It’s a testament to religious humour

By Keith Newbery

Published on Friday, April 13, 2012 - 11:15


THIS ISLAND LIFEHOW could anyone not want to read a County Press front page article carrying the tantalising headline Shades of Father Ted as hokey cokey turns nasty?

It offered up the delicious prospect of religion, humour, quirkiness and a hint of scandal all blending into one irresistible story — and so it proved.

Star of the show was Father Anthony Glaysher, who sounds like my kind of priest.

Apparently, he was enjoying a bit of a knees-up during a party held at St Patrick’s Church, Sandown, in honour of Ireland’s patron saint.

The prancing priest, said to be dressed in 'traditional regalia’, was performing the hokey cokey with cassock hoisted fetchingly above knees when 'an incident’ took place.

You will be relieved to learn (as I was) that it was not the sight of the priestly patellas which caused the ensuing rumpus.

The altercation is alleged to have involved a couple aggrieved at the closure of their church at Seaview.

It had fallen to Father Anthony, who has been priest at St Mary’s, Ryde, for three years, to announce the demise of this particular centre of worship last year.

The communicants concerned had clearly been brooding on events for some time and it sounds as though the combination of a roistering cleric and a shuttered church brought matters to an unfortunate head.

Exactly what happened remains a mystery — but it resulted in the constabulary being summoned and Father Anthony making a visit to his GP 'to be on the safe side’.

The Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Rev Crispian Hollis, was also informed and it’s probably safe to assume 'priest in conflict with congregants during knees-up’ was one of the more unusual problems to cross his desk that week.

Anyway, the fridge is now arriving

WE bought a new fridge-freezer this week. It’s the kind of investment you feel obliged to make when the door falls off your old one.Mrs N went to Currys to see if the notoriously indifferent service we had become accustomed to over the years had improved — and was pleasantly surprised.

Efficiency and helpfulness abounded, so the order was placed and delivery was promised the following morning, which is warp-speed compared to previous experiences.

The fridge-freezer arrived on time but you will have noticed I have refrained from using the word 'delivered’ — because it wasn’t.

The chap trundled up the path with the item on a pair of sack trucks and stopped outside the porch door.

"You got an old one for me to take away, yeah?"

I took him through to the kitchen and watched the brow crease and the lips purse as he scrutinised the awkward location of the stricken implement.

"I suppose you think I got a special machine to get it out, yeah?"

"No. I expect you to manhandle it out the same way your colleagues manhandled it in years ago."

"Can’t do that, mate. Anyway, I might scratch your floor tiles. Anyway I might damage the wood by the door. Anyway, I got 30 other deliveries to make today."

I stopped him before he ran out of 'anyways’ and drifted inexorably into an explanation of how such a manoeuvre was more than his job was worth.

So he stood and watched (I half expected him to fetch a hard hat, goggles and a high-viz jacket) while I manhandled the contraption out — and he seemed to think his official duties resumed only when it had come within range of his sack trucks.

Such recalcitrance is an aspect of the 'customer service’ at which Currys might care to take a closer look.

And the entire episode begs one obvious question. What would have happened if I had been a frail, 80-year-old widow?

Battle is joined to save former grammar school

NEVER underestimate the affection former pupils have for their schools. I suspect the Island planning department is about to feel the force of it following the news that the former Grove Road grammar school in Sandown is to be demolished.It was the seat of learning for some of the Island’s cleverest kids (not including your columnist, I hasten to add) until the new place opened in the Fairway in 1960.

Among them was Martin White, who went on to enjoy a hugely successful career in the army before becoming Her Majesty’s official representative on the IW.

I suspect he will have been contacted as the momentum grows behind a move to preserve a perfectly adequate building on which considerable public money has been expended.

The battle is being led by Pam Tromans, who lives in the road and whose father was a teacher at Sandown Grammar for many years.

Old Sandonians are urged to march behind the banner and contact the planners to make their feelings known.

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