Highden.
Sun. 13th July ’69.

Dear Mum & Dad,

There is quite a bit of news this week..!

Today is Retreat Sunday – we have one a month – in which we prepare for Death & review the last month, etc.

Last Wednesday – Fr. Kingi – came and said Mass. He is the 5th Maori priest to be ordained. He also gave us his 1st blessing.

The new jobs and changes of rooms came out this morning. I’ve got the same jobs though – Singing, Book-Binding & Car Washing. My room is No. 6! (and is the only occupied room on the cold side of the building! – but it is really no colder than the warm side). We have also changed out positions in the dining room, & I am now sitting where I sat before in the first term. Murray Cox is the Monitor and David Latu in the Bellman – these are the most dreaded jobs so that’s why I mentioned them.

This morning I sang the Epistle in LATIN at Mass – there were about 20 people down the back. The music goes all fancy when a question comes into the music, & there was one question today but we got through all right.

We are allowed to “pursue our hobbies” in the Father’s Library (the “Crystal Palace”) during our free time now. That means we see books other than religious ones. We also get the papers now – so the “discipline” lasted only for the 1st 6 month.

I caught a possum the other day bit it was too small to skin so we buried it in Fr. Bennett’s Garden with its tail sicking out of the ground!

Last Tuesday we had a Conge at Burke’s farm which I about a ½ mile Sth. of Feilding.

Now for the big news… Kerry Maher left this morning. He told us last night he was going, He said he might call in at home some time in the next 5 years & “Ava cuppa tea”. Of course everyone is rather shocked & have all been very quiet today. Because after you’ve been living with a person for 1 ½ years with 11 others, & no one else hardly ever seen, when he goes it’s a bit like your wife dying (!)

You don’t really realize how much pressure is keeping you in this place even though everyone pretends not to like it very much. When you think of leaving, you think of your family, & of your job you’ll be taking on, etc. etc. But you don’t think of the band – however the 11 others would be the hardest thing to leave. So it takes a lot of courage to leave.

Well, I think that that is all the news. I hope you have nearly fully recovered Dad.

God bless! & love from
Bruce




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