RepositoryJesuits in Britain Archives
Ref NoABSI/SJ/113
TitleFr Bernard Darke SJ (1925-1979)
LevelSub fonds
DescriptionThis small collection consists mostly of material detailing Fr Darke's death in Guyana, also included is information for his Final Vows.
Admin_HistoryFr Bernard Darke was born on 19th July 1925 in Bournemouth, England. He attended St Peter's College in Southbourne.

Fr Darke entered the English Province of the Society of Jesus on 24th July 1946 after wartime service in the Royal Navy. Between Philosophy and Theology he taught at Wimbledon College and busied himself with the Scout troop there.

After ordination in July 1958 he did his Tertianship and later went out to British Guyana in 1960. After a brief spell at the Sacred Heart church, where the experience of being chaplain at the Public Hospital perhaps jaundiced his view of parish work, he was transferred to the staff of St Stanislaus College, where he was to spend the rest of his life.
At St Stanislaus College Fr Darke first taught Scripture but later changed to teaching Mathematics and General Science, finding these subjects more compatible with his own style of teaching. Later he became head of the lower school. He also took over Scouting at the College, and built up its popularity. He devoted many of his weekends to training courses at Camp Jubilee.

From 1961 until his death Fr Darke lived with the Brickdam Presbytery community, apart from a period in 1975-76 when he and the other College Fathers were moved out to Alphonsus House.

Fr Darke was a skilled amateur photographer and often enjoyed recording events and people which would further communications between communities, persons and cultures. On the day of his death he spent the morning taking shots of demonstrations by the Working People's Alliance, and again later as they marched passed St Stanislaus College. Fr Darke was out on the street taking photographs when a gang of young men carrying weapons suddenly charged the crowd of demonstrators and severy wounded him. Fr Darke was taken to the Public Hospital before being transferred to St Joseph's Mercy Hospital and operated on. He died later that day, on 14 July 1979.
Related MaterialArchive:
- For newspaper cuttings concerning the murder of Fr Darke see: ABSI/GUY/9
- For a leaflet on the life of Fr Darke, dated [1980], see: ABSI/GUY/12/4
- For 4 black and white photographs of Fr Darke, and a letter from Tony Monfort at Jesuit Missions see: ABSI/GUY/15/7
- For 1 black and white photograph of Fr Darke with a motorcycle in British Guyana see: ABSI/SJ/PH/298

For his obituary see: Letters & Notices vol. 83, pp. 435-446
Printed document
Video tape
AccessConditionsThe papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to archive material in the Jesuits in Britain Archives.
DS/UK/1405Darke; Bernard (1925-1979); Jesuit Priest1925-1979

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