Page 2, 4th December 1953

4th December 1953
Page 2
Page 2, 4th December 1953 — The' Tolly' at School

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People: Wheatley
Locations: Heath


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The' Tolly' at School

SIR,-I agree with Mr. Wheatley that "Pedagogue" must have been singularly unfortunate in the choice of a Catholic school for his sons. Like Mr. Wheatley, I consider myself fortunate that my elder son is at the preparatory school of a famous Benedictine public school. During the five and a half years that my son has been at this preparatory school I have been very struck by the homelike atmosphere and spirit of friendship between the masters and boys.

In the same way I count myself lucky to have been sent to an equally famous Jesuit public school where I spent five years at the college and three at its preparatory school. I most certainly never experienced any form of brutality about which "Pedagogue" complains and in view of his contention it is only fair to record the other side of the picture.

One of the forms of punishment that was given at this Jesuit school was the "lolly," well known to countless boys who have attended Jesuit schools, but there is an inviolable rule that the master who "orders" the "swipes"-as the application of the tolly is known-could never administer the actual punishment. This was left to certain impartial administrators of justice. I cannot remember any boy resenting such punishment and in fact the attitude of the boys was a philosophical one for there were many occasions when the award was remitted and certainly many other occasions when we richly deserved it but "got away with it." It would be interesting to know just why "Second Pedagogue" thinks Catholic schools are inferior to others. The record of public examinations from Catholic public schools does not bear this out. I am not a schoolmaster, but during the course of many years both at home and abroad I have never found that the old boys of Catholic schools are one whit inferior to those from nonCatholic schools. I have generally found that these old boys are excellent Catholic citizens.

The unfortunate experience of one case that "Pedagogue" cites should not be allowed to obscure the really wonderful work that our teaching orders, assisted by laymen, are doing for the youth of this country.

P. E. Witham Cliffe, Oathall Road, ,Ha ywards Heath, Sussex.

.4 not inconsiderable experience of the "folly" leaves us in the same mind as our correspondent.-Editor,


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