Minutes of the Meeting of the Friends of Blairs held on 14 December 2008 at

St Bridget’s, Baillieston.



Those present:  Anne Caruana

                         Dave McCann

                         Brian McGuire

                         Mgr J McIntyre

                         John O’Donnell


                        Raymond Caruana (Minutes)


Apologies:      Paul Bradford

                        John Brown

                        Jim Cassidy

                        Peter Gorman

                        John O’Brien



In The absence of the Chair, the Committee decided that the meeting would be chaired by Dave McCann.


The Acting Chair opened the Meeting with a short prayer.


1.      Minutes of the Previous Meeting


The Minutes were approved subject to the following amendment:


Para. 5.2   The Committee agreed that their view should be clarified.  Add “……on the Blairs site”.


2.      The cheque for the stipend for the recent November Mass should be payable to Mgr C J McElroy.


3.      Report from Chair


A letter had been received from a gentleman (Desmond Hughes) in Thailand who had written memoirs which included time at the College. A copy of the manuscript had been sent to Peter Gorman who will serialise the memoirs in the Newsletter.


4.      Report from the Secretary


The support for the MCE has been most gratifying. Those of us who cannot attend the Meetings find it very useful for keeping in touch with all. My thanks for your support. Please continue with the MCE.


I am delighted that we are holding a Fundraiser in April. We are slowly building a foundation that may encourage others to join our great organisation. The “others” I refer to do not need to be Blair’s boys!!!


The newsletter had been hit with problems at the start of our year but now we are all back on track. I hope the next edition is despatched on time. Our Editor has done some prep on it before he left for Canada. He returned on 13 December so he should be on the case shortly.


I sent letters to Archbishop Conti and Bishop Elect Toal on our behalf. I have also written to Bishop Moran re the AGM, I have yet to receive a reply. Canon Anderson has replied and will be attending the AGM and the Mass.


Again I apologise for my actions in the past which resulted in some turmoil for us. It now seems we have put the incident behind us and I feel we are stronger for it.  This can’t be a bad thing!


My thanks to my fellow Committee Members for their support and I shall continue to do my best for the Association as always.



5.      Report from the Treasurer


The balance in the Ordinary account is -  £1,745.40

The balance in the Special Account is  -  £1,066.54


Total Funds available: £2,811.94


In view of the amount of funds held the Committee agreed that there should be a specific discussion at the next Committee Meeting on the use of the Funds.


Following the last Meeting the Financial Protocol has been amended. Copies were given to Committee Members.



6.      Charity Event


In the absence of the Chair a confirmed update could not be given. As matters stand the event will be held on 24 April in Holy Cross Hall, Glasgow. The Band has been booked. There will be nothing unusual on the night but only what would be expected at a fund raising event i.e. Dance, Raffle etc.


Numbers will be restricted to conform to Health and Safety and Fire Regulations.


Details of the event will be circulated around Parishes and will be included in the newsletter.


Fr Martin Chambers, Ecuador, has been told of the event.



7.      Charity Donations


The question was again raised as to whether or not we wanted to make a regular donation to Fr McInnes (Ecuador).


The Committee felt that it was for the AGM to decide and not the Committee. There was a danger that such a step could set a precedent; there could be difficulties in setting criteria; and why should we support only one specific cause?


It was also agreed that prior warning of the possibility of making such a regular donation should be included in the Newsletter.


8.      Concert


The Concert was a wonderful success in the beautiful setting of the Chapel.


9.      Donation to Miss M Murray – Blairs Museum


It was felt that it would not be appropriate to use Association Funds to make a donation. If anyone wished to make a personal donation this should be passed to the Chair.


10.  Requiem Mass


The Committee expressed its pleasure at the outcome of the November Mass. While only around 30 Friends, including some new faces attended and the Mass was not specifically for deceased former Students and Staff, Mgr McElroy spoke well about the College.


The Committee agreed that in accordance with a previous decision to hold the Annual Requiem Mass in all Dioceses in Scotland, next year’s Mass would be held in

St Mirin’s Cathedral, Paisley. It was recognised that the previous occasion when Mass was held there was the Funeral Mass for the late Bishop S McGill.


Next year’s Mass would be held on 7 November. It was agreed the Secretary would write to Bishop P Tartaglia and to the Cathedral Administrator, Mgr John Tormey.



11.  A.O.B.


1.1    The Chair had confirmed that parts could be obtained for the printer but would be in the region of £200. The Committee felt that it did not have the expertise or knowledge to decide if it would be better to retain the present printer and pay for parts or to buy a new one. It was agreed that further research was necessary before a decision could be taken. They agreed that the Chair should make enquiries into this and report back.


1.2    Some Members had attended the recent unveiling in the Museum of the copy of the Death Warrant of Mary, Queen of Scots. The ceremony was undertaken by Alex Salmon MSP and First Minister. His Eminence Cardinal O’Brien.


1.3    A copy of the entries in the Visitors’ Book (Former Students etc) had been received from Mandy. She expressed concern about using the information and possible breach of the Data Protection Act. As each person knew what information they were giving freely, the Committee did not see any difficulty in using the information to make contact.


The book which was provided by the Friends currently contains around 250 entries.


It was agreed that once details of names and addresses have been extracted that a copy of the next newsletter be sent to each person.



               Date of Next Meeting – 8 February 2009 in St Bridget’s.



The Meeting closed with a short prayer by Mgr McIntyre.



Raymond J Caruana

Minutes Secretary

17 January 2009.