175th Anniversary Exhibition

Our first thanks goes out to the Right Reverend Vincent Logan, Bishop of Dunkeld. His patronage has turned this from a local event into one of much wider significance. He has also ensured that some of the financial means to support an exhibition of this scale were available.

Crucial has also been the dedication of Mgr. Charles Hendry, our parish priest. He believed in the project from the first moment, and, again, without him it would not have happened. His support has been augmented by that of the parish council. Other groups who normally use the hall in which the exhibition takes place have given up their claims for the duration, and they, too, have contributed in a very important way. Within the parish, finally, the fabric committee is owed a very special word of thanks. They constructed much of the exhibition, and without them it would not have looked as good as it does.

Next are the lenders. These include the Diocese of Dunkeld, the Diocese of Argyll, Blairs Museum, St. Mary’s Monastery in Kinnoull, the Polish Mission in Scotland, the Archives of the Friars Preachers, English Province, Congregation of the Ursulines of Jesus, Dunkeld Diocesan Archives, the Scottish Catholic Archives, the Scottish Catholic Media Office, Lady Willoughby de Eresby and the Grimsthorpe and Drummond Castle Trust, the AK Bell Library, the National Library of Scotland, Kilgraston School, Stirling High School, Gabriel Communications Ltd., the Black Watch Regimental Museum, the Perth Italian Society, and Flood Photographers. Besides the institutional lenders, we have been truly blessed by the phenomenal response from within the Catholic community in Perth. Many individual parishioners have provided artefacts, too many, in fact, to be named separately. To all the many who have assisted, we are truly grateful.

Professional assistance has come from a variety of sources. Alison Cromarty at the National Museums of Scotland, Patrick Elliott at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, John O’Brien from the Museums, Libraries & Archives Council, Richard Wood, who assisted with photographic displays and security, Derbhile O’Shea from Exhibition Lighting, Tom McPherson in the Cathedral in Dundee, and, last but certainly not least, Susan Payne, the curator at Perth Museum and Art Gallery, and Andy Cottier, from the same institution: all offered invaluable assistance and we are in their debt.

One of the aspects that has made this work so pleasurable has been the co-operation from the parishioners. This has expressed itself not only in the various artefacts on display donated by them, but also in a unique experiment in which so many took part. We are referring to the recordings made by the School of Scottish Studies, University of Edinburgh, of memories of the parishioners. So many took part that the School has enriched their library with a large number of CDs. Oral history has its own unique place amongst the sources historians can draw upon, and these recordings are an important contribution not only for the history of Perth and its Catholic community, but also for Catholicism in Scotland in the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries. Special thanks go out to Dr. Margaret Mackay, head of the School, and the two field workers, Ellie Beaton and Ann Williams.

This catalogue is one of a series of booklets that will explore the past of the Catholic community in Perth. It will be accompanied by a short history. There has long been a need for such a survey, which will, hopefully, lead others to conduct research in greater depth on individual aspects of the community’s past. A third volume, which will appear in the near future, will examine the oral history of the parish, thus augmenting what we can know from the written record with the memory of those still with us. As stated, this has been a co-operative venture, with many people contributing. The editor would like to personally thank all those who contributed to these books, as well as those who assisted in their production.

Harry Schnitker

175th Anniversary History of Catholic Perth


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Download a copy of the 175th Anniversary History of Catholic Perth
From Persecution to Integration:
The Scottish Catholic Experience as seen from Perth 1685-2007

175th Anniversary Exhibition Catalogue

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Download the 175th Exhibition Catalogue here.