Local women raise almost $8,000 towards O’Shaughnessy House
About 250 women from all walks of life gathered at the Lion’s Den, Bay Roberts March 8, to celebrate the 98th International Women’s Day. They were also there to show their support for the establishment of O’Shaughnessy House, a transition house for abused women.
The province announced $1.2 million March 31 to establish O’Shaughnessy House, a new Iris Kirby transition house in Carbonear, which will provide shortterm residential services as well as programming for women and children in crisis.
“ When Finance Minister Jerome Kennedy recently made an announcement in his budget that provincial funds would be made available for this project in Carbonear, a collective cheer must have been heard from all the women who attended this event and learned abut the tremendous need for this service in the area,” said Jennifer Babb, a member of the committee for the International Women’s Day luncheon.
“Joanne Morrissey, owner of Creative Pastimes in Bay Roberts spearheaded the Bay Roberts event which raised $7,814.03,” said Babb.
Over the next few weeks the fundraising project will continue towards the goal of raising $10,000. Women in local communities will be selling tickets on a quilt donated to the cause by Iris Kirby House in St. John’s.
During the luncheon Sister Sharon Fagan gave a short history of how the former convent for Presentation Sisters in Carbonear was made available to the Iris Kirby House for their use.
“She was pleased to report the house will carry the name of the first Irish Presentation sister to come to this country,” Babb said.
In 1833, Sister Magdalen O’Shaughnessy left her native Ireland and all she knew, to come to this country to help improve education of Newfoundland girls.
“Naming the transition house after her is an honour, not just for Sister Magdalen, but for all the Presentation Sisters who have served the province for the last 176 years,” Babb said.
Other speakers at the event talked about the importance of the service for women who find themselves and their children in abusive relationships.
“Mary Dwyer from the Iris Kirby House in St. John’s explained that more than 20 per cent of the women who are presently being helped at their transition house come from the Trinity Conception Placentia area. The need for service is indeed greater than most people realize,” Babb pointed out.
Sheila Handrigan, liaison social worker with Human Resources Labour and Employment gave an impassioned address to the group, emphasizing the importance of providing support for women in the local area.
“Sheila will be working directly on this project as it develops,” said Babb, adding, “ If these women are to improve their lives and the lives of their families, they often need the kind of services that will be provided at O’Shaughnessy House.”
The luncheon was catered, free of charge by the Bay Roberts Lions Club and the Bay Roberts 50 Plus Club.
SHORT HISTORY - Sister Sharon Fagan gave a short history of how the former convent for Presentation Sisters in Carbonear was made available to Iris Kirby House.
SUPPORT - Sheila Handrigan, liaison social worker with Human Resources and Labour and Employment gave an impassioned address at the luncheon emphasizing the importance of providing support for women in the local area.