Back from Nantes with memories
Mr. F. Nye
A MOST interesting visitor Acame into the office last week, more or less straight off the plane from France. He is Mr. Frederick Nye, a welder mechanic at Ford's. Dagenham, who has just spent a fortnight in Nantes.
It was in Nantes that Mr. Nye was sheltered by the local population after the sinking of the troopship Lancastria off SaintNazaire in June, 1940. He was one of those fortunate to survive the catastrophe, and was even more fortunate, he told me, in his reception by the Nantais.
He has kept in touch with the friends he made at that time. and. just before beginning his holiday this year, wrote a letter to the Mayor of Nantes. In this letter, which the Mayor had published in all the local newspapers, he says, "I have always wanted to express my thanks to the people of Nantes and its area, for the friendliness and courtesy which they showed to us simple soldiers and airmen in 1939-40."
The French papers printed this letter the day before he arrived with his wife (who is French) and family, and so it was no wonder that they were made most welcome by the peacetime Nantais.
In Dagenham, Mr. Nye has made a considerable reputation for himself as a fierce critic of the Communist shop stewards, who, until recently, held almost undisputed sway over thousands of workers there.
A former Conservative candidate in the Romford local elections. Mr. Nye told me that he thinks it is often a good policy not to fight under a political label. "So now I keep off my party platforms. and tackle the Communists as a worker at the plant then there is no question of political gain", he said Sister wants drum THE New Guinea hills will be alive with the sound of music again when two missionary nuns arrive there.
The nuns are Sisters Chrestete and Bernardina, both Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Ghost. They flew into Sydney from Steyl. Germany on their way back to the island missions.
For more than 16 years these two nuns have made music as part of their apostolate. "The natives adapt our hymns to their local customs and, of course, we use their folk songs," said Sister Chrestete, who plays the piano-accordion. "Hail, Queen of Heaven" is now a popular wedding march.
The Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Ghost have 62 members in New Guinea and 61 musical instruments. They said they need a set of drums because at present they are improvising with a net of cooking utensils.
IT was only the week before last
that we published a letter from a Mr. A. Georges, of Hertfordshire. who was asking for a "Senior Citizens' Day". which could be set aside for elderly people, too. often left lonely in their old age.
We have now had a most impressive reply to this suggestion, from Mrs. Barbara Brookwood, of Portsmouth. who edits a magazine called "Senior Citizen". It appears every other month, and Mrs. Brookwood, has sent us three of the four first issues, including the current edition, for August-September. The progress of the magazine, which as Mrs. Brookwood says in her letter, has no financial backing at all. is evident. even in the three issues which I have seen. The contents are duplicated (and very well duplicated, too). but the current issue has a printed cover, replacing the duplicated cover of earlier editions,
Inside the magazine. 1 find suggestions for starting a weekly Day Centre for old people, short stories and quizzes, a Book Page (Fr. Teilhard de Chardin's Letters from a Traveller is reviewed in the April issue), verses and readers' letters.
The emphasis of "Senior Citizen" is slanted. not so much at the old age pensioners, as at those who have reached middle age, and have their pensions still to come. To quote Mrs. Brookwood, "A great deal is done for old age pensioners. Very little is done for the middleaged who have time to spare or are in need of mental, spiritual, and physical helpthere are any Senior Citizens among our readers who would be interested in subscribing to this very worthwhile venture, (an annual subscription costs ten shillings). Mrs. Brookwood's address is 61 Ophir Road, Portsmouth, Hants.
AGROUP of French nuns. belonging to the Congregation of La Retraite du Sarre Coeur, arrived in England last Tuesday. They are all science mistresses, at schools, and they are spending two weeks studying English methods of teaching physics, visiting laboratories, and attending special lectures. Leading the group is Sister St. Joan of Arc, who holds a Nuffield Fellowship to enable her to undertake research into ways of improving Physics teaching in English grammar schools.
One of the nuns. I note, hails from Yaounde, in the Cameroons, where, four years ago. the Congregation opened their first secondary school in Africa. In response to the urgent requests of Bishop Zoa of Yaounde, the Congregation is shortly to open its first retreat house on African soil.
Refugee get-together TT was good to meet a lot of old .I. friends in the refugee "biz" at a cocktail party given in London last Friday by Mrs. Woodruff for Mr. Jean Chenard, European Director of Catholic Relief Services N.C.W.C., Geneva. Amongst those invited to meet him were Mgr. Crennan who has been engaged on emigration work to Australia for many years, Baroness Bosch Van Drakenstein of The Grail, Miss Margaret Feeney (Sword of the Spirit), Fr. Thomas Corbishley, S.J., Mr. and Mrs. Russell, well known for their Aid to European Refugees; Canon Rivers, Financial Secretary of the Westminster Diocese, and several others engaged in social work, whose names I did not catch. As a former member of CRSNCWC (and C.C.R.A. Catholic Committee for Relief Abroad in case you don't remember). I was naturally interested to know just what Geneva Headquarters are coping with at present. Mr. Chenard told me that they have many socio-economic projects in hand, such as camp closures in Europe. relief work and distribution of surplus goods in the underdeveloped countries, and, of course, the N.C.W.C. News Service.
He also told me that they have the CATHOLIC HERALD in the Geneva office, which is read with great interest by all the staff! Mr. Chenard had come to England to attend the OXFAM Conference, and to visit all his friends in C.W.L., B.C.A.R., Crusade of Rescue and many other welfare organisations. N.C.W.C. had made a big contribution in cash and kind to the victims of the Skopje earthquake disaster.
OUR story, on another page, about the nurses who are travelling through twenty-six countries on a mission of mercy and goodwill. is a remarkable example of courage, initiative and selfsacrifice, and I. feel that many of our readers would like to help them along with a small donation.
As the nurses are moving on all the time. the surest way of getting aid to them is via the Hon. Secretary of the Tour Committee, Miss Eileen Moran, of 51 Cowper Gardens, Wallington, Surrey.
At the moment. I understand, funds arc fairly low.
SOME of our readers may have noticed large advertisements for H.M. Customs and Excise appearing in their daily papers.
The advertisements are a warning to club secretaries who provide "gaming machines" (or one-arm bandits. as they are better known), or facilities for gaming in their clubs, to notify the nearest Customs and Excise Office by the end of the month. Failure to do so, apparently. can mean heavy legal penalties. Roulette. baccarat. chemin de fer, poker, bridge, and even parish bingo must all, it seems. be notified. There are. however, one or two loopholes left for inveterate gamblers, They can still play dominoes or cribbage in a public house, without a minion of the law looming over them. And they can play cards at home or on trains.