Saturday, 13 March 2010

Circular No 436

Newsletter for past alumni of The Abbey School, Mt. St. Benedict, Trinidad and Tobago, W.I.
Caracas, 13 March 2010 No.436
Dear Friends, 
Dalmatic fund and ordination, one last look at what we have accomplished.
The ALUMNI made good use of the funds collected for Ms.Kitty Marcus. 
The money matters were checked and here is the final tally.
From: Nigel Boos
...2 nov 09 
Good day, Old Boys of MSB,
Thank you for your kind contributions to date towards the Dalmatic Fund Project.
Here's the latest update: 
1.Collected to date: $1600 - this includes funds previously collected in honour of Kitty Marcus 
2.Target: $2880 
3.Needed: $1280 
I am once again appealing to you for your support in this cause.
A question which has arisen and which needs an answer is this:
If money was previously collected for Kitty Marcus, why hasn't it been given to her?
How come it's still in the bank?
However, no money has ever been collected FOR Kitty Marcus.
All the money that has been collected has been IN HONOUR OF Kitty Marcus.
It was never intended to simply hand her a cheque and to say,
"Here you go, Kitty. This s from the guys. Have fun."
Instead, we have been trying to think of a fitting way to honour her life and presence among us at the Mount, but so far, we've not been able to agree as to how we should honour her.
Please note that the ASAA Committee has been involved with these discussions from the get-go, and that, certainly, these are not MY decisions.
We have considered a number of alternatives, for example: 
1.         Placing some benches outside of St. Peter's Home (where she lives), with a suitable inscription in her name, overlooking the plains of Central Trinidad, for use by anyone. (PROBLEM - There are enough benches. No need for any more) 
2.         Providing a large TV set for the old folks at St. Peter's Home (of which Kitty is one) in her honour, and for the use of the community. (PROBLEM - It was felt that they had enough TV sets already. Furthermore, Winston Ramsahai had reported that Kitty does not watch TV.) 
3.         Escorting Kitty on a shopping spree for clothing, etc. which she might need. (PROBLEM - We couldn't agree on this one.) 
4.         Purchasing a pen and writing paper for her, as she had requested. (PROBLEM - We were told that this was unpractical, as she already has access to pens and paper and could write all that she would like to write. 
5.         Offering her an escorted trip to her homeland to visit her family, friends, etc. and the scenes of her early life. (PROBLEM - It was felt that Kitty was too old and frail to consider so strenuous a trip to Austria. 
6.         Providing a new Lectionary for use a Holy Mass. (PROBLEM - At the time that this was suggested, we understood that a new translation of the current Lectionary was being prepared. it was felt that we should wait for the new translation before purchasing one in Kitty's honour.)  
7.         Asking the Government to recognize her contribution to education by awarding her a National Award as an outstanding teacher. (PROBLEM - No problem. This can still be done. However, I believe that the ASAA in TT are better placed than I, to make this contact and request.) 
7.         Asking the Austrian High Commission in Trinidad to recognise her contribution to local education by bestowing on her an official honour from the Austrian Government. (PROBLEM - No problem. This can still be done. However, I believe that the ASAA in TT are better placed than I, to make this contact and request.) 
8.         Making a plaque in her honour. (PROBLEM: It was felt that a plaque was a great idea but that it was a bit premature.) 
9.         Buying her a sofa in which to relax after lunch. (PROBLEM? - No problem. Why hasn't this been done as yet, ASAA ?) 
10.       Honouring her through the supply of dalmatics. This is the option I am currently exploring, and frankly, if this one does not work out, I'm washing my hands of the whole idea of honouring Kitty, and someone else can take over. 
So, here we are. I need an extra $1300 to meet our target. If any of you fellas wish to contribute towards it, please do so. You can send me a cheque at my address below, if you wish. I will not be repeating this request. 
Thanks for your attention.
Nigel Boos 
Dalmatic Fund Status Update
...16 nov 09
From: Nigel P.Boos  
First, I'd like to thank you very much for your generous support in donating towards the proposed Dalmatic Fund for the Deacons to be ordained in Trinidad in either January or February 2010, as proposed by Lionel Roberts, our beloved former Brother Vincent.
We have collected the sum of Cdn $2,081.75, which is currently equivalent to US $1990.01 at today's exchange rate, and we shall now be able to provide a substantial portion of the total requirement of $2880.00, the best quotation which so far has been received for the production of these liturgical vestment-gifts.
The dalmatics, which are being negotiated by Lionel Roberts, will be presented to the new Deacons at their Ordinations in Port of Spain, and each will be embroidered with a reference "In honour of Kitty Marcus and the Past Students of the Abbey School, Mt. St. Benedict" or words to that effect. I understand and believe that Miss Marcus will herself be invited as a special guest to witness the Ordinations.
Whenever the dalmatics are used at liturgical functions, it is the belief of the Church that spiritual benefits will flow to those who have supported this cause.
You will no doubt realise that we are still short of our intended target of $2880.00 by the sum of US $889.99.
Anyone who still wishes to make a contribution towards the fund should simply send a cheque to me at the address below, and I shall deposit it into our account in your name.
Once again, a sincere "Thank You" to everyone.
With very best wishes.
Nigel P. Boos 
Newly-Ordained Deacons for Trinidad
...23 feb 2010
From: Nigel P. Boos  
I wish to thank you for your generous support and gracious encouragement during our recently-concluded Dalmatic Fund.
We were trying to raise some US $3400 to be able to provide a gift of a new dalmatic to 24 men who were to be ordained on February 6, 2010 as Permanent Deacons for serve the needs of the Catholic Church in Trinidad.
As it turned out, 20 men were ordained and 3 others shall undergo additional training before their own ordination in a few months' time.
One gentleman suffered a stroke, I'm told, and will not be ordained. 
Well, we did it! Your contributions took us over the top and we could pay our bill.
More power to you guys. . . . . Praise be to God Almighty! 
The Catholic News in TT covered the story very nicely, and have sent me a copy of the article which appeared in a recent newspaper: 
A photograph has also been sent to me, and I'm including it for your interest as well:
As you can see, the Past Students of the Abbey School were mentioned as offering these gifts on behalf of our dear Kitty Marcus and for our own spiritual benefit, and I believe that our purpose has been served, in that we have been trying to find a way to honour Kitty for her influence on so many of our lives, and now we've found it!
It is our belief that not only Kitty, but also we ourselves, the Old Boys of the Abbey School, will benefit spiritually every time the dalmatics are worn at liturgical ceremonies, and therefore this is a lasting gift, not only to the Deacons and to Kitty, but also to ourselves.
Thank you once again for your kindness and generosity.

For the older crowd of Abbey School Old Boys, who may have never had the opportunity to meet Kitty Marcus, here are some reminiscences from others, for your benefit. 
I wish to join my voice to all in the well deserved recognition to Miss Marcus.
We must all feel proud for had having her as our teacher. 
When I recently met with her again - after 40 years - in last November 2007, she did not only remember me but also asked for my brother Gustavo.  
I have a photograph which I treasure taken during my recent visit to Mount which I would like to share.
She wondered about how my laptop worked (Ha!). 
She never stops having that inquisitive mind of a teacher.
We must all feel very proud of her.
Rafael (CheChe) Echeverria 
Here are the links for the full ceremony: 
Also look up this page for the names and photo of each one of the deacons; 
I remember Kitty Marcus when she first arrived at Mount. 
It was probably about 1959. 
At first, she was just the Headmaster's secretary. 
She sat in Bobo's office while we got licks. 
She gradually got promoted to teaching responsibilities.
She told us her story in one of the early classes.
She had been a PhD student in either Chemistry or Physics in a University in Austria.
Then came the 1938 Anschlaus. 
The German Nazis invaded Austria with local encouragement of the Christians. 
Her Jewish parents took her mother and her on a boat going to the Americas
The USA was not admitting refugees from the Nazis. 
The boat ended up in Trinidad
That is how she became a resident of Trinidad
She and several other Austrian Jews. 
Her parents died there. 
She eventually became one of our teachers. 
Her problem was that, compared to the Nazi mentality of our more successful Dutch tutors, she was not able to impose her Teutonic will on us West Indian boys. 
The result was too much noise in the class. 
I ended up not learning much from her. 
But, as the years passed, I learnt to appreciate how much she had gone through just to survive. 
She has my utmost respect. (Don Mitchell)
I have a lot of respect for her both as a person and my Chemistry teacher!.... (Howard Ho).
Like all I feel the urgent need to give something back to Miss Marcus. (Glen Evelyn)
I would be delighted to contribute as well, just let me when, where and how much is need.
Tim suggested a US$100.00, that's not a problem; if more is required then please let me know.
Likewise I have fond memories of her around the corridor or patiently waiting in Bobo's office while we got our customary weekly or monthly caning.
Regards to you all.
Invitations to Kitty Marcus and Iris Wilson
...jan 17 2010
From: Nigel P. Boos  
Thanks, Attila.
I guess, then, that I have been incorrectly informed.
But no problem - that's why we communicate, isn't it?
If the whole world would learn to communicate, I maintain, we could solve every problem that exists. 
Anyway, to business - Maria, please note the comments from another Past Student of the Abbey School, and adjust your letter of invitation and any adjunct notes accordingly.
Please note - I made a mistake in my previous email also - Iris' surname is WILSON, not WILDON.
My apology.
With very best wishes to you both.
Nigel P. Boos 
On 2010-01-16, at 11:06 PM, Attila GYURIS wrote: 
Just a couple of small corrections: (not that it matters much)
Matron Wilson was not the caregiver at the infirmary, she was the seamstress in the dormitories.
Kitty Marcus was not the "science" teacher, Fr. Benedict (Voosh) was that.
Mrs. Marcus was the Forms 3. 4 and 5 CHEMISTRY teacher.
Attila Gyuris
MSB 1964-1969 
From: Nigel P. Boos <>
Date: Friday, January 15, 2010, 2:33 AM 
Dear Maria,
I understand from Deacon Lionel Roberts that you'd like to have the full names of Kitty Marcus and Matron Wilson, both of whom served us well during our time as students at the Abbey School, Mt. St. Benedict, Kitty as a Science Teacher and Matron Wilson as the care-giver at our Infirmary.
I now wish to provide you with the information you requested. here are the names and addresses: 
1. Katherina Kitty Marcus, St. Peter's Home, Mt. St. Benedict, St. Augustine, Tunapuna, Trinidad  
2. Ms. Iris Wilson, Upper St. John's Rd., St. Augustine, Tunapuna, Trinidad 
We, the Old Boys of the Abbey School, would appreciate if a formal invitation could be sent from the Archbishop's Office to these two old ladies, to attend at the February 6th 2010 ordination ceremony of 24 Permanent Deacons in Trinidad, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
We are presenting a gift of a dalmatic to each of the new Deacons, in honour of Kitty Marcus and of the Past Students of the Abbey School, and small memorial tags have been sewn into the inside of each dalmatic, bearing this information. 
Kitty Marcus is now 91 years of age and is, I understand, too feeble to attend the ceremony.
In fact, she is suffering from a medical condition which would prevent her presence at the Cathedral, and furthermore, I have been told that she would be a serious distraction to the congregation.
Therefore, although the invitation should be sent, I seriously doubt that she will / should attend. 
Mrs. Wilson, on the other hand, will be able to attend, but she will need help in getting to the Cathedral. I understand that her son, Salah Wilson, a resident of Montreal, Canada, and an Old Boy of the Abbey School will be present in Trinidad, and he has indicated that he intends to attend the ceremony himself.
It is reasonable to expect that he should be able to accompany his mother to the Cathedral, so, if Kitty Marcus does not attend, perhaps Mr. Wilson might be able to sit alongside his mother in the space that would have been occupied by Kitty Marcus.
In such a case, it would be helpful if two seats can be reserved for Mr. & Mrs. Wilson.
I have no idea whether Salah's wife is accompanying him on his current visit to Trinidad, but if she is, I am certain that she would also wish to attend the ceremony at the Cathedral.
Thank you very much for your kind help in this matter.
With very best wishes.
Nigel P. Boos 
P.S. For your information, Ms. Charlotte Julien is the Director of St. Peter's Home, where Kitty Marcus lives. Charlotte may be contacted at (office) 868-662-6218 or (home) 868-645-3595 or (cell) 868-332-6630, should you wish to discuss Kitty's condition at all.
From: Archbishop of POS Secretary <>
Date: January 11, 2010 9:20:23 AM EST 
Wouldn't think of doing so. As I recall, you were one of the very best.
Sent: Friday, January 08, 2010 3:37 PM 
Yes, Maria. I am he.
Don't shoot me for that, please.
Nigel P. Boos 
On 2010-01-08, at 2:43 PM, Archbishop of POS Secretary wrote: 
Dear Mr. Boos,
Thanks for the info.
Will certainly advise when I receive notice of the arrival of the package/s.
By the way, are you the Nigel Boos who conducted the Assumption Choir years ago??
Maria Afong 
----- Original Message ----------------------------------------------------
Sent: Friday, January 08, 2010 12:37 PM 
Dear Ms. Afong,
Please be advised that the dalmatics ordered by Lionel Roberts to be gifted to the 24 new deacons were shipped out of Chicago from the House of Hansen (Gerard Arens 773-736-5858 or 1-800 533-1457) on December 30, 2009 by US Airmail / Priority, with an ETA of 6-10 days.
The Tracking number for this shipment is CP097460197US.
Kindly let me know if / when the shipment has been safely received.
The attached photograph is modelled by a gentleman from the House of Hansen.
Best wishes.
Nigel P. Boos 
On 2010-01-08, at 11:37 AM, Lionel Roberts wrote: 
Maria Lionel just got here - he said the dalmatics were shipped on Dec. 30th by air from the "House of Hansen" from Chicago, Illinois and addressed to Rt. Reverend Gilbert Edwards to the Archbishop's residence in POS. 
The company would have you to talk to Gerard Arens Ph # 773 736 5858 or 1 800 533 1457 in the event of any questions - their E-Mail is: THEHOUSEOFHANSEN.COM    Mr.Nigel Boos whose E-Mail is: who has already communicated with the archbishop will be E-Mailing you he names and addresses of Ms. Kitty Marcus and Ms. Wilson and their addresses to be invited by your office for the ordination - the tracking number will be sent by Mr. Boos sometime today - Deacon Roberts 
Here is the latest with the You tube information for those that collaborated and wanted to get the story as is. 
Good to hear that out of the 24 nominees, 20 did get ordained, good for TT.
Hope that there is going to be a new ordination next year. 
Ladislao Kertesz,,
The photos:
CODE NUMBER Scan10011bb, Can anyone help???
09RH0001RHE, Roger Henderson
10LK0001DEACONS, Group photo of the Deacons
09GI005NSCOUTBADGE, Courtesy of George Iwaszkiewicz

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