23 June 2017 » Home > The Drumm Years
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THE DRUMM YEARS

Father Maurice Drumm was the next assistant priest who was also a former pupil of St Peter's College. This was a period of stability. The school roll topped 300. Parish finances were continuously in credit. In 1963 they had risen to £8258. The school was unable to cater for all the pupils wishing to avail themselves of a Catholic education and so the CCD programme was initiated. On Tuesday evenings a gallant group of men including the O'Connor and McConnell families collected children attending public schools and drove them to the parish school for an hour's instruction and returned them home afterwards. It was a second best programme but certainly had its merits.

Keen to develop more parish spirit, Father Drumm inaugurated annual parish picnics. The first one was held at Rangitoto. The sisters too joined in and Mass was celebrated under the pohutukawas, perhaps reminiscent of Bishop
Pompallier's day. There were also races and, indeed, trophies for the winners. The curate won the three-legged race and a mature Jim McConnell, given a few yards start, was able to win the 100 yards race.

Those years saw the first old boy to be ordained. Father Brian Playfair attended standards 3 and 4 at the school, and celebrated his first Mass on July 6 1962. Father Rodgers was intensely proud of this occasion. Father Drumm introduced the sodality of the Children of Mary. The diocese convened a Commission on the Laity and this led to pastoral, diocesan and regional councils. Kay Harvey and Peter McConnell were the parish's representatives for a number of years on the Regional Pastoral Council which used to meet at the Avondale parish. Father Rodgers introduced the practice of the congregation reciting the whole of the Lord's prayer in Latin. It was a bold innovation but in what seemed no time at all the laity was reciting the prayer voluminously.It was time for Father Drumm to seek fresh fields and his own parish. He received a warm farewell in the parish hall, and he was loud in praise of the parish and, in particular, of Father Rodgers for awakening in him a great love of scriptural erudition.
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