Saturday, 26 December 2015

Circular No 738

Newsletter for alumni of The Abbey School, Mt. St. Benedict, Trinidad and Tobago, W.I.
Caracas, 26 of December 2015 No. 738
Dear Friends,
Enjoy the video:
Glen Mckoy <>
Dec 17 at 4:31 PM
Cheers Sir Donald 
Thank you, I like, also funny, enjoy the holidays my friend,
Adios Glen.
Dec 9 at 10:34 AM
As young, innocent guys that had to go to mass every day and to confession once a week with made-up sins? to tell the priest, who even worried about religious issues. All the studying and all the great sports activities between the three houses St. Anthony, St Francis (the best of all ) and St Lawrence didn't leave much time for discussing religion. If I remember correctly, we took religion for granted and it never even crossed my mind. 
As our wise, old Bajan fada would say: "You boys just concentrate on studying, playing sports, dancing wid girls (pronounced (gee-erls), and calypso music. Leave problems about religion and politics to grown-up old farts who have notin betta to do wid dey time".
He was so correct. Now that I'm an old fart of 71, I spend a great deal of my time worrying about and discussing politics (e.g. Obama is a complete ass, Venezuela communists are worthless pricks, the Muslim extremist terrorists are crazy baboons, Pope Paco knows about as much about climate change as I know about building submarines, etc.  etc,. etc. etc. ). 
Our fada (the Bajan, not the priest) also would say: "If he religion does make he happy, that is good for he. Make sure you does always respect each person’s belief even if you doesn't agree wid dem." 
That's just life and we must enjoy it! I just finished reading the book "Zorba the Greek" for the second time. I recommend it to you guys. 
Donald Goddard 
Salvador Coscarart <> wrote: 
Well. It is a very Good question. I was thinking about it and could not remember any talks or problems concerning religion. 
Salvador. God bless.
On Nov 18, 2015, at 07:40,
This question came to mind in lieu of all the religious related wars that have occurred in the past and are taking place now……never personally experienced any religious related animosities nor other negative issues while at the Mount from 1956 till 1962
Dec 9 at 6:58 PM
Hello Old Fart (your words)
I like how you still talk de Trini lingo - a slick language we all own!
Yes, St Francis was the best house! But I think 1/3rd of the readers will say theirs was the best!
I have to agree with most of what you say, Donaldo, but it is ironic you like the house but not the host of the same name - Papa Francisco!
On this complex climate change subject none of us know enough to make a judgment, except to agree/disagree with so-called experts we like/dislike.
This is a subject I have followed with curiosity for a long time and it all comes down to the sales pitch since both sides of the argument are plausible.
It is like the 10 hour debate and vote in the UK Parliament we just had to send in Tornado bombers to Syria.
In spirit I agreed with the decision to bomb the bastards! But listening to both sides of the House for 3 hours I was equally convinced intellectually that each side was right.
But to add some value to this email group let me draw everyone's attention to a very sobering, non-emotional video I just saw which employs higher wisdom than obvious politics.
Not long to listen to - so follow the whole talk by this guy who speaks with unusual intelligence, not obvious revenge, any ex prisoner would have:
Anyway, I think that religion is not something we need to discuss if we are brought up in a reasonably religious home.
It is no different from not discussing nationality.
We only have to articulate our culture in both cases when we are challenged or see that our religion or nationality is and we feel we have to say something. Verdad?
Your own Papa was wise and a good father to tell you what he did in your penultimate sentence below.
But that takes maturity and self-control. Passing quick judgement, as we tend to do and have a laugh, is fine as long as we admit what makes us decide, emotion or intellect?
Just like the Donald Trump situation now hot in the air. His argument about simply deciding to do something drastic (until it becomes clearer when the danger is put under control) is nothing different to what has been done for over 100 years in different countries. It only sounds outrageous because most people did not live through WWII when CIVILIAN Germans and Japs were put in detention centres in England and North America. Intellectual argument is sound but emotionally / politically is a time bomb. My view? No view, since I am not a US voter, and like Trump, and I do not yet understand "what the hell is going on!".
Finally, long time no e-speak with you but I wants you to know my 93 year-old mother said years ago when I was at the Mount and mentioned the Goddard name that your mother in Barbados was one of the most attractive women she knew. So wappen to you, fella?  I tink Brian got de looks – aheada you and Christian! Pax in virtute! Amen
david dumas <>
Great of you to mail, I now live in Trinidad after 36 years in the US.
#8 Savannah West RD> blue range Diego Martin
799 4465
Charles-Henri Dunoyer de Noirmont <>
Dear Old Boy, 
Thank you for your mail and patience to find me back after so many years.
Here are my personal data:
General (retired) Charles-Henri Dunoyer de Noirmont.
Born 18 th of August 1946, in Rome (Italy)
Married 26 March 1976 to Anne-Claude de Chasteigner de La Rocheposay,
3 children
Edouard: 1977
Hortense: 1980
Pauline:    1982
Military Academy of Saint Cyr: 1968-70.
Staff College 1980
Paris Institute for political studies: 1982-84 
War College 1984 86.
Home address: 
35, Rue de la Grange-Colombe
78120 Rambouillet
Tel/fax : 33 (0) 1 34 85 51 65
Cellular :  33 (0) 6 61 53 78 17
I was one of the very few French citizens, possibly only three of us, among scores of British subjects and some Venezuelans, being a border at the Abbey School in 1957-58, in "Prep B", since my grand father, Mr. Frank Agostini, and my mother, Yvonne Dunoyer de Noirmont, born Agostini, were both born in Trinidad, in one of the old French Families established in the island ever since the 18th-19th century, such as the de Verteuil, Lange, Salvatori, Majani, etc.
My divorced mother lived in Maraval until 2008, when I took her to France for treatment.
Unfortunately, she passed away in 2011 aged 84.
I still have an aunt and a cousin in Trinidad: Mrs Danièle Agostini and her son, Philippe but my life is definitely in France. 
My best friend at the time was Gerald Kenny, who passed away some two years ago.
Best regards.
Charles Dunoyer de Noirmont. 
(Our own first GENERAL, the Editor)
O'Connor Elspeth <> 19/12/14
Enjoyed reading your Christmas email newsletter so thought I would send you ours. It is a wonderful job you do keeping all the boys in touch with what is going on. Unfortunately Richard is not that computer competent so does not follow your example! He is well and happy though and spends his days building jig saw puzzles when he is not fixing something broken that others bring for him as he is known as Mr. Fixit here. He misses his workshops terribly, had visions of going to the children for that activity but it does not really happen!  Merry Christmas to you all. 
Elspeth and Richard
Sep 12 at 11:18 AM
Hi Everyone,
Here’s a funny pic I made of my first graduation (Southampton Uni – 1970) and my last graduation (IFS University – 2015). Funny to me, anyway !
Time flies!! I wish it was 1970 again!!
I thought you might also like to know that the Guildhall where my graduation ceremony took place yesterday was built in the 12th century but it was built right next to the Roman Amphitheatre which was built almost 2,000 years ago in AD70. Downstairs of the Guildhall is a large room which is built around some of the ruins.
So quite a memorable place to get a postgrad qualification in Higher Education with a great crowd  !
This course was a very valuable and essential asset for my education project starting in January.
I’ll keep you posted.
Best regards
Dec 10 2015 at 9:43 AM
Dear All, 
It is with much regret that I pass on the sad news received from Rudi Singh that Paul Quesnel has passed away: 
O'Connor Elspeth <>
Thanks for all your emails.  
We are going to New Norcia, which is a Benedictine Monastery, next weekend for the celebration of Bishop Salvado who came from Spain and founded the monastery about one and a half hours away from Perth. There will be a Mass, followed by a luncheon, Spanish guitar music and Flamenco dancing and we will sleep in the Guest House.  I will write a note for you to circulate after the event.  
Elspeth O'Connor
EDITED by Ladislao Kertesz
Bandit p66x p67 The Early Times
15JG0001JGOGRADUATION, John Golding, a new graduation after 45 year
12NB4754AJAXREUNION,  Nigel Boos reunion
15CD0001CDU, Charles Dunoyer de Noirmont.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Circular No 737

Newsletter for alumni of The Abbey School, Mt. St. Benedict, Trinidad and Tobago, W.I.
Caracas, 19 of December 2015 No. 737
Here are some of the Xmas cards received.
The Circular wants to wish you a Merry Christmas, thanking you for the support through the year.
We hope that next year you would make it possible for me to keep up with the news.
Would like to receive more happy news, rather than news of deceased members of the Association.
Mª Carmen Torrado
Dec 20 at 6:37 AM
Dear Ladislao,
First of all I would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2016, with good health and lots of luck.
My wife and I were happy to see you here in person in March and we hope to be able to see you here also in the future.
We are very worried about the political and economic situation in Venezuela, because apparently the worst is still to come, and it won’t take long for a default!!
As you know we’re having elections here today and the situation is pretty dangerous because of the rise of the leftist parties.
Un abrazo
Mary Carmen and Csaba
Elsa Fernandes <>
8 Dec
I stumbled across this website My father Elson Fernandes attended Mt St Benedict in the 40's. -I assume, he was born in 1935 and attended the school from the time he was 7 or 9 until he left for Canada to attend high school. He was originally from Guyana. I was wondering if you could provide any links to anything about the school during that time. 
I was also wondering if I visited Trinidad if I could get a tour of the school, is it still a school?. 
My father is now 80, and still speaks about his time in Trinidad. The friends he made there have lasted his lifetime. 
Thank you for any information you can provide
David De Castro <>
21 Dec
Dec 19 at 9:52 AM
Don and Maggie’s Christmas Letter – 2015
We started the year on a cruise around Cuba – we did two back-to-back and thoroughly enjoyed the first week. However, the second week was a disaster – hundreds of Norte Americanos joined the cruise with all their bugs, and Maggie was diagnosed with influenza A and was quite ill, and confined to our cabin for the rest of the cruise. At one point it was doubtful if she would be able to leave Cuba when we were scheduled, but by hearty doses of ibuprofen to reduce her temperature, and valiant efforts to appear bright eyed and bushy tailed, we succeeded in leaving. Don is determined never to cruise again, but Maggie still has hopes …
In the Spring we had a surprise and most enjoyable visit from Brian Goddard, a Venezuelan Old Boy from the Abbey School in Tunapuna in Trinidad. Brian got Don out exploring the island once again, and visiting Sandy Island for one of Simone’s delicious lunches. He had lots to tell us about conditions in Venezuela, and must be very happy with the change of government there.
Talking of change of government, Anguilla had an election in April too. The previous government did not win one seat – the present government won six of the seven seats, and the last went to an independent. There are now three women in the House of Assembly, two of them lawyers. 
Brian was a great walker and with his encouragement, Don did some more exploring of the coast. The fact that he was accompanied by our lovely neighbours and friends helped, he claims, to make the walking easy, no matter how rugged the going.
Maggie’s niece Belinda stayed with us for two weeks in April. She was on a year in Canada on a student work permit, and was between jobs, and was tired of snow. She appeared to enjoy her trip, and certainly lapped up the sun and warmth during her trip
The year 2015 is setting up to be the driest on record for Anguilla. We have had in all approximately one third of the average rainfall for the year so far. That is not only a problem for the garden. The only water we have at home is what we catch on our roof, and store in our cistern. So, a drought is a very serious problem. Probably the most profitable business in Anguilla this year has been the trucking and selling of processed well-water.
Don is still teaching CAPE (Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Exams, which in our day were called A levels) law at the High School, but has informed the powers-that-be that this is his last year.  He has also given notice to the Department of Social Welfare that he will no longer provide his free legal aid clinic, and to prison that he will no longer visit there each Wednesday to help the prisoners.
By the end of this year, all six of Don’s books for Form 6 law students should be published. You can see their covers here if you are curious:
As of the time of writing, only four are published. So, now whoever comes after him will have the teaching tools they need, at least until his work get out of date.
Don has, however, been appointed – again – to a Constitutional Reform Commission, and, much to his reluctance, been appointed chairman – again – 10 years since he last did it.
Maggie still volunteers at WISE twice a week, is a member of two book clubs, and enjoys reading. She is using her Kindle more for rubbish books, but still prefers dead trees for keepers.
At Easter we hosted the annual High School Form 6 Law Class pool party at the Mitchell’s veranda. We provided the venue and most of the drinks, while the young people brought plenty of food.
During the Summer, Don was very proud that he managed to locate both of the Anguillian rock orchids. The variety with the larger clump of flowers has eluded him for the past 30 years, but he finally found it again. The variety with three lavender petals is quite common and is known locally as the “Anguilla rock orchid”. The name of the variety with the five lavender petals we found on the Kew Gardens website as Psychilis Kraenzlini.
We took a trip to Nevis in at the end of April - beginning of May; we went with some friends and had a good weekend at Hermitage Hotel, (where Don had got his first peafowl decades ago. He has had two male chicks this year, so he has hopes of more next year). Most of the group we were with were avid walkers, so Maggie spent a lot of time reading on our veranda while Don and the others romped around the hills. The hotel had a good restaurant, and the food was excellent. We both put on a couple of pounds over that weekend.
Maggie flew to Europe in July. She stayed with her brother in Brecon, and then ferried to Brittany to visit her sister. On the last day of her sojourn she had an accident: she thought in the dark she had reached the bottom of the stairs and had not. She had a nasty fall and her right foot was badly strained, swelled up like a balloon and turned lots of pretty colours – purple, blue, green, yellow, red … she was rather circumscribed in her movements for the rest of her holiday. She enjoyed seeing her siblings, nieces and friends, but her accident meant she was unable to get to see her brother Flurry and his wife, which was a great shame.
In the Autumn, Don went on a trip to Greenland where he delivered a paper on Anguilla and Independence. If you are really desperate for something to read, you can see it here:
On one of Don’s walks he discovered someone had started a coal kiln in the bush. You don’t often see this sight in Anguilla today, since we mostly use gas-powered barbecues.
In November, Don went off to Montserrat to help with the discussion on the banking crisis that is affecting the Eastern Caribbean. The Central Bank wants our banks to be subject to more stringent standards and supervision, which some of us violently oppose on the grounds of patriotism and nationalism. We have yet to learn if our local bank accounts will be safe.
This Christmas Tom Scott is visiting from the Isle of Wight, and Alix and Brian from Canada. There will be plenty of champagne spilled in Anguilla over the season, and I hope there will be wherever you are too.
Happy Christmas, and a bright and healthy New Year when it comes, from us both.
Dear Friends, a couple of lines from the Circular Santa, OOOOOO!
Like last year I want to use this circular to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, envious of those that can, wishing them a white Christmas and those that have snow, slow down when driving. This reminds me of the time I was in Washington D.C. at the Catholic University, which is just in the borderline for any serious snow activity, how I waited for some of the white fluffs (movie type, big as a fist), especially during my first year. When snow arrived, the horizon was misty white, the air was still and I was happy even if these fluffs were rice sized. When they hit ground they melted fast, with it my illusion, at least momentary, for as a saying reads, a lot of grains make a mountain?
Last year I mentioned Graham Gonsalves who sent a FW on Nativity in TT, I had hoped that this year he would have contributed some so that I could include it in this circular.
Now backing up a couple, two figure, years. I can remember the pre-Christmas moments at the Mount, everybody was talking about the Xmas holidays (was it because of the illusion of presents?) and the impending school year end. The future trip home, away from jail, as we prepared to travel home to meet our families. Those that did not travel far it was a vacation with festivities and beach, and those, especially those that had to travel by air, there was the excitement of the gifts that were bought on one or more Wednesdays when we were allowed to travel to PoS and shop. The first stop was at George Habib´s store by Marine Square, then pack the bags, load the green Bedford flat-bed truck and the VW buses and go to the airport for the flight. The excitement of seeing our parents and family (freedom) at the end of the trip. Make up a lot of excuses for those of us for the poor qualifications and notes from Fr. Bernard.
I am including this new circular earlier than usual, to celebrate Xmas, I know all of you are busy playing Santa, with or without red robe and white hair and beard, pouch or not. The white hair, beard and all if not in evidence, shall be with us in a few more years??
Here in Caracas we are not lucky to celebrate the holidays with snow and all the cold, but to emulate you snow bound folks, I bought a real West Virginian pine tree, the smell is here!. This manner of seeing things puts a question in my mind as I suppose that those that have to deal with installing chain on the tires, shovelling snow in the morning, keeping the grand children dressed up for the cold, etc. would prefer the tropics while we would like to see some snow and the accompanying cold for at least a few days, just for the taste. I presume that is why those in the cold and have the means, migrate to Florida and we tend to go North.
I have a special message for the following classmates from my Class 1960:
I have been asked by some of the oldboys that have known you during or stay at MSB, on your whereabouts and general information, I have not been able to satisfy the inquiries because of the silence, so if you can send a few lines they would be appreciated by all of us and by me specially.
Can anyone relay this to them I would appreciate it very much:
Richard Galt, Christopher Webster, James Seheult, David Pampellone, Egan Baichoo
All of us hopefully would make it to the 31th, if the children and grand children help us, after the big day!!. (see the gif image I am sending of the typical granpa) The step from the 31th to the year 2003, I am sure is going to be easy and smooth as silk. Of course if we do not try to eat (or swallow) a grape per bell stroke at midnight as some traditions demand.
mail Jan <>
Dear Ladislao,
Yes I receive your mails and links from Don Mitchell to the blog where the circulars are.
We owe you a lot, tireless you put in labour to keep up the connections between the alumni as far away as the Netherlands!
For that all my gratitude!
My class was the class graduating in summer 1968. I haven’t seen very much alumni of my class, maybe one or two.
But now you enclose a picture of Derek Phillips and his wife. Yes, he was in my class! Very hard to recognize in the picture, but that’s the problem we all face, we are getting old.
Thanks very much for all your good works, I enjoy it very much.
Much greetings
Jan Koenraadt MSB ‘63-‘67
Ed Lloyd <>
Hi Ladislao
Received with thanks. Sad news about Gerard, only found out a few days ago, that he passed away, I last saw him in Glasgow when we were at a friend’s wedding about 15 years ago. Will remember him in my prayers.
Kazim Abasali
Hi Boys,
I will get back to you all shortly on the database, as I am having major website hosting issues at present. Farouk and Anthony are brothers from Arima where I came from, and we all knew one another. Will get the database up to date. I thank and appreciate all the comments. When Farouk passed recently, I posted in our MSB Facebook group and then photos of the service by one of our Boys who attended. I guess the Facebook group is the go-to place as we get with the times and with social media. A lot of these things keep me busy everyday. The Facebook Group, the Website, and the Database. Phew! All in this lifetime. Will share more with you all as I sort out my website hosting issues. God bless us all......Kaz
EDITED by Ladislao Kertesz,
Bandit p64x p65 The Early Times
15DM0018DMIGREENLAND,  Don Mitchell in Greenland
15DM0002DMIWFE, Don Mitchell and Maggie
60LK1960CALENDER, Calendar for my Form V year.