by Frank McGinnis
More Good Memories
These stories bring back many of the happier memories of Mirfield.
Feast-days were good as we ate well for a day (not so good for the farm pigs/chickens) and all washed down with real fizzy orange juice.
Having no singing voice my job on such days was to hold one of the six enormous candle-sticks at the special Mass. I was always placed to the immediate left of Eddie Roberts as he swung the incense-belching orb thingy.
Every fifth or sixth swing he would let it ‘just touch’ my hand to ensure the hot overspill from my candle would flow down my arm.
I can still hear his sniggers, a brilliant guy, oh happy days.
I hated Fr Cerea, but he started it. The only nice comment I can muster is the memory of the rich tobacco aroma he emanated as he thumped the back of my head (often).
I liked Fr Grace, he looked ancient & content.
His Anglican minister to Catholic priest story puzzled me.
As a product of the West of Scotland I was sure it was against the rules.
Jumping-ship was unheard of, you had to stick to what you arrived with, you were either Catholic or Protestant.
An Indian kid started at our Primary school when I was about eight, no problem.
He was a Muslim but assured us he was a ‘Catholic’ Muslim. Clever wee guy.
I eventually just figured that Fr Grace must have got fed-up not getting his prayers answered whilst in the wrong outfit.
He was keen to see the Tories win the 1966 General Election so his Catholic prayers didn’t work all that great either.
We had a three day ‘Silent Retreat’ early in 1967. The good memory there is that Pinkie was unable to talk to wee boys about his unique interest in explaining the facts of life. Oh happy three days.
PS We have moved on in the West of Scotland since those days. One is now simply either a YES or a NO. But don’t worry we NO who they are 🙂
If anyone else has any good or bad memories of Mirfield just stick them in the Comments section after this article.