Obituary of Rev Anthony Garrett

By Peter Heneghan

Father Anthony Garrett, former parish priest of St Aidan, Huyton and St Cuthbert, Liverpool, died on Thursday 3 September aged 97 years. He was in the 36th year of his priesthood.
Anthony Paschal Garrett was born on 17 May 1923 in Waterloo, Liverpool, the son of Thomas and Norah Garrett. His father was the main agent for the Harrison Shipping Company and his mother a schoolteacher at St Alexander’s, Bootle. He was educated firstly at Seafield Convent Preparatory School and then at St Mary’s College, Great Crosby.
Aged 15, he was apprenticed to Rigby’s Auto Engineers of Great Crosby from 1938 until 1941, before joining the Royal Air Force. He was attached to a mobile radar warning unit and found himself in Normandy following the D-Day landings. After demobilisation in 1947 he found work as a relief theatre manager for a subsidiary of the J. Arthur Rank Theatre Group. During this period he married Elizabeth Gradwell, from Little Crosby, and they had a daughter, Helen. Sadly, they were blessed with only a few years of marriage, as his wife developed an inoperable brain tumour and she died aged just 35.
As theatres began to close in the wake of the burgeoning television industry, he found more secure employment with Borthwick and Sons, meat importers, at Canada Dock where he worked from 1954 until 1960. After a brief administrative role in local government at Bootle Town Hall from 1960 to 1963, he returned to industry for a succession of jobs through the 1960s and 1970s: at Courtaulds from 1964 to 1969; at Vauxhall Motors, Ellesmere Port from 1969 to 1974; at Metal Box, Aintree from 1974 to 1977; and finally at CBS Car Batteries from 1977 to 1981.
In 1981 he was accepted by Archbishop Derek Worlock as a student for the priesthood and studied at the Beda College in Rome. He was ordained priest at St Jerome’s, Formby on 23 June 1985. Following Ordination, he was appointed assistant priest at St Oswald’s, Old Swan, Liverpool. In November 1991 he was appointed parish priest at St Aidan’s, Huyton before his final appointment to St Cuthbert’s, Liverpool in January 1993. He retired from active ministry in 2002 and spent his remaining years near Maidstone in Kent.
His Funeral Mass was celebrated on Friday 18 September at St Mary’s, Little Crosby, followed by burial in the churchyard.