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Leinster Leader, Saturday, August 23, 1913

Every little nook of the County Kildare, as well as the adjoining counties seemed to have represented in the town of St. Brigid on Sunday last, when the Geraldine Bazaar was opened by Brigadier General Waldron. The weather was beautiful at the time of opening, and all through the bazaar which was continued, up to Thursday night, there was not the slightest matter to be complained of as far as this very important feature was concerned.
At the opening ceremony Brigadier General Waldron, in a choice words dwelt on the great amount of good which was being done by the Christian Brothers in the district in the cause of education. He was very pleased to find that they were also attending to the body as well as the mind, and considered that their intention to arrange a playground was an excellent one. It was necessary to train the mind as well as the body. He trusted that the result of the bazaar would be a very successful one (applause).
Immediately afterwards, Brigadier General Waldron and Rev. Brother Alfred enjoyed a mountain side run, opening in a practical way the bazaar, at which there was much applause.
There was a very large and fashionable gathering at the opening. The arrangements of the bazaar were exceptionally well looked after and the taste shown in the selection was excellent. There was present at the opening ceremony with General Waldron, the Rev. Father P. Campion, P.P.: Rev. Father N. Staples, Prior O.C.C.: Mr. G. Moran, B.L. and Dr. L. F. Rowan.

Tea Rooms – Presidents The Misses Dunne; assistants, Mrs. Bergin (Abbey Villa) Miss Reeves, Misses Bergin, Miss Fitzpatrick, Miss McHugh, Miss Beatty, Misses Mooney, Miss O’Loughlin, Miss Byrne, Miss Dawson.
Utility Stall – Presidents – Mrs. Murphy, Mrs Talbot and Miss Boland; assistants Misses Waldron, Boland, Ryan, Breslin, etc.
Carlon Stall – Presidents, - Mrs. Murphy, Mrs. Talbot and Miss Talbot; Assistants, Miss Lawler, Miss Ryan, Miss Heffernan and Miss Logan.
Frascati Stall – Presidents – Miss Hennessy, Mrs. McNabb, Miss Malone; Assistants, Miss K. Bergin, Miss R. Bergin, Miss Hennessy, Miss M.C. Hennessy, Miss L. Daly, Miss Conway, Master J. Hennessy.
The Curragh Stall – Presidents – Mrs. Doyle, Mrs. M. Deanchy, Mrs. Hughes and Mrs. Walsh; Assistants, Miss Gavin, Misses Doyle, Misses. Higgins and Misses Hanlon.
Pamela Stall – Presidents – Mrs Fleming, Miss Heffernan, and Mrs. O’Brien, Assistants – Miss M.A. Dunne, Miss L. Dunne, Miss K. Behan, the Misses O’Brien, the Misses Cleary, Miss M. Flanagan, Miss M. Twitchen, the Misses Grogan, the Misses Dunne, Miss R. Daly, Miss M. Hoolahan, Miss. M. Behan, the Misses Considine.
Iris Stall – Presidents – Mrs. Boland, Kildare, Mrs. J.P. Connolly, Curragh View, Miss Moore, Tully Lodge. Assistants – Mrs. J.J. Moore, Miss Peg Moore, Miss Mulvin, Miss Jones, Miss Kelly (Trim), Miss Whelan, Miss Kelly, Misses Kirby.
Side Show Assistants – (Roulette) – Misses P.J. and J.P. Moore.
Concert Committee – President – Mrs. C. Bergin, Abbey Villa, assistants, the Misses Bergin, Beechgrove, Miss Molly Bergin, Abbey Villa, Miss Fagan, Miss Holloway and Miss Maxwell.
During the time of the bazaar concerts and dances were held twice each evening. There was a full dress ball on Wednesday, which was a very great success. The Misses Bergin interested themselves very much during the bazaar and the concerts arranged by them were of the most pleasurable features.
In July 1884, the Christian Schools were opened in the town of Kildare by Brothers Michael Devoy and Ignatius Flood, in the present St. Brigid’s Hall, with 70 pupils.
Being the first Parochial school to be opened by the “De La Salle” Christian Brothers in Ireland it was during the first years of the foundation visited by many leading ecclesiastics and distinguished laymen.
The following are from the Archives: - September 1st 1884 – The Rev. Father Foley, Carlow College (the present revered Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin), visited the School.
September 9th 1884 – His Lordship, Dr. Quinn, Bishop of Maitland, Australia, called.
October 4th 1884 – His Grace the Duke of Leinster visited the Schools and residence accompanied by Very Rev. Dr. Kavanagh.
February 13th 1885 – his Lordship the Most Rev. Dr. Woodlock, Bishop of Ardagh, visited the Schools and residence.
August 26th 1885 – His Eminence Cardinal Moran, Archbishop of Sydney accompanied by his Secretary visited the Community and Schools.
November 1885 – Col. Moran, M.F. and Edmund Dease Esq. J.P. Called.
The subsequent history of the De La Salle Brothers in Kildare is eloquently and tersely told in the following letter written by the Right Rev. Monsignor Murphy, Maryboro – “I am grateful for your invitation to the opening ceremony of the Geraldine Bazaar. It pleases me to hear of the proposed alterations in connection with the Christian Brothers Schools. Nobody knows better than I the splendid work done in Kildare by the De La Salle Brothers. For more than 24 years I was a daily witness of their zeal and devotion and had full cause to admire the manifest and manifold fruitfulness of their labour. It was my privilege again and again to express in the church my grateful appreciation of the high standard of religious instruction imparted in the Monastery as evidenced in the report of the Diocesan Examiner. Indeed in respect of religious instruction your town justly claims a foremost place. I am not aware that any other parish has achieved so far the distinction of two gold medals. The secular side of education has received similar attention, with equally satisfactory results. Owing to the extraordinary increase in recent years of the population of Kildare and its vicinity the number of pupils in the Monastery is now almost double what it was during my Pastorate. Extensions therefore have become necessary. The magnificent generosity of the founders and benefactors (the late Michael Lee and William Lee names to be ever held in grateful memory) amply provided for the needs of Dr. Kavanagh’s time and of mine. Now that enlargements are required, I, who have good reason to know the generosity of the people of Kildare entertain no misgivings about the success of your Bazaar. In truth, the assurance that the project has received a warm and sympathetic welcome affords no little comfort in these days when so many sad symptoms appear in unexpected quarters of a decaying religious sense. On the beautiful pulpit of your church St. Brigid is represented in one of the carved panels teaching the children of your ancestors and so, is venerated amongst you as the patroness of the schools and one of the teachers of Catholic Ireland. The children of St. Brigid to-day in St. Brigid’s Shrine exhibit thank God renewed and increased allegiance to the holy faith she taught and illustrated and certainly are little likely to barter for a bribe the least sentilla of principal even remotely bearing upon the sacred truth. I have already given some little assistance to your bazaar and beg in addition to enclose a small cheque with my heartiest good wishes for the fullest measure of success to your praiseworthy enterprise.

The opening ceremony of the Geraldine Bazaar in Kildare Town from the Leinster Leader of 23 August 1913

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