Forster, Thomas, 1869-1929, Jesuit brother

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Forster, Thomas, 1869-1929, Jesuit brother

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21 September 1869-03 August 1929


Born: 21 September 1869, Brunswick, Melbourne, Australia
Entered: 09 October 1894, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Professed: 15 August 1916
Died: 03 August 1929, St Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney, Australia

Brother of John - RIP 1964

HIB Menologies SJ :
He made his Novitiate under Luigi Sturzo.
He was multi talented, as at times and in various houses he was Cook, Gardener, Infirmarian, Assistant Steward and Carpenter.
He spent five years at Loyola, six at Xavier, one at Sevenhill and twenty-three at Riverview, and his loss was much regretted in the latter.
At the time of his death he had charge of the building new wing which was making rapid progress.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He was a brother of John (RIP 1964) and was a master builder before he decided to follow his younger brother into the Society, He was invited to study for Priesthood but preferred to become a Brother. Both brothers were very intelligent and good musicians - their simplicity was deceptive and some underrated them. He Entered at Loyola Greenwich.

1897-1903 After First Vows he was sent to Xavier College Kew for domestic duties, cook, buyer, storekeeper and anything else necessary.
1903-1906 He was sent back to Loyola Greenwich for the same purpose as at Xavier
1906-1910 He was sent for similar duties to Riverview in Sydney
1910-1912 Saw him back at Loyola Greenwich
1912-1929 He settled back at Riverview for the rest of his life.

He was described as “ad omnia”! He was the best builder and carpenter, but he could turn his hand to most things. He built the seismological cellar at Riverview, and with one assistant constructed the second and third storey balconies on the West Wing facing the quadrangle, as well as the open air dormitories of the Senior House. He also built the Bandhouse on the foreshore and the brick building on the rocks at the foot of the garden. When William Lockington embarked on his building programme in n1928, he use Thomas as clerk of works with excellent results. His sudden death from a stroke was a severe blow to Lockington.

His brothers considered him an excellent religious man of virtue. He was popular with the students who enjoyed his ready wit, especially his fund of amusing anecdotes and puns. To them he was kind and gentle.

For many years he served the 5am Mass. He had a retiring disposition but always ready to perform a service for anyone

Note from Edward Pigot Entry
One result of his visit to Samoa was the building and fittings for the instruments in the half-underground, vaulted, brick building at Riverview. Brs Forster and Girschik performed the work.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 5th Year No 1 1929
Obituary :
Br Thomas Forster

Br. Forster was born the 21st July 1869, and entered the Society the 9th October 1894 at Loyola, Sydney, where he had Fr. Sturzo for his Master of Novices.
He was a man of varied talent, as, at different times and in various houses, he discharged the duties of cook, gardener, infirmarian, assistant steward, and carpenter. He spent 5 years at Loyola, 6 at Xavier, 1 at Sevenhill and 23 at Riverview, where his loss was much regretted. He had charge of the building of the new wing, which under his care, was making rapid and satisfactory progress


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IE IJA J/1328

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