Well, the St Mungo Singers finally managed to get a suitable date in the diary for the proper celebration of Sir Noel Donnelly’s knighthood with his family and friends on 31 May at St Leo’s. A measure of the esteem in which Sir Noel is held was the wide range of friends, colleagues, priests and parishioners who joined Mgr. Gerry and choir for the celebration. One of them was his fellow knight Duncan McLaren.
The formal investiture was carried out by Mgr Gerry during the Mass which appropriately was the Mass of St. Gregory. The music of the Mass itself showed the wealth of music which Noel has gifted to the church in Glasgow, ending with his hymn in honour of St Gregory. In his brief response to the investiture, Noel was typically humble, concentrating on thanking all those who had helped him during the many years of his service to the church.
In the church hall afterwards, there was a great deal of laughter and enjoyment as the congregation joined Noel in a beautiful buffet meal, the highlight of which was a wonderful cake decorated with a representation of the papal medal, a harp and a pair of walking boots (reflecting Noel’s love of hillwalking). Those who know Noel will not be surprised to learn that the Sisters of Carmel in Dumbarton got to share in his celebratory cake later.