Long-serv­ing priest ups stumps

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Ali­cia Per­era

There was no doubt­ing the amount of good­will in the Pil­bara com­mu­nity to­wards St Paul’s Parish priest Fa­ther Steve Casey by those who at­tended his farewell party ear­lier this month.

The im­pact the priest has made in his 12 years here was made abun­dantly clear by hun­dreds of adults and chil­dren, who gath­ered at St Paul’s Pri­mary School for the oc­ca­sion on June 11.

As­sis­tant parish priest and event MC Fa­ther Ber­nad Balaraj wished him suc­cess and St Paul’s Pri­mary School prin­ci­pal Gina Burns gave a speech thank­ing him for his guid­ance at the school.

Kar­ratha dance teacher Me­gan Wood-Hill and her stu­dents then pre­sented a con­tem­po­rary dance in Fa­ther Casey’s hon­our af­ter years of shar­ing the St Paul’s Catholic Church hall along­side him.

St Luke’s Col­lege prin­ci­pal Alana Ot­way, Pil­bara Reg­i­ment chap­lain Mick Ge­orge and St Paul’s parish­ioners also spoke, Port Hed­land res­i­dents John and Char­lene Peters pre­sented Fa­ther Casey with a gift on be­half of La­bor politi­cian Stephen Daw­son, and the St Paul’s Church Choir per­formed a farewell song.

Vita Cafe catered the event at a dis­counted rate and DJ Gig­gaboyz played a great set that had even the priest him­self danc­ing.

Fa­ther Casey said he had not ex­pected such a big crowd.

“I’m very hon­oured, re­ally, that all these peo­ple have come to farewell me. I’m quite sur­prised,” he said. “I knew they were hav­ing a farewell mass and din­ner, but I had no idea so many peo­ple would turn up. I’m hum­bled.”

He said it would be dif­fi­cult to leave the parish.

“I love the Pil­bara. I love the land­scape, I love the peo­ple, and the life up here is a good ex­pe­ri­ence,” he said. “So it’s go­ing to be a big change to get used to go­ing down south again.”

Fa­ther Balaraj said parish­ioners worked on the party for three months.

Fa­ther Casey leaves the Pil­bara for a new post­ing in Don­gara at the end of this month.

Pic­tures: Ali­cia Per­era

Fa­ther Steve Casey with St Paul's parish­ioners.

St Paul's Pri­mary School staff.

Peter Long, Vicki Long, Mick Ge­orge and Tammy Ge­orge.

Pip Arthur, Yvette Ben­dall and Dave Arthur.

Kieran Saun­ders and Tim Byrne.

Noel Philpot and Fa­ther Steve Casey.

Michael Harlen and Rob Lit­tle.

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