ALL SORTS by Fr. Bernard Basset, S.J.
WHAT began aa 'Woman's Year and then claangcd into 'Operation Salvage'. is now to be called 'Young Action', a name chosen by the original group. This group is composed of four Anglicans, four Catholks and two agnostics, all under twenty, all united to restore dignity and a moral tone to life. Frankly 1 was disappointed at the write-up in the Sunday Times and News of the World (April 28). One has heard so much about the enthusiasm of these youthful Vigilantes and had hoped that the two papers would give all the facts. They gasc some. The group is not at all discouraged by the results. 1.1'.V. has shown persevering interest; the B.B.C. has asked one girl to speak on Woman's Hour (May 22) and the two Sunday papers mentioned have promised continued support. The group received many letters and much enthusiastic comment.
It is very refreshing to find a group of young people who are ready to stand out against certain trends. They formed their own committee, sent out their own questionnaire. contacted many influential people and are determined to push ahead.
Given a little adult support, if adults are prepared to follow the lead of young people, 'Young Action' will certainly go much further in the next months. Teachers, journal ist s, social workers, clergy might be able and willing to muster local support. No harm to invite one of the committee to speak.
It could be possible to report their activilies in local papers and to publish their manifesto. One has even heard talk of local meetings to discuss their decisions and a final rally in the Albert Hall.
The annual meeting of the Ransom Guild in Westminster Cathedral Hall was a tonic badly needed. There was a full house, a most responsive audience and a most stirring challenge from Archbishop Murphy in the chair. His Grace was brave enough to challenge the morbid rumour that the cause of the Forty Martyrs should be shelved for the sake of re-union. His Grace could not believe that Anglicans and others would resent honour to men who died for their country and who prayed for the Queen to the end.
The applanse in the hall showed that Ransomers, many of them converts. felt strongly on this point.
The hall was full of friends. Fr. Delaney was all smiles. back for a holiday in his native city after 25 years in Cornwall: Fr. Tigar, looking younger and younger, answered private questions about reprinting Papist Pie. Here is a splendid book, no longer available, which should be printed again.
At the dinner afterwards, Mgr. Goolder exercised such charm that I as good as committed myself to the Walsingham pilgrimage starting on September 14 and lasting nine days. Evers one around roe said that the walk was a most stimulating spiritual experience; one man made his first when he was 56. 1 gather that the trick is to soak one's feet in methylated spirit for a month.
On the return journey to St. Ives. 1 fell in with an Australian back in Britain after 47 years. My friend had been badly wounded on the Somme.
He was taken to a Yorkshire hospital believed to be dying and, as he had no friends in England, a Nurse Sutcliffe had asked her parents to come over from Blackpool to visit him. They came often, brought him presents and their kindness helped to restore his health.
One morning he was suddenly told that he was to be shipped back to Australia and he left in a hurry without ever having the chance to say goodbye to them. Now 47 years later he had made the journey to Yorkshire to return his thanks. He was much amused to note that two huts put up temporarily in 1916 were still in use!
The staff which so helped this digger is now scattered but he regarded it as a debt of honour to express his thanks. He told me in the train near 1 ruro that he owed his life to the kindness of Nurse Sutcliffe and her friends.
Rejoice with me for a most generous and unexpected donation has now pushed the total up to £4,000 in six weeks. Donations arrive daily and, with another £1.000, the target for Britain will have been reached.
The illustrious Miss Fitzgerald of the C.T.S. shop told me at Christmas this true story based on my book "We Neurotics; a handbook for the half-mad". A small boy, reading the title. said to his mother. "There is a book for Daddy". Said she: "My dear. your father is wholly mad!