Brian Lewis' Memories

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Mr Brian Lewis Transcription recorded on the 24/04/20223 over the phone at Paul Sartori House Haverfordwest.

Present: Brian Lewis (BL), Sue Young (SY) and Kiara Quimby (KQ) Transcript 

00:00:01 SY: I've got a few questions to run through, but if you've got any other memories or anything you think we've missed, then please, chip, chip in and tell us.

00:00:09 BL: OK.

00:00:13 SY: And also, at the end of the interview, could ask for your address so that we can send you the consent form. OK, alright. Is that alright? Yeah. OK. Thank you very much. So, if we start by my asking you, what is your full name?

00:00:31 BL: Brian Anthony Arthur Lewis.

00:00:34 SY: And do I have permission to record this interview?

00:00:36 BL: Yes

00:00:39 SY: Thank you, and where and when were you born, Mr. Lewis?

00:00:43 BL: In Llanelli, 1st of May 1936.

00:00:46 SY: Right. So you, so you haven't travelled far then?

00:00:49 BL: Pardon?

00:00:51 SY: You hadn't travelled very far. You, you. You stayed in the area?

00:00:57 BL: No, No, Yeah.

00:00:57 SY: there you are, can I ask how you first met Father Paul Sartori?

00:01:03 BL: It was in school with his brother Anthony and we were friends all through life till he died.

00:01:11 SY: right?

00:01:14- 00:01:23 BL: And Paul was a class below us, he was younger than us. It was, I, I knew, I knew Anthony better and him, to be honest.

00:01:28 SY: But you, you, you met all the family. I suppose, on various occasions, yeah?

00:01:32 BL: Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes.

00:01:35 SY: Yeah. OK. Can you remember what your first memory, your earliest memory of Paul was?

00:01:43 00:03:02 BL: I remember Anthony being called out of the class to go and see the headmistress, and he had a letter to talk to his mother and father and the next day, he told me Paul had taken all his classmates because they live just around the corner from the school at the time, he, he'd taken all his classmates up to the house and fed them because at that time there was no school meals, you know and he’d fed them all so cause he'd been a taken out of school and she didn't want, to cause he was so kind and fed the the boys that were in his class.

She didn't want to give him a role the headmistress, so she got, got Anthony to tell his parents that, you know, he shouldn't have done it. Shouldn't have taken about the school, but that's what he was like. He also, when before, when I was going with my wife on my first date, he babysat. He babysat his niece and nephews for, for us to go with Anthony and Moneta to, on to Cardiff for the night. That's, that's about it, to be honest.

00:03:04 SY: Yeah. How old would he have been when he took his classmates out of school? Can you remember?

00:03:10 BL: say again please? I’m a bit deaf.

00:03:12 SY: How old would he have been when he took his schoolmates out of class? Would he? Was it Junior School or secondary school?

00:03:19 BL: Ohh junior junior.

00:03:20 SY: Ohh, right. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh there you are

00:03:25 BL: I can't remember the exact age we were.

00:03:28 SY: No, no, I can understand that.

00:03:30 BL: Because, because after that, Anthony, that's his brother, went to Tregyb, to the Carmelite College in Llandeilo and then Paul followed him to the Carmelite College in Tregyb from there even to *inaudiable* and then he became a Priest there.

00:03:51 SY: Ohh, I see. And you, you kept in touch with the family throughout that time?

00:03:56 BL: Ohh yes, yes. Well, I kept in touch with Anthony, right through his life;

00:04:01 SY: Yeah

00:04:02 BL: because we were big mates.

00:04:04 SY: Yeah

00:04:06 BL: I went when we at National service was, I went and the engineers and Anthony went in the army catering corps and when he came out, he told me he was going to Italy to see he was having this leg problem and they found out that Anthony had MS there and his brother Naldo was a a doctor at Morriston Hospital at the time. And he hadn't told him. And he went.

00:04:22 SY: Right.

00:04:32 BL: When I went up early, we could, he came in and there was there were, there were family room more or less because he hadn't told Anthony what he had. But, but Anthony had been ill all his life, but he bought it all like Paul. Paul, Paul was very illuminating.

00:04:51 SY: yeah.

00:04:52 BL: Yeah, you know, but the, they both were. They both were. Both of them were very ill, most of their lives, but they turrelled on. They didn't take any notice of it.

00:05:01 SY: No, and did, did Anthony talk to you very much about Paul? Did he go and visit Paul or?

00:05:07 BL: Ohh yes yeah, because he was in Haverfordwest for a lot of, most of the time, wasn't he?

00:05:12 SY: Yes, that's right.

00:05:13 BL: Paul, was he Curate there and then by PP?

00:05:17 SY: That's right, yes.

00:05:19 BL: Yes, and I used to come up. And I got got one thing to tell you, but it's rather personal.

00:05:27 SY: Well, if you if you feel able to share it then that's fine.

00:05:31 BL: All right. OK.

00:05:34 SY: But if you if you don't want it recorded then that's fine as well.

00:05:36 BL: Yeah, I was very ill, and the PT or the Curates used to come in those days or bring communion and I was unable to go to church and. Father Norris said. I'm then being old Brian, but I put you in the visiting book and nobody ever came. So, I stopped going to church and. Paul is coming up cause his brother lived in Llanelli at the time and one Sunday morning I was working in the hospital then, and I was coming out the paper shop because about 5:45 in the morning and who pulls up outside. But Paul?

00:06:26 SY: Yeah?

00:06:28 -00:07:05 BL: And he said to me, “don't move, don't go off. Now I want to work with you” and I thought, oh, here we go and he said, “I hear you're not going to Mass anymore?” And I said, “oh, your, your brother has been talking to you, has he?”.

He, he said “No, never mind who’s been talking to me.” “Yes. OK. Yes”, I said. But I said “nobody came to bring me communion”.

And he said, “Ohh well, they should have”. “Yes, I know that Paul” I said.

And he said “Now, listen Brian, you are the church, not me. It’s no good me getting up there and preaching to an empty, empty church. You are the church. You are the sheep and I am the shepherd. I can't be a shepherd if I haven't got any sheep.”

00:07:12 SY: Hmm, Yeah.

00:07:13 BL: That that's the last. That's, that's the thing I could remember about him.

00:07:17 SY: Yeah. So, he was, he was encouraging you then, wasn't he? Yeah.

00:07:20 BL: God, he got me. I did. I got over what he said. And I, I did go back.

00:07:24 SY: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I'm sure he would have been pleased that you were able to go back again really, because that's what he would have wanted, I suppose. Isn't it? Yeah.

00:07:35 BL: Yeah.

00:07:36 SY: How, how would you describe Father Sartori?

00:07:42 BL: Erm, a very outgoing. Very charismatic. It didn't matter what, what religion you were and all religion. If you if you needed help, you could go to him.

00:07:57 SY: Right. Yeah. Oh. That's good. Do you have any other stories?

00:08:03 BL: No, I haven't, sorry.

00:08:04 SY: No, no can you can't. erm, There's nothing else you remember about family time?

00:08:11 BL: No- Ohh I can't remember what when he was ordained, I went to his ordination and Anthony was allowed X amount of friends, you know, to go to the bank with afterwards. So he said you'll come in and there's some other of Anthony's friends, four of us.

And then we went back to the house afterwards. The shop, above the shop, there was a flat above the shop then. And he said “right or there's all the beer. Now then, when I get upstairs, I'll want to know the reason why. If there is no upstairs after all that I've gone through.”

00:08:49 SY:

00:08:50 BL: That's what he said and that's all. That's about all I can remember. I’m getting on now. My memory is not what it used to be.

00:08:59 SY: No, you're doing. You're doing very well. Do you think that Father Sartori impacted on your life in some way? Obviously talking about, you know, his kind words to you that day.

00:09:16 BL: Oh yes! Yeah, That's the type of chap he was.

00:09:20 SY: Yeah, yeah, there you are. If you had to sum up Father Sartori in three words, that's a bit difficult, isn't it? What? What? What would they be?

00:09:34 BL: Yeah, erm. A good Parish Priest.

00:09:38: SY: Right, oh that’s-

00:09:39 Oh. Oh, sorry.

00:09:40 SY: No, that's a lovely memory. That's yeah. yeah.

00:09:44 BL: Okay?

00:09:47 SY: Yeah. Is there anything else you want to mention at all?

00:09:51 BL: No, that's about it, to be honest, because my memory is, as I said, my memory is not what it used to be.

00:09:56 SY: Ohh no, I think you've done really well there. Thank you very much can we have your address please so that we can send you the consent form?

Information redacted.

00:10:24 KQ: thank you so much, Mr. Lewis. And I think it goes to say I'm really sorry about your loss, Anthony. Sounds like a really good friend.

00:10:34 BL: Ohh yes yes, both of them. Well, Anthony more than that because I thought I said I kept it. We kept in touch with Anthony, right.

00:10:41 KQ: I've seen some lovely pictures of Anthony and his wife and children.

00:10:46 BL: No, no. I've got a card. A mask, you know. You know the desk card after the Mass for both for Paul and for Anthony.

00:10:59 KQ: I've seen I've seen Father Pauls, I've not seen Anthony’s but.

00:11:02 BL: And this is exactly the same only, only a difference face.

00:11:06 KQ: They sound like absolutely a wonderful family.

00:11:11 BL: Oh, they were. They are and they.

00:11:13 SY: Were close as brothers, obviously.

00:11:15 BL:Oh, they were, Yes, yes. Well, the old, old are all the children were all close.

00:11:21 KQ:  Thank you so much for your time. We really appreciate it.

00:11:24 BL: That's OK. Thank you very much. OK.

00:11:26 KQ: Have a lovely afternoon. Thank you. Bye bye bye.