St Vincent de Paul presented certificates and celebratory crucifixes to a several members of the St Joseph’s Conference in Dannevirke who have served the poor and their community for 15 years or more. The crucifixes, presented last year, are beautiful works of art and include scenes that depict different works of charity undertaken by St Vincent de Paul.
Recognised were Michael Walshe, Francie Walshe, Rose Stewart, Theresa Mills and Jo Donnelly, as well as Kevin Barrow and Eva Wright for their past and current dedication to St Vincent de Paul. Maria Andresen is also to receive an award and Bill Young is to be thanked for his many years and ongoing service. Members also remembered Nancy and Leo Waayer who have passed away.
A celebration was held in Dannevirke on 20 October. Fr Michael McVerry made the presentations at Mass, followed by morning tea. Fr McVerry thanked the members for their dedicated service and acknowledged the value and importance of the St Vincent de Paul work.
Mike Stone, who lived and worked in Dannevirke for many years said, ‘I worked as a special-needs teacher and as a Resource Teacher Learning and Behaviour in the 1980s, 1990s and after 2000. There was a diverse range of needs for many children at schools in Dannevirke and as teachers we were in a position to “join-the-dots” when issues arose within the community and for individual students. Over the decades one of the most vital go-to groups for me was
St Vincent De Paul in Dannevirke.
‘Frances Walshe, Theresa Mills and Michael Walshe and the team were always available to assist when genuine needs arose – from sports gear, partial camp fees, to transport assistance and so on. At the time many non-education costs formed barriers to participation in community and school life. St Vincent De Paul in Dannevirke to me has always been an awesome group, an inspiration.
‘Scripture tells us true religion is “looking after widows and orphans”. They did this daily and with joy. When my work and office moved to a nearby city one of the first things I did was to make contact with the St Vincent de Paul managers face-to-face and I found the same support waiting there as well.’