Lo­cal women raise al­most $8,000 to­wards O’Shaugh­nessy House

The Compass - - NEWS - BY LIL­LIAN SIM­MONS

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.

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