Hitting the road

Packing the cars at Coogee.

The community at Our Lady’s Home, Coogee, is presented with its first car, thanks to the tireless fundraising efforts of benefactors. Sister Agnes (May) McGahey becomes one of the first sisters to obtain a driver’s licence. She is in her 60s! The sisters’ newfound mobility enables them to more easily distribute food, medicine and clothing hampers to the sick poor. Sister Nancy Carr, who entered Our Lady’s Home in 1952, recalls: “Gradually the years of walking from case to case gave way to driving or being driven by volunteer drivers. A certain contact with the people we met on the way, whether walking or in the buses, trams or trains was lost; experiencing those little acts of charity (such as having one’s fare paid or being given a donation); above all, the chance meetings along the way – embarrassing situations also – meeting Christ’s little ones, who had no regard of careful selection of words or lowering of voice, and always free to state things as they were, at least to them. The cars did bring forth a new chivalry. Whenever one of the sisters had car trouble, there was always a good-hearted truckie who unfailingly came to the rescue. Taxi drivers, too, were always good friends to us.” Within a few years, the sisters’ fleet had expanded to three Peugeot 203 sedans, a popular model that had distinctive rear-mounted front doors.