A committee was formed to organise the presentation of his Canonical Robes. This took place at a function, to a full house, in the Town Hall, Castlecraigs, Glasgow Street, Ardrossan on Sunday 18 December 1966. Clergymen from all the churches in Ardrossan were invited as were priests from the neighbouring towns, former priests of Saint Peter in Chains and local dignitaries.
concert preceeded the presentation. Every performer was a parishioner.
The artistes were:
- Joe Long (1915-1970) who was compere
- Primary IIb from Saint Peter's School who sang I Saw Three Ships.
The choir included Anne McGrattan later Anne Duncan.
- Mrs Brown's Group from Saint Peter's School
- Primary VI from Saint Peter's School
- John McFarlane
- The Mariners Folk Group who were John Donnelly, Michael McCulloch,
Tom McGrattan and Chris Taylor
- Vincent Cunningham who played the accordian and sang
- Anne Long
- Matthew McFarlane
- The McKellar Brothers who were Aiden and Graham. In the event,
only Aiden performed, playing the accordian
- Primary VII from Saint Peter's School
- Saint Anne's Guild Choir who sang My Irish Jaunting Car.
The choir included Alice McGrattan.
- Nan Ireland
- The Church Male Voice Choir. The conductor was John Cosgrove (1920-1996) and
the pianist was Gerry McCulloch.
The robes ceremony was chaired by Father John Walls. There were speeches from some clergy and Provost William Currie. Harry Sammons read an address to Canon Fischer. The presentation of Canonical Robes was made by Patrick Cunningham and Hugh Magee, the oldest male parishioners. There was a further presentation from Saint Peter's school children by James Carson and Marion Mitchell. Canon Fischer made a speech of thanks. The event ended with the singing of the national anthem.
The address, read by Harry Sammons, was:
Very Reverend and Dear Canon,
the end of October, when your elevation to the Galloway Diocesan Cathedral Chapter
was made known, we, your parishioners, have waited impatiently for this evening.
It is with the greatest pleasure and pride that we gather in the Town Hall to
celebrate this occasion publicly.
Following in the footsteps of Saint Ninian you returned from Rome to Galloway in 1930, bearing the pearl of great price of the Priestly Office.
After being on loan for a time to the Archdiocese of Edinburgh, where you served as assistant in the city parish of Saint Cuthbert's, you were appointed to the parish of Saint Joseph in Kilmarnock, as assistant. Apart from the ordinary duties of an assistant priest, here you found great scope for your charity and compassion in ministering to the sick and dying in Kilmarnock Infirmary. It was in Kilmarnock too, that you learned much for your future ministry under the guiding hand of the legendary figure of Monsignor Sheehy, whom you still speak of with affection and deep respect.
Your first appointment as Parish Priest was to Maybole in 1938 where you bore the office of pastor during the difficult years of war, caring for, and giving yourself to, not only your own people but also the members of the armed forces stationed in the vicinity.
The Recording Angel found you in 1945 serving the people of the parish of Saint. Francis Xavier in the mining village of Waterside. There, in addition to your lay parishioners, you had under your care the Convent of the Sisters of the Cross and Passion. The fact that these Sisters still come to visit you is no small testimony to the esteem in which the people of Waterside held you.
In 1952, Bishop McGee appointed you to the comparatively young, and steadily growing, parish of Saint Peter in Chains, Ardrossan.
It would be impossible to enumerate - far less evaluate - the works, both spiritual and material, which you have performed for us, Canon, during 13 years. The most important aspect of the life of a Parish Priest is his holiness of life and his dedication to the Ministry of the Word of God and the Sacraments. You came to the parish and within a very short time we saw that you had only one interest in life - to build up, under God, the people committed to your charge. Your devotion to the Worship of God and your meticulous care in the carrying-out of the Sacred Liturgy have been noticed and admired by all. The high standards which you expect and demand from us - and from yourself - are a tangible indication of what is the motivating force of your life and might well be your motto - "For God, only the best will do.".
In presenting these Robes to you, Canon, may we express our gratitude, our congratulations, our loyalty and the desire for many more years of your loving care and direction.