Red Island, Waimarama

Mt. St. Mary’s,
Sun. 8th Feb. ’70.

Dear Mum & Dad,

Well, we are all back at the House. Classes begin tomorrow ? This year we are 2nd year philosophers & we do “Logic”.

17 Aspirants arrived yesterday. There were supposed to be 18 but one pulled out. They all seem to be settling in alright. Yesterday was one of the busiest days of the year – tidying up the place all morning & welcoming & meeting the Aspirants all afternoon – and the temperature went up to 98° at Noon! The minimum temperature was 74° so it was very exhausting. At least they got a warm welcome!

On Friday I came in early from Camp & helped Bro. Michael wash all the blankets – about 300. There are no Aspirants from Silverstream this year.

Unfortunately most of the last week of camp was cloudy – but it was still hot enough for swimming.

The new jobs come out tomorrow, I don’t know what my jobs will be. I don’t think I’ll be on book-binding this year because there are already too many. Usually one 3rd year student becomes Bellman for 6 months, & another for the last six months, so there is a chance I might get that job. It is the most dreaded job in the place.

Fr. Arbuckle is still in New Guinea at the moment but will be returning at the end of this month to teach us Sociology. My subjects this year are Philosophy, Sociology, Scripture, History, & Eloquence. I think I told you that Fr. Flanagan has gone to Futuna.

I’ve started collecting shells again because there are some other students interested. So I was wondering if next time someone comes up they could bring my shell collection (if it still exists???) &/or also the books on N.Z. Shells & N.Z. Insects. They have got quite a few books on it here in the library.

Brian Quin found a fossil of an Oyster at Red Island at camp. It is only about 6 inch part of one. The original oyster was about 3 feet across & that was over 100 million years ago. The funniest thing was that the hunk of rock with the fossil in weighed 44 pounds & 3 students had to carry it up & down cliff faces for about 5 miles back to Camp.

I have eventually sorted out my room.

The bird-scarers in the grape-vines are busy going again at the moment. Remember them 2 years ago? – gun shots about twice a minute. Grape-picking will probably begin in a fortnight.

It is raining today, so things have cooled down a bit.

I am going to learn to play the pedals on the organ this year. You have two keyboards for your hands, & one for your feet so it will be fairly complicated. Br. Pat Devlin is in charge of the Singing this year.

Well, I think that that’s about all the news.

Love from

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