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SUMMER EDITION 2020

 

This is the 45th edition of the Golden Burrs Quarterly Newsletter brought to you by your Events Committee members.   

 

In this issue under the "West Catholic Prep Banner" you will find  updates on the Alumni Communion Breakfast and Burrs at the Beach; announcements regarding Graduation and Baccalaureate Mass plans, and information about College acceptance and scholarship dollars earned by the Class of 2020; a Tribute to the Class of 2020; and the appointment of Andrew Brady as Interim President of West Catholic Prep

 

Sadly, Bobby Devine, West Catholic Class of 1954, passed away on May 19, 2020.  His obituary and a report by Ed Kerr '60 on the historic 1953 West Catholic win over Overbrook for the City Championship is republished below. 

 

Also, there is a report about Brother Richard Kestler who will be celebrating his 60th anniversary as a Christian Brother.

 

In the "News Features" photos of the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds Philly fly over are shown. 

 

Also, there is a link to an article that was in the Sports section of the Philadelphia Sunday Inquirer about what George Light's grandson, Brendan Dougherty, did with his spare time during the pandemic.

 

Sadly, we have learned of the passing of our classmate Bill Kohlenberg who came to West from St. Barnabas parish.  Bill was a regular attendee at our annual class luncheons and at Burrs at the Beach.

 

We conclude this edition with mail received from our Classmates and Friends;"Remember When" archives submitted by Gerry Vernot featuring stats about  West Catholic's 1956 Cross Country Catholic League Championship and a newspaper article about the 1957 City Title win; prayer requests for classmates who are ill; remembrances for our deceased classmates; and Rich Buzza's "Final Thought".

 

EVENTS ASSOCIATED WITH WEST CATHOLIC PREP

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ANNUAL ALUMNI COMMUNION BREAKFAST POSTPONED

 

The annual Alumni Communion, scheduled for May 3, 2020, has been postponed due to the Coronavirus.  We will advise you when a new date has been set.

 

BURRS AT THE BEACH 2020 CANCELLED

 

Due to the Coronavirus Burrs at the Beach scheduled for June 28, 2020 has been cancelled.

 

Tickets costing $5.00 each for a cash prize drawing of $1,000 can be purchased by contacting George Light at: georgelightwchs@hotmail.com, Mobile: 610-996-2015.

 

 

ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING BACCALAUREATE MASS AND GRADUATION

Dear West Catholic Prep Community.

At a time in our country, in fact in the world, when everything we took for granted has been upended, it is more important than ever that we remain a strong school community and we do that by supporting each other and trusting each other. For us, the leadership of West Catholic Preparatory High School, our highest priority remains keeping our students and their families healthy and safe as we stand united against the tragedy of COVID-19 in our everyday lives.

For our seniors and senior families, the impact is particularly hard. We know that graduation, Baccalaureate Mass, and proms are long anticipated celebrations of their journey and their achievements. We share in their disappointment. We wish we could stand with our seniors for these well-deserved and memorable events in their education and their life experiences.

The reality of restrictions on gatherings of more than 10 people does not permit us to give our seniors the great and proud tradition of a West Catholic Preparatory graduation in person as planned.

As Archbishop Perez has said, we are a people of great hope. We need to gather up our hope and our faith to help us accept what we cannot change. Our students and their families have demonstrated great strength and courage throughout this challenging and difficult chapter of their high school experience. Since March 16, together they have learned, together they have prayed, together they have socialized, together they have given back-all virtually. Together we will find a way to make the graduation experience a safe and rich experience virtually as well.

At West Catholic Preparatory, we have been working very hard on a plan for how this will be achieved. We are planning for a virtual baccalaureate Mass and a virtual graduation ceremony. We will very shortly be sharing the details with our students. And if and when there has been easing of government restrictions, we hope to plan additional celebratory events during the summer or into the fall. In the meantime, know that our students very much in our hearts and minds even though we apart.

May God bless you and keep you safe.

 

Mr. Paul Colistra
President

Mrs. Kelly M. Lanza
Principal

 

 

COLLEGE ACCEPTANCE AND SCHOLARSHIPS EARNED

 

Gleaned from West Catholic Website

 

The Class of 2020 has earned 100% college acceptance and more than $24,000,000 in college scholarships. 

 

Below are some highlights of the achievements of this class.

 

389 - Number of colleges to which our graduates were accepted

55 -  Number of colleges our graduates are attending

6 - Number of graduates attending trade schools or enlisting in the armed services

$24,605,904 - total scholarship dollars earned.

 

Congratulations to the Class of 2020.

 

 

WEST CATHOLIC TRIBUTE TO THE CLASS OF 2020

 

In late May, the Administrators, Staff & Faculty of West Catholic visited the homes of the Senior Class of 2020 to drop off  gift packages.  Here are a few of the pictures that were posted on Facebook.

 

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ANNOUNCEMENT OF ANDREW BRADY'S APPOINTMENT AS INTERIM PRESIDENT OF WCPHS

May 13, 2020

 

Dear Members of the West Catholic Preparatory High School Community,

 

It is my sincere hope that this letter finds you and all of your loved ones well during a very difficult and challenging time for many in the face of this global pandemic.  

 

In February, we communicated that school President Mr. Paul Colistra would be departing West Catholic Preparatory High School (WCPHS) at the conclusion of the 2019-2020 school year.  

 

Today, we are pleased to share that as the national search for a president for WCPHS continues, Mr. Andrew Brady will be appointed interim President effective July 1st.  Mr. Brady is a proud alumnus (class 0f 2002) and currently serves as the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at the school.

 

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Mr. Brady served WCPHS first as a faculty member 2006-2010 and returned in January 2013 for two years as Director of Annual Giving. He then served as Development Director for Business Leadership Organized for Catholic Schools (BLOCS) before coming back to WCPHS in 2016 in his current role. 

 

Along with the WCPHS Board of Directors, please join me in expressing gratitude and congratulations to Mr. Brady as he steps into this interim role. Mr. Brady truly embodies the Lasallian values of WCPHS and his commitment to the school and proven leadership qualities will allow him to continue to support the mission of WCPHS.

 

Faith in the Future, the Office of Catholic Education and the WCPHS Board of Directors will continue its national search for a permanent president. I reiterate what we shared in February, this will be an inclusive and transparent process, and we are committed to finding a successor who embodies the virtues of WCPHS, represents our growing community, and propels the school forward. 

 

We are committed to the belief that every student should be provided with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed throughout their high school years and beyond. Faith in the Future and the Office of Catholic Education will continue to support WCPHS administration to ensure every student is provided a path to become the best version of their God-given self.

 

Please know of my continued gratitude for your ongoing support of this historic and beloved Philadelphia Catholic high school.

 

Sincerely,

 

Irene Horstmann Hannan

Chief Executive Officer

Faith in the Future Foundation

 

 

OBITUARY FOR BOBBY DEVINE CLASS OF 1954

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Robert "Bobby" Devine - February 8, 1935 ~ May 19, 2020 (age 85)

 Robert "Bobby" Devine, of Hershey's Mill, passed away on May 19, 2020 at the age of 85.  Graduate of West Catholic and Notre Dame. 

Loving Husband of M. Therese (nee Hughes) Cosgrove-Devine.  Beloved brother of the late Margaret Hastings, Joseph, Edward, Jack, and Rev. Daniel Devine.  Also survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins. 

Due to the Pandemic funeral services will be held at a later date. 

In lieu of flowers, family request contributions be made to West Catholic H.S., 4501 Chestnut St, Phila, PA  19139 or Ss. Peter & Paul Church, 1325 Boot Rd, West Chester, PA  19380. 

 

In his junior year, Bobby was a member of the famed 1953 West Catholic Basketball Team.  Here is a report about the teams playoff history and City Championship win as reported by Ed Kerr Jr. '60 in the Spring 2018 Emissary.

 

1953 would be a year that Burr fans would remember for years and years to come.  West, the defending champions came out hard and fast which resulted in a 13-1 regular season.  Playoffs offered Southeast Catholic, Bill Lindsay and Bob Devine (a junior) would lead the Burrs to victory by 59-33.  La Salle High School, always a difficult opponent came to play behind Tom Derago and his (21) points.  West would defend and win a second consecutive Catholic League Championship, 53-52, as Bill Lindsay, Bob Devine and Jim McNicholas and teammates delivered once again.

 

What would follow, almost everyone in Burrland remembers being there.  Coach James Usilton would prepare his team, which included Bill Lindsay, Joe Gardler, Drew Denmead, Jim McNicholas and Bob Devine with a game plan that put extra coverage on Wilt Chamberlain.  According to our friend, Ted Silary 8,461 fans (4,000 were turned away), at The Palestra as West Catholic held 611 Wilt Chamberlain to 29 points by surrounding him with four defenders.  Wilt Chamberlain would shoot 9-for-25 from the floor and 11-for-19 at the line.  Bill Lindsay played the floater in Wests defense and also scored a game-record 32 points, shooting 12-for 13 from the field and 8-for- 11 at the line. This is what would follow, as the draw the plan, practice the plan and execute the plan, put together by Coach Jimmy Usilton, staff and moderator delivered a second consecutive City Title by the final score of 54-42.  

 

May Bobby Rest In Peace.

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BROTHER RICHARD KESTLER, F.S.C. CELEBRATES 60 YEARS AS A CHRISTIAN BROTHER

 

submitted by;  FRANK METZLER

 

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On July 25, 2020 the Christian Brothers will gather in St. Mary's Church in Colts Neck, NJ to celebrate Brothers having Jubilees this year.  Brother Richard Kestler, former Principal and then former President of West Catholic Prep, will be celebrating 60 years as a Christian Brother.  A reception will follow at the Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft, NJ. 

 

Congratulations Brother Richard.  May St. John Baptist de La Salle and our Dear Lord shower you with many blessings for your service to the education of youth. 

NEWS FEATURES

 

PHILLY FLY OVER  OF THE BLUE ANGELS AND THUNDERBIRDS

April 28, 2020 - Photos taken from near the Philadelphia Art Museum

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Photo by: Heather Khalifa AP

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INTERESTING ARTICLE ABOUT WHAT BRENDAN DOUGHERTY DID DURING THE PANDEMIC

Below is a link to an article that appeared in the May 31, 2020 Sunday Inquirer.  It is all about what Brendan Dougherty, the grandson of our own George Light, did with his spare time during the pandemic.

https://www.inquirer.com/high-school-sports/pennsylvania/

 

MAIL FROM CLASSMATES AND FRIENDS

George Light:  Frank, Great job on the newsletter, great for you to keep all of our class in touch.  THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO.  George

 

Brother Kevin Stanton:  Many thanks for the Spring issue Frank.  Are you feeling like a Trappist monk yet?

Peace, Br. Kevin

 

Rich Loftus:  Thanks Frank. I especially enjoyed the newspaper clippings about our awesome track/cross country team.  

   

John Gillespie:  Frank:Thanks for yet another great job communicating with our classmates.  I had shoulder replacement at the end of January and the recovery has been challenging. This was the fifth shoulder surgery of my life.  Could be worst, I suppose.  Best to all of our classmates.

Des Butler:  Thanks for another enjoyable newsletter!  I particularly enjoyed the track/cross country clips that Gerry Vernot shared.  And I thought that I was the possessor of too many 'old" items that I have stuck away.  With this period of self confining I may be able to review the 'good old days'.  Again thank you and those who aid in keeping the Class of 58 informed and providing opportunities to get together. 

 

We also are doing a small bit of reducing/giving away things we are unlikely to need (until we do).  A grandson recently married and bought a house so we have the opportunity to give them  substantial amount of furnishing that we are unlikely to use again.  I'm even (reluctantly) dispossessing some books that I never will read again or in many cases never read in the first place.  Des

 

Tom Hughes:  Hi Frank, I am so sorry to hear about the death of Bill Kohlenberg.  We went to St Barny's together and of course to West.  We always were at Burrs at the Beach together along with the rest of the St.Barny boys.  The last time I saw Bill was at the B@B about three years ago and he stated that he had early stages of dementia and that it would be his last B@B.  I told him to hang in there and try your best to continue to live his life the best he could.  I had a few beers with him and that was the last time we talked.  I really liked Bill, he was such a down to earth guy and you could discuss anything with him even through you haven't seen him in many months.

 

May Bill rest in peace and God bless him.

 

Best Regards,  Tom Hughes      

 

 

THANK YOU FROM THE KOHLENBERG FAMILY

 

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EARLIEST MEMORIES FROM THE 1940's and 1950's

 

submitted by:  GERRY VERNOT

 

Frank,

 

The below docs are about the 1956 Catholic League Cross Country Championship win by West Catholic.   We then lost the City Championship to West Philly in 1956, but regained the City Title in 1957.  Gerry

 

WEST CATHOLIC CROSS COUNTRY 1956

                      

 

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WEST CATHOLIC CROSS COUNTRY - 1957 CITY CHAMPIONS

 

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PLEASE REMEMBER IN YOUR PRAYERS

 

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Care for the Sick -Transfiguration Church

 

WE REMEMBER and ask for your prayers for those who are ill, especially Dave Crines who is recovering from a stroke, Tom Henry who is battling Hodgkin Lymphoma, Bob Dougherty who had a total hip replacement in November, Brother Larry Dempsey who is suffering from dementia and now resides at the Lincroft, NJ nursing home, Brother Robert Sentman who is dealing with back problems, Father Richard McAndrews who has Parkinson's disease and now resides at Little Flower Manor Nursing Home, and Barry Carey who suffered a heart attack in May.

 

Our Webmaster Jim Prendergast completed Chemo and Radiation treatments in February.  A post treatment Cat Scan and other test revealed that the cancer has spread.  Jim needs your prayers; please keep them coming.

 

Two former teachers from West are in need of prayers; Brother Gregory Cavalier has moved to the nursing home in Lincroft, NJ, and former Brother Gratian Joseph (John Gardiner) is in the beginning stage of Alzheimer's disease.

 

WE REMEMBER and pray for all of our deceased classmates who have gone to their eternal reward, especially Bill Kohlenberg.  

 

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WILLIAM F. KOHLENBERG JR. - April 23, 2020

 

May Bill Rest In Peace.

 

 

FINAL THOUGHT

 

submitted by:  RICH BUZZA

 

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AWARD PRESENTATION TO JAMES J. PRENDERGAST

 

Our 2020 Annual Luncheon had it's usual D-Day planning as Brother Richard referred to it, but it was not to be.  This year, the Committee planned to honor our own Jim Prendergast.  The Committee had planned many times in the past years to honor Jim, but one thing or another, healthwise, always seemed to pop up and postpone the presentation.  This year we were determined to honor Jim and it took a worldwide pandemic to stop us.

 

The Award Presentation reads as follows:

 

The Golden Burrs Events Committee has voted unanimously to award this Certificate of Appreciation for your efforts as an original member of the Class of 1958 Golden Burrs organizing committee.  It is with much gratitude that we recognize your commitment and long term devotion to creation and maintaining the Golden Burrs Website.  This worldwide publicity and professionalism of your Website has greatly contributed to the success and recognition of our great class of 1958. 

 

We framed this award and sent it to Jim so that he can display it proudly on his office wall. 

 

 

God Bless WEST CATHOLIC!   Live Jesus in our Hearts.  Forever.

  KEEP THE SPIRIT ALIVE!

 

THIS E-MAIL IS BEING SENT TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE WEST CATHOLIC BOYS' CLASS OF 1958 AND FRIENDS OF THE CLASS.  IF YOU NO LONGER WISH TO RECEIVE OUR COMMUNICATIONS OR IF YOU ARE RECEIVING UNSOLICITED E-MAILS FROM ANYONE PERTAINING TO THE CLASS OF 1958, PLEASE NOTIFY FRANK ADOLF AT:  FJAPFA1539@COMCAST.NET