Friday, 20 July 2012

Unsung heroes and washing day blues

Jer Kenelly sends us this account of some of Ireland"s unsung heroes

Irish Priest received accolade from Emperor of Japan

Fr Stan Brennan, Irish priest who received accolade from Emperor of Japan, dies
Wednesday, July 11th 2012
Tributes have been paid to an Irish priest who after he passed away
this week after a long illness and was one of only eight people in the
world to receive a prestigious honour from the Emperor of Japan.
Just last month Roscommon born Fr Stan Brennan received the 6th class
Grand Order Award of the Rising Sun Silver and Gold rays for his work
in the South African City of Boksburg where he was dedicated to the
development of social welfare and the preservation of the environment.
The accolade is awarded by the Japanese Monarch for exceptional
service internationally.  The Franciscan priest had been working in
Boksburg since 1965 where he had established projects on education,
drug and alcohol abuse, AIDS, childcare and domestic abuse.
Born Seamus Brennan, Fr Stan was born in the village of Fuerty in
County Roscommon in 1929.  At an early age, Fr Stan dedicated his life
to work on the missions in South Africa and arrived in Boksburg in
South Africa in 1957 after studying in Rome.
His first post was as spiritual Director of the Diocesan Seminary in
Boksburg and he was later to work in Rieger Park as parish priest of
Saint Francis Church.  His greatest work will always be synonymous
with helping AIDS victims.
As a Franciscan, he personally took up the challenge and drew
symbolism with the story of St Francis of Assisi who dismounted his
donkey to assist a leper and confront the general fear people have
towards the disease with human kindness.  In 1992 with Fr Stan's help
Sr Francis Care Centre in Boksburg opened its doors after a lengthily
legal battle.
The clinic prospered and is now funded by George Bush's PEPFAR
programme.  St Francis Care Centre administers essential daily ARV
treatment to 4,000 people.
As well as his work for AIDS victims, Fr Stan was also involved in
education and helped fundraise to build Africa's largest second-level
education college and technical skills centre.
Saint Anthony's College has 5,000 enrolled in its classes every day
and its technical skills training college a further 600 who are
obtaining a 45-day crash course in the fundamental skills required in
sectors like welding, plumbing, car mechanics, dress making as well as
a host of other practical courses.
In 2004, he started Mercy Haven, a multi-racial drug and alcohol
rehabilitation in Boksburg.
During his time in the city, he received more than 50 awards and in
2009, he received the Michael Memorial Award for dedicating his life
to the uplifting of the poor.
On June 19, last Fr Brennan was too ill to receive his Grand Order
award.  His brother Andy travelled from County Wicklow to receive the
accolade at the Japanese embassy.
His funeral will take place in Boksburg on July 12 and afterwards his
remains will be cremated.
His ashes are to be spread both at St Francis Care Centre and in
County Roscommon.
The South African ANC party will perform a full guard of honour at the
funeral ceremony.
by Sean Ryan

July 2012 Vatican declares Irish Nun Venerable.

Venerable Mother M. Angeline Teresa was born Bridget Teresa McCrory on
January 21 1893 in Co Tyrone.  However, when she was just seven years
old the family moved from Ireland to Scotland.  At nineteen, she
joined the Little Sisters of the Poor and made her novitiate in
France.  The Congregation was engaged in the care of the destitute
aged.  After profession she was sent to the US.
In 1927, she and six other members of the Little Sisters of the Poor
were granted permission by the Vatican to begin a new community that
would be focused on care of the aged.  In 1931, the fledgling
community affiliated itself to the Order of Carmel and became known as
the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm.
When she died on January 21 1984, Mother Angeline Teresa’s
congregation had blossomed beyond her expectations.  She is remembered
for having said, “If you have to fail, let it be on the side of
kindness.  Be kinder than kindness itself to old people.”

ST GALL: This year the Abbey of St Gallen in Switzerland is
celebrating the 1400th anniversary of the arrival of St Gall in the
region in 612 AD.  St Gallen is situated between the Swiss Alps and
Lake Constance.  St Gall was one of the twelve companions who
accompanied St Columbanus on his mission to the Continent from
Ireland.  After his death around 646 AD, a small church was erected
which developed into the Abbey of St Gall in the city of St Gallen.
This later devloped into one of the largest Benedictine Abbeys in

I had heard of St. Gall but I had never heard of the other two. Sounds like it is high time their names were known.

Video from North Kerry Reaching Out here


Washday in times gone by!!

I think that this photo is posed because the chair , the good dress and the bracelet do not ring true for me but the washtub and the washboard are items that I remember from my childhood. 

I remember our first washing machine which we got in 1957. 
My mother had to boil water in a Burco boiler to fill it. 
She filled the machine with boiling water and  turned it on. It washed the clothes. Then each item had to be lifted out with a wooden tongs. The washed item was rinsed in a bucket of cold water before being fed into a mangle/wringer. The mangle was a pair of rollers which, when you turned a handle, squeezed the water out of the clothes. If it was a "whites" wash, here was another final rinse in water coloured blue by a Reckitt's Blud bag. My mother then hung the clothes on the  clothesline to dry. Then she proceed to drag the machine to the back door in order to empty it.
Washing was always done on Mondays. it usually took up most of the day.

Biological washing powders were a long way off.

Remember this?

And do you remember when toothpaste came in a tin?

Before this great product hit the shops, some people cleaned their teeth with soot! Yes, soot from the chimney.

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