Helen & Rick visit

Mt. St. Mary’s,
Thurs. 12th Dec. ’68.

Dear Mum & Dad,

Thank everyone very much for the birthday presents. I was pleased to see Helen, Rick, Stan & Mrs Ryder on Sunday. I hope they had a good trip home.

At the moment we are out at Camp at Waimarama. Our address is still the same though. I have already been for 3 swims and the water is freezing, but after a while you get so numb that you can’t feel a thing & so can stay in for quite a while. I just got out about 10 minutes ago. The weather hasn’t been very good so far.

I am infirmarian during camp. I just hope there is no Summer sickness! The only cases I’ve had so far is 1 cut finger, 1 splinter & one eyelash in the eye. I hope I don’t get anything worse because I didn’t even know what to do with those.

We lost another Aspirant about two weeks ago. (I don’t know whether I told you). Kevin Eastwick – he has one brother a priest up at Auckland, & another brother a priest who died last year.

The Retreat went well last week except that I had my birthday in silence. However, the 3 quarters of an hour of compulsory recreation after lunch were spent in singing “Happy Birthday”. Then Tim Donoghue gave me an envelop with “Mr Howard” addressed on it. Mr Howard is our dentist & I had an appointment that day. I was to give it to him when I went. However, I suddenly got my suspicions while in the Waiting Room & opened it. It read: “It is my Birthday. Signed Br Goodman”! So I just about put my foot in it.

The dentist did most of the work & I had another appointment, but it meant coming into the House for a week so I cancelled it. However, he said that there was not much to do, & “Highden” would be soon enough to get it done. So I will go to the dentist while at “Highden”. Also it will give me a chance to get out during Noviciate! I was to go to the dentist on the 20th Dec.

Now – abut the Visiting Days & Days out. I’m sorry that I couldn’t write earlier but everything seems to be so muddled & everyone is in a fluster setting up Camp. I will enclose the list of days the van goes in & out from Camp to the House. The van goes in to the House in the morning of these set days & back out to camp with supplies in the afternoon. So the period between one van trip & another is spent at the house by any student who has a visitor in between trips (That’s rather hard to follow because I explained it badly so I will explain again!)

If van trips in a week were (for example) Sunday, Wednesday & Saturday, and a student had visitors on the Monday, then he would go into the house on the Sunday, and come back to camp on Wednesday. However, if he had visitors on Wednesday, then he would have to come in on the Sunday & go back out to Camp on the following Saturday. He couldn’t, in other words, have visitors on a van-trip-day without spending a week of his holidays in at the House. Therefore on your visiting day (or my day out) it would be best, if possible, not to arrange it on a van-trip-day.

The second thing is…

If possible I don’t want to spend Xmas in at the House because there won’t be many (if any) there. It is not just a matter of not coming on Xmas Day, but my travelling dates have to be considered. If you wanted to come the day after Xmas, then I would still have to spend Xmas in the House for example. However, I don’t really mind when you come!!!

The best time for me might not suit you at all. Anyway, for me it would be best to have it near the end of the holidays. We go to Highden on the 3rd Jan. The 30th & 31st Dec. would be the most suitable dates. However, as I said before, it doesn’t really matter when you come!

I’ve been mentioning going to “Highden” all the time, However, it does not follow automatically from your 1st year. We had to apply to the Provincial formally, and he had to accept you for Novitiate (which once every seven or 8 years he hasn’t done). All the Aspirants were accepted this year so there will be 12 of us going down next year.

Well, I think that that is all the news & explaining to be done. Harvey O’Sullivan & Bernard Cuttance (whom I went round with at school last year) both got 4 units in Engineering. Love from

Days on which the Van goes to & from Camp.
Dec. 19th
Dec. 21st
Dec. 24th
Dec. 29th (Last trip in. All the Aspirants have to go in here).
Jan. 3rd – Highden.
Best on any day between these dates.

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