Based in London; Formerly of New York, Buenos Aires, Fife, and the Western Cape. Saoránach d'Éirinn.

Order of Malta

A writer, blogger, historian, and web designer born in New York, educated in Argentina, Scotland, and South Africa, and now based in London. read more

Lourdes: To Be a Pilgrim

As today is the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes — and consequently the World Day of the Sick — here is the documentary we made regarding the Order of Malta’s annual pilgrimage to Lourdes each May.

February 11, 2016 10:15 am | Link | No Comments »

Chartres 2015

Chartres is filed in my mind as the cathedral of my childhood. I must’ve been around 4 or 5 when I first walked amidst this medieval vision of stone and stained glass — some years before I ever visited the cathedral of New York where I was born. Cathedrals offer a prodigious mental stomping ground for the imagination of a young boy, and David Macaulay’s pen-and-ink book Cathedral (winner of the 1975 Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis — take note!) I read and re-read over and over again as a child.

The marvel of this great church is that, while most medieval cathedrals took centuries to build, Chartres was constructed in an astonishing fifty-four years between 1194 and 1250, lending it a unity as an architectural composition that puts its rivals to shame. Chartres was made a diocese as early as the third century and tradition even upholds that from around the year 50 B.C., local Druids who had heard the prophecies of Isaiah here enshrined a statue of the ‘Virgo Paritura’, the Virgin-who-will-give-birth.

Having such a long history, Chartres’ fortunes have waxed and waned. In medieval times it was one of the most popular pilgrimage shrines in all of Europe, and in the 11th and 12th century its cathedral school far outshone England’s provincial attempt at a university at Oxford. But France’s civil wars and then revolution put an end to the town’s days as a destination for pilgrims until the poet Charles Péguy revived them himself in the years leading up to the First World War.

For the past thirty-three years, the largest pilgrimage to Chartres has been undertaken over Pentecost weekend, a bank holiday in France which happily coincided with our second May bank holiday in Great Britain this year. On this trek, over 11,000 pilgrims walk all the way from Notre Dame de Paris to Notre Dame de Chartres. Our chapter of about twenty pilgrims marched under the banner of Notre Dame de Philerme, patroness of the Order of Malta — mostly French and British but with a few participants from other countries as well. (more…)

July 31, 2015 2:00 pm | Link | 4 Comments »

The Malteserkirche, Vienna

I happened to stumble upon the Order of Malta church in Vienna while meandering down the Kärntner Straße in the middle of a snowy day. It’s a small and relatively simple church consisting of a Gothic nave with an organ gallery. The Order has occupied the site since 1217, though the bulk of the current church dates from the fifteenth century. In 1806, Commander Fra’ Franz von Colloredo had the façade remodelled in the Empire style fashionable at the time. The altarpiece, a painting by Johann Georg Schmidt depicting the Baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist, is from a few decades earlier in 1730, and there is a splendid Neoclassical monument to Jean de la Valette including telamonic Saracens. The church is also decorated with forty coats of arms: five of grand priors, one cardinal, a grand commander, twenty-nine commanders, and one bailiff.

(more…)

March 3, 2013 8:48 pm | Link | 2 Comments »

The Hon. Lady Goulding

Grande dame of charity and sometime Fianna Fáil senator who provided a ‘harbour of hope’ for the disabled & represented Ireland in squash

IF, LIKE ME, YOUR Venn diagram shows a massive overlap for the circles representing politics, history, aesthetics, and design, then the Irish Election Literature website is a dangerous place where you can waste many minutes of your day. Not long ago, I stumbled across their collection of electoral bits related to Valerie, the Hon. Lady Goulding — at least I think that’s the proper style, these realms are arcane and murky. She was most often, but incorrectly referred to as Lady Valerie Goulding, the fate of many wives of baronets I’m afraid.

She was born Valerie Hamilton Monckton in 1918 at Ightham Mote (pronounced “item moat”, obv.), the house noted for its Grade I listed dog kennel. Her father, Sir Walter Monckton (later 1st Viscount Monckton of Brenchley) was a trusted friend of Edward VIII, and the teenage Valerie was employed as a messenger shuttling letters between the King’s refuge at Fort Belvedere and Stanley Baldwin in Downing Street. Visiting Fort Belvedere in 1993, Lady Goulding recalled the last lunch she had attended there in December 1936:

She [Mrs Simpson] was leaving that afternoon for Cannes, and everyone was talking about nothing so as to avoid what was on everyone’s mind. But one really nice thing happened: there were four bottles of beer next to my place. The King had remembered that when we were rounding up the ponies on Dartmoor the previous year I had a beer in the pub, and that he had remarked that I was very young to be drinking. It was very touching.

In 1939 she attended the Fairyhouse races and met Sir Basil Goulding at a dinner party. Goulding had significant business interests in Ireland and became known for once entering a bank board meeting on rollerskates. On her second visit to Ireland, they became engaged, and married quickly as the threat of war loomed on the horizon. Sir Basil served in the RAF, rising to the rank of Wing Commander, while Lady Goulding opted for the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry before switching to the Auxiliary Territorial Service. After the war, the Gouldings moved to Dargle Cottage in Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow. (more…)

April 4, 2012 3:00 pm | Link | No Comments »

Comper in Clerkenwell

The unbuilt Church of St John of Jerusalem

IN THE REALMS of architecture, the unexecuted project has a certain air of fantasy to it — the allure of what might have been. Ranking high amongst my favourite unbuilt proposals is Sir Ninian Comper’s project for the Church of St John of Jerusalem at Clerkenwell. Comper designed the scheme in the middle of the Second World War as a conventual church for the Venerable Order of St John, the Victorian Protestant revival of the old Order of St John (now more commonly known as the Order of Malta) which was banished from England at the Reformation. The design (below) is a Romanesque-Gothic hybrid, a splendidly exuberant cross-fertilisation of two styles more frequently opposed to one another in the minds of most.

One of the proposals for the serious reform of the Order of Malta in Britain is for the Grand Priory of England to divest itself of its interest in the Hospital of St John & St Elizabeth and its associated chapel in St Johns Wood. Owing to a complicated series of events, conventual events are taking place at the Church of St James, Spanish Place already. As the Venerable Order never executed Comper’s brilliant design, perhaps the Order of Malta might consider buying a suitable site in London and making Comper’s fantasy a reality.

Image: Ayla Lepine / Watch This Space

February 6, 2012 9:00 pm | Link | No Comments »

Fra Freddy, Rest In Peace

Yesterday, I was very saddened to hear of Fra Freddy’s death. Fra Freddy was a legendary character whom I was introduced to in my first year at St Andrews. He was invited to speak to the Catholic students most years on some subject or another — an introduction to prayer or a lenten meditation. I was quite pleased when he was so taken with a poster I designed to advertise one of his talks that on his way back to Edinburgh he nipped out of the car at the last minute and grabbed a large copy. Fra Freddy was an old-fashioned stick-in-the-mud with a good sense of humour, but he also had the capability to surprise with a kind word when you least expected it.

Fra Fredrik John Patrick Crichton-Stuart was born September 6, 1940 to Lord Rhidian Crichton-Stuart (son of the 4th Marquess of Bute) and his wife Selina van Wijk (daughter of the Ambassador of the Queen of the Netherlands to the French Republic). He was raised in Scotland and North Africa (where his father was British Delegate to the International Legislative Assembly of Tangier) and was educated first at Carlekemp in North Berwick and then at Ampleforth. He joined the Order of Malta in 1962, later being named the Delegate for Scotland & the Northern Marches. In 1993 he was appointed Chancellor of the resurrected Grand Priory of England. Fra Freddy became Grand Prior himself when his cousin, Fra Andrew Bertie, died in 2008 and was succeeded by the then-Grand Prior of England, Fra Matthew Festing.

Fra Freddy was a devoted follower and promoter of the traditional form of the Roman rite. He joined Una Voce Scotland in 1996 and became secretary in 2000. Two years later he was named councillor and senior vice-president of FIUV, the International Federation ‘Una Voce’, and briefly served as its president in 2005.

Over the past year or so Fra Freddy had been varying ill but seemed to recover. I am told he was found dead yesterday morning, still clasping his breviary. He was well-known in Edinburgh and beyond, and he will be missed by his many friends as well as those who worked and volunteered with him or interacted with him in his charitable activities.

FRATER
FREDERICK JOHN PATRICK CRICHTON-STUART
Grand Prior of England
of the
Sovereign Military & Hospitaller Order of St John
of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta

6 September 1940 – 14 June 2011

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May he rest in peace.
Amen.

June 15, 2011 8:00 pm | Link | 7 Comments »

“Lourdes”

Various sources have brought to light the new film “Lourdes” by the Austrian director Jessica Hausner. The film depicts the pilgrimage to Lourdes of a non-particularly religious woman (played by Sylvie Testud) suffering from Mutiple Sclerosis who is healed of her illness. The film by a non-believing director has met with both praise and suspicion from Catholic quarters, and has been compared, at least stylistically, to the work of Michael Haneke (whose latest, “The White Ribbon” is currently showing in New York). Latest to weigh in is the Catholic Herald‘s indispensable Anna Arco, who writes:

I saw it as an exercise in theodicy where God loses. In a quiet dispassionate way, Jessica Hausner, the film’s Austrian director, paints a bleak picture of a world where fate is a blind, arbitrary force and human beings clutch at the straws of faith, half-truths in their cowardly despair. The suffering are not healed, human nature is selfish and the problem of pain is not solved. God can’t exist because he isn’t fair. Christianity offers a web of half-truths obscuring a nihilistic reality.

Miss Arco recently spoke with the director, and the interview will be published in the next Catholic Herald. (more…)

March 25, 2010 1:04 pm | Link | 2 Comments »

Bertie Monument Unveiled in Malta

During Fra’ Andrew Bertie’s reign as Guardian of the Poor of Jesus Christ, the “of Malta” at the end of “the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta” was not a mere historical anachronism. The Prince & Grand Master had a house in Malta where he attended to his cultivation of oranges (the old Grand Master’s Palace in Valetta is now the Presidential Palace of the Maltese Republic). “A friend of Malta,” a recent statement from the Maltese knights of the Order states of Fra’ Andrew Bertie, “his love for Malta and the Maltese peoples’ affection for him originated the inspiration to this wonderful project, to erect a befitting marble lapidary in his memory.” This summer Fra’ Matthew Festing, successor to Fra’ Andrew as head of the Order of Malta, travelled to the Mediterranean island to unveil the Bertie Monument at Casa Lanfreducci, the Order’s Maltese seat. (more…)

October 22, 2009 9:11 pm | Link | 5 Comments »

The Order of Malta in Peru

A correspondent of this site sends these images of the Order of Malta in Peru. The Order of Malta has a long history in Peru: Manuel de Guirior, 1st Marqués de Guiror and a knight of the Order (right, baptised José Manuel de Guirior Portal de Huarte Herdozain y González de Sepúlveda) was Viceroy of Peru from 1776 to 1780, having previously served the King of Spain as Viceroy of New Granada.

More recently, in 2008, this investiture (above) was presided over by Fernando de Trazegnies, Marquis of Torrebermeja, the former Dean of Law at the Catholic University of Peru and now head of the Peruvian Association of the Order. The investiture took place in the eighteenth-century Church of the Magdalena, and the Mass was offered by the Cardinal Archbishop of Lima, Juan Luis Cipriani.

(more…)

June 16, 2009 8:09 pm | Link | 3 Comments »

The Grand Master in Hungary

His Most Eminent Highness, Fra’ Matthew Festing, the Prince & Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta made a four-day visit to Hungary last month, from 8-11 of February. The Grand Master was invited to Hungary by the President of the Republic, Mr. László Sólyom, who met with Fra’ Matthew at the Sándor Palace in Budapest. The President and the Grand Master discussed the various collaborative efforts between Hungary and the Order of Malta in health and social fields and discussed the possibility of further developing those projects.

(more…)

March 10, 2009 12:24 pm | Link | 4 Comments »

Chigi

This is my favourite photo of Ludovico Chigi della Rovere Albani (Prince & Grand Master of the Order of Malta, Prince of the Holy Roman Empire, 8th Prince of Farnese and Campagnano, 4th Prince of Soriano, 8th Duke of Ariccia and of Formello, Marquess of Magliana Pecorareci, Hereditary Marshall of the Holy Roman Church and Guardian of the Conclave) who oversaw the rebuilding of Monte Cassino. Here, he distributes prizes to medical students at the International Missionary School of Medicine and Surgery.

January 11, 2009 5:43 am | Link | 2 Comments »

In the footsteps of an illustrious predecessor

This past November His Most Eminent Highness Fra’ Matthew Festing, the Prince & Grand Master of the Order of Malta, led the order’s annual pilgrimage of Italian youth to the Marian shrine of Loreto, which last year had been led by his predecessor the late Fra’ Andrew Bertie.

December 22, 2008 8:32 pm | Link | No Comments »

David Lumsden of Cushnie, 1933-2008

Garioch Pursuivant of Arms, sometime Baron of Cushnie-Lumsden, Knight of Malta, Patron of the Aboyne Highland Games

It was with great sadness that I learned this morning of the death of David Lumsden. He was an exceptionally genial and affable man, and was relied on to provide good company at many events, from balls to Sunday lunches and everything in between. But David was generous not only with his good company but with his patronage, as is attested to by the countless organizations he helped and guided. Here was a man who was generous of spirit. David’s death came very suddenly yesterday afternoon in his hotel room at the annual conference of the 1745 Association, of which he was president. Just last Sunday he had attended the traditional Mass at St. Andrew’s, Ravelston in Edinburgh, where a friend described him as “looking as hale and hearty as ever”.

David Gordon Allen d’Aldecamb Lumsden of Cushnie, sometime Baron of Cushnie-Lumsden, was born on 25 May in 1933 in Quetta, Baluchistan in the Empire of India. He was the son of Henry Gordon Strange Lumsden, a Major in the Royal Scots, of Nocton Hall, Lincolnshire and Sydney Mary, only child of Brigadier-General Charles Allen Elliot.

He was educated at Allhallows, Devon, Bedford School, and at Jesus College, Cambridge before serving in the Territorial Army with the London Scottish while working at British American Tobacco. He was a Knight of the Order of Malta, as well as of the Constantinian Order, and was Patron of the Aboyne Highland Games. David enthusiastically served as Garioch Pursuivant to the Chief of the Name and Arms of Mar (presently Margaret of Mar, the 30th Countess of Mar), one of the four surviving private officers of arms in Scotland recognised by the Court of the Lord Lyon.

Lumsden with friends, at the Aboyne Highland Games.

David co-founded the Castles of Scotland Preservation Trust and the Scottish Historic Organs Trust and was President of the Scottish Military History Society. In addition to his Magister Artium from Cambridge, he was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. He was on the council of The Admiral the Viscount Keppel Association and was one of the patrons of the famous Russian Summer Ball in London. He was Convenor of the Monarchist League of Scotland and was on the council of the Royal Stuart Society.

In the realm of sport, he was a keen shot and had rowed at Cambridge, in addition to his interest in sailing and riding.

Left: Representing the Royal Stuart Society at the Henry IX commemoration at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. Right: In his capacity as Garioch Pursuivant of Arms, at the XXVIIth International Congress of Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences in 2006.

David had a passion for architecture, and especially that of his native Scotland. Returning in 1970 after a spell in Africa, he undertook the restoration of two family properties: Cushnie House, built in 1688 by Alexander Lumsden and Tillycairn Castle, built in 1540 by Matthew Lumsden. He later went on to restore Leithen Lodge at Innerleithen, an 1880s shooting lodge built in a distinctly Scottish take on the Arts & Crafts tradition. Under the auspices of the Castles of Scotland Preservation Trust, in 1994 he oversaw the restoration of Liberton Tower just south of the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh.

“David was a unique man possessed of an insatiable love of life and learning,” his friend Rafe Heydel-Mankoo said. “He will be deeply missed and fondly remembered by those fortunate enough to have met him.”

“David was at the centre of so many things, and brought together so many different people,” said Lorna Angus, the wife of Robin Angus. “He could bring life to any gathering and he made so many good things possible.”

Robin Angus, meanwhile, said that David Lumsden “personified a world of precious things — things which are imperilled, but which never seemed imperilled when he was there.”

“David no longer visibly with us is unimaginable,” Robin continued. “What his friends must now do is keep the flame, and — as he did — pass it on to others with the same generous wisdom. He was the soul of old Scotland. I hope that, in Heaven, Raeburn will make amends for what the centuries did not allow, and paint his portrait.”

While I wholeheartedly agree with Robin, it must be said that those who were blessed to know David are left with a portrait of him in our hearts and minds far greater than even the brush of Raeburn could achieve.

David Gordon Allen d’Aldecamb Lumsden
of Cushnie

1933–2008

“… hold fast to that which is good.”
— 1.Thess 5:21

Requiem aeternum dona eis Domine:
et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Requiescat in pace.

August 30, 2008 3:00 pm | Link | 25 Comments »

Santa Maria della Pace

One of my favourite churches in all of Rome is that of Santa Maria della Pace. The best approach is from the alley leading out of the northwest corner of the Piazza Navona, crossing the Via di Santa Maria dell’Anima and making sure to turn left into the smaller alleyway when the little street itself swerves north. Moving forward, the perambulator suddenly emerges into a tiny trapezoidal piazza and having continued for a few paces realizes, almost as an afterthought, that there is something over your right shoulder. There is the Church of Santa Maria della Pace.

Like so many Roman edifices the Church is the work of many centuries. A church dedicated to the Apostle Andrew once stood on the site, and it was on the foundations of that church in 1482 that work on Santa Maria della Pace commenced. Sixtus IV, praying for peace in the Italian peninsula, vowed to build a church dedicated to Our Lady of Peace, and hence the Apostle’s patronage was superseded. While Baccio Pontelli deserves the credit for the church proper, Pietro da Cortona’s splendidly theatrical façade and its enveloping piazza were commissioned Alexander VII in the 1650s.

Santa Maria della Pace has a number of connections to the Chigi dynasty. The first prominent member of the Chigi family was Agostino (1465–1520), a wealthy banker and builder of the Villa Farnesina in Trastevere. Here at Santa Maria della Pace, Agostino commissioned the Capella Chigi (not to be confused with the Capella Chigi in Santa Maria del Popolo). Alexander VII himself was a Chigi, and perhaps this explains his patronage of Cortona’s façade and piazza. Among the later Chigi clan, there were a number of cardinals, some of whom were even nuncios, and more recently Ludovico Chigi Albani della Rovere was Prince & Grand Master of the Order of Malta from 1931 to 1951. Anyhow, the Chigi chapel features a fresco initiated by Raphael (and completed by his school), while the adjacent chapel includes sculptural decoration by Michelangelo.

In addition to greats such as Raphael, Michelangelo, and Cortona, the cloister of the church is by none other than Bramante, and indeed was his first work in the Eternal City. Somewhat exhaustively, it doesn’t end there. Santa Maria della Pace has a high altar by Carlo Maderno, a sculpture of the Deposition by Cosimo Fancelli, two small frescoes by il Rosso Fiorentino, and another fresco by Baldassarre Peruzzi who, shall we say in kindness, was a much better architect than painter. There are further works by Maratta and Gentileschi (Orazio, that is — not Artemisia).

(more…)

August 19, 2008 9:40 pm | Link | No Comments »

Philipp Freiherr von Boeselager, 1917-2008

Catholic Nobleman, Forester, Knight of Malta, Plotted to Kill Hitler

Philipp Freiherr (Baron) von Boeselager, the last surviving member of the conspiracy of anti-Nazi German officers, has died at 90 years of age. The freiherr‘s background and upbringing were distinctly Catholic. The Boeselagers are a Rhenish family with Saxon origins in Magdeburg. Philipp was the fourth of eight children and was educated by the Jesuits at Bad Godesborg. His grandfather had been officially censured by the Imperial German goverment for publically taking part in a Catholic religious procession.

Boeselager had most intimately been involved in the March 1943 plot to assasinate Hitler and Himmler when the the Fuhrer and the SS head were visiting Field Marshal Günther von Kluge on the Eastern Front. Boeselager, then a 25-year-old cavalry lieutenant under the Field Marshal’s command, was to shoot both Hitler and Himmler in the officers mess with a Walther PP. Himmler, however, neglected to accompany Hitler and so the Field Marshal ordered Boeselager to abort the attempt fearing that Himmler would take over in the event of Hitler’s death, changing nothing.

«Each day Hitler ruled, thousands died unnecessarily — soldiers, because of his stupid leadership decisions. And later, I learned of concentration camps, where Jews, Poles, Russians — human beings — were being killed.»

«It was clear that these orders came from the top: I realised I lived in a criminal state. It was horrible. We wanted to end the war and free the concentration camps.»

Boeselager later procured the explosives for the famous July 1944 plot (the subject of the upcoming film “Valkyrie“), under the cover of being part of an explosives research team. He handed a suitcase with the explosives on to another conspirator. When the bomb exploded in Hitler’s conference room, Boeselager and his 1,000-man cavalry unit made an astonishing 120-mile retreat in under 36 hours to reach an airfield in western Russia from where the aristocrat would fly to Berlin to join the other conspirators.

At the airfield, however, he received a message from his brother (Georg von Boeselager, a fellow cavalry officer who was repeatedly awarded for his consistent bravery on the battlefield) saying “All back into the old holes”, the code signifying the failure of the coup. Even more astonishingly than his swift retreat was his return, with his unit, to the front quickly enough not to raise any eyebrows. As a result, he was not known to be part of the conspiracy and escaped the gruesome tortures and executions dealt to many of his fellow conspirators.

After the war, his role in the plot was revealed and Philipp von Boeselager was awarded the Legion d’honneur by France and the Great Cross of Merit by West Germany. He joined the Order of Malta in 1946, eventually co-founding Malteser Hilfdienst, the medical operation of the German knights of the Order, and helping coordinate German pilgrimages to Lourdes.

The greater part of his post-war years was spent in forestry, and Boeselager served as head of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Deutscher Waldbesitzerverbände (the coordinating body of private and cooperative forest-owners) from 1968 to 1988. Coincidentally, he was succeeded in that post by Franz Ludwig Schenk Count von Stauffenberg, the son of the July ’44 plot mastermind.

May 5, 2008 9:14 pm | Link | 5 Comments »

The Auld Scotsman

ONE THING WE greatly enjoyed about the Scotsman in its pre-tabloid days was that they often deemed St Andrews social events worthy of coverage in their august pages. It was a source of pride to see ‘the national newspaper’, a respectable broadsheet, covering events at the oldest university in the land (which we are proud to call our own). Naturally, once the conversion to tabloid size was complete, we were rarely heard of again, which was a little saddening. The Scotsman is not what it used to be —a beautiful, well-designed, informative respectable newspaper— but it still manages to print some thoroughly worthwhile articles which is more than can be said of any other Scottish daily. (One need only point out two articles by Prof. Haldane, c.f. here and here, recently posted on this site).

“…when the diehards decided to totter the one and a half miles back to toon on foot.” Sounds familiar.

Admittedly, most of the events covered were organised by the Kate Kennedy Club, which seems to take pride in the sheer vulgarity and tastelessness with which they advertise many of their events. (This is only slightly mitigated by their superb running of the annual Kate Kennedy Procession). Still, we enjoyed the Scotsman‘s coverage and wish it had continued. I only bought the Scotsman on occasion after the switch, but often gave the Common Room’s copy a browse when I lived in St. Salvator’s. (Its Sunday edition, Scotland on Sunday is worth buying for Gerald Warner alone).

Here are a few bits and pieces clipped from the Scotsman for your perusal:

Undampened spirits take the party indoors / Lumsden Club garden party moved indoors on account of the rain. (I didn’t go).

High jinks and low cuts at Kate Kennedy’s / This covered the Kate Kennedy Procession dinner which takes place at the Old Course Hotel on the evening following the procession. This particular year I was in attendance myself and recall commiserating with Michelle Romero, that charming daughter of Venezuela, about the troubled state of her native land. I was their with our favorite Dane, Sofie von Hauch, and my flatmate, a member of the KK who wishes to remain unnamed on this site. Will Lyons couldn’t make the dinner himself, so he sent ‘K‘ up instead, accompanied by ‘society photographer Z‘ whom I ran into while we were on our way out.

Maltesers set ball rolling for charity / The 2004 Knights of Malta Ball, not covered by this website because it did not exist at the time. It was a good time, especially so because I had three friends over from the States. Yalie Adam Brenner was doing his semester abroad at St Andrews at the time, and fellow Old Thorntonian Clara de Soto popped over from Boston College for the weekend with her good friend Katie Cordtz of Atlanta. The four of us together with Michelle Romero and the aforementioned unnamed flatmate of mine piled into a cab and made the hour’s journey to Edinburgh for the soirée. Poor Adam, though. Towards the latter part of the evening Archie Crichton-Stuart, an exceptionally amusing Edinburgh student, and his friend Ramsay forced Adam to consume the significant remnants of a bottle of house red. It all went down swimmingly, but came back up on the cab ride back to Fife. Freddy McNair, who was recently nearly killed by an incompetent gurkha on a training ground, sat at the table next to ours, I recall. (Also, in the lower right-hand corner of the clipping you can spy the face of our good friend Ricky Demarco peering out from an unrelated article).

Previously: Another Broadsheet Bites the Dust

October 13, 2006 12:39 pm | Link | No Comments »

The Knights of Malta Ball 2006

BACK DOWN TO the Assembly Rooms of Edinburgh for the annual ritual of the Knights of Malta Ball and I am happy to report that, as per usual, a good time was had by all. We had a larger contingent heading down from the Auld Grey Toon than last year (when it was just Fräulein Hesser and myself), consisting of Abigail, Jon Burke, Stefano, Clare Dempsey, and yours truly. After gliding down from Fife via taxicab, we met up with Zygmunt Sikorski-Mazur, Jamie Bogle (sans Joanna, alas), and Gerald Warner at the Opal Lounge, a little past half six, and managed to pack in at least a round of drinks before heading across George Street to the Assembly Rooms (depicted in the engraving below).

Having dropped off our coats and such, we swept up the staircase to the Ballroom for some champagne before dinner. After mulling about and conversing for a while we bumped into the Cardinal Archbishop of St Andrews himself, H.E. Keith Patrick O’Brien, himself a Grand Cross Conventual Chaplain to the Order of Malta. We apologised for not maintaining his senior cathedral in St Andrews in the same state as his junior one in Edinburgh, but I did thank him profusely for allowing us an indult mass at Ravelston. (more…)

February 20, 2006 7:15 am | Link | No Comments »
Home | About | Contact | Categories | Paginated Index | Twitter | Facebook | RSS/Atom Feed
andrewcusack.com | © Andrew Cusack 2004-present (Unless otherwise stated)