independent

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Exotic religous life of man from Meelin

BROTHER XAVIER ENTHRALLED PUPILS THE WORLD OVER

Published 24/01/2013 | 13:44

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Br. David Jones 1933 - 2013 A LARGE crowd of family and friends from Meelin and the Newmarket area attended the funeral of Br. David Jones. He was laid to rest in Castletown, Co. Laois, on Thursday, January 17. He was a much loved and respected De La Salle missionary teaching Brother. He was from a traditional farming background; The Line, Meelin, Newmarket.

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He was educated at De La Salle College, Castletown where he joined the De La Salle Brothers. His Religious name was Br. Xavier. He qualified as a primary teacher in Manchester and he later on read English and History for his B.A. at U.C.D. His first post was in Penang. His exuberant fresh faced personality enthralled his pupils. The same persona was a feasting place for mosquitoes. The fact that he was in a totally different environment was a real challenge for the man from Meelin. He adapted well and got on with his teaching. He was later transferred to St Joseph's College Hong Kong where he spent most of the next 30 years teaching. He had the reputation of being a thorough, dedicated and compassionate teacher.

An e-mail from a past pupil said: ' Br. David's smiling face is always before me.' St Josephs School catered for all religious beliefs and none. An E-mail from a Muslim said: ' Br. David, we are all branches of the same tree. I am grateful to you.' Students from different creeds felt united and advanced together promoting friendship, justice, peace and personal development. Past pupils from St Joseph's occupy some of the highest positions in all walks of life in Hong Kong.

From middle age David suffered from spinal problems. Even with this painful condition it did not change the quality of his performance or squash his pleasant personality. He also had a beautiful baritone voice which he used on suitable occasions

Apart from regular community prayer times Br. David spent quality time in contemplation in the monastery chapel in the late evenings.

The 50th anniversary of one of his first classes is scheduled for May 2013. Br David was invited as the quest of honour. He was looking forward to the occasion. Unfortunately he had a mishap and injured his back and was hospitalised for a number of weeks. However David spent his final days in Miguel House nursing home in Castletown where he got wonderful loving care from the nurses and staff. He passed to his eternal reward on January 15. He was another of Meelin's unsung heroes.

David had three brothers in the religious life. All predeceased him. Br. Francis was a De La Salle Brother and Andrew and Michael joined the Presentation Brothers.

Sympathy is extended to his brothers Dan and Dermot, to his in-laws and nephews and nieces.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

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