Why the Whistle Went: A Memoir

Why the Whistle Went: A Memoir

Alan R. Acheson, The Columba Press

Why the Whistle Went is the autobiography of Alan Acheson, British Army Officer, history lecturer and Headmaster of both Portora Royal School and the King’s School in Sydney.

It is a very soldierly, matter of fact, largely chronological reporting type of book, rather than telling a life story.

It’s hard to sense his emotions at the time, even when he is writing about the deaths of young Protestants he knew and Bloody Sunday, treachery in the world of management, marriage break down and his first wife’s long illness.

Parts of Acheson’s life must have been terrifying, heartbreaking or at the least madly frustrating, but there is only a hint of what he must have been going through.

There is lots of information, instead, of the people he met and admired, rugby, scouting, schooling, inter church dialogues and church duties.

This may have been because Acheson wanted to be discreet or to show appreciation of friends and colleagues.

Why the Whistle Went will be of interest to lovers of church history, particularly people interested in the Anglican Church and the Church of Ireland, dialogue with the Catholic church, the running of church schools and the work of synods.

Katy Gerner

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