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By St. Brendan's old boy - Christopher Rails|
MANY CATHOLICS who, like me, were educated by the Irish Christian Brothers in the 'fifties and early 'sixties, and were lucky enough to have attended a, school headed by Brother John Placidus Hooper, will have been saddened to hear of his death on July 26 1983 at the age of 65, Br Hooper was Deputy Chairman of the Congregation of Christian Brothers Trustees of the English Province from 1968-1974.
He became Headmaster of St Edwards College, Liverpool at the age of 31, and was also Headmaster at St Brendan's College, Bristol, and Prior Park College, Bath.
He was a brother of Dom Placid Hooper, Titular Abbot of Tavistock and former Abbot of Buckfast. The family converted to Catholicism when Bro. Hooper was at an early age: He cherished a great desire for Christian unity, I studied at St Brendan's throughout his six-year appointment as headmaster, from 1956-62. He oversaw the school's move from central Bristol to Brislington, on the city's outskirts, and the construction of entirely new premises.
He had a great devotion to St Joseph the Worker, and made his debut at St Brendans by calmly announcing that he had buried a medal of that saint on the site of the new school. This, he assured us, would secure the necessary grants for its construction. His faith was never shaken.
I remember him best for his simple, memorable, catchphrase aids to faith: "If you make a large Sign of the Cross you'll never make a bad one"; "Give until it hurts" etc. And he used to admonish us on the need for the simple "thank you". He was a man of great ability and integrity.