Father Joe died from pneumonia in October 2011. Mrs maytrees and I (Father Joe married us a few years back) attended his memorial mass at the Jesuit Church at Farm Street yesterday as well as dad who had attended St Ignatius College Stamford Hill as a boy with Father Joe, older brother Michael who like me had been taught history by him at Beaumont and dozens of old Beaumont boys. Many of Father Joe's relatives were there and friends from HCPT Group 35 and Stonyhurst old boys who had also benefited from Father Joe's personality and teaching skills.
It was good to sing the idiosyncratic Latin version of Pater Noster to the tune sung at school. I have never heard the Pater Noster sung in that way other than by Beaumont aficionados. It is a pity in my view that such a rousing version of the Lords Prayer is not in more common use.
Meeting afterwards with old friends including many of the Beaumont Union who were also friends of Father Joe's was most enjoyable. Dad and Michael were none too keen about the formal dress code of the East India club where refreshments had been laid on so had their lunch elsewhere. On comparing notes later, dad's expressed view that the more formal the dress code the less enjoyable can be the food, turned out to be spot on this time
My fondest memories of Father Joe were firstly being part of his team of librarians at school mainly I think on account of the delicious librarians' tea that he would organise at the end of term and secondly his very special presence during many of the annual pilgrimages to Lourdes of HCPT Group 35, as part of our team as chaplain. His commentaries on le petit Lourdes, Le Cachot and la Creche Anime were a great mix of the amusing and holy and held both children and helpers spell bound.
May he Rest in Peace