Thursday 28th November was diarised for a visit to the Catholic Church of Our Lady of Victories near to High Street Kensington Underground station, for former HCPT helpers who were also members of the Beaumont Union and friends.
Paul, deputy leader of HCPT Groups 35 and 729 who was also Jesuit educated though not at Beaumont, also attended.
A former parish priest of Our Lady of Victories was Monsignor Kelleher the brother of Michael Kelleher the senior partner at Witham Weld when I joined that firm many years ago as an articled clerk.
Mass was celebrated by the current parish priest Monsignor Jim Murray, with Father Kevin Fox SJ co-celebrating. Father Kevin had travelled to Lourdes many times with HCPT.
Upon speaking afterwards with Monsignor Jim, he reminded me that he had been secretary to Cardinal Hume OSB during the latters time as Archbishop of Westminster. We both recalled Cardinal Hume who had travelled to Lourdes with HCPT some years ago, with affection
After mass there was a reception with wine, sandwiches and much conversation about HCPT and of course Beaumont days, after which there was a talk with slides, about recent developments at HCPT itself.
The important changes that have taken place at HCPT over the past few years under Phil Sparke its chief executive were detailed by him to the gathering in a comfortable conference room.
Perhaps the most amusing changes he described, were those required to bring the the Trust's work in France in line with, to English residents at least, some rather strange French laws. For example,the French do not appear to understand the concept of a trust nor were the English, aware for many years, of the regulated prices set by the French for the sale of certain products over there. Liquor license arrangements too in France are rather different from those in the UK.
All is well regulated and compliant now on both sides of the Channel though whether allowing people to have a free glass of wine at Hosanna House in the early days with a cash gift possibility, was strictly within French law then is thankfully academic now.
The occasion was a marvellous one for catching up and talking over issues of common interest.
Upon returning back to High Street Kensington Underground Station with Paul, there was an announcement that because of an issue at Edgware Road station, the Wimbledon train would start from High Street Kensington though from the opposite platform to the usual one. Upon Paul and I boarding the train at the opposite platform, the doors immediately closed leaving most other prospective passengers stranded on the platform, which I doubt would happen in France.