch with contemporaries such as Martin Hannett (RIP) (who made one never-to-be-forgotten visit to Norwich), Denis Byrne, Paul Morris, John Tierney, Mike Pennington, Tim Gausden etc. Denis and Paul and I correspond regularly and they keep me up to date with things “up there”. I wonder if you remember Bernard Connolly, a pupil in your year. Like Martin and me, he attended Corpus Christi church in Miles Platting – until the city council demolished much of the area in 1963-64. Anyway, congratulations on your achievements and thanks for making the information available.

  • Steve Rochford

    Someone just said to me “you must have had a good English teacher” and that got me remembering Jack Connolly at Xavs so a quick Google brought me here.
    I was at Xaverian from 1969-1976 and had some excellent teachers and owe much to the school.
    It’s lovely to see a photo of Bro Cyril – I thought I’d read somewhere that he’d died but obviously not. I think he was a superb head teacher – he always seemed terribly calm. The 6th form was almost self governing but he used to come in early in the morning and post notices on the board outside the library.

  • Roger Darlington

    Glad that I was able to bring back some happy memories, Steve. We owe a lot to our teachers and mentors.

  • George Minister

    Thank you for posting this – I was at Xavs from 1964 ubtil 1971 when I left the Sixth Form. Brother Cyril was indeed a formidable figure! Years after I left I needed confirmation of my O level and A level results and so wrote to Brother Cyril. He sent me the added information and a personal note saying something like: “It is good to hear from you after such a long time. We thought you had died. And all those prayers for the repose of your soul.” I have nothing but fond memories (rose-tinted glasses aside) of my time at Xaverian.

  • anthony berry

    Hi Roger.nice reading the comments concerning Brother Cyril.He was a decent person and a fair man albeit i had the misfortune to have to visit his office on several occasions for various misdemeanours in school.I attended Xavs between 1966/1972 having previously attended st annes preparatory school in fallowfield.This is the first time i have visited the xavs website and reading various comments by ex students brings back happy memories.unfortunately i left after only achieving 3 o/levels,however,i went on to serve as a police officer in GMP for 30 years.I remember several of the teachers mentioned by other students i.e Brother Robert Mr Fitton etc.I also remember Bernard Lackey who taught me boxing.I represented xavs on many occasions winning several trophies and also went to box for manchester boys.happy days

  • David Newcombe

    I spent two years at Xavs, in 1964 and ’65, before my family left England and emigrated to Canada. I remember Brother Cyril as a taskmaster who cared for all the boys in his care.

    Although my time there was short, it had immeasurable impact on my life.

  • James Harlan

    Wow! Such great memories up in here. The best thing about the past is the gratitude we give to those who took time to be part of our whole being. Cheers!

  • Michael Cullinan

    Hello Roger,

    I was just starting out (in L4C) as you were leaving. I still remember your speech at the FTH, and your reference to being Glossop’s Tiddlywinks Champion. We all had a good laugh at it! Nice to see that “Sid” is/was alive and kicking. Not bad for a City fan.

  • Tony Knowles

    Dear Roger,

    I hope you are well and enjoying the Easter break. I have just received your weekly email and it reminded me of your visit to Manchester for the 150th anniversary celebrations. We have had some sad news from America – Brother Cyril died last Thursday evening (April 17th) after being admitted to hospital the previous week. I remember you saying how much you had enjoyed meeting and speaking with him in 2012. I’m aware how clichéd it must sound but it feels like the end of an era. Although quiet and unassuming he had a huge influence on many peoples’ lives including my own. He is the wisest man I have known. The funeral is tomorrow (April 21st) and he is to be buried in the Xaverian Brothers’ Cemetery in Danvers – a long way from Manchester and the College. Hope you don’t mind me sharing the sad news with you.

    Best wishes,

    Tony Knowles.

  • Chris Czyzyk

    Hi all,
    I attended Xavs 1974 – 1981 and learned of the sad news that Brother Cyril had passed away last week 17th April 2014. Thought I would share this with former pupils . RIP

  • Roger Darlington

    This is the official communication of the death of Brother Cyril:

    BROTHER CYRIL, C.F.X.
    (DONALD BIRTLES)
    3 June 1925 – 17 April 2014

    Dear Brothers, Associates and friends,

    We learned from Brother Robert Green, Director at Xaverian House, that Brother Cyril passed away this evening, Holy Thursday, at Massachusetts General Hospital.

    Brother Cyril C.F.X. was born on June 3, 1925 to Olive and Cyril Birtles. Left to cherish his memory are his older sister, Audrey Everton, now living in Manchester, England and his nephew Paul and Paul’s wife Pat, his lifelong friend and confrère from our former English Region, Brother Philip Revell and his family of Xaverian Brothers. Brother Cyril’s brother, Peter, is deceased.

    Brother Cyril entered the Congregation of Xaverian Brothers on September 24, 1943 from Clapham, England. Brother celebrated his 70th anniversary as a Xaverian last year. He made perpetual vows on March 25, 1948. Receiving his degree from Manchester University, Brother spent most of his ministerial life at Xaverian College in Manchester, England where he taught from 1947 to 1962 and in 1962 became Headmaster of Xaverian College, a post he filled until 1990.

    In 1990 Brother became a member of the Board of Governors of Xaverian College and filled that role until 2002 when he came to the United States where he lived in retirement at Xaverian House in Danvers until 2014. Brother Cyril was one of four Brothers from our former English Province who left their native England to live the remainder of the years with their Xaverian confrères in the United States. I am sure that such uprooting was difficult for Brother. Never once, however, did he utter a complaint.

    Brother Cyril is fondly remembered as the quintessential gentleman. Always magnanimous, calm, quiet and quick witted, Brother is remembered for his easygoing manner, his love of his fellow Xaverians, and his faithfulness to our vocation. Brother had a very human side and was known to have enjoyed an occasional golf trip to Florida.

    I want to thank Brother Bob Green, Mrs. Robin Rowell and the Brothers at Xaverian House who have cared for Brother Cyril and attended to him during these past days as his condition grew worse. I am sure that their care, love and attention was a great consolation to Brother Cyril. At the same time, on behalf of all the Brothers, I express to his family, to his dear friend Brother Philip Revel, to the Xaverian College, Manchester community, and the Brothers and staff at Xaverian House our heartfelt sympathy and prayers.

    Once funeral arrangements are known, they will be communicated to the Congregation. May we remember Brother Cyril and his many contributions to our life and to the youth and Catholic Church in England. May his life be an inspiration to all of us, and may Brother Cyril enjoy the eternal peace and loving presence of the Risen Christ.

    Brother Edward Driscoll, CFX

    General Superior

  • Frank Walsh

    I will always remember Bro. Cyril as I was in the Juniorate at Xaverian in 1964 when he took over as Head at Xaverian. We played many games of snooker together in the Juniorate (pre-noviciat) but the time I remember most was bowling him out in the School 1st X1 against the teachers, in front of the wholw school. I then asked him for a works reference as I had decided to leave school the same day. He jokingly replied that my timing was ‘not the best’. I was amazed that when I met him in 2012 at the 150 year celebration that he still remembered me. but that was typical of Bro. Cyril!! There were never many like him.

  • Aston

    Names of teachers I think I remember from the past: Crotty, Newton (gym), Don Brennon, Ingrham, Bros. Finnbar and Plunkett, Gerry Dewhurst

  • Dee Richards

    My Brother Martin Connolly was at Xaverian, I know he started very young, but as I’m youger I can’t be sure of the date. He certainly didn’t excel at school, though he became a ‘Captain of Industry’, he left when he was 16, which was in 1961..as he’s now coming up for 70 I’m hoping to find any memories, pictorial or anecdotal of his time there. Would anyone be able to help?
    Many thanks Dee

  • Roger Darlington

    Hi, Dee.

    It sounds as if Martin was three years ahead of me and I confess that I can’t remember him. Sorry.

    Roger

  • Roger Darlington

    A fellow student of mine at Xaverian College has sent me this obituary of Brother Cyril:

    Wynn Moran
    Wednesday 30 April 2014

    theguardian.com

    http://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2014/apr/30/brother-cyril-obituary

    —-

    My dear friend Brother Cyril, who has died aged 88, was a loyal member for 62 years of the Congregation of the Brothers of St Francis Xavier and devoted his working life to education and to the Catholic church in Manchester.

    Raised and educated in north Manchester, he was christened Donald, and took the religious name of Cyril on entering the order in 1943: this was partly in honour of his father, Cyril Birtles, but was also inspired by Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, a fourth-century theologian who wrote of the loving and forgiving nature of God, a principle by which Brother Cyril lived his life.

    After school, his acuity of mind ensured success on his English degree course at Manchester University. Thereafter, he spent most of his ministerial life at Xaverian College in Manchester, first as teacher and, from 1962, as principal, where he was to oversee the radical change from direct-grant grammar-school status to a voluntary-aided sixth-form college. During this time, Brother Cyril influenced the lives of thousands of young people, always stressing the importance of the individual and the potential that lies within us all. He was noted as principal for his ever-open door, his trust in his staff’s professionalism and his concentration on Christian values rather than bureaucracy.

    After his retirement and his years serving on the governing body, he moved to Xaverian House in Danvers, Massachusetts, when the order directed that he should be part of a community, but he continued to correspond with us all.

    He was never as devoted to the Boston Red Sox as he was to Manchester City football club, the one topic that could persuade him away from being the master of the understatement. He did attend one Boston Red Sox game, but judged it too long, too noisy and without the beauty of football as played by Manchester City.

    He did manage until very recently to continue to play golf, in America and on his annual visit to Anglesey. He drove his buggy at the madcap speed at which he drove all cars well into his 80s.

    His colleagues Vincent Morrison, De Whitelegg and I will miss his annual trips to Xaverian, when he visited us and his beloved sister, Audrey, and her family.

  • Luciano picardo

    Xaverian was a wonderful school and college,an I enjoyed every year there.
    I attended from 1975-1981,and my brother attended 1976-78.
    I would be interested in alumni,and the destination of old boys.
    Sorry to hear about brother Cyril.

  • Mark Buckley

    I was initially at the Prep from being 7 years old and finally left the senior school at 19 .
    It was an amazing place and I honestly loved every minute !
    Being football captain and having Luciano Picardo scoring goals for fun helped ! We were the best team to represent the school, having won more trophies through the stem and then winning the All England schools trophy in the Sixth form.
    Still in touch with some of my old mates !
    I even met my wife there !
    Great times, great staff and great schoolmates !

  • Denis Harrison

    I heard a little while ago of the sad passing of Bro Cyril – he seemed eternal, bless him !

    I went to the Prep and on to the main school in 1965 getting my O levels then ‘dropping out’ of 6th form. Actually, during one of my many visits to Bro Cyril’s office he opined that as I was more absent than present, I might consider not turning up at all ! Not so much dropped out as ‘re-directed’ But he said it in such a nice way ! I’d been variously described as ‘a creature’ (Mr Tracey), a Hooligan (Tom Arkless), and a good pianist (Chuck Sellars)! Jack Connolly suggested that if I spent less time staring out of the window at passing girls I might get an English A level.

    I left in 1970 and after some time in the wilderness (mostly looking at girls) went on to have a fabulous career in Greater Manchester Police – I now run an adjutant service for Diplomats, High Sheriffs and other dignitaries. Not bad for a hooligan. I have so much to thank the school for, even though at 61 it’s taken some time to appreciate it !

    There was no better education around. I’ve met a few alumni along the way – for the most part we seem to have steered our way to some success. My two older brothers, Jim and Peter also went to the school and for 5 years, Peter was in the Order as Brother Barlow. He eventually left, emigrated and rose to Deputy Minister in the Government of Canada where he still lives with his family.

    Thanks for setting up this blog – I don’t quite know how ‘blogs’ work but appreciate the time and effort you have taken to inform.

    Denis Harrison Culcheth Cheshire

  • Frank Lennon

    I attended Xaverian Prep (St. Anne’s Prep) from 1954 to 1956 and Xaverian College from 1956 to 1964, the last year as School Captain. I then went on to the Novitiate in Wadhurst in Sussex and then on to university. At the moment, I am considering posting my memories of Xavs if anyone is interested. (I remember Roger – a couple of years below me, and, I remember Denis Harrison – a lively little boy if memory serves!)

  • Denis Harrison

    Monsieur Lennon . . . . !
    The name certainly sets some bells ringing – I love the’lively little boy’ euphemism – sounds like my Firearms Instructor in GMPolice circa 1989 !!! He thought I might be trigger-happy, but I passed anyway, and went on to escort some eminent nobles ! Trigger=happy, moi ? !
    I, for one, would love to hear your stories – I ‘sort of’ recall your name from Wadhurst, where I visited my brother Peter Harrison when he did his novitiate (then scholasticate at Twickenham) ?
    I’ve recently spoken with the (excellent and entertaining) Denis Byrne in his efforts to track down my brother Peter.
    From memory, wasn’t your Mum an outstanding soprano ? I’m sure she was ‘outstanding’ anyway, but do let me know if she excelled in the singing arena.
    What wonderful people – how lucky we were !
    Best regards Denis Harrison 07973 122 486

  • christopher clarke

    Hi Roger,

    Is there a way to connect with Xav classmates from the main school who left in 1965 and the sixth form who left in 1967? I remember you when you were head boy.

  • Roger Darlington

    Hi, Chris.

    Try Tony Knowles at Xavs:
    a.knowles@xaverian.ac.uk

    Best wishes.

    Roger

  • Peter Garside

    Hi, So glad to pick up this forum as I was initially looking for links to a written history of the college having celebrated its 150 years.

    I attended between 1971 and 1976. So sorry to hear about the passing of Brother Cyril who was without question one of the finest head teachers of any era and of course a big Manchester City Fan!. There is a message on this forum from a Luciano Picardo. I am sure there was a Martino Picardo who was there at the same time. He was a great footballer along with many others who went there. I was only good enough for the second 11. Ah those weekly trips to Hough End to play either football or rugby or if the pitches were waterlogged having to run around them all!.

    My teachers included Brother Peter, Brother Roberts, Brother Mcabe along with Mr Farrell, Mr Fitton (who was a great shot with the blackboard duster!) Mr Connor and Mr Weardon. Also can old boys remember Miss Whitelegg the French teacher? What a revelation when we all heard a female teacher was to teach at an all boys school- I always thought she was very brave to come to teach us and also eternally grateful!!.

    It would be nice to hear from ex Xavs from that era. Will carry on seeing if there is a book that has been published so I can have a permanent written memory of those times. Best wishes, Peter

  • Robert Cummings

    Firstly my credentials: I attended St Annes Prep for three years from 1957 where Brother Cyril taught maths and became headmaster. After taking the 11 plus and getting a place at Xavs, most of us were not over impressed (I am trying to be accurate here) when we discovered he would be following us to take over as our new headmaster.

    I remember at the Prep School Brother Cyril set us a maths homework and told us that he was going to allow us to mark our own efforts. In retrospect we should have seen the trap that was being set – I am sure he did it to every new intake. After we had marked the sums with the occasional student giving themselves the benefit of the doubt when the answer was ALMOST right, the trap was sprung. Bro Cyril asked for the exercise books to be handed back. At the next lesson at least half a dozen of us were sent to his office where we were subjected to four strokes of a very slim and effective cane which I came to know reasonably well over the next few years.

    Did it teach me a lesson I never forgot? Well I am re-enacting it now in my mind so the answer is obviously yes. Did it modify my behaviour a la Pavlov? Unfortunately it didn’t hence my further visits to his study.

    If my memory serves me correctly, Bro Cyril had had a lung removed due to T.B. but in common with most of the brothers at the time, smoked quite heavily – I think they were Senior Service. When the results of the 11 plus had arrived, he was intending to give the results to the class. In an act of kindness, he asked the only pupil who hadn’t managed to get either a grammar school or technical school pass, to go out and get him a packet of twenty while he gave us the results.

    So, I remember both good and bad events from those times but I wouldn’t change a great deal – maybe I would have worked a bit harder towards the end rather than spending quite so much time in the Twisted Wheel. It took me to the age of 47 before I got my degree but I knew I had unfinished business… thanks Xavs.

    To those of you who don’t remember me (prof as I used to be called) you may remember the guy I met up with in Suffolk last week – Fred Wilson. If you don’t remember him, then you weren’t there!

  • Mike Dixon

    I was at xavs 1976/1980
    My year was the last ever entrants as a secondary school. Great people — The Schofields- P Bowker- m vickers- tony o donnell – Stan kuhsrchik- Konrad swalkian- m porter – c Wallace – malc o Connor – g wheel an – sloyan- Julian evens- r sharpe – j doheeny

    We looked at our next year up as football heroes – stiles / roper/ Buckley / Luciano / havo /
    They won every football cup year after & under mr Blackburn we did the same … We won gtr mcr cup / manchester catholic cup – all schools league

    For those that remember — gosh it was rough playing mad schools like pius – Yew Tree Langley – North manchester tough schools

    I loved every minute of my schooling – the teachers & the sport

    Mike dixon

  • PAUL TAKARANGI-GAVAGHAN

    I attended Xaverian 1969 – 76 and I’m now residing in New Zealand. I was in Sale a couple of weeks ago visiting my parents. I called in to see Bernard Lackey and we had a wonderful time reminiscing about previous teachers and students. I recognise some of the names from the postings above – Peter Garside and Steven Rochford

  • paul ford

    i remember some of these names happy days at xaverian,steve law alex dowd and the legend mike gary!!

  • Mike King

    I attended Xavs from 1970 to 1978 and have to say that was some of the best years of my life. To Pete Garside I remember you and share many of the memories you recall. I had the good fortune of playing in the 1st eleven with Martino, Eamon McMahon, John Fyer, Steve Usher,John McNulty to name but a few. I wonder where they all are now. Is there an old boys association as I lost touch with everyone after I left and would like to make contact with my old friends.

  • Michael de Podesta

    Colleagues,

    I came across this site looking for news of Martino (”tino”) Picardo with whom I remembered playing football. He was fanrastic and I was rubbish.

    Any, I left Xaverian in 1977 and sometime ago I wrote some notes on the teachers which you can find here

    http://www.depodesta.net/Michael/Xaverian.html

    I have to say that my recollections are substantially less positive than recollections posted here.

    Anyway, every best wish to any ex colleagues reading this.

    I am still in touch with Richard Leahy, and intermittently with Michael Earley and Michael Fay.

    Michael

  • Bob Cummings

    Just to let you know I have created a blog about Xaverian College in the sixties. I have made contact through it with a few of the guys who were there at the time and they have left some memories. The address is http://www.manchesterxaverian.wordpress.com

    Regards
    Bob Cummings

  • Roger Darlington

    Many thanks for creating this blog, Bob.

  • paul ford

    please contact me regards fordy 07791552662

  • C. Duverger-Harrison

    Looking for the whereabout of (Brother ) Anthony McCabe .

  • Bill Blackwell

    Hello,

    reading the above has brought back so many memories. I was at St Anne’s from 1967-1970 and then Xaverian from 1971 – 1977. I will always remember Brother Cyril as quietly spoken strict Headmaster.

  • Peter Ulleri

    Wonderful memories. Just reading the names of the teachers takes me back to the classroom. I was at St. Anne’s when Mr. Delahunty was headmaster with Brother Mario and Mr Chisnall. Teachers not mentioned at senior school include Mr Price (History), Mr Blackburn (Sociology and PE, Mr Barron (Economics- own published books)and Mr Farrell (English) and Brother Sylvester (Bernard). Happy happy days…. think I maight take a trip to the tuck shop and then play a few games of snooker!

  • Norm Butler

    My name is Norm Butler and I live in country NSW in Australia.
    As a retirement project, I am attempting to document my family history which, on my father’s side, originates in London.
    One of my uncles, Edward Butler, born 6 April 1888, was recorded in the 1911 Census as having been an Assistant Teacher at Clapham and as a Domestic Servant at Uckfield in the 1939 Register. I have been thus far been unable to find any record of his death or, for that matter, any record of his time with the Xavaerians and would be grateful for any help to point me in the right direction.
    Thanks, Norm

  • Roger Darlington

    I can’t help you, Norm. But I’ve approved your comment in the hope that another reader might be able to assist you.

  • Tony Murphy

    Stumbled upon this site and so pleased that I did. I went into Ward Hall in 1951 from St Mary’s, Marple Bridge. I have clear memories of Bro. Martin as Headmaster; in his latter years he was confined to a wheelchair. I am sure that he was succeeded, for a short while, by a Bro Hugh before Bro David took the reins. Bro Hugh was a gentle man and probably not suited to the demands of managing so many boys. Around 1955 Br David took around 12 of us to stay at Wadhurst; wonder if anyone else remembers? I played football for the College and for M/cr boys, left in 1957 for Southampton University. Live in Hertfortshire and France now but still a Red as I have been all my life! Anyone from that era would like to share memories?

  • Randal MacRandal

    I joined Ward Hall at age of 10y 1m in 1957 and well remember many of names mentioned above. I played rugby
    in the first Xav team to enter the sport under guidance of Tom Ingram (who later married pupil Rod Ashby’s sister ?).
    Our captain was Fahey (Paul?) and star scrum half was Bob Postlethwaite (Dr) whom I met recently in a hiking group; some 500 years after last sighting, haha.
    I remember all my teachers but here’s one to test your memories: Three teachers’ Nicknames:- Who were “Pop”, “Pug” and “Rufus”

  • stuart

    my comment of July 17th is still awaiting moderation. not sure why..

  • Stuart chatterton

    My comment has now been taken off. That’s sad. Xavarian College is a huge part of my life but it’s important not to hide from uncomfortable truths. Please re in state my comment
    Thank you

  • Roger Darlington

    Stuart, I don’t recall a comment from you earlier. Please repost it.

  • Stuart chatterton

    My previous post referred to how I attended the college from 1975-81. It could be at times both a nurturing and austere place. Sadly, one overwhelming memory was of a certain Mr Weardon. I am now a Deputy Head in a primary school. Looking back, Mr Weardon was a teacher who should never have been employed to work with children. His penchant was to deliver blows across the faces of pupils with the full force of his own hands. Unprovoked and without warning. His behaviour even in those days was shocking. I don’t know how long he continued teaching for but the most generous I can be is to hope that the leadership of the school were oblivious to his practices. Even the cane administered by the school was benign compared to the viciousness and disproportionate nature of this man’s actions. Let’s celebrate the positive legacy of Xav’s but not forget it also failed at times to protect it’s pupils from a type of teacher who I hope we’ve seen the last of.

 




XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>