Archived News Item

Australia Day Award for Gunnedah Mercy Associates

Margaret Nott, Eva Grace, Ann Brady, Val McCann, Colleen Buttenshaw, Pat Mooney, Abby Kidd, with Christine Belling RSM and Regina McInerney RSM


The Mercy Associates group in Gunnedah was honoured to receive the Gunnedah Shire Council Australia Day ‘Good Neighbour Award’ in memory of two wonderful Dutch immigrants Max and Mikie Maas, who made Gunnedah home and were a shining example of good neighbours, from their service in the war years to their work in our community.


The group also won the award for best decorated table.


None of the Mercy Associates looks for any accolades but it is also a salute to the works of mercy that have been happening in our parish since the arrival of the Sisters in 1879.


The information on the nomination form for the Max and Mikie Maas Good Neighbour Award is below:


During the COVID pandemic lockdown, members of the Gunnedah Mercy Associates and Friends worked quietly behind the scenes bringing comfort and practical support to the housebound, the vulnerable and the bereaved in Gunnedah. Phone calls, cooked meals, shopping and prayer support were all part of the ‘giving’ distributed in a COVID safe manner … like the Good Samaritan in the Bible, they showed kindness and mercy to their ‘neighbours’.


Established in the 1980s as a way of encouraging and supporting the many lay women and men who work alongside the Sisters of Mercy, members cherish the virtue and practice of mercy in their lives reflecting the charism of Catherine McAuley who founded the order in Ireland in 1831. The Gunnedah group was established in 1997 to support the work of the local congregation of the Sisters of Mercy and their mercy values of compassion, justice, hospitality and hope.


Over the years, the group has raised thousands of dollars for the community, with a special focus on aged care services, including the Gunnedah Rural Health Centre.


Whenever there is a function in the parish, the Associates are there preparing food and cleaning up. At funerals they can be seen quietly passing around cups of cold water outside the church or preparing refreshments for the mourners after the funeral. Good neighbours to all.


Article prepared by Marie Hobson, Gunnedah Mercy Associates.


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