David Anthony Brooks Writes

david brooks

I just found the blog on Mirfield memories. I did not see any mention of me which I found strange as I thought I was rather notorious. However, I recalled all the names mentioned. That and other things I found about Mirfield – Verona Fathers(Comboni Missionaries) brought memories flooding back. I had thought that I was the only one that went through experiences at Roehead; apparently not! However; at that time I had no reference for what happened. My father had died and some may recall that I was expelled with Michael Rumbles for really an inexplicable reason. My mother met with Fr. Frazer who was visiting with his parents who lived in Glasgow. The expulsion was changed to a suspension provided I complied with certain things upon my return to Roehead. Things continued and it was suggested that I go to Sunningdale to study for the brotherhood (hey; that’s a laugh – a few of the brothers that were there told me that they had been in the mafioso). Anyway, I survived another year of torment. I went on summer vacation and I applied within days to join the Army, Air Force and Royal Navy. I was accepted and joined the Royal Navy (I had no option but to join the forces as I had to leave without gaining any ‘O’ levels and essentially dropped out of school. Some may recall that it was impossible to find a reasonable job in the United Kingdom without ‘O’ and / or ‘A’ levels in those years).

My experiences continued in the first year in the pusser. Thereafter; I learned things but never has anyone to talk to about what had happened so I went on with my life. In later years I listened to a very notable philosopher who said what has happened in the past is in the past and cannot be changed; look to the future. And, what someone did to you, you did not agree with. They were doing their thing and you were in another place (I wish I could recall the exact words as they are so profound). Anyway; I decided that this was true and through meditation I managed to put those memories behind me and move on.

However; Mirfield had inflicted a different type of trauma that has held me back to a great extent. Before going to Mirfiled my IQ had been assessed at 205. During the events at Mirfield and Sunningdale I was failing in most subjects. Then the dropping out and absence of ‘O’ levels. I had been accepted in the RN as an Aircraft Handler (aircraft marshaller, firefighter, air traffic controller). Upon graduation from the Aircraft Handler course they told me that the job was way below what i should be doing so they assigned me to be a commanders assistant at RAF Honington working on intelligence packs and the like while they tried to figure out of they should retrain me in aircraft maintenance or as a medic. After six months they decided that they should send me aboard a ship to evaluate my abilities as a working aircraft handler. I worked as a “chockhead” for six months on the flight deck of HMS Ark Royal when they told me I was too clever and intelligent to be a “chockhead”. I was then assigned to work in Air Operations planning the ships and especially the ship’s aircraft activities. After three years they had to assign another rating into that position so they made up a position for me as ship’s liaison / visits planning. What a good number I got to plan all the recreational activities while the ship was in port; Disney world, Bush Gardens, Anheuser Busch brewery, arranging flights for those homeward bound and family visits while in foreign ports. Although pusser was good to me I decided to leave as I was really fed up with being away from home. I was assigned to the SAR at HMS Gannet (Prestwick) near my home in Easterhouse, Glasgow for my final six months. Who did I bump into there? Gerrard Duffy an oppo from Mirfield who was working as a medic.

My commanding officer tried to get me to re-engage; obtain another ‘O’ level as he thought that I was officer materiel. However; I left the Royal Navy and stumbled into the Scottish Ambulance Service as a driver / attendant. I worked at SAS in Glasgow and Kirkintilloch for five years before I decided to move to Canada with my mother and brothers in an effort to become a paramedic (did not exist in UK at that time – 1979). I got partial comparability as an ambulance officer and worked as an EMCA (Emergency Medical Care Assistant) part time and three other part time jobs while I attended the now Humber University first of all in the nights and then during the day. I graduated as the top student with a 99% average, on the deans list, summa cum laude and winner of the Ontario Ambulance Operators Association award for high academic achievement and professional leadership. I was working for a provincial ambulance service when I stumbled into becoming a manufacturer’s agent for a number of American medical product manufacturers. This presented a conflict of interest so I started working as a paramedic full time for Toronto EMS. I worked at my own company full time and as a Toronto paramedic full time. Eventually, I started to invent mostly medical products. I patented my first invention an infant / child restraint for use in ambulances and you can now find a version of it on most western ambulances.

After a bout of suicidal depression and a number of motor vehicle accidents I took early retirement in November 2009 at age 55. My mother went into cardiac arrest and was unfortunately resuscitated in December 2009. She was on life support while I tried to persuade them to remove it. She passed on in April 2010. In May 2010 I moved to Colombia, South America. The cost of living is so much lower than Canada that I could actually survive on my disability pension plus the weather is so much better and does not affect my arthritis. I continued my business as an inventor and paramedic consultant while in Colombia through the Internet. I came back up to Toronto last May (2013) to collect my six month supply of medication and expected to return there within two weeks. However, first my doctor told me that I had a heart attack while in Colombia which led to her sending me for various tests and then to the cardiologist and then to the cardiac surgeon and then bypass surgery last August 30th. While that was going on Revenue Canada (the taxman) who I had been in dispute with seized all my money and froze my bank account. So; I am stuck in Canada at this time waiting for finances to recover and also for permission from the various doctors to head south. However, I may not return to live in Colombia permanently. I may move to Belize, Chile, Peru or Costa Rica.

Thus; I was passing the time on the Internet and stumbled upon this blog. If anyone remembers me (I used to clean the college cars instead of playing football and avoided playing football or played in jeans and wellingtons or boots) and would like to communicate with me they can write to me at sirdavid@sympatico.ca.

Oh; yes, I know my written English is poor and Mrs. Delia (lilac hair) Patterson would be so disappointed, but so is life.

Besos y abrazos to all.

David Anthony Brooks

14 responses to “David Anthony Brooks Writes

  1. I forgot to mention that I entered Mirfield with what was termed the bulge” with Ian Hyndman, Ambrose Mulroy, 2 Gaydeskis, 2 Grodeskis (sorry if I misspell names) and the remainder of the 36. Also; anyone know what happened to Sean Coomber (I visited him in a part of Manchester when I visited the UK in the late 80’s). Also, interested to know what happened to James Goodlet and John Maher (he was in the senior boys and I recall the great guitar playing). John Garvie who was school captain that I gave a little knock in the face to just prior to being expelled. I also visited the “Comboni Missionaries” in Bailleston, Glasgow in the 90’s and the school at Adrossan??? (met one of the 36 but cannot remember if it was Martin Millar or Michael?? (I think he hailed from Liverpool). Fr. Fraser visited me in Toronto a few years ago when he was stationed here in Canada. Anyway; hope to hear from someone, ciao, ciao

  2. Hi david …I was at mirfield 71/72 18mnths worth …But I do remember a lad who had been expelled comin back I remember selling comboni missionary calenders one sunday at a parish in dewsbury …we got back late and our supper was in the kitchen but we liberated a few other luxury items as well ….lol …was that you ? Would have been 1972 …cheers charles young

  3. Yes, I do believe I recall that. It would have been just before I transferred to Sunningdale. I was involved in quite an amount of skullduggery at Mirfield. For some reason James Goodlet who was a very great and dear friend was designated to ply the priests with alcoholic beverages on feats days (they sat at the top table which was set up in the boys refectory). You may recall that on feast days boys got Bulmers cider on their tables. James allowed me to assist him in sampling the fine wines and spirits from the priests’ refectory jajaja! I wonder how many guys remember Mr. Hughes who was an owner of Mackintosh’s in York that sometimes brought candy bars for all the boys! I wonder how many remember Mrs. Cole who worked in the kitchen with the penguins(I can say that as my aunt was a nun and she was amused at my use of the term) and her sons (one I think was Dave)! She was a marvelous person as was her husband and sons. She provided me with clothing and her husband provided me with football boots as my family was po folks. I visited her a couple of times when I was visiting the old country. She lived up in Hartshead. She was very sad at the way she was treated by the “Verona Fathers”. She regaled me with stories of the late night / early morning shenanigans of Fr. Eugene Murtagh and her sons. I did call Murtagh who was by then a parish priest in Bradford to alert him that he (and the Verona Fathers) should make contact with her as they were experiencing some difficulties. But, I was informed no one from the order ever did. Sad and disgraceful. I wonder if Kevin Degnan ( well at least I think it was him) had a flying model Spitfire that he flew in Cerea’s cherished garden.I remember when the bulge and me first started at Mirfield that we could only mix with the “seniors” on a Sunday on the basketball court (in front of the rec room). Do you remember the pool / billiard tables. Does anyone remember listening to the top twenty on radio one during study period on a Sunday night? Hmm, my memory is getting bad probably because of six hours on bypass. Thanks for messaging! Have a great day as they say in North America. Hasta Luego! David

    • Hi david lol I remember some of that too fr murtagh was There with fr frank McCullar they were great with us …sadly fr murtagh was killed in car accident good few yrs ago but fr mac is secular parish priest up in north east england ….mrs cole judged one of our art competitions …no surprise veronas treated her badly !!! ….Im nurse and did wirk in st jo’s toronto fir a while was just back on a visit last october ….pity this blog wasnt runnin in 2000 eh could have met up take care fir noooooo charles

      • yes, I knew about Fr. Murtagh. I also heard about Fr. Fulvi being murdered in the Uganada. I liked Fulvi. he had a beautiful white Mini countryman. Send me your phone number and we can chat sometime (same with anyone – I have a Magicjack and rates to UK are really cheap). I am also looking to find out about Eamon Crowe ( de Glasgow), George Blair (also Glasgow) who I eventually found out was a semi distant cousin. I suppose you was among the select few that got to go to Dewsbury Cathedral to sing. Ostensibly Cerea would not let me go as I was a crooner (he used to stand at the front of the church during choir practise and stop the singing ; chop his hand in a peculiar fashion and say ; “hey Brooks you no sing you destroy my choir”. Although that was not the reason for me being held back at the internment camp. I also missed out on a couple of the trips to York and some fall down monuments somewhere in Yorkshire. Going home on the train was great fun with Tommy Nairn, Brian McLaughlin? Eamon, George Blair and some guy who I cant remember his name but had a peculiar habit of shining up the front of his shoes by rubbing them behind his pant legs. If you know anyone that might recall me get them to hit me up. I can send one photograph of me at Mirfield.

    • Hi David
      I was at roe head in 66, many memories, fr cerea and his canary. Br. Sartori who was ex footballer , infirmary in old house with frightening visits in night. Only one year of my life but vividly remembered. Musical group mustered to perform In front of nuns, priests and visitors in library. Great rendition of bachelors hit “I believe”
      Forgot words half way through , followed by Jim reeves distant drums. Similarly cocked up.
      Ben and I causing explosion,(he made me do it). Fr. fulvi’s flick knife. Cleaning corridor floors with mops and sand.
      British bulldog, numbers in the wood.
      Ambrose Mulroy, john Lundon, Steven? Duffy , remember pinkman stopping us from attending bonfire night, loads more …….
      Saddened by reports and best wishes to all.

  4. It would be good David if you could send a photograph, or maybe more. I am sure, that, they could go on the blog if you wish.

    Thanks for the postings – very interesting; and appreciated by many.



  5. Hi David. Just come across your blog. My name is David Rogers I was with you at Mirfield and Sunningdale. Had some crazy night in the outside games building.

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