Remembering 1st April 1934
Past pupils of the Salesian Missionary College, Pott Shrigley, gathered on 1st April 2009 to commemorate two very significant events which occured on that day seventy five years ago.
In 1934, Easter Sunday fell on April 1st, and in St Peter's Square in Rome our founder was canonised, declared by Pope Pius XI to be Saint John Bosco.
At the same time, in England, a ceremony was taking place to cut the first 'sod' or spadeful of earth, to begin the building of the new Shrine of Don Bosco at the Salesian Missionary College, the junior seminary for the Salesians in Great Britain.
The Shrigley Chronicle for that day records the event.
April 1 Easter Sunday. Missa Solemnis 9.30am. At 10.45am all the boys and Community assemble in the front Hall before the statue of Blessed John Bosco, beautifully decorated for the occasion, to sing a hymn; they then proceed in procession accompanied by the Band to the site of the new church, where at the same time as the Holy Father was declaring Don Bosco a Saint the first sod was cut by Master John Hoey, who had been chosen by ballot. Unfortunately the widespread sickness robbed the day and the occasion of much of its solemnity, and of the presence of Fr Rector.
Seventy five years later, a group of past pupils gathered on the site of the Salesian Missionary College, now Shrigley Hall, a prestigious hotel, to remember these events. Among them was Fr Albert Carette SDB, President of the Shrigley Past Pupils Association, who was a boy in Shrigley in 1934 and appears in the photograph above, just to the right of the papal flag.
Those present were Fr Albert Carette SDB, Fr George Robson SDB, Fr Bernard Parkes SDB, Bro Donald MacDonald SDB, Peter Roebuck, Eric & Tricia Baggaley, John & Marie Burke, David Murphy, Paul Barnes, Kevin Dean, Joe Lomax, John Crowshaw, Tony McCarthy, Peter Hunter, Paul Kennedy, Peter Stubbs, and Mike & Helen Kilduff.
You can find a much fuller account of the day, with photographs and background information, including Mike Kilduff's account of the building of the church, illustrated with archive photographs, on the web site of the Shrigley Association (Click 'Latest News').