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Fair or Foul the Weather - Brother J.B. Darcy Fair or Foul the Weather
Brother Luke Slattery's Presidency of St. Bonaventure's College, 1889 to 1895
Brother J.B. Darcy

Price: CDN$12.95
ISBN 189429130, SC, 116 pages
Creative Publishing
Book Description
If a novelist, writing of a small city in a small country, were to cram into a seven-year period such calamities as a terrible epidemic, a devastating city-wide fire and the crash of all the country's banks, he would rightly be suspected of overstepping the bounds of dramatic possibility. Nevertheless, such were the traumatic events which formed the background for Luke Slattery's seven-year regime as President of the illustrious St. Bonaventure's College in St. john's, Newfoundland.

St. Bon's was begun by Bishop Mullock in 1857 as a seminary-cum-academy for the Catholic boys of Newfoundland. Initially it prospered but by 1889 it was almost moribund, and in a last ditch effort to save it, Bishop Power asked the Christian Brothers to take over its administration, the Brothers having successfully directed St. Patrick's Hall Schools in the city since 1876.

Brother Luke Slattery, the principal teacher at the latter institute, was assigned the task of reviving the hallowed but dying institution. After taking up this responsibility, Brother Slattery wrote a constant stream of voluminous letters to his Superiors in Ireland commenting on every facet of life in his adopted country. He possessed a most eloquent pen and poured out in these letters his hopes and fears, his successes and frustrations, as the disasters mentioned above inundated the College and defeated so many of his promising plans. To his gifted pen we are indebted for a graphic picture of the impact of these disasters on the life of the island and on individual citizens. Imbued with sympathy for the ordeals of the people, Brother Slattery's accounts are also unique. They relate events, not as historical, but as experienced by one who was personally under- going the brunt of their violence and witnessing their impact on those around him.

This year, 1999, St. Bon's begins a new phase of its existence. With the elimination of the denominational school system in Newfoundland, St. Bon's is beginning again - this time as a privately-operated denominational school. All who are interested in education in Newfoundland and the role St. Bon's has played in its development, will be watching as a new generation takes up the challenge.

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