Padraigâ€™s life is characterised by a wonderful â€œjoie de vivreâ€, a resolution to enjoy life and not to hold anything back, to laugh where others fretted. Padraig succeeded in living a life both carefully balanced, and enviably excessive. This twinned with his personable and witty nature nurtured a wide circle of friends, who valued him for his many gifts, prominent among which was his level headed advice. For his outgoing nature belied a resounding spiritual fortitude from which Padraig drew the courage and strength that sustained not only him but also those close to him through the difficult times which followed the death of his mother Kim in 2004. Padraig will be fondly remembered; the corners of his mouth turning gently upwards into a wry smile and a mischievous twinkle in his eye. (Darragh)
Nicholas Smyth, the very first boy in the school in September 1932 (aged 8 â€“ he was born in April 1924) died in Naples, Florida on November 29th, 2008. He spent one year in Glenstal, then went to Ampleforth, but returned to Glenstal for a year in the early forties.
He studied first at U.C.D. and completed his medical studies at the University of Michigan in 1954. He remained on the faculty of George Washington University for almost forty years and was also a teacher and surgeon at several hospitals andat the National Institute of Health, He specialised in thoracic surgery. As a clinical researcher he invented and patented pacemakers, including the worldâ€™s smallest nuclear pacemaker and was responsible for many innovations in the area of his
specialisation.Â He found time, too, to write medical mystery novels, â€˜Heartbreakâ€™ (2002) and â€˜Phoenixâ€™ (to be published).
We extend to his wife Elizabeth and his family (including Abbot Christopher, who was a first cousin) our deepest sympathy.
The Class of 1959 planting their Oak Tree
It was an enjoyable task contacting the class of â€œ59â€ to see what interest there might be for a 50th Anniversary dinner. The response was encouraging and many letters later the arrangements fell into place. All the living were tracked down and contacted â€“ except Barry Timmons â€“ who was last sighted, late at night, by Henry Blake close to Heathrow, cooking sausages on a brazier, and chatting away to the night watchman.
The Dinner was held at the Dunraven Arms Hotel on the 25th June 2009. It was a merry affair. 33 old boys attended. Our guests included Fr. Philip, Fr. Andrew, Anne Oâ€™Reilly, Brigid Oâ€™Loughlin and Tom and Mary Seaver.
On the 26th June 2009 we attended mass at Glenstal Abbey followed by a most pleasant lunch in the school refectory. Fr. Abbot Patrick greeted us and it was great to meet with many members of the community after so many years.
Patrick Hickeyâ€™s daughter had grown an oak tree from a Glenstal acorn and it is planted on the Monastery lawn. Brother Anthony supervised proceedings ably assisted by the gardeners among us. Later we walked around the school and the grounds where every corner turned produced some new memory and none more vivid then the time when Fr. Matthew (â€˜the Bearâ€™) caught Eddie Dunlop and myself burdened with fire extinguishers as we struggled back up the hill from the Clare Glens.
â€œWell Brothers! Where are you taking the fire extinguishers?â€ â€œWe are taking them back to the library Fatherâ€, we replied. â€œBlithering idiots, report to my study this eveningâ€ As we fled we called out: â€œAnd by the way Father we tested them and they donâ€™t work.â€ We heard a growl as we ran by. The rest is too sad to relate!
Now that all the fun is over the class of 59 have one objective: that is to keep going until 2034 when, what is left of us, will
celebrate the 75th. We remember in our prayers: Peter Cahill, John Coffey, John DeBromhead, Frank Fletcher, Richard Gallagher, John Hederman, Nicholas Keane, Donal McCarthy, Michael McCarthy, Barney Nagle, Patrick Nugent, Frances Neerman, Dan Quinn, Alan Russell, John Gore Grimes
Seventeen survivors of the class of 1976 ate shoe-sole beef or tired salmon at a west Dublin hotel, in a barnlike room that Father Andrew charitably described as â€œairyâ€. But none of that mattered; some of the large class formerly known as â€œthe Bulgeâ€ were together again to mark a third of a century since we survived Glenstal. A message from Fr Celestine wished us well in all our endeavors and hoped that since we had survived five years of boarding school, we could surely all weather five years (his prediction) of recession. As former rugby captain and scrum-half, Paul Murphy, said later it was strange to have to introduce ourselves to each other like strangers, but the years fell away fast and we were soon chatting away as if we were still eighteen. But towards the end of the evening, a teenage waitress must have been puzzled at the sight of a whole lot of fifty-one-year-olds standing around looking at dog-eared school magazines with black-and-white photos of teenage sports days, funfairs and pillow-fights. It didn’t take her too long to understand, â€œLong time?â€ she said.
Dominic Berridge (’76).