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Past Pupils

Past Pupils (126)

The Past Pupils of Don Bosco are the largest group in the Salesian Family. Worldwide there is an estimate 3,000,000 past pupils in 53 National Federations and 920 Local Federations. In Great Britain there is an estimated 25,000 former pupils. The Past Pupils are an integral part of the Salesian family who share the vision that young people can change the world.

Sunday, 01 February 2009 09:46

Br Christopher Gorton

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Br Christopher Gorton RIP


Br Christopher Gorton, the senior member of our province, passed away peacefully at 10am on 31st January 2009, the Feast of Saint John Bosco, in the Willows nursing home, Manchester. He had celebrated his 100th birthday last

year and was in the 75th year of his religious profession.


Bro Chris at 100

Fr Tony Bailey and Fr Bob Coupe were with him and were reciting the fifth Glorious mystery of the Rosary when he breathed his last.

Brother Chris was born in Great Harwood, Lancashire, on 15th June 1908, six years before the start of WW1. He made his novitiate in Cowley and was professed as a Salesian Brother in 1934. For fifty years he served the province as a

tailor in Shrigley, Blaisdon, Battersea and Malta. He could turn his hand to suits, cassocks, brilliant theatrical costumes, and all the day to day repairs and adjustments needed by Salesians and youngsters alike. Shining through

everything were his deep piety, ready smile and impish sense of humour.

On his retirement he became one of the founder members of the St Joseph's community for older Salesians in Bolton and he stayed there until his move to a nursing home in 2005. He held the record for the oldest ever member of the

Great Britain province.

May he rest in peace!

Saturday, 01 November 2008 09:37

Battersea past pupils in UEFA Regions Cup

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UEFA Regions Cup


The second phase of this European level amateur football tournament took place in Turin during the week commencing 27th October. The England team, captained by Battersea past pupil, James Ayres, narrowly missed getting

through to the finals.


The England squad, which included six Battersea past pupils, earned the honour of representing their country by winning the FA's National League System Cup Final on 2nd May 2008. (See the account of that match.) 

In the 3 matches in Turin England beat Scotland 3-0 and drew 0-0 with both Ireland and Italy. Although England, Italy and Ireland all finished on 5 points, Ireland were declared the winners on goal difference having scored more goals

in beating the Scots.

Read John Ward's account of the event for more details and photographs.

Saturday, 08 November 2008 09:31

Fr Michael Walsh RIP

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Fr Michael Walsh RIP


Please remember in your prayers a Thornleigh past pupil, Fr Michael Walsh, who died on Friday 7th November 2008 at the age of 63. He was parish priest at St Paul's, Guide Bridge, Tameside, and fulfilled many roles in the Church at

Diocesan and National Level.

He was born in Bury and after attending Thornleigh Salesian College, Bolton, and St Bede's College, Manchester, he studied for the priesthood at Ushaw College Durham and was ordained in March 1969.

Fr Walsh was a Trustee of the Salford Roman Catholic Diocesan Trust, member of the Diocesan Board of Administration and Dean of the Ashton-under-Lyne Deanery. He was Diocesan Communications Officer and Chairman of the

National Diocesan Communications Officers' Panel. He was the Media Advisor to the Child Protection Commission and the Bishop's representative on the Manchester Council of Christians and Jews. He was also host of a regular radio

programme on Radio Manchester and wrote frequently for religious newspapers.

Funeral Arrangements

Tuesday 18th November at 7pm: Reception of the Body at St Paul's, Guide Bridge, OL7 0NT.

Wednesday 19th November at 11am: Requiem Mass at St Paul's, followed by interment in Bury cemetery.

Monday, 25 August 2008 10:28

Blaisdon Summer Reunion

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Blaisdon Summer Reunion


The main Reunion day on Sunday started with a Mass in the Village Hall with the Parish. This was rather special as it was celebrated by Mgr. George Hay of Bovey Tracey Parish, which is in the Plymouth Diocese. As he mentioned when

the Monsignor welcomed us, he was surprised to be the Celebrant as he found there were two other priests; namely our own Father Sean Murray SDB and Father John Gilheney SDB who concelebrated with the Monsignor. The music

was as vibrant as ever, thanks to the young lady who always brings this about. What a wonderful and powerful voice she has.

Thanks to the combined efforts of our President, Charlie, and Corrine, the wife of Roger Allen, we had an excellent buffet meal. Corrine was able to give Charlie a few telephone numbers of potential Caterers, as our regular and

wonderful Cookson family were away on holiday. They well deserved this holiday, as I am sure you will all agree. We trust that they enjoyed their holiday and came home well refreshed...

You can read John Ward's full account, with many photographs, via the Blaisdon Brotherhood web site. (It's a 4.5megabyte PDF file.)

Friday, 15 August 2008 10:21

Chertsey Gold in Olympics

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Chertsey Gold


Tim Brabants, who won a gold and a bronze medal at the Olympics, is a Past Pupil of the Salesian School, Chertsey. Tim, a qualified doctor from Walton on Thames, came first in the final of the 1000m kayak race and third in the 500m


Tim's father was also a pupil of the Salesian School. For more information, photographs and videos, just type 'Tim Brabants' into any good search engine.

The National President of the Salesian Past Pupils Federation and his National Council have sent their congratulations on his brilliant medal successes.

Do we know of any other Salesian Olympians?

Battersea Past Pupils help clinch football glory!


James Ayres, after captaining Battersea Old Salesians to victory over Farnborough in the National Don Bosco Cup on April 27th, captained the Southern Amateur League (SAL) to victory in the FA's National League System Cup Final at

Coventry City's ground (the Ricoh Stadium) on 2nd May 2008.

James was one of five Battersea Old Salesians in the Cup Final squad. Nick Haynes (who notably missed a penalty in the Don Bosco Cup Final last Sunday) scored the winning penalty in the shoot-out to win the game, and had earlier scored

in normal time.

The SAL team will now represent England in October in Turin (Yes TURIN!) in a play off against Italy, Scotland and Republic of Ireland, prior to a 'UEFA Final' tournament in June 2009.

The FA National League System Cup was created with the intention of finding a winning league representative side to fly the flag for England in the UEFA Regions Cup. Competition is strictly for amateur players who must not be, or have

been under a written professional contract at any time in their career.

Read John Ward's account of the event for more details and photographs.

Saturday, 29 March 2008 16:25

Easter Mini-Reunion for the Blaisdon Old Boys

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Blaisdon Easter Reunion


The Easter Mini Reunion of the Blaisdon Salesian Old Boys took place from 27-29 March 2008

As usual, a number of Blaisdon Old Boys and their families and friends met in the Blaisdon environs. Some made a full weekend of it, others came for just part of the weekend. Sadly Father Sean Murray SDB was unable to be with us as he

had a bad cold and had sent his apologies through Father Aidan.

On Sunday Mass was in the village Hall and was celebrated by Father Aidan Murray SDB, Blaisdon's Parish Priest. We joined the Blaisdon Parish and Father Aidan welcomed the Old Boys and said he was glad we had come as his

Congregation would otherwise have been very small.

It seemed a lot of the Villagers might have overlooked the clock change. Some of the Blaisdon Old Boys had also arrived late for the same reason, but we won't hold this against them. However, we had the music group, who provided their

usual vibrant support to the celebration...

Read John Ward's full account of the Blaisdon Easter Reunion as a PDF file.

Sunday, 27 April 2008 17:22

Battersea retain the Don Bosco Cup for 2008

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Report on Don Bosco Cup 2008


On what promised to be a wet and windy day the third Don Bosco Cup Football tournament was held. This started in a typical Salesian way with Mass in the Clubhouse at 10.00 hours. Strong SDB support was given to the opening by Father

John Dickson, Rector of Battersea, celebrating the Mass, with Father Des O'Riordan and Father Sergio Haro from Argentina concelebrating.

Read John Ward's account of the Don Bosco Cup event as a PDF file.

Request from BOVA


Bosco Volunteer Action (BOVA) is the volunteer organisation of the Salesians of Don Bosco in the UK, offering opportunities for adults (18+) to learn through action; serving the young and the poor alongside Salesian communities around

the world. In all aspects of BOVA's work there is a focus on providing a well- planned educational experience; stimulating, preparing and encouraging a long-term involvement with development issues, faith in action and the Salesian


Read James Trewby's appeal for support as a PDF file.

Monday, 07 April 2008 17:15

Farnborough AGM and Luncheon 2008

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Farnborough AGM and Luncheon



A good turnout was evident for this year's AGM on 6th April, which was a real delight to the new Farnborough President, Greg Sudell. This was in spite of the snowfall that greeted the participants when they arose that Sunday morning.

The meeting commenced with Holy Mass which was celebrated by Father Francis Sutherland SDB and concelebrated by Father Brendan McGuiness SDB. It was great to have the Headmaster's Secretary and her family joining us for this

Mass. Father Brendan kindly opened his offices, so the early arrivals to stay out of the cold and wet.

Download John Ward's full report, with pictures.

Page 3 of 9


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