Me helping Dave Latu with the bees

Marist Fathers’ Novitiate,
Private Bag,
P. Nth.
Sat. 15th Feb. ’69.

Dear Mum & Dad,

I got a big fright when I realized Francie’s 21st is coming up! Make sure you give a loud cheer so that I can hear it from here!

Fr. Bennett came back from his holiday this morning, and we began classes again this morning. Fr. O’Connor summed up the last 3 weeks by saying, “When the cat’s away the mice do play”. This was not as bad as it sounds, because the number of pranks we could possibly get up to at Novitiate are somewhat limited.

Peter Lander wrote to me from the Mount. He was one who had tea at home. He asked me to apologize for not writing & said that they had a tremendous time. He said to say thanks very much. (You know how hard it is writing when on holiday!)

Bishop Styvenberg (Bishop of the Solomons) is due to arrive to stay the night. We haven’t seen him yet. He’s a Marist. Fr. McVerry (the student you showed how to use the sickle, & the priest you spoke to when you took Leo to S’Stream) will be going to the Solomons sometime this year.

Robert Devlin’s hawk is still alive, & you can put it on the lawn & it won’t move if you walk up to it. This is probably because it has only one leg and its wings are clipped. He is allowed to keep it until its wings grow again. (Apparently hawk’s wings take 12 months to grow).

I have got an ants’ nest in a glass case in my room. You’re not supposed to have pets at Novitiate, but I thought ants wouldn’t be noticed.

Tim Donoghue went home for several days this week at Wellington. His father is very ill. However he is back now - & really just waiting to hear the bad news. You may remember them at Upper Hutt (they remember you – they told me one visiting day). Margaret & Paul Donoghue. Mrs. Donoghue knew Phyllis Connelly fairly well, & remembers you as being very close friends with her.

Fr. Cyril Donoghue brought Tim back yesterday. He used to be at Levin. He knows Helen & Rick (especially Helen I think) & knew all about Stanley. So pass the word on.

Last Monday we had been in the Seminary a year. My Singing Class suffered for we spent the whole ½ hour “practising” singing “Happy Birthday”.

Well, I think that that is all the news.

Love from

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