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

St Bridget’s, Baillieston.


Those present: John Brown

                        Anne Caruana

                        Dave McCann

                        Brian McGuire

                        Mgr McIntyre

                        John O’Donnell


                        Raymond Caruana (Minutes)



Apologies:      Peter Creron

                       Jim Cassidy

                       Peter Gorman

                       Paul Bradford

                       John O’Brien


Mgr McIntyre opened the meeting with a short prayer.


1. Chair


Those present agreed that the Meeting would be chaired by Dave McCann in the absence of Peter Creron.


2. Appointment of Committee Members.


The following were agreed.


Chair                    Peter Creron

Treasurer             Anne Caruana

John O’Donnell   Membership Secretary

Dave McCann     History Group

Minutes               Raymond Caruana

Webmaster          Brian McGuire


The Committee agreed unanimously that Jim Cassidy would be asked to continue to act as Secretary.


It was agreed that John O’Brien would act as East Coast Representative; Jim Cassidy as Eire Representative; and Paul Bradford would assist in any way possible.


3. Previous Minutes


In the absence of a quorum at the last meeting it was agreed that the last formal meeting on 9 March be regarded as the last formal meeting.



Matters Arising


Requiem Mass 2008


Clarification is required on the date of the Requiem Mass in November. Some Members had this noted as being on the 8 November while others had 15 November. Brian McGuire will contact Mgr McSorley, St Andrew’s Cathedral, Glasgow, and thereafter put the correct date on the Friends’ Site.


The Mass will not be a Requiem for deceased Staff and Students but will be the Mass of the day with appropriate prayers. It was suggested that Michael Carlin will also contact Mgr McSorley to establish if the Friends could be of any assistance in the Liturgy.


The Mass will take place in St Andrew’s Cathedral, Glasgow at 13.00 hrs.


Post Requiem Mass: It was proposed that there should be an opportunity for those attending the Mass to meet socially after the Mass (Coffee and Chat). Anyone interested should contact Jim Cassidy. He would then be in a position to have an idea of possible numbers. A location has yet to be confirmed.


AGM 2008


Members were pleased at the response to the open day and the AGM 2008 although they were somewhat disappointed that despite the numbers there were no new Friends registered as Members.


Concern was expressed that on the day a collection had been made at the entrance to the Study Hall. Although counted, the money was passed direct by the Chair to the Museum rather than passed through the Treasurer. In addition there was concern that the notice requesting donations did not make it clear the ultimate recipient of donations made. In addition it was felt that all expenditure on the day should have been agreed prior to being incurred. As there was an obvious breakdown in control of donations the Committee agreed unanimously that in all future events when finance is involved it must be clear as to whom any donations are to be made and that all transactions must be handled by the Treasurer who will account for it to the Committee and all Friends in the Annual Account. It was also agreed that procedures involving finance need to be clarified and confirmed in Financial Instructions. The Treasurer was asked to consider this further and report back to a future Meeting.


The Treasurer reported that she had received an account for £176 for the hire of portable toilets on the Open Day. The Committee noted that it had been agreed with the Muir Group at a meeting held in the College prior to the Open Day that under Health and Safety additions toilets were required.


While a number of forms for Membership had been issued on the day, none had been returned. It had been agreed with the Curator of the Museum that copies of the Visitors Book held in the Museum for former Students and their families should be forwarded to the Committee. This would allow the Membership Secretary to contact potential members. The Committee agreed that the Chair should contact the Curator to remind her.


AGM 2009


The AGM 2009 will be held in the College Chapel on 6 June 2009 at 14.30 followed by Mass at 17.00.


It was agreed that the Secretary should put in hand reservations as necessary.



3. Secretary’s Report


The Secretary submitted a written report. He thanked everyone for the support that he had been given since he was elected to act as Secretary for the Friends.


The Association had grown in the time he has held the post and he felt this was due to the Committee Members ably led by previous Chairs. He thanked everyone for their hard work.


During his time, the Secretary had tried to improve communications amongst Members and he had seen the Website grow and the Newsletter become much more that simply a few words on some paper. He thanked Brian McGuire (Webmaster) and Peter Creron (Chair) for their efforts and also those who had supported them.


The Secretary’s wish for the future was to push the MCE (Monthly Communication) to a point where every Committee Member gave it the time it needed to keep everyone in touch on a regular basis. He also hoped that people would be appointed to run Association events and to report back to the Committee fort approval before plans were finalised. Those appointed to head up the events would not have to be Committee Members but should have a Committee Member by their side.


4. Future Fund Raising


While the 2008 event had been successful it was felt that there were lost opportunities to maximise income. Donations and the raffle just covered the cost of the band and the buffet.


It was agreed that there would be an event in 2009 and that any funds raised would go to the Mission run by Fr Martin Chambers in Ecuador. Fr Chambers is a former Student.


The Committee agreed that the social should be on either 20 February or 17/24 April and that it should again be held in Holy Cross Hall, Glasgow. The Chair should contact Fr Neil Donnachie/ Sister Pauline, find out about availability and report back.


It was also agreed that the next event should again be a ceildh. Anne Caruana would act as Fund Raiser Facilitator, supported by volunteers. She will report back.


As a follow up to the event to raise funds for Fr Colin McInnis, Brian McGuire spoke on the issue of an existing Trust for Fr Colin. He suggested that the Committee consider if a payment should be made. It was agreed that this should be an item for the next meeting. The Secretary to include in the Agenda.


Consideration is also to be given on the question of the appropriateness of a Gift Aid for both Frs. McInnis and Chambers. The Treasurer will find out more about the scheme and report back.



5. Treasurer’s Report


Disquiet was expressed by some Members over the amount of travel expenses paid for travel to a by one of the Committee Members to attend a Committee Meeting. Although already paid there had been no detailed statement submitted for the Treasurer’s records. It had always been the assumption that Members gave their time freely when attending Friends’ events. This item should be included in the protocol being considered by the Treasurer. See above.


The Treasurer reported that the balance in the General Account stood at £1,573.87 and £975.48 in the Special Account. Some £90 had still to be transferred from the General Account to the Special Account. The delay had been caused by the availability of Committee Members to sign the necessary cheque.


6. AOB


6.1 It was agreed that there should be three Newsletters issued each year as had been suggested by Peter Gorman. In view of the sometimes difficulty in sourcing material

all Members, families and friends are invited to send items for inclusion in the newsletters. The Committee also welcomed the offer from Mgr McIntyre to continue with his contributions on life in the College.


6.2 Mgr advised the Committee that he had now received a copy of the film made in 1985 by the Church of Scotland on the College and invited Committee Members to view it. This offer was accepted. A copy of the film is being sent to the Curator of the Museum.


6.3 Members were advised that outwith the Friends of Blairs various reunions of year groups are taking place. It was suggested that details of these reunions should be included in the Friends’ site. Anyone who would like to include details of a reunion should contact the Secretary or Brian McGuire.


6.4. Dave McCann notified the Committee that he had finally established that Michael Maxwell Philip was a student in Blairs in 1843/44. He was born in 1829 and died in 1898.


7. Date of Next Meeting


The next meeting will be held on 26 October in St Bridget’s, Baillieston.


8. Close


Mgr McIntyre closed the Meeting with a short prayer.



Raymond J Caruana

1 October 2008