Saturday last was a red-letter day for the Catholic youth of Wigan, Lancashire, marking as it did the official opening of St. John's Catholic Youth Club, a mixed centre for boys and girls between the ages of 13i and 21, by Mgr. Halsall, Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool.
The Bishop was supported by the Mayor and Mayoress of Wigan (Councillor and Mrs. F.
Roberts), Mr. H. R. Bennett,
B.Sc. (Director of Education), Mr. A. Weedall (Juvenile Employment Officer and Youth Organiser), Colonel Sir John J. Shute, M.O., Mr. Leo Cottriall (Club Preeident), Miss W. Pearson (Lady President), and many distinguished citizens. Mgr. J. Moss, D.D. (parish priest of St. John's) presided.
Speaking at the opening, Bishop Helsel] said there was something solidly good in the work being done for youth, and, as Catholics, they should be, as they had always been, to the fore in that work.
The Mayor of Wigan (Councillor Roberts), said that a youth club like St. John's provided a sound link between school and adult society and taught the young citizen his duty to the community. He felt sure that St. John's would prove a fine exemple of what a youth club ought to be.
Colonel Sir John Shute, D.S.O., congratulated the club upon its situation and amenities, and said that under the new Education Act, the Minister would no doubt work in full conjunction with voluntary bodies such as theirs.
Mr. Leo Cottriall (President), in thanking the speakers, said the occasion was one which marked the fulfilment of dreams and embit'ons. The club had grown through bard work and they were proud of what had been achieved.
" The Elms " is the name of the large house accommodating St. John's club. Standing in extensive grounds,
it is plemantly situated on the outskirts of Wigan, and is the property of the Corporation.
Club membership of 250 is divided into four houses under the leadership of a captain, and all activities are organised on competitive lines. The club had its foundation in a dancing class at St. John's lower club TOMS three years ago.