Friday January 20th 2017 – a dark winter night, with the typically Scottish “post-Christmas”, January blues…
In St Aidan’s parish Hall in Wishaw, however, the winter chills were scattered by memories of summer sunshine, as the group who had come to Salamanca in July of the pervious year held a reunion. Memories and stories were swapped, friendships were re-kindled and hospitality and laughter the order of the evening – much as they had been for eight sunny Salamanca days in summer 2016!
The group – made up mostly of parishioners of St Aidan’s parish in Wishaw and their twin parish of St Mary’s, Cleland – had been led by former student of Valladolid, Jim McKelvie, and his wife, Mary, organised with great efficiency by Anne McCrossan, and animated spiritually by Canon Joe Clements, retired Parish Priest and also an “Ambrosian” or former student. Many in the group had been regular visitors to the College and to Salamanca over the years, and so were familiar with the city and the area – a fact which led them to explore a little further afield and a few new places. Over the course of the week, they visited Toro, Tordesillas and León, with a fine lunch in the awesome surroundings of the restored Renaissance monastery which today houses the state Parador in León. They also headed up to Zamora to enjoy an evening at a “bodega” or winery there too. All that, and the beauty of Salamanca itself, together with the relaxing atmosphere of the College, its facilities and the pool. It has to be noted that the fact that the winning team at the “Quiz night” included Fr Tom and Canon Clements was purely coincidental!
Below is a photo of the group as they prepared to leave the College for the journey home – no doubt “hasta la próxima” rather than “adios“!