Re "Spike"

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Posted by Niall Giblin on December 05, 2002 at 04:55:53:

For some time I’ve been meaning to post the following account.

Day 1

(I see from somewhere else on the site that this was 06.09.65)

The day commenced with form registration. I was in 1N. Form Master, of course, Brennan. The register commenced, if my memory serves me right:-

“Bayliss; Brennan; Dwerryhouse; Gaughan; Gaun; Giblin; Greenhalgh; Hardman…..”

After form registration, we were then taken in class order to the first assembly which was then held in the library. The hall was still under construction/decoration for about a further six months. Fr. McGuiness (I don’t use the name Spike for reasons which become clear below) was his charming self.

After assembly, we returned to the form room for our first lesson. Geography, since Brennan was the form teacher. My recollection is that we copied into our geog exercise book a map of the school and its environs. Homework that night was to colour in the map.

Second lesson was maths with Alan Shaw. The lesson started with his asking the question “how did caveman count when they ran out of fingers?” I was the stupid idiot who put his hand up and answered “they used their toes”. Shaw said that there was only one comedian in the class and that was him.

Morning break. I was walking in the playground with hands in pockets. I had my first fateful meeting with MacSweeney. For some reason he thought walking with your hands in your pockets was wholly unacceptable. I got the gripping handshake squeeze.

No further recollection for the rest of the day.

Day 2

The following may have occurred on Day 2 or it may have occurred on Day 3. My best guess is that it occurred on Day 2.

Form registration and then taken to the library for assembly. Again we were taken in class order. Therefore I was sat next to Greenhalgh who was sat next to Hardman. We were about four rows from the front. The Rev. had still to enter. I was in full “Jennings” mode. I suggested to Greenhalgh and Hardman that the Rev. should have a nickname. There then ensued various suggestions. One of these was “Spike”. Who the actual author was, I cannot remember.

Spike made his usual grand entrance. We then had that "Sanguine" hymn (if I’m not mistaken). Half way through Spike stops everything. Greenhalgh (or it may have been someone else) and I were laughing at Spike’s singing. He told us to get out of the library. We did. Singing resumed. Shortly afterwards, someone else also got thrown out. After assembly ended, we each got the usual three lashings on the bottom from Spike. Somehow the name Spike seemed very appropriate.
The name seemed to stick and the rest is history.

No further recollection of that day.

I thought I would share the above with you.

Letter from Spike (circa 1967) re organ fund and reference to future historians of the school is to follow after Christmas after my return from UK.

Niall Giblin
1965 – 1972

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