CONTRIBUTION BY TOM LOMAS 1946/1955
I have enjoyed reading the other contributions, which have brought back a host of memories. I became a boarder in 1946, joining my older brother John (Bombers). It would have been Carman’s last year. John Rock was also in the sixth form and I think went on to join the brothers. Bro Browner was the junior housemaster. A brute.
Bro Butler and also Bro Brown in the sheds were my first two form masters. I remember having to write out “Honesty is the best policy” as a writing test. However my writing is still dreadful. A lad called Black from the Isle of Man joined us later, and I remember that he had beautiful handwriting. Funny the things that you remember.
Bro Phelan in form three with the two teams the carthorses and the Shetland ponies, bribing us with strawberries and ice-cream to get team points, and spending half the lesson discussing the forthcoming rugby match against St Edwards. Sunday afternoon walks in Stanley Park. Toast was 4 pence a slice in the café there. Rowing on the lake even when there was ice. Bro Taylor in my last two years was the housemaster and I liked him because he gave us some freedom from the constant rules and regulations.
I think that the teaching left a lot to be desired. Corporal punishment will never help with academic difficulties. However, I must admit that I probably owe any success that I have had to the habit of hard work, to the habits of a religious schooling and to a love of music that was instilled in me at St Joe’s.
Where is John Burke who went on to Cambridge, and with whom I enjoyed the school pilgrimage to Lourdes, where we fell in love with girls from Lincolnshire I think. Where is Fanny Gahan, a dayboy who I remember and Tom Kilblane who cycled from Fleetwood every day?
I studied medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin. Colin Condron was in Trinity at the same time. Where is he now? I enjoyed 34 years in general practice in Macclesfield until I retired on health grounds 12 years ago. I now do medical boards for the Benefits Agency. Happily married for 43 years, we have six children, five of whom have married, and seven grandchildren.
Christopher Dean, a year ahead of me, and my solicitor for many years died about a year ago. Tony McKinnel does not enjoy good health. David Hughes has retired and his brother Paul, who emigrated to Australia and had a very successful medical practice, died a few years ago. My brother John died five years ago. My younger brother, Peter, (Lollipop) was honoured with a KSG, and does sterling work for the hierarchy.
I have always held a big resentment of the brothers for their sadistic methods, and some very poor teaching. I made a point of not sending any of my children to their schools, even though my father was chairman of governors at St Ambrose. I have to thank them for some of the habits ingrained in me at St Joseph’s.
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