CORCORAN - PRIEST
WITH A MUSICAL LEGACY
Eddie also wrote 'History of the
Catholic Church in Coast Province'
The passing of Father Eddie Corcoran, the singing priest, brought to
an end more than 40 years of devoted priestly and social service.
was the founder and moving force behind the Swinging Stars, the
Mombasa Singers and, in more recent times, the Swinging Islanders,
whose performances reflected how truly a musical priest he was.
Fr. Eddie was first of all a priest.
all the many productions he staged had a religious theme.
the man did all this in such an inoffensive and diplomatic manner that
a varied audience and choirs appreciated his creations.
Eddie had charisma.
was greatly talented, not only in music, but also in preaching,
teaching, administration as well as in many other fields.
life was spent mostly among teenagers.
understood them and they responded to his lively and outgoing ways. In
company, Fr. Eddie shone.
was a great conversationalist and had an appropriate joke for any
history goes back to 1968 when Fr. Eddie Corcoran and Miss Yvette de
Souza formed a joint St. Mary's Kwale, and Star of the Sea School
1972 they gave a number of very successful Variety Concerts.
were disbanded in 1972 when Fr. Eddie was transferred to St. George's
High School, Giriama.
1974 a galant band of eighteen girls from Star of the Sea persuaded
Fr. Eddie to take them under his wing, and from then till 1980 they
were famous for their professional productions of Musicals such as
"Joseph's Amazing Technicolour Dream Coat", "Fiddler on
the Roof", "Mikado", "Smike" and "The
Sound of Music".
Fr. Eddie was packed off to Rome and given an extra large secretarial
his return to Mombasa in 1983, a new choir, now open to other schools
besides "Star", was founded.
called themselves "The Swinging Islanders".
then up to 1994 they produced many more musicals, this time
concentrating on Biblical Themes - "It's Cool in the
Furnace", "A Story Telling Man", "Dan n' de
Lion", and "His Name is Life" just to mention some.
highlight of this period was without doubt "The Pirates of Mtwapa
Creek", full of witty references to Mombasa and its people.
go through Fr. Eddie's various appointments and assignments would be
it must be said that he was the first rector of St. Mary's Seminary,
was also in Rome serving as secretary-general of the Holy Ghost
Fathers throughout the world while, more recently, he served as
Chaplain to the Kenya Navy.
Eddie had 'History of the Catholic Church in the Coast Province'
to his credit.
poignant, though happy thought, is that as Fr. Eddie lay practically
motionless on his intensive-care hospital bed last year, the Swinging
Islanders were staging for him his final show, "From Bethlehem to
young ladies have not given up: They are back full spirit with a
"Tribute to Fr. Eddie Corcoran", a mixture of his best hits
will be at Loreto Convent on December 18, 19, and 20, 1998.
and be blessed with the Sound of Music.
thanks to all those who have supported us at this time, especially the
Alliance Hotels, Coastweek, Coca-Cola and Southern Cross Safaris to
mention but a few.
aims of these choirs has been to give young people the chance to sing
their hearts out with good melodic music, to bring happiness to
themselves and their audiences and to help Mombasa's needy people with
the proceeds from these concerts.
Tom Baron and Judy