A Dental Surgeon, who graduated from marbles to—marbles.
ENTER a distinguished dental surgeon, Arthur Helmuth Miller, L.D.S., R.C.S. (Eng.), by name. Enter 1 into his Harpenden (Herts) drawing-room to ask him
some silly questions. Baptised ? Oh ! Quite ! Confirmed ? Yes, indeed, by Bishop Fenton at St. Edmund's, Old Hall, where Mr. Miller went to school.
I tell him he looks 5I ; he says "Thank you " with a pleased smile, adding he is sixty. A priceless two-foot statue of Our Lady and Child. probably preReformation English, is enshrined in the room. " What made you happiest on your first Communion day ?" I asked. " Being a boy of twelve, looking forward to a good break fast afterwards."
Of course, he admits that since then he has, like most Catholics. spiritually matured somewhat, and gained enormously in appreciating the graces the Church gives, that in the Eucharist particularly. He was always lucky at marbles, and has to thank St. Anthony for that. He sticks other kinds of marbles into people's mouths to-day, where their teeth should be and aren't, and loves doing it immensely. "I'm nimble with my fingers," he says.
For confirmation name he was not satisfied with just one: he chose two — Anthony, in memory of the saint who would find him his marbles when they were lost, and Nicholas, the Christmastide patron of toy lovers, young Arthur Miller included. The statue of St. Anthony, before which he prayed in his marble days, is still up in his room.
HARPENDEN HARPENDEN has one 4 the HARPENDEN churches in Hertfordshire, built by Canon Longstaff, very neat and clean. Tidily kept lending library, C.T.S. cases and Catholic Press stalls in the porches are a tribute to Mr. Miller, who supervises them with painstaking care. love of method and orderliness. The Pope, much to the recipient's surprise, gave him the golden cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontif ice in 1939 for the trouble he took, and still takes. Well, what does Mr. Miller think of his P.P., the Canon? " Before we had a priest at Harpenden," he says, " I prayed many years for one that should be an educated gentleman. My prayer was answered." Married? "No, I'm afraid not. But I've thought about it often, and I haven't given up the idea," he says with a charming little blush. Like
kiddies? " I'm fond of them as patients. I'm told I get on with
them very well." He had a father that knew his own mind, even if Mr. Miller didn't know his as a boy. He was ordered to choose between the Army and dentistry. He chose both. entering the Territorials and registering as a dental student at the same time. His father also told him to leave "piano-ing " alone: "Too girlish. my boy !" Mr. Miller obeyed, and is now sorry, as he listens on the radio to the Proms. that he can't rattle the keys like Iturbi can. So he listens to Twenty Questions and the Brains Trust: " I learn a lot that way," he says.
h`IL1\IS? "Good Lord ! No!
Never go!" says Mr. Miller, locking his hands resolutely behind him. " Once in a blue moon perhaps. I have to use my eyes on an exacting job, so must rest them after work. Take my pair of whippets out for a run instead. Does us three good,"
I stretched out for another one of his sandwiches (I'd already had five, each of them delicious), and asked Mr. Miller what scene in Our Lord's life he would have liked to witness. " The Last Supper," he said, " a most important event. Wonderful graces that have been vouchsafed to millions through the Blessed Sacrament down the ages." He often goes to Mass on week-days; when unavoidably absent, he uses the Missal as his book of morning prayer.
When his Papal honour was presented him Mr. Miller nearly slipped on the highly-polished floor of Harpenden Lourdes Hall. "Why don't you learn to dance?" I asked him. "I have taken lessohs, but I'm rather shy," he confessed. But Mr. Miller radiates hope, as well as virile Catholic faith and unassuming charity; I will bet him twenty marbles that one day he will confidently take the floor at Lourdes Hall.
Proud of his church, the only one consecrated by Cardinal Hinsley, Harpenden Catholics are in their turn proud of their business-like Mr. Miller, who knows how many books he has in his parochial lending library (1,155 to be precise), 33 of which are out at any one time. A lover of his Alma Mater, St. Edmund's, Old Hall, he says: " Don't call it 'Ware,' but 'Old Hall.' Horrid name! Nowhere near Ware, five miles away in fact !" I must remember to buy those twenty marbles: I'm going to lose a bet, F. A. F.