Leo during the holidays

Students’ Camp,
10 Airini Rd.,
Via Havelock Nth.
28 Jan. ‘72.

Dear Mum & Dad,

I’m sorry I haven’t written for so long. Thanks for the enjoyable holiday, especially for the trip to Northland. I enjoyed it very much.

Since we got back we have been very busy. We arrived at the Mount at about 1.15 a.m. Fr. Hickey had put a notice up on the board saying’

“The Holidays are Now Over!”

And sure enough, by 8 o’clock the next morning I was washing bottles in the cellars. I did that until Sunday. Then on Monday I stacked boxes in the cellars. On Tuesday & Wednesday I sold wine & just about wore my feet out trying to serve everyone at once. It was quite enjoyable because they all thought I was a wine expert!

On Thursday, Friday & Saturday I was haymaking, and scraping old paint off the woolshed in preparation for a re-painting. At this stage everyone except 12 of us had been sent out to Camp. On the Monday, about 65 priests arrived for the week to make their retreat, so in between haymaking & selling wine we had to cook all their meals, do the dishes, set the tables, etc. So we were kept busy. It was very enjoyable.

Last Monday I came out to Camp for a fortnight before going into the House again for more work. Fr. Frank During is in charge out here at the moment. Once again (for the 3rd time) I’m IMML (Inside Master of Manual Labour), & have to organize the cooking & see that the place is kept tidy, etc.

I suppose you know that Fr. Noel Doohan died suddenly on the 17th Jan. He was out at a bach at Paraparaumu, & died in his sleep about midnight – a massive stroke. Ironically, his last words the night before were, “Don’t bother waking me in the morning”! I heard he had about 150 priests at his funeral including the Cardinal & Bishop Ashby. Unfortunately only about 4 of the 65 priests making their retreat here were allowed to go. Fr. Hickey said, “No, make your retreat”, so that was that, otherwise there would have been a few more priests there.

Fr. Connolly takes over at the beginning of February. Fr. Chris Duggan has already taken over as Procurator, although there will probably be another reshuffle of Society procurators now that they will have to find another for Silverstream.

John Walls was ordained at Christchurch on the 22nd.

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

Love from

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