Three years after the fire in Eglinton Road, Fr Noel Barber reports on the Provincial Curia’s new migration this week – a move still incomplete, as this view of the reception area shows: “Before the current economic woes descended on us, there were plans to build the Curia in the Gonzaga garden. It would have cost, I have been told, four times the cost of our actual offices; it could not possibly have been four times superior – whatever that means – and almost certainly it would not have been as good. A blessing of the recession which I am sure is being replicated throughout the country and contains a salutary lesson!” Read the rest of Fr Barber’s reflection below:
It has been said that moving house is a traumatic experience, almost as traumatic as going through a divorce. Fortunately no one in the Curia is able to make that comparison from their own experience. In the event our move from Sandyford to Milltown was a bother, but hardly traumatic. Packing and unpacking has little to commend it, but moving does encourage one to throw out of rubbish of all sorts. Looking around the volume of material in the ‘For Shredding’ room, it was clear that the Curia was becoming a leaner place. We were blessed in having Julie Ward who led the operation with the precision of a Field Marshall, and this greatly mitigated the bother.
We were moving from good functional offices, albeit becoming slightly tatty, situated at the foot of the Dublin Hills in spacious parkland, convenient for some of the staff, less so for others. The benign landlord looked after us well. Although hardly long enough there to form a strong attachment, some moved regretfully and all will have happy memories of our time in the IMI. We have, of course, moved to splendidly appointed offices which provoked ‘ohs and ahs’ of appreciation at every visit. A rather dark, cold, institutional space has been transformed into a bright, warm and homely environment under Tom Phelan’s direction. Furthermore, we have inherited the community TV room and the large Common Room on the ground floor giving us an abundance of space, ready for creative and aesthetic development. We are conscious that we are no longer an outpost but are fitting snugly into the large Milltown/Gonzaga campus where the JCC will soon join us. So we are hoping for much social and other interaction with our colleagues and neighbours.
A few of us will now live ‘beside the shop’ with its attendant advantages and disadvantages. For some at least there is a palpable sense of moving home into a building redolent with memories. I am occupying an office, part of which served as my bedroom in the year of my ordination in 1967 and which I subsequently occupied for six years when it was the Rector’s office.