Nesta and John Twigg's Memories

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Mrs Nesta Twig transcription, recorded on 16/06/2023 at Paul Sartori House, Haverfordwest.

Present: Nesta Twig (NT), Jonathan Twig (JT), Shamus Buckley (SB), Rachal Quimby (RQ).


SB: OK, first of all I just want to say thank you for coming in and giving up your time. So we're going to start by, I have to ask you for your full name, for the sake of the interview.

00:00:17 NT: Nesta Eileen Twigg.

SB: Thank you. And do we have permission then to record the interview? NT: You do. SB: Thank you. And where and when were you born?

00:00:29 NT: I was born in Coronation Ave. On the 26th of September 1941.

SB: Alright, thank you. So we're here to talk about Paul Sartori and your memories of him. What would be your first memories of meeting him for the first time?

00:00:55 NT: Oh, an absolute joy, made you very comfortable. Was not like priest, forgive me.

SB: Yeah. No, that's all right. Lots of people have said that.

NT: Yeah, he was absolutely lovely. My husband was more of a social being than I was, so I sort of tagged along, but he always made me feel welcome.

SB: Right.

NT: Jonathan joined… his Cubs.

SB: Right.

NT: Although he wasn't Catholic. Yeah, but he did come and he was made very welcome. I did speak with him to make sure that Jonathan was not isolated. …He was made very welcome and he loved every minute of it.

SB: Right. So he ran the Cubs did he?

NT: No it no it was. [in-audible…]

00:02:05 JT: Jonathan David Twigg, 3rd of August 1967, the permission is granted. My memory of it was Mike Evans from Port Lyon runs Mikes Bikes. He was involved in it and the family and things like that as well for it, but I remember Father Paul being there and often come in to speak to me. I didn't know that mum would have said ‘don't leave him isolated’. So there's the compassion, I think. And there's the understanding. It wasn't just the Catholic Church. It wasn't just the Catholic Cub Scout group. It was a community.

SB: Open to everybody. Besides that, would he have come round to your house or ..?

NT: No, no, no, no. But he invited us to his home.

SB: Right.

NT: Was very accommodative, was very, very nice. And he did say to me that he would make sure that Jonathan was part of the group and not isolated, although he wasn't a Catholic. And he was very true to his word.

00:03:21 JT: What about Father Paul? When we saw him on the street? What would happen?

NT: Oh yes, he would come cross the road. And stopped me and waved to me as to let me know who he was and we would have a chat. Nothing to do with Cubs or anything, or the Catholic Church or my religion, but just generally chatty, yeah.

00:03:52 SB: That's the story that an awful lot of people have given us that they have no connection with any church, for that matter, sort of thing. But once he knew you, then he took an interest to you and made people at ease and everything and people said he didn't seem like a priest at all.

NT: No, he didn't. No, no.

SB: Probably said something to a priest.

NT: I always remember I don't know whether. ……. And he would cross the road if he saw me across one side of the road, he would drop and he would wave to me, I'd say as if, say, don't move cause I'm on my way. And he was extremely loving, lovely man.

SB: OK. And because your Don knew him better. And so what was Don’s opinion of him, would Don have spoken about him?

NT: Oh yes, yes, yes, they were good friends and I mean that really good friends.

SB: Yeah, yeah.

00:04:54 NT: Don would make an effort to cross the road to meet him, yeah. Absolutely lovely. No, no problem at all. I've got no recollection of his saying anything derogatory about him. He was lovely and Don was very, very fond of him.

00:05:21 SB: Have you got any other stories about him?

NT: Unfortunately, to have had my husband here. Yeah, because he would have had the stories because I used to be the tail end. I had two young children.

SB: Yeah, yeah.

NT: I was teaching at the same time and I'm afraid they didn't have it, but Don always made an effort and he really liked him as a person. Yeah, not necessarily as a priest, but as a person.

SB: No, no, as a person. Right. And what about? Would you have heard other people in town talk about this man, and if so, what? What would other people have said about him? The same thing?

NT: Very much so, very much so, and not necessarily as a priest, but as a person, yeah. He was lovely. Yeah. And I've never heard anyone say anything bad about him at all. Nothing at all. If you spoke about Cubs, it was always he came into the conversation. He was lovely.

00:06:40 SB: There's a question here that sort of said about if to sum up Paul Sartori in three words. What would they be? What would you say about him if you had to say it in three words.

00:06:55 NT: 3 words. Lovely, yeah. And a great friend. Right. That's right. Yeah, absolutely.

00:07:13 JT: My only memories are that I remember Father Paul as being in white, and obviously with the Catholic Church, and that was my memories of what he was wearing. I can remember being in the Catholic Church hall with the Cubs and the Scouts, and he used to put on Gang Shows and things and he was part of that. He'd let his “hair down”.

But I've been listening to mum and my memories of what goes on and the foundation that's been left and the memory that's been left. I would have said he's a proper ‘Haverfordwest’. Even though he wasn't from Haverfordwest he brought into what the spirit of this town is and for it, and he was a community priest as opposed to being a Catholic priest.

And I know there was a tie up with Mary Immaculate School, but it was across the board. My memories of that from what Mum has said. They never felt any different, and I think if that's a legacy that's left and fully, he treated everybody equal.

00:08:08 JT: 100% the same and you know, I think he took the best out of everybody. And tried to nurture that and to develop that. You look at how religion is in this day and age and the diversity he was actually ahead of his time with this.

SB: Is there anything else you'd like to add to what has been said?

NT: No, he was an absolute joy to know, joy, to know he really was.

SB: Well, thank you so much for coming in and thanks John as well. We really appreciate it.

JT: Thank you for the opportunity.

SB: This is what people come into the shop and the shops and they sort of say, well, they buy things in the summer visitors and say, well, who is this Paul Sartori anyway? Because there's usually no photographs up about him and visitors want to know, and sometimes the people in the shop don't know the story either. So this is what this is about. When people do come into the shops, they'll know there's the man sort of thing. ……. That's what it's all about.

NT: He was an absolute joy. Couldn't have asked for a nicer friend.

SB: Right. Thank you so much. Thank you.