Remembering De La Salle members

De La Salle.
De La Salle.

You will remember that a few months ago I interviewed Patricia Folland, the woman who masterminded the success of the De La Salle youth group in South Shields.

Since then, the former St Cuthbert’s School teacher has sent me some more photos of group members receiving a wealth of awards.

De La Salle awards presentation.

De La Salle awards presentation.

Here, Patricia reveals the history of those treasured trophies, many of which were created in memory of De La Salle members from over the years.

She said the Tangney Tours Trophy is presented in memory of Shaun Lawson.

“This trophy was presented by our travel agent after Shaun’s sudden death from a serious asthmatic condition, in Lourdes, on July 18. 1982,” explains Patricia.

“He was 15-years-old. From the love experienced by all 47 people in the group that year, our Lourdes pilgrimage has grown from strength to strength to become the most important part or the De La Salle calendar.

De La Salle awards presentation ceremony.

De La Salle awards presentation ceremony.

“The trophy and deposit for the following year is awarded annually to the person, under 18 years, who contributes most to the welfare and happiness of the full group of youth and adults, and shows outstanding empathy with all whom we work on with the annual pilgrimage to Lourdes.”

The Peter Scott Memorial Trophy provides an equally poignant reminder of another outstanding young man.

“Peter was a young man who believed in ‘enjoying life while you can’ – and this he did to the full,” says Patricia.

“Having completed A-levels, he took three years out, and spent the time touring the world as a ‘roadie’.

“In September 1981 he was 21 and due to start Newcastle University when he was diagnosed with having multiple sclerosis.

“Undaunted, he began his course in psychology, but within months it was discovered that his illness was actually an inoperable brain tumour.

“Over the next 18 months he grew more and more incapacitated and eventually went blind, but he never lost his sense of humour, his zest for life and his interest in others.”

Find out how his spirit lives on thanks to that award and others in tomorrow’s page.