Minutes of the Meeting of the Friends of Blairs on Sunday 9 December 2007 at St Bridget’s, Baillieston.



Those present: John Brown

                          Anne Caruana

                          Peter Creron (Chair)

                          David McCann

                          Mgr J McIntyre

                          John O’Donnell


Apologies:         Jim Cassidy

                          Peter Gorman

                          Brian McGuire



In the absence of the Mgr at the start of the meeting, the Chair opened proceedings with a short prayer.


1. Minutes of the previous meeting: Mandy Brown should read Mandy Murray.


2. Matters arising.


The Committee welcomed the new Chair to his first meeting in that capacity.


3. Chair’s Report


The Chair reported that following a conversation with Anne Caruana, he had provisionally booked Holy Cross Parish Hall, Crosshill, Glasgow, for the Ceilidh for either Friday 28 or Saturday 29 March. The Sisters of the Gospel who run the Hall had given over the Hall free because of the cause being supported. The Chair had also enquired of a caterer and musicians.


The Committee discussed the estimated costs and to ensure the maximum income decided that:


3.1 The event would be held on Saturday 29 March 2008 in Holy Cross Parish Hall. The times would be 19.00 -24.00.


3.2 Tickets should cost £7 each to include a hot buffet. This is based on 100



3.3 Those attending would bring their own alcohol and other drinks as there will be no bar provided.


3.4 Enquiries as to the cost of the St Roch’s Ceilidh Band would be made. Failing that the Chair will follow up his previous contacts. In that case the cost would be in the region of £160 - £250 depending on the number of musicians (1 or 2).


3.5 The Committee will consider at a later date if any donation should be given to the Sisters for the use of the Hall.


3.6 The event will need to be advertised. The Chair will try and obtain a photo of what Fr Colin’s mission is all about. Member Brian McGuire to be approached to put together a piece to advertise the cause.


3.7 It was suggested that any advertisement should also include the mission run also in Equador by Fr Martin Chambers who also attended Blairs. It was agreed this would be done if possible.


Other matters


3.8 The Chair apologised for having missed the previous two meetings. He thanked

      Members for his nomination as Chair and expressed his agreement at what the

      Committee had decided during the meetings.


3.8 The Chair expressed the view that the Association, if it had to survive beyond the

       Blair’s Former Pupils and Staff, had to develop members who see themselves as

       Friends of Blairs. In order to achieve that the Association needed to appeal to a

       wider audience and he felt that this could be done by becoming more aggressive

       in its initiatives.


3.9 (1)  Proposal No1.


       Following the successful Concert held in the College Chapel by Mandy (around

       200 attended), the Association could look at the timing of the AGM. This would

       involve perhaps staying over for the Sunday and inviting a Diocesan Choir to

       come up and have a sung Mass followed by a buffet in the former Study Hall and

       perhaps have a Concert along the lines of what Mandy held. This could be in

       either the Study Hall or the Chapel with all of us on hand to talk to people

       about life at Blairs.


This coming year may be the last opportunity to gain access to the buildings before the redevelopment starts.


To promote the event the Association should secure publicity through Parishes, encouraging people to visit.


The event could be linked to Prayer for vocations.


The Committee discussed the suggestion and agreed that such an event could be held although caution was expressed because the Association had tried previously to have an event at the College but this had to be cancelled because of lack of support. It was agreed that we put out the message that this may be the last chance to see the College and direct this message to Parishes and anyone with any connection to the College. The following were decided.



1        The whole event would be a valedictory to the College.

2        The AGM and event would take place on 7 June 2008.

3        There would be a Mass in the Chapel. Invitations would be extended to Bishop Moran of Aberdeen, Mgr John McIntyre and Canon Bill Anderson

4        The Mass would be for Vocations.

5        There would be a visit to the Museum and College.

6        The event would be admission by ticket.

7        The Ticket would cover entry to the Museum and cover the Buffet.

8        Former Pupils/ Staff/ Families/ Friends and Parishes would be targeted.

9        Local people from Aberdeen and Parishes would be invited.

10    There would be some form of entertainment (Concert?) and Speakers.

11    The Chair would write to the Bishops’ Conference to tell them what is proposed.


Arrangements will be further discussed at the next meeting.


Proposal No.2


The Chair suggested that the Association develop an ongoing source of income to support the Friends of Blairs’ initiatives both in the Museum and other worthwhile causes such as Fr. Colin’s mission.


The Chair put forward a very innovative proposal where Friends could develop an additional income while at the same time provide an ongoing income to the Friends. The proposal centred around a project “uVme”. To do this it would be necessary to have a “front” on behalf of the Friends. The Chair indicated that he could give ongoing support in the building of it.


There followed a detailed presentation of the proposal.


Following the presentation the Committee raised various concerns and posed several questions to the Chair. Some members felt the proposal was unacceptable in view of the financial implications for the Friends. To adopt the Scheme would change the nature of the Committee and the Association would have to be run as a business. While it was not pyramid selling it was based on the pyramid structure.


Members also felt that if this Scheme were to be adopted there would be a danger that the Friends would lose support including from some Committee Members.


The Chair circulated a publication which set out the details of the Scheme and which could be read before the next meeting at which a final decision would be taken. Members may wish to express their views by e-mail prior to the meeting.



4. Treasurer’s Report.


The Treasurer reported that the balance in the Ordinary Account stood at £1,628.32 while in the Special Projects Account the balance was £1,056.90.


The total funds available are £2,685.73.


The Committee asked the Chair if any discussion had taken place when he was in Aberdeen at the Concert in the Chapel on the use of the Special Projects Account. The Chair confirmed that no such discussion had taken place.


5. Membership Secretary’s Report


John O’Donnell, Membership Secretary, reported that currently there were 55 paid up members with the expectation that this number would increase. He expressed the view that this indicated there was a solid membership. The Chair undertook to include a reminder about membership and the payment of fees in the next Newsletter.




6. History Group


The Group has not met for various reasons. Another meeting will be arranged in the new year.


7. Secretary’s Report


The Secretary thanked everyone for all the work done in organising the Requiem Mass for this year and extended his thanks to those who had attended.


The MCE is being taken on board by many of the Committee and he thanked those who make an effort.


8. Requiem Mass


This year’s Mass was held in St Michael’s Church, Kilmarnock, concelebrated by Bishop Cunningham of Galloway, Mgr John McIntyre and Fr Eddie McGhee. Around 20 Members including families attended. The Committee thanked Bishop Cunningham, Mgr McIntyre and Fr McGhee and extended a further thanks to Fr McGhee for the buffet laid on after the Mass in the Parish House.


The Committee decided that the Requiem Mass next year would take place on 15 November 2008. David McCann was asked to approach the Parish Priest in St Andrew’s Cathedral, Glasgow, and enquire if the 13.00 hours Mass could be the Requiem.


9. AOB


Mgr McIntyre brought the Committee’s attention to a film about the College that had been made by the Church of Scotland Film Team in the last 2 years that the College was open.


He has tried to secure a copy but to date this has not materialised.


John Brown indicated that he may be able source a copy and that he would take this forward.


The Committee felt that it would be a benefit to have a copy and that the Museum may wish to have one also.


It was also mentioned that in amongst material donated by Fr John Kane was an 8mm file made in 1966 of St Ninian’s Form. This is currently with the Archives and it is hoped to produce a proper film which could be shown. 


10. Date of Next Meeting


The next Meeting will be held on 27 January 2008 @ 19.30 hrs in St Bridget’s, Baillieston.