Saturday, April 13, 2002

Circular No 22

Caracas, 13 of April 2002. Circular No. 22
Dear Friends,
Due to our country’s undetermined situation, this circular is sent late.
Here is another account of the Man of all Seasons, by Don Mitchell.
Hi Ladislao,
I do remember the play. It was "A Man for All Seasons" written by the British playwright Robert Bolt. I do not remember all the roles or details. The year must have been 1962 or 1963. I believe that I played the part of the Duke of Norfolk, some sort of a judge at the trial of Moore, but it has been a long time and, though years later I saw the movie, I cannot remember for certain. M.J. de Verteuil played Moore with gusto and conviction, and Robert Azar, I believe, played the cowardly Richard Rich. Michael, I believe, played his competitor as Chancellor, Cardinal Wolsey. I cannot recall who played Henry VIII or Roper, the son in law, or the other parts.
For me, the most memorable thing about the play was that two lovely young women, a Fanfan and a Myling, played Moore's wife and daughter. I do not recall the school ever before having allowed girls to act in a school play. The two ladies were so lovely, I recall, that each evening when practice finished, all the windows of the school were stuffed with young male faces peering out for a glimpse of them as they got into the cars that came to collect them. They came from a convent in St Augustine to practice for several evenings after school. It must have been a terrifying experience for the two of them, but they carried it off with style and panache. I knew then and for all time that women were superior beings to men.
I am including additional information on the demolition of the old Abbey
Last days of old.doc attached.
I hope you remember this part of the Monastery.
Here I am continuing the who is where, thanks to Roger Henderson:
11. Gregory (not Geoffrey) Farfan is a leading insurance executive
God Bless
Listado: C22.xls
Photo: Fr.Ildefons 1 020107dan
Shall be sent to those that have ratified their addresses this year, please send a line if you have not done so, and shall include photos in your emails.
Column: wvb020413 Fraught Friday

Listado C22.xls
Names Form V Contact nickname Business address Phone e-mail
Devaux, Charles 1967 boos

Devaux, Desmond 1966 boos

Devaux, John

Devaux, Patrick
boos Pinhead Monteral

Devaux, Raymond
Brossard, P.Q. Canada
Devenish, Nyron
Dornellas, Leslie 1957 roger

Dornellas, Michael 1971 lk Specs El Chico Ltd TT (868) 673 3452
Driver, Richard


Top of the world

...and looking down on creation

"What do priests have to do with beauty queens?" Express editor-at-large Keith Smith asked with great surprise.

Smith was probably as curious as the rest of people who read that first engagement for the 82 Miss Universe delegates, "Welcome to our Corner of the Universe", will take place at Mount St Benedict.

Actually, the priests have absolutely nothing to do with the beauty queens. When the 82 delegates go to Mount St Benedict, they will spend the day at Top of the Mount, the St Benet's Hall Multi-Facility.

For those who are familiar with the mount, Top of the Mount is located on what used to be the compound of the Abbey School. The New Life Ministries Rehabilitation Centre now occupies the old school building and St Benet's Hall was the school's auditorium.

Top of the Mount is operated by two young entrepreneurs, 32-year-old Chad Allain, and Adrian James, 26.

"I have an immense love for the Mount," said Allain, who acquired the place from the Benedictine Monks in 1993.

Allain practically grew up on the mount; for 20 years, his mother managed the St Benet's kitchen, which caters meals for the monks at the abbey.

He saw the place change over the years, and as he grew older, he recognised St Benet's Hall's business potential. "In 1993, when the monks wanted to give up the place, I saw the potential for the place, so I sent in a proposal and they accepted it."

In the last six years, Top of the Mount has been the venue for conferences, seminars, retreats, tea parties and wedding receptions.

"Actually, we have had a variety of clients," said Allain. "Not only Catholics, as many would believe, but we've had Baptists, Yogis, and even a Hindu wedding, up here."

Another part of Top of the Mount is the Hermitage. This long, single-storey building, which used to be the abbey school's woodworking workshop and music room, has been turned into a 15-room retreat-type facility with bunk bed accommodation.

Visitors to Top of the Mount can also take advantage of the tours of nature trails around the mount. Allain, who has the mount's history at his fingertips, explained that the trails were donkey paths that have existed since the mount's earliest days as an estate.

On one of the trails, hikers can go to Mount Tabor, the ruins of an old monastery built by Benedictine Monks some 400 feet above the abbey church.

"When we first went to Mount Tabor, it was a mess with bush and garbage, but we've cleaned it up and made it accessible."

It is clear that Allain and James have spent lots of time and energy on transforming the place. They reinvest the income that Benet Hall generates into upgrading the facility.

This labour of love also extended to the farm and garden centre, where much of the herbs, spices and vegetables used in St Benet's kitchen, are grown. They also breed pigs, chickens, rabbits and ducks, and grow ornamental plants for rent and sale.

Though the welcome for the Miss Universe delegates should bring much exposure to Top of the Mount, it is the new art gallery that will bring many to the picturesque spot.

Both Allain and James are avid art lovers, especially James, who did some art training in London. "We always felt that this place should have something for the arts," James said. "And we couldn't think of a better time to introduce a gallery full of West Indian art."

Located at the top level of the hall, this gallery is appropriately called The Upper Room Art Gallery. Visitors to the gallery will have a breath-taking view of the Caroni Plains.

The Upper Room will open on May 10 with an exhibition featuring the work of this country's leading female artists titled Belly: Our Women of Substance in Art. Luise Kimme, Sarah Beckett, Claire Jessee and Fraulein Rudder are among the artists in the Upper Room's inaugural exhibition.

"We have been getting plenty encouragement for this project from the artists," Allain said, "especially Fraulein Rudder, who gave us so much help in getting this off the ground."

With a little over two weeks before the Miss Universe delegates' arrival, Allain and James are busy preparing for the event, which will bring the mount alive with television crews, photographers and beauty queens.

The monks at the abbey may have nothing to do with the beauty queens, but they will certainly be happy to know that 82 of the world's most beautiful women will be a part of their corner of the universe

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