Saturday, 4 September 2010

Circular No 461

Newsletter for alumni of The Abbey School, Mt. St. Benedict, Trinidad and Tobago, W.I.
Caracas, 4 September 2010 No.461
Dear Friends,
This Circular is a round up of some of Cornel De Freitas commentaries and my response.
In the Circular No. 460, I filled out the missing names of CLASS67, with the help given to us by Raphael How Chung. Thank you Raphael.
Cornel de Freitas
12 Mar
Dear Ladislao,
(Please read all the way to the end of 'your' email to me)
{I am deliberately 'pasting' this response to your email 'inside' of the one from Nigel, Re:"SENIOR MOMENT', so I could point out the ones you could use with my other my photographs.}
I am so sorry that I may have expressed myself incorrectly when inquiring why you didn't 'Publish' all of the photographs at the same time.
I do understand that this - what you are doing - takes up a lot of your time and at the same time, takes away from 'family' time.
I need you to know, as I can probably assure you, that I am not the only one that greatly appreciates what you do for us.
When you first made contact with me, It opened up memories, and in a way gave me new 'life' to be able to be reconnected with those brothers at the Abbey School, that played a very important part of my life
They were 'my brothers' and I do 'miss' them.
Getting back to your email: (please see my responses embedded - "por supuesto".... did I get that right...?  )
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 2009 23:29:17 -0400
Dear Cornel,
The pictures are with me or at least I believe that they are, as I have not opened the February emails.
[ You are obviously very busy, so I can understand the backlog.] 
I try to mix the photos to keep the old old and the recent to keep the ALUMNI interested, so six photos, one of your photos per Circular, might keep six Circulars alive, as I publish four photos per issue.
I did not know about this before, but I can see your reasoning.
I have your letters in Circular No.389 also at least two photos.
Since I regard the Circular as a leisure stress free work, I take longer than some of you would like me to be.
I get a little frustrated after being over 8 hour in front of the computer at work, as I do this between supper and going to bed, sometimes my eyes hurt at seeing the screen.
This is a 'good' thing then, I myself enjoy being able to sit down and spend my time sending out emails to my MSB brothers, instead of looking at TV.
I find it relaxing and there is usually a 'return on the investment of time' - which is the response.
My idea of the Circulars is to gather ALUMNI and give them food of thought and be reunited with long lost friends.
I started issue No. 1 with 10 ALUMNI and we are now with a few more than the number of Circulars published, I am sure Nigel agrees with the numbers.
Absolutely astounding...!
I have about ten Circulars ready in draft format.
So some news might wait for at least three months before published.
I only publish life or death news immediately.
Sorry, that I have not reached to your photos as yet.
It does seem to take a long time, but when you take the amount of info you have to deal with I can understand why.
Please think that the Circulars need material but if I use all material as soon as they get to me then there would be times when I cannot publish the weekly Circular for lack of material.
Exactly what kind of 'material'? you mean photographs?
This is the only reason that the Circulars are still being published while other have failed.
Old news remain old even if published as soon as I get them.
I place importance to keeping a regular mailing system, to keep the MSB memories alive.
An example, those that wrote five years ago quite long essays, have not been heard ever since, they do not have even an updated photo to share for us to know if they are alive.
Usually I hear from their friend after they pass away, this has happened in over a dozen of cases.
This is sad, am I to understand that shorter messages and an accompanying photo help? 
I am hoping that of the group of my form V class, most are still alive and doing well.
At this time I also hope Richard Anderson, whom I haven't heard from since I did send an email/letter, is doing well and his family. 
Is he currently living in Florida, and Stephen is still in Trinidad?
I have no excuse but please bear with me, and hope this is not going to keep you from writing.
Oh yes, You do!  This what you are doing is quite an undertaking, I cannot imagone how much time you have devoted to this amazing gift to all of us MSB boys  ....Thank you so very much.  
But you can always be sure that I answer all emails, sooner or later.
I extended my reply because those of the 1950s claim that I do not take care of them, it is difficult to cover 40 years in each Circular.
God Bless
Because of you, I was able to re-connect with Terrence Ferreira, one of my class mates, contact and call Nigel, visit with him, organize an evening and even include the wives, reminisce about old times, laugh a lot, even eat a delicious 'Roti' and drink a real Carib beer, and I had the astounding privilege of introducing my son and my two grandsons whom I am so very proud of, thanks to you...!
Have a look at those pictures again and see the look on our faces.
What do you see, and this got started with a simple message from Nigel, that one of my classmates was coming up.  
How about we get together and have a "Roti", and our tiny "ROTILICIOUS" mini-reunion was born.
Had it not been for you telling me that an MSB old boy was living near to me and gave me his telephone number. --- 
This all happened thanks to you!
Am I grateful - you bet your ass I am!
But you can always be sure that I answer all emails, sooner or later.
I extended my reply because those of the 1950s claim that I do not take care of them, it is difficult to cover 40 years in each Circular.
God Bless
I need you to know, that all of your efforts are greatly appreciated, how does that little phrase go again:
"You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time..."
Thank you sincerely for your great work,
GOD bless you and your loved ones, and reward you for all the lost time with them, they, I am sure, understand and must love you a lot for your devotion.
Cornel de Freitas 
P. S.:
Just so you know, I am using the colour purple in honour of the really great Brother I lost recently. Carlos and I were closer than I even imagined, I realized how close now that he is gone. 
2009/3/10 Cornel de Freitas <>
Hello again Ladislao,
Got your email, I saw the picture as a boy sitting on the playing field, but you did not publish the 'string' of pictures, any particular reason why? 
I thought they would give a perception of my growing 'older' and what I look like now.
I am also aware that Nigel sent you the pictures of the 'Mini-reunion' we had up here. 
I was a really great evening that just happened with a few suggestions.
I have already written to you about that evening, but it is also my hope that the others i attendance would take a minute and write a few words of their perception of that really nice get together. 
The photographs of that same evening that shows me, my son Michael, and his two boys, my two angel’s souls also be included.
Let me know what you think.
GOD bless you and yours,
Cornel ...
Geoffrey Xavier
Montreal Grad. 1958
I am Geoffrey Xavier Class of 1958 No 16 in Photo. 
Thanks for getting in touch with me.
I never knew such an ALUMNI existed. 
Congratulations and thanks for all the good work you have put into this. 
I am now visiting the numerous circulars and enjoying them tremendously. 
I have a photo of the Class of 1958 and could now put names to the familiar faces I see.
Sorry for not being able to help you with the 1980's ALUMNI. 
This is way after my time at the Abbey.
You can contact me at  E-mail address 
Thanks once again. 
Jon Golding   
Date 8 Jan 2008
Hi Arthur
Thanks for making contact today. 
Welcome back to Trinidad!
I am forwarding an email from Don with photo so you can recall him and I am copying my brother Geoffrey who might be interested in your line of environmental work. 
I have had a look at your website at: and it is impressive. 
My consultancy is involved in redesigning a financial services course for the University of the West Indies so maybe your services can be useful when I have more time to see what you offer. 
Let's talk in the next couple of weeks.
Ladislao is the anchor man on our virtual old boys’ network so I know he'll be glad to add you to the mix.
Good luck with you new venture Arthur and let me know if you need any help.
My website is
All the best
Tel: 637-0291
Cell: 727-7520 
Thursday, January 8, 2009 6:09:01 PM
Thank you for the prompt response. 
Below are my answers (green letters) to your questions (black letters). 
Dear Arthur,
I have been looking for news on Fr. Benedict demise.
I cannot find any, can you provide information??
The Circular 375 shall be dedicated to him.
What was his published eulogy?
I met MSB's Abbot on Tuesday.   
Tomorrow Friday, Jan 9th at 1:30 pm at the mount, a follow-op service will be held for Fr. Benedict. 
All are invited. 
There will be a eulogy hand out. 
I plan to be there. 
Was he your teacher? 
Yes, I believe as a result I became an Engineer in the US and spent several years (US and international) in Project Management for the construction of Nuclear Power Plants. 
Did he take a photo during his time.
I had a long face to face chat with Fr. Benedict a few months ago. 
I saw several of his old Abbey School photos, including one with me and his student team launching a home made hot air paper balloon (about 2 meters diameter). 
I was about 15 years old. 
I vividly remember the launch experience/experiment, it was my initial big turn on to science. 
Fr. Benedict was kind enough to give me a run down on his exiting life from his 1933 departure from Holland on a cargo boat to the day we met. 
His end statement to me was:  "I am blessed, I had a wonderful happy life." 
Ironically, I had a similar conversation with Fr. Ildefonse just two weeks before he died. 
Now I stay away from older priests (smile) 
You live in TT???
Looking to the telf number. 
I have homes in Briarcliff Manor New York, Ocala Florida and a place in T&T -  one wife, two daughters and two dogs.  
God Bless Thank you!  Happy New Year and God Bless to you as well.
Ladislao, please acknowledge receipt of this e-mail.
-----Original Message----------------------------------------------
Sent: Mon, 5 Jan 2009 7:36 pm
Fr. Benedict died Thursday January 1st 2009 and was buried at the mount on Saturday 3rd.
All the best,
Arthur Xavier
868-794-0112 or 868-645-8271 
Ladislao I will follow-up on your request.
Now to the photos.
Ladislao Kertesz at,
09LK2157LKEGRP, Dinner group in Caracas.
XXPS0002PSTDINNER, Another dinner group but with a bunch of UNKNOWNS.
10GX0001GXA, Geoffrey Xavier
56DA0001DAMSCOUTS, David Ames photo with all the names.

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