Saturday, 23 January 2010

Circular No 429

Newsletter for past alumni of The Abbey School, Mt. St. Benedict, Trinidad and Tobago, W.I.
Caracas, 23 January No.429
Dear Friends,
We are closer to the incorporation of the Association, will send you news as soon as we get information from Trinidad.
But news is positive just as our purpose is.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010 1:40 AM
Dear Dennis,  
Re: 1950 Football Team
From: Nigel P. Boos  
Thank you for your long and rather detailed consideration of the date of the photograph which supposedly was taken in 1948 of Fr. Ganteaume and the entire MSB student body.
I would suggest for your consideration that, according to Marie Ganteaume's notes which I inherited from Trevor Evelyn, the new school buildings were completed in 1946.
The photograph appears to have been taken in front of some quite substantial buildings, which, I assume, would be the new school buildings.
Therefore, the photograph would have to be taken after 1946 - and possibly 1948/9.
Secondly, it seems natural to expect that the older students would normally stand at the back of the assembled school, in order to take a picture of the entire student body.
Any youngster attempting to push his way into the back rows would normally be considered "out of place".
See the attached photograph.
On the basis of the position in which you are sitting for the photograph, I would suggest that you might have left MSB sometime around 1953/4.
You would have therefore been 17 or 18 when you graduated, and therefore, perhaps, the date given, of 1948/9 to the picture might be accurate.
Can you send me a recent photograph of yourself, please, as well as a short (2 paragraph) summary of your "Life After Mount?"
I'm currently putting together a collage of pictures of as many OB's as possible, and I'd love to include you as well.
Nigel P. Boos 
Re: Fw: 1950 Football Team
7 sept 09
From: Phillip Clegg  
Hi Laszlo,
I appear to have 'messed up' things somewhat without actually realising the fact.
I had sort of understood that you all 'pooled' information which apparently is not the case.
If there is anything that you wish me to do with respect to your circular, please do let me know exactly what you want from me and I will attempt to comply as promptly as possible.
As I understand the case to be, you now have the photo of the 1950 Football team - I shall now attempt to send it to you by attachment anyway.
Should there be anything else that you might care to have from me as a contribution to the circular, do let me know and I will attempt to comply fairly promptly.
It's nice to be in touch with you Laszlo, as together with Nigel Boos you seem to be doing a Herculean job of keeping things going much to the delight of all of us 'old boys'.
I shall take this opportunity to make mention of the large photo of the whole school that has been featured on Nigel's website as having being taken in 1948.
A wonderful photo indeed I have to say.
However, I am wondering if the dating of 1948/49 can be validated, as I have my doubts as to the correctness of such a date, and I had intended to contact Nigel to put that query to him, so I shall now take the opportunity to put the question to you instead if I may.
The reason that I am questioning the correctness of the year is that you will see that I appear both in that photo as well as in the photo of the 1950 Football team.
The photo of the whole school is dated as being 1948/49, whilst in the photo of the Football team we know the correct date for certain as it conveniently chalked onto the Football itself, and I know that I was fourteen years of age at that point of time.
Yet in the photo of the whole school I appear to be only around eight, or perhaps nine years of age as I have other photos of myself taken at home which appear to have captured a similar image of me at around that same age.
However if the 1948/49 dating of the whole school is correct I would necessarily have had to be twelve years of age at that point of time as I was born in 1936.
However there appears to be more that three years difference in my age when one compares the two photos.
Unfortunately, and to my great surprise, I have absolutely no recall of the occasion of this photo of the whole school being taken.
It is my supposition that if you are unable to validate the dating of 1948/49, then it may well be that the photo was taken some time earlier and was actually taken around about 1943 or 1944 instead, at which point of time I would have been around seven or eight years of age, or perhaps on the outside, even nine, to my mind eight would appear to be more correct.
If I had to be affirmative and choose a date to attach to the photo of the whole school, I would say that I was probably eight years of age at the time when the photo of the whole school was taken, and as a consequence still a long way from puberty I would suppose, as I appear to be still somewhat androgynous looking in that photo, which would not have been the case had I already reached puberty which was three years prior to the event of the 1950 Football team photo being taken, as I still have a singular and vivid recall of the event of my reaching puberty, which took place when I was eleven years of age, much to my surprise and utter delight, as it transpired quite involuntarily accompanied by much twitching of the eyes and clamping of my toes and shuddering of the body, and I distinctly recall wondering at the time, having slid down the tiled wall to find myself seated on the wet bathroom floor, if I would remain cross-eyed as I felt I was then, for the rest of my life.
However, having said as much, I may nevertheless be entirely wrong - now shows that for a show of real confidence in oneself?
Well Laszlo, it's nice to make your acquaintance - here's hoping that you get the photo OK - do let me know if there is anything else that I can do for you with respect to the Circular.
With respect to the photo of the 1950 Football team that I am sending you, if you go to the middle row, the first guy from the left, seated next to Hugh Henderson in the middle, and behind Earl Kayne, was called 'Xavier'.   
Best regards,
Phillip Clegg 
(No problem Phillip, Nigel and I share the emails as much as possible, sometimes there are a few that the Circular just does not get. The same is true with the photos. My anxiety is to keep the Circular going for at least December 2010., editor)
From: laszlo kertesz <>
Date: Sunday, 6 September, 2009, 2:43 PM 
Dear Phillip
Good to hear from you.
Sorry but the photos did not arrive at the redaction desk of the Circular.
I would like to include the photos in a Circular, which I hope you are getting regularly???
I need the collaboration of all ALUMNI to keep the Circular going.
Remember that I am in Caracas Venezuela and work independent of Nigel who does the Excel listing and other projects.
God Bless
----- Forwarded Message ----------------------------------------------------------.
Sent: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 11:38:04 AM 
Thanks for your candid observations, Phillip.
So, the name of the picture will now forever revert to "The 1950 Football Team" rather than "Footie".
So much for that! From the size of the boys, I would imagine that this would have had to be a Junior Team of some sort. (Giants A / Giants B/ ??? or whatever . . . . .) 
RE: JOHN LOPES - I think you're right about his name.
Know nothing at all about him, as yet.
Would you mind letting me have your current home address and telephone number please, Phillip?
I'd also like to have a recent photograph of you, and if you can manage it, a short summary of your "Life After Mount" which I might subsequently use in a broadcast PowerPoint presentation I'm preparing, on the Old Boys of MSB.
Thank you so much for your kind words.
I look forward to hearing again from you.
Nigel Boos 
On 26-Aug-09, at 8:06 AM, Phillip Clegg wrote: 
Hi again Nigel,
I shall commence by thanking you once again Nigel, this time for forwarding the email that I sent to you on in turn to Trevor Evelyn, as he has since contacted me.
It was great to hear from him again as you can imagine.
It's the oddest feeling in the world hearing about, and from, lads that I knew so very long ago - it's a bit like a being re-incarnated! It's very difficult to put into words just how it makes me feel.
Like I said before to Ken Austin, it is a rather a bitter-sweet experience.
All through my life, remembering the story of 'Lot's wife', I've tried not to look back more than absolutely necessary, not that I expected to turn to stone like that poor lady in that Ghoulish story, but instead because when one looks back, either one is looking back at something that was unpleasant and that one would not wish to bring back to mind again, or instead to something that might have been particularly dear to ones heart and which unfortunately has since gone forever and which one might have hoped would never end.
With respect to the MSB lads from all of those years ago, it is of course true that some of them have passed on, and even after all of these years the realisation of this fact is quite painful to me as one would have wanted to have said a last goodbye if nothing else.
But even with respect to those that still remain there is a certain sadness as there is the knowledge that the period of our youth to which we refer has Long since taken leave of us.
The lads that still enter and leave the treasure-house of my memories of those days at the Mount now seem rather like ghostly figures flitting around in my mind - real and unreal all at the same time.
It dawns on one that the very memories that one has treasured throughout the years no longer constitute reality, inasmuch as our memories, when all is said and done, are only snapshots in time - we are no longer the same people of course - all probably a bit like myself, now changed considerably at almost every level - we're no longer those same Little guys dashing around, tumbling over everything and scampering up the path to the reservoir, or going bathing in rock pools, or picking Cashews from the trees etc.
The saddest thing of all probably is the knowledge that the 'Mount' as we knew it, no longer exists - it makes me feel as if someone has stolen something of great intellectual and emotional worth from me - a realisation that an important part of my past has been erased forever.
With respect to the terminology that I quite unthinkingly used when I emailed you the photo of the 1950 Footie team, it has to be explained that this is an expression or 'Ism' that I had picked up when in Australia all of those years ago that has remained with me quite unconsciously ever since.
The Aussies had a habit of adding an 'IE; to almost any and everything that they could, and it just came to mind without thinking. My apologies!
It was nice to think that Alain Devaux remembered me as well as he did.
Almost everyone that knew me as a child always comments on the fact that I was always drawing - I wasn't aware of just how much time I must have spent doing this.
I still do a lot of Art work.
Now I also sculpt and cast in bronze as well.
I am pleased indeed that Alain remembered me - I remember Alain well - a very busy lad indeed was he.
With respect to Alain Devaux's recall of the names of those featured in the photo, it has to be said that his memory is astonishing accurate to say the least, as he remembers so many of them.
The lad standing next to me in the centre of the back row of the photo was called 'Lopes' I think.
Should I be correct in this assumption he would be John Lopes, as this is the only Lopes that you have listed as attending the Mount at that point of time.
As Alain Devaux stated, the boy seated on the ground in the front row and situated to the extreme right of the photo was indeed Bruce Marques.
Alain was of course also right about the lad in the centre of the photo being Hugh Henderson.
When I returned to Trinidad briefly in 1966, I accidentally met up with both Hugh Henderson and Chris Krogh, when my youngest sister turned up with me a Bobbie Hardwick's (an English born ex-jockey- come-race horse trainer) stables.
That was an interesting incident that could have been right out of Africa.
When we entered Bobby Hardwick's yard, a great crowd of black guys could be seen milling around a white man seated in an armchair, placed so that he could have a clear view of a small coral in front of him wherein stood a fidgeting mare and her almost just-born foal.
Normally a mare would of her own volition choose a quiet place to foal down in, and will even wait until things are really quiet in the very middle of the night to foal in solitude, but here she was in the middle of this bustling mayhem, with a gangling foal stumbling around her heels as it tried to stay near to his very nervous mother who was moving forward and backwards in a most agitated manner our of concern for her new born youngster.
Her afterbirth was still hanging down to the ground and I was afraid that in her jittery state she might accidentally step back onto it and cause her to tear it away from her inside before it was ready to do so by itself naturally.
So without thinking, I just clambered through the railings and quickly tied the afterbirth up above her hocks and then with my finger smelling very much of his mother, then encouraged the foal to suck milk from the mare.
I didn't of course realise that this might have been terribly out of order and might have caused a bit of a stir.
However, the kindly Bobby Hardwick never said a thing about the incident thereafter, so I had hoped that he hadn't minded my taking the initiative.
I met Chris, a bit later after he had called me up at my aunt's Hotel to make arrangements to meet.
Though naturally a little older that I had remembered him, was just the same guy that I knew at the Mount all of those years before.
I always recall him as being a really decent, very relaxed, likable sort of guy.
Unfortunately your website lists him as having passed on.
He was such a fit and healthy guy that it surprised me greatly to learn that he had passed on before I did.
However, the shock was actually meeting Hugh after a period of time.
In the photo of the 1950 Football Team, you can see that Hugh was still a rather small lad as he was probably still quite young.
I had always remembered him as being rather shy, quiet, and retiring.
However, when I saw him in 1966, my present recall of him as he was in 1966 was quite astonishingly different, as he was by that point of time a much bigger guy that I was, and I myself was six feet tall.
He had also matured into a really big broad sort of guy.
Even though I was very fit at the time having lived an outdoor sort of life in Australia with my horses etc., I had the feeling that if he had a mind to he could have pummelled all hell out of me because of his size, and to my surprise he had already started to lose his hair on top.
I guess that he must have been a few years younger than me if I am to judge from the photo of the 1950 Football Team, so he could only have been in his late twenties at the time, as I was exactly thirty in 1966.
I have another photo of myself and others, taken at the Mount when I was quite young. However this photo though not in itself problematic for me, does however bring to mind something else that happened to me at the Mount, being one of the only two unpleasant occurrences that come to mind with respect to the duration of my stay as a boarder at MSB, the somewhat unpleasant effect of which has stayed with me all the rest of my life.
I shall have to think a bit before submitting it to you Nigel.
On parting company, I will take this opportunity to thank you once again for everything that you are doing for the MSB lads - a really worthwhile job indeed - I am certain that no one could do a better job of it.
Best regards,
Phil Clegg 
On 12-Aug-09, at 3:20 PM, Alain Devaux wrote: 
Hi Nigel,
I remember very well Phillip Clegg because he was in my class and was very good at drawing, especially faces of beautiful women.
Alain Devaux 
----- Original Message ------------------------------------------------.
From: Nigel P. Boos
Sent: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 1:43 PM 
Dear Phillip,
How nice to hear from you, and to get those wonderful pictures, especially the one recording the 1950 Footie Team (is that what it was called then? And not football? Strange!
Never heard that word before.
I'm sending your email to all the Old Boys from the 1945-1955 period, whose email addresses I have, with the request (please listen up, you guys,) that you can identify the names of the "Footie" Team members in the picture below.
Please respond and keep me the picture.
Best wishes, Phillip. 
From: Phillip Clegg <>
Date: August 12, 2009 9:09:57 AM GMT-04:00 
Hi Nigel,
I would like to commence by personally thanking you for the tremendous effort that you are putting into the business of the MSB Old Boys website.
What a tremendous job you are doing - For some time previously I had been trying to obtain information about Mount St Benedict’s College and/or any of the old boys that attended there at the same time that I did all of those years ago - I had no luck at all until I came upon a site and from that point onwards, I had been put in touch with you.
I am certain that like me, there will be a great many MSB old boys who will greatly appreciate your efforts - My thanks to you!
I see that I am on your latest list of, 21 May 2009, under No;224, however I thought that I should inform you of the fact that my name is spelt incorrectly on that list, and unfortunately, much of the other information is also somewhat incorrect.
However, here is the correct data;
Name: Phillip Clegg Country of Birth: Trinidad, not Guyana as stated (My mother had owned a Hotel in Georgetown, but I had always lived Trinidad, although I did of course spend some of my holidays in Guyana).
Attended MSB as a boarder; Commencing 1944 (I think ) and left The Mount and Trinidad in 1951, immigrating to Vancouver, BC in that same year, ending up finished my schooling there.
Immigrated to Sydney Australia:
1956-1966 (Following my departure from Australia I travelled to Trinidad and stayed there briefly for three months before departing once again, on that occasion, for UK).
Country of Residence:
UK (Brighton) not Australia as listed - I had lived in Australia for ten years from 1956-1966, but left there and then as previously stated, travelled to Trinidad for a short visit and then from there to the UK where I have lived ever since.
I only have a couple of photos of myself at the Mount.
I don't suppose that anyone will remember me as I have never been contacted by any of my contemporaries.
However I do myself remember quite a few of the lads, and quite a lot about my life at the Mount during my stay there - lovely memories indeed.
Well Nigel, once again a big thank you for your efforts. Best wises to you and to those, if any, that remember me.
Phillip Clegg 
Phillip Clegg
Hi laszlo,
along with all of the other old boys from msb I would like to also express my thanks to both yourself and Nigel Boos for all of the time, effort, and the hard work that both of you are putting into this msb project for all of us old boys from the mount.
Over all of the past years my recall of msb has been clear and poignant - now being brought face to face with this meaningful part of my past life has been quite an emotional experience for me - I don't think that I shall ever be able to accurately describe the sort of feelings that it has brought to the surface.
From what I have read from time to time in your reports from various of the old boys my feelings seem to be echoed by all of the lads that attended there. 
Of course many of the names mentioned came along after my departure from the mount in 1951, and so they are unfamiliar to me though nice all the same to hear them speaking of their past and also to be able to see the photos of the old college - mixed feelings indeed - I think that the sort of feelings to which I refer can most accurately be described in what would today be regarded as being 'old fashioned 'terminology , i.e.,  ' bitter-sweet'.
We are all more or less on the home stretch of our lives now, and speaking for myself I am so very happy indeed to be in touch with the msb element once again before it is too late. 
My very best wishes to everyone.
Phillip Clegg 
Phillip clegg
Hi laszlo,
With respect to the photo of the scout group - I guess you will already know that no 2 is Leary O'connor - I don't seem to recognise any of the others - with all of the photos appearing with respect to the various groups within msb it seems as if I had managed to be part of a great many activities that went on at the mount - probably because I didn't know of their existence- maybe it all happened after I left msb in 1951.
In a photo of the whole school presented on your website earlier on, there is an error that I stumbled on when writing to David (dougle) de Castro recently when attempting to get a photo of both he and I.
In the photo of the 1948 abbey school or whole school, no 83 is wrongly accredited to Donald Mcintyre - in fact it happens to be david de castro.
I didn't send anything in with respect to the roll call, as I felt that so little of any importance cold be said in such a small space as well as the fact that I did not have a recent photo of myself to present. 
If you want any of us to send in whatever we like it might be worth us doing so - as editor you could either present it or not as you please.
For my own part I would have liked to have seen something more detailed, something that might perhaps give us more of an idea of the sort of life each of the old boys had prior to msb, followed up by their particular experience when attending msb, and in addition if possible, something with respect to what msb had meant to them, and of the greatest importance, what in their view msb had done for them if anything.
I will also attach another photo that you had sent to us and ask for an updated copy of it with the names of the lads therein if you will when you get an opportunity.  
Once again I will thank both yourself and Nigel Boos for undertaking to do the great job that you are both doing with respect to this msb website.
It must be a truly herculean and time consuming job indeed.
I wonder if you both regret taking it on in the first place.
Nevertheless it will of course go down in history, and so your efforts will be well remembered.
My very best regards,
phillip clegg      
Sorry that I do not have the photos that Phillip sent so I shall send you photos of the old timer, Robert Bodington.
Ladislao Kertesz,
48TE0001CLASSMIX, this seems to be the earliest class photo at the Mount.
58RB0003a9UNKNOWN, Second floor washroom, above the library.
58RB0003a9UNKNOWN, Bunch of UNKNOWNS at the beach
58RB0003a9UNKNOWN, Bunch of UNKNOWNS at the beach

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