Thursday, 12 January 2017

Greenville Rd. and Irish Servant Girls in Australia in the 19th century

Convent Cross

 This is the corner beside Toirbheart and the convent.

 The path behind the locked gate is covered in moss and lichen.


Irish Servant Girls in Australia in 1874

from the archive of Harp and Southern Cross Adelaide, SA : Fri 6 Mar 1874

Servant girls, to the ordinary observer, form an humble, though necessary element in our social economy, but according to the late utterances of one of our Protestant contemporaries, many
of them are no less than Jesuits in disguise.

Whereas the whole tendency of the age is to cast discredit on honest toil, and to scorn the simple faith and earnest trust that sweetens the hardest face and brightens the poorest home. But let us not lose sight of the point we wish to insist upon. Irish servant-girls, as a class, deserve in no way the sneers and accusations frequently directed against them. They are good workers, notably honest, and above all, deeply imbued with a religious feeling, affording the surest guarantee of the purity and character. Indeed, in this latter respect they put to shame many a Catholic favoured by Fortune and education, who has come to adopt the fashionable theories of religious indifference. And in this very tenacity with which they cling to their faith, may be found, to some extent, the secret of the hostility to Irish Catholic servants which now and then , makes itself heard in the public prints. Mrs. Shoddy and Mrs. Knickerbocker having no religion themselves cannot endure it in their inferiors. They go to their fine meeting-house and listen to their fine preacher, and some Sunday when new sensations are lacking, that well-paid functionary has recourse to an old one.

He dilates upon the folly of popish superstitions, and the danger there is that Romanism may insidiously enter the household of his hearers. Perhaps he is fortunate enough to attract the
attention of the audience from the bonnets and dresses displayed by the congregation, and to send them home with no very amiable feelings towards Catholics in general and their honest servant-girls in particular, who insist upon going to Mass regularly on Sundays and holy days.

The mistress’s tongue is sharpened with the acid of bigotry, and her temper becomes more and more trying. The servant is not a paragon of perfection, and there is a limit to her endurance.
The result is a domestic revolution which sooner or later we hear of in the shape of an indignant complaint against the ignorance and impudence of Irish help. But after all, these expressions of
petty malice reflect the feeling of a very small and insignificant minority. As a rule employers repose a trust — a confidence in their Catholic servant-girls which is seldom betrayed, and these pure, simple-minded women go through life displaying virtues which adorn their station, and might well be imitated by those higher in the social scale.


What's Another Year?

In 2016 one young Moyvane man saw his dancing career reach a new high point. 

Seán Slemon danced in 25 championships. He won 22 of them and was 2nd in the other 3. He is the Scottish, British and Irish champion. 

I think we have our own Michael Flately here among us in North Kerry.

Photo collage posted on Facebook by his very proud mother, Annette.


A New Year's Ball in Boston in 1907

Boston Mayor John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald started a new tradition of ringing in the New Year by holding a reception at Boston City Hall on Tuesday, January 1, 1907.

The Boston Globe wrote on January 2, “When the mayor announced the he would hold a reception among the lines of those held in the national capitol and other cities of the union, few regarded it seriously.  It had never been attempted before, and of course, to be attempted now in sedate old Boston was regarded as nothing short of a desperate plunge with no reward in sight to warrant it."

Between the hours of noon and 2:00 p.m., over 4500 people attended, and it was deemed a success, noted the report.

Among the Bostonians who turned out to greet Mayor Ftizgerald: President Toland of the Charitable Irish Society, Herbert Carruth, deputy commissioner of the Penal Institution, Colonel Roger F. Scannell, “late defeated candidate of the Board of Alderman,” Henri Flammond, the French consul, Jeremiah McCarthy, surveyor of the port, and Patrick F. McDonald, superintendent of bridges. 

Also attending were "Tim Murnane and Hugh McBreen, representing the baseball interests.” 

Not everyone made it on time, reported The Globe.  “For an hour or more after the mayor had retired from the chamber, as many as 500 persons, women in the main, hurried to the corridor on the seond floor, only to learn that they were too late.” 

Mayor Fitzgerald "said that he was highly pleased with the reception for a beginning."

Fitzgerald was the third Boston mayor of Irish heritage, following Hugh O'Brien and Patrick Collins. Here is a full list of Boston mayors with Irish ancestry


Great Initiative by the Extraordinary Namir Karim

Everyone welcome. You can come on your own or with a friend

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