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Page 6, 6th June 1953

6th June 1953
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Page 6, 6th June 1953 — Coronation Notebook

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Coronation Notebook

Mass for the Queen

THE Earl Marshal, the Duke of Norfolk, was present at the Mass which Cardinal Griffin offered in Westminster Cathedral on the eve of the Coronation. In the sanctuary were Archbishop Cento, the Papal Envoy to the Coronation, with his suite, his lay attendants, Roman and British in fulldress uniform, and the Apostolic Delegate, together with Archbishop Myers and Archbishop Simonds, Coadjutor to Archbishop Mannix in Melbourne. The latter was in London with a large party of Australian Catholics who were taking in the Coronation in the course of a pilgrimage to Rome, Lourdes and other places in Europe.

Among those in the packed cathedral were Mr. L. S. St. Laurent, Prime Minister of Canada, and Mrs. St. Laurent. The Knights of Malta, in their new habits, made a brave showing as they led the procession of clergy from the west door up the nave, and added dignity was given to the occasion by a young Guards officer in scarlet tunic who, holding his bearskin, helped the ushers to show members of the diplomatic corps and other distinguished personages to their places.

The Mass at the Basilica of the Twelve Apostles in Rome on the eve of the Coronation was celebrated by Mgr. Clapperton, Rector of the Scots College for thirty-one years past, as the senior Rector of a Commonwealth college in Rome. It was arranged jointly by all the Commonwealth colleges, and was attended by many members of the two diplomatic corps, those accredited to the Italian Republic and to the Holy See.

The Pope's Envoy

While other poets were writing Coronation Odes for Queen Elizabeth II, Mgr. Antonio Bacci, the Secretary of Briefs to Princes at the Holy See, was writing a Latin epigraph in honour of the Pope's patronal feast, on which day Queen Elizabeth was crowned. The Pope's Ambassador Extraordinary to the Coronation, Archbishop Cento, the Nuncio from Brussels, with his suite, joined the Coronation procession at Westminster Abbey and went into the specially provided annexe, where they waited during the service. They took luncheon at Ashburnham House, the Archbishop, we understand, finding himself seated next to the Crown Prince of Japan.

Archbishop Cento had been met at Dover on Saturday by those appointed by the Lord Chamberlain to attend him, Wing-Commander R. Grant-Ferris and Colonel Guy Elwes, and by Mgr. Gibney, Vicar-General of the Diocese of Southwark. On arrival in London he had been met by the Apostolic Delegate, who had presented him to the Duke of Edinburgh, to whom he himself had then presented the members of his staff. In the evening Archbishop Cento and Archbishop Godfrey had attended the great reception in the National Gallery, where they had been presented to the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. On Sunday, Archbishop Cento had been entertained to luncheon by the Duke of Norfolk, and in the evening of that day he had been at the reception given by Lord Salisbury at Hatfield House, where he had been presented to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. On Monday he had been entertained to luncheon by Cardinal Griffin.

Tributes to the Earl Marshal

Praise has been heard on all sides for the way the Duke of Norfolk as Earl Marshal planned and conducted a great ceremony, whose arrangement called for an extraordinary number of difficult decisions, and needed a touch of quiet ruthlessness, which has been forthcoming. If the highest art is to conceal art this was art indeed, for the smoothness and absence of hitches left the impression that Coronations are after all simple and straightforward affairs. Very fittingly the Duke of Norfolk receives the Royal Victorian Chain as a special mark of the Queen's regard. Major R. A. O'Brien, who worked in the Earl Marshal's office, is among the new Members of the Victorian Order.

Of other Catholics in the Honours List, we note the Knighthood conferred on Mr. Charles Mathew, of the Colonial Legal Service, who had made the name of Mathew well known in East Africa some years before the arrival of his cousin, the present Apostolic Delegate, at Mombasa. A Knighthood is also conferred on Dr. F. M. R. Walshe, the present President of the Royal Society of Medicine, whose name is known to readers of this journal. Its owner, a leading neurologist, is an Old Boy of Prior Park.

Other Catholics honoured include Sir Gilbert Laithwaite, now High Commissioner in Pakistan and earlier Britain's first Ambassador to the Republic of Ireland, who becomes a G.C.M.G., and Air-Marshal Sir Francis Joseph Fogarty, who becomes K.C.B.

Honoured by Church and State

In the list of the Coronation Honours there appears the name of one distinguished Catholic layman who had been honoured by the Pope only a few days before. He is Professor Hugh Stott-Taylor, the Vice-President of Pax Romana, who becomes a Knight in the Order of the British Empire. On Whit-Sunday he was received in private audience by the Holy Father, who took the occasion to give a special blessing to the work of Pax Romana and of all its constituent national associations, of which the Newman Association in this country is one. Then on Thursday of last week, the feast of St. Augustine, the Holy Father honoured Professor StottTaylor with the rank of a Knight Commander in the Order of St. Gregory ; Mgr. Sensi, the newly-appointed permanent observer of the Holy See at Unesco, transmitted its insignia to him at the meeting in Rome of the Catholic laureati of Italy, which he attended.

Professor Stott-Taylor, now Dean of the Graduate School at Princeton University, is a Lancashire man, born at St. Helens. He went to the United States in 1914, when he was twenty-four. We wrote of him in this cqlumn only a few weeks ago, when he was the guest of the Newman Association.

A Benedictine C.B.E.

Gratification has been given to all Amplefordians, and to many others besides, by the inclusion in the Honours List of the name of Father Paul Neville, who, during his thirty years as Headmaster, has seen Ampleforth acquire such a remarkable and well-deserved reputation. He becomes a Commander in the Order of the British Empire. Two new Catholic Dames in the same Order are Miss Catherine Fulford, a member of the L.C.C. since 1925 and a leader of the public life of Fulham, and Brigadier Mary Frances Coulshed, formerly Director of the Women's Royal Army Corps. The O.B.E. is conferred, among others, on Mr. John Eppstein, the translator and editor of the Code of International Ethics, drawn up in the inter-war period by the Malines Union under the presidency of the Cardinal Primate of Belgium ; he contributes a long introduction to the new edition, which was reviewed in these pages a fortnight ago.

Singer and Golfer

An O.B.E. in the Commonwealth of Australia list is Miss Joan Hammond, who is both an operatic soprano of high distinction and a first-class golfer. She was received into the Church in Dublin last month, at the Capuchin Church of St. Mary of the Angels, on the eve of her departure on a world tour in the course of which she will be giving recitals and concerts in Malaya and Cuba, the British West Indies, Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands.

Miss Hammond began her career by winning the Australian Junior State Golfing Championship twice and her own State Championship three times, earning a reputation also at tennis, squash and swimming. When it became known to the golfers of New South Wales that she had a remarkable singing voice, they clubbed together, in 1936, to raise money to send her abroad to study, and it was after training in Austria and Italy that she made her debut in London. She became a well-known and much appreciated figure in the air raid shelters of the East End of London during the war, singing to the people while the bombs were falling overhead. After a tour of her native Australia in 1946 she went to Vienna in 1947 to sing there with the State opera. This was followed by several recital tours abroad. Then, in July, 1950, she flew to Australia again to devote her talents to raising a fund to enable a team of Australian women golfers to compete for the first time in the British Open Championship.

Notre Dame de France

When M. Maurice Schumann came over as the Leader of the French Delegation to the Coronation, he brought with him as a gift from M. Vincent Auriol, the French President, a medal for the Queen especially minted in gold which bears a portrait of Her Majesty on the face and a representation of Windsor Castle on the obverse. It had been designed by M. Dropsy, the Professor of Medals at the Academie des Beaux Arts in Paris. A smaller, silver replica of this medal has been placed with other articles and documents under the foundation-stone of the new Church of Notre Dame de France in Leicester Place, Soho, the parish church of the considerable French colony in London. This church, which has long made a wonderfully French island in the roaring London life of Leicester Square, was built in the late 'sixties, and was very badly bombed during the last war. The foundation-stone of the new building has been brought over from France, and comes from the fabric of the great cathedral of Chartres, which is also, of course, a church of Notre Dame. The ceremony of its laying took place the other day in the presence •of many distinguished guests, amongst others Marshal Juin, also a member of the delegation to the Coronation, the French Ambassador in London, M. Massigli, Archbishop Myers, and the Provincial of the Marist Fathers in Paris ; Notre Dame de France in Leicester Place is served by these fathers. High Mass was celebrated by the Archipretre of the cathedral of Chartres, and the sermon was preached by Archbishop Myers in faultless French, on the many links between French and English Catholics. After Mass, the stone was blessed, the documents and the medal were sealed in their little leaden box, and M. Schumann made a speech on the relations between the two countries. The whole ceremony closed just after one o'clock.

It is just half a century since Lansdowne and Delcasse made the Entente Cordiale ; there are to be Commemorations later in the year, and at Battle Abbey, we hear, the guides are saying that.there will be a Mass in the ruins of the Abbey some time in the autumn, when Hastings makes the Norman Conquest a starting point for reminiscences about AngloFrench relations.

Graham Sutherland at the Tate

The Arts Council have chosen, as their contribution to this ' Coronation summer, a double exhibition in the Tate Gallery ; here Londoner and visitor alike can see the works of Gainsborough and Graham Sutherland, in a most stimulating juxtaposition. In the admirable catalogue to the paintings and drawings of Mr. Sutherland there is a section modestly entitled "On Painting: Notes by the Artist," and early in this occurs a sentence which gives a most comforting laisserpasser to those amongst us who love pictures but recognize only too well our humble status. "When one goes for a walk," says Mr. Sutherland, "there is everything around one ; but one reacts to certain things only, as in response to some personal need of the nerves." And in the three rooms in which his work is shown there is indeed much around us, and of such astonishing power and intellectuality that the reaction of delight, even if "to certain things only," comes as a revelation. The studies of thorn trees, sharp and twisted against a background of halcyon blue, which the artist made before going on to the famous "Crucifixion" for Northampton ; the "Deposition," the "Weeping Magdalen" ; these, together with the two famous portraits of Lord Beaverbrook and Mr. Somerset Maugham, are of a force and vitality recognizable to. anyone of perception ; but it is in the great "Standing Forms" variations that the personal predilection of the ignorant comes in. Some of them seem almost to curdle the mind with their austerity and astringency, while others, no doubt "in response to some personal need of the nerves," are of the calmest beauty. It is to "Standing Form against a Hedge" and "Three Standing Forms in a Garden," rather than to the "Standing Form 1952," lent by the Musee National d' Art Moderne, or the Tate Gallery's own "Origins of the Land," that we would come back again and again. No one could visit the exhibition without recognizing that here is a major artist, that "rare phenomenon," to quote the catalogue again, "an English painter with an international reputation."