Downside Abbey

The Benedictine Monastic Community

Downside School

The Catholic School for pupils 11 - 18

Old Gregorians

The Community for old boys and girls

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Buenos Aires Gathering

Schedule:

Saturday 9th April: Cocktails and dinner at the Hurlingham Club, Hurlingham, Buenos Aires.
Sunday 10th April: Mass at Capilla de las Hermanas Siervas de Maria, followed by a reception and asado (barbecue) at Pyers Griffith's house, San Isidro, Buenos Aires.

Summary

The event began with cocktails in the drawing room of the Hurlingham Club in Buenos Aires, where pictures of the monarchs of Great Britain since the club was founded in 1888 still adorn the walls, testimony to the close relationship between the two countries that existed for over a century up until the Second World War.

The group then adjourned to the dining room for a large steak, followed by chocolate mouse. The evening was relaxed and informal, a prelude perhaps to the following day.

On Sunday morning we reconvened at the Capilla de las Hermanas Siervas de Maria for Mass - in French. The chapel's priest, Father Jean, had gone to a Catholic prep school in England, while his brother, also currently in Argentina, had gone on to the former English Jesuit school Beaumont College (possibly it transpired as some sort of a punishment), so they were both well qualified to join the group.

After Mass we made our way to the tranquil surroundings of Pyers Griffith's garden for a reception and asado (barbecue). We ate outside to the accompaniment of the sometimes tasteful, sometimes rowdy music of a possibly Jewish wedding taking place next door, which later on one or two members of the group attempted to gatecrash through a gap in the hedge.

A good time was I think had by all, aided by the wonderful weather and venues, representation from a variety of schools and eras, and our being able to count among attendees a birthday, a honeymoon, and, in a perhaps surprisingly benevolent gesture for a rather Downside heavy group, even an Old Shirbirnian (wed to an Old Ascot girl).

As a footnote, I should add that the original intention was a get together of former (and current) boys and girls of English Catholic Schools in both Argentina and Chile, however in the end those in Chile,  understandably given the distance, decided to organise their own, and we wish them the best of luck with that.

Attendees:

Bobby Begg (S50)
Hugh Griffith (B57) and Joanna Griffith
Francois de Montalambert (Beaumont College)
Father Jean de Montalambert
Robin Begg (B78) and Teleri Begg and family - Elicia (St Mary's Ascot), Clementine (At Mary's Ascot), Lily and Rory
Mike (Ampleforth 1978) and Rachel Page and family - Madeline (Ampleforth), Christian (Ampleforth), Martha and Dominic
Pyers Griffith (B79) and Maria Pia Griffith and family
Harry and Sarah Paul (St Marys Ascot 1986) and family
Mike (Douai 1993) and Rachel Lynch and family
Hugo Lesser (C92) and Elizabeth Lesser (Woldingham 1993) and family
Annabel Fountain (Woldingham 1993)
James Dieppe (R01) and Samantha Dieppe
Paddy Lewis (S07)