Old Xaverians’ Association

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Some Historical Notes

London Old Xaverians’ Association

By Tony Connerty (50- 56)

The revival of the London Old Xaverians came about as a result of a chance encounter with Brian Meehan some years ago.

We were both attending a function at the Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall. During the course of a learned discussion about whatever the topic of the function was (arbitration, I think), we moved on to talk of Liverpool. We soon realised that we had both attended St Francis Xavier’s College (Brian left the College before I was born).

Brian suggested that I should join the Old Xavs; by this time we were onto our second small glass of sherry.

I joined and later attended a dinner at the College in Woolton. Brian was there, as was Pat Heery and Jeff Marshall.

We discussed setting up a London Old Xavs.  I suggested that we meet at the RAC.

Probably about half a dozen Old Xavs attended the early meetings; the odd bottle of wine in the cocktail bar and lengthy discussions about Father Neylan! Later, dinner in the Long Bar, Cumberland sausage and mashed potato a favourite.

This was the third revival of the London Old Xavs; LOX3, as Pat Heery describes it.

Brian was a regular at the meetings, which were held about every 6 weeks or so on a Friday evening. Other regulars included OX Father Tony Horan SJ from the Jesuit Church in Farm Street (walking distance to Pall Mall), Pat Heery, Jeff Marshall, John Harding, David Bolton, Peter Marsden and Peter Aindow.

Ladies joined us; probably one of the significant reasons for the success of the RAC meetings. On some occasions the Old Xavs Friday evening group numbered a dozen or more.

Apart from the Friday evening OX gatherings, we sometimes met for more formal dinners at the RAC. One was held in 2004 for three Old Xavs who were approaching their 84th birthdays around the same time: Brian, Frank Hart and Peter Beardmore.

Christmas lunches in Pall Mall often saw the OX party numbering about twenty: the last few years these have been preceded  by Mass celebrated  by Father Tony Horan in the Jesuits’ private Chapel at Farm Street.

Out of the London OX meetings came Pat Heery’s Thames Walk; meandering along from one suitable hostelry to another (Pat’s book expected soon?) Brian walked on a number of these: decked out in his famous brown trilby and ever-present umbrella.