conference (as we reported last week), reminded us that the auld characters are slowly disappearing - not just from the halls of academe but from the aisles and pews of their religious cousins in the Church.
The no-nonsense style of recently deceased Monsignor Pat Grady, longest serving priest in the Edinburgh and St Andrew's Archdiocese, gave rise to a large number of stories repeated gleefully at his funeral.
Based in Edinburgh's western suburbs but known to schools far and wide, Grady once heard a yappy dog attempting to gain entry to the garden and to his beloved cairn terrier. In response, he let fly with impressive invective through the half-open window.
"That's no way for a man of the cloth to address one of God's creatures,"
the douce tones of the dog's owner remonstrated.
To which the Cambridge graduate came over all Churchillian: "Madam, I was not addressing the dog."