Stonyhurst Association Annual Dinner 2016

The President, Fr Nicholas King SJ. writes:

The dinner was held at Stonyhurst this year, the Ambulacrum transformed into a palace, thanks to a wonderful team and the generous efficiency of Beverley Sillitoe. It was a great occasion, an excellent meal, with perhaps the highlight being the speech by Sr Jane Livesey (she claimed that it was the first time that she had given an after-dinner discourse, but it was as to the manner born, as many people commented). She is of course sister of two OS, former Head at Shaftesbury, then Provincial of the English Province, and now Mother General of the Congregation of Jesus, once known as the IBVM, who had graciously surrendered a weekend for the purpose of addressing the Stonyhurst family. Her talk dwelt on Truth and Trust, as they apply to Stonyhurst; she started with some of the lessons of her recent visit to Cuba.   It was a remarkable speech, and for many observers it made the evening.

And there was, of course, John Browne, the new headmaster and his wife Marie. He made an excellent speech and then followed it up, winning much admiration, by playing the organ at Mass the next morning. There were other speeches, too; one was from the President, Fr Nicholas King SJ, who had taken on the office precisely half a century after his father had held it. He spoke ofthe role of tradition in a place like Stonyhurst, enabling the living institution to look forward and back, and doing it in a different way in every generation, meeting the needs of the time.

There was a good turnout, and some very valued guests, including Mary Bailey, whose family represents such a solid bulwark of our tradition, Brian Ashton, a former coach to the Under-15 cricket team (and, as it happens, the England Rugby side), the Chairman of Governors and his wife, Charles Foulds and Wilf Usher, former stalwarts of the Stonyhurst tradition; and the Jesuits who graciously turned up to the dinner. And there was an outstanding speech by Madeleine Coulston, the Head of the Line; many experienced judges commented that they will watch her future career with great interest.