St. Augustine of Canterbury Church, Leeds Centenary Book.1905-2005

Parishioners Memories about some of the Clergy

Fr. Anthony Cluderay

Fr. Cluderay started a youth club just after he came to the parish in 1948. When he left in 1951 the youth club was taken over by Fr. Daly.

Fr. Eugene Daly
In the 1950s St Augustine’s had a football team and had matches against other teams in an amateur Sunday league. Fr Daly was one of the players and appears to have had a positive influence on his team members. Another player, Peter Cunningham remembers well the match where he was the recipient of a ‘dirty tackle’, and when he swore “as one does”, Fr. Daly was quick to gently reprimand him by saying “Now now Peter”. He was also seen playing hurling at Corpus Christi in a team of priests.

Fr. Daly was also involved with the church cleaning. Agnes O’Conner recalls that one year during Holy Week, Fr. Daly said to Martin her husband “you sit in that box (a soap box with a cushion underneath) and I will pull you round the church” and Martin said “what for” and Fr. Daly said “to polish the floor!”. There was no carpet on the floor then and so they put the polish on the floor and Fr. Daly and Martin took turns pulling each other around the church in the box, polishing the floor as they went along.

Also among Agnes’ memories of Fr. Daly is when he was new to the parish and visited her home for the first time. Wanting to make a good impression she was embarrassed that her husband and Paddy McCavera were hiding in the kitchen with some budgies they had purchased on the market. Needless to say, Fr. Daly left with one of the budgies under his arm and subsequently presented it to Fr. O’Flaherty’s housekeeper as a present.

Fr. Bernard Battle
When Fr. Daly left Fr. Battle took over the running of the youth club and took a group of the boys to London for the weekend. One of the parishioners who went said that they had a great time and were allowed to stay up all night. They hadn’t booked any overnight accommodation.

Sadly when Fr. Battle left the parish in 1956 the youth club closed.

Fr. Patrick J. Reeves
“He was very kind and nothing was too much trouble” was a statement made by a parishioner about Fr. Reeves. “He had a car and gave me lifts when I had hospital appointments.” Fr. O’Flaherty was parish priest at the time and he was seen walking everywhere and was frequently heard refusing lifts from Fr. Reeves.

Pilgrimage to Monsignor Spelman’s Grave

Monsignor Spelman was buried in his family’s grave in County Roscommon, Ireland. Mary Kirton took
parishioners on a pilgrimage to his grave for ten consecutive years following his death.

Left - A group of pilgrims relaxing in the hotel in the Spring of 1998

Right - The 10th and last Pilgrimage. Pilgrims pose for a photograph after praying at Monsignor Spelman’s graveside.