Home' Aurora : Aurora November 2014 Contents 19
www.mn.catholic.org.au Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
GIRL FRIDAY HELPS EVERY DAY
The year is 1941 and the Clyne family,
including Mum, Dad and eight other
siblings , farewell Patrick -- son, brother,
uncle, relative -- a s he goes off to war at
25, a s did so many other young Australian
men who answered the call to fight for
their countr y. He was sent to Singapore,
but never returned.
As the war ended in 1945 the Austr alian
Gover nment confirmed to his family that
Patrick had died just weeks befor e. He
had been at Sandakan POW camp in
Bor neo. While the family knew Patrick
was not coming back, they really didn't
know what had happened to him and on
many occasions family member s greeted
retur ning troops at Newcastle r ailway
station, sadly and desperately enquiring
if anybody had heard any thing of Patrick
Clyne. The answer was always, "No".
They were deter mined, however, that he
would not be forgotten.
A couple of year s after the war ended,
member s of the immediate family came
together and decided they would have
a chalice made in Patrick 's memor y and
give it to the Redemptorist Mona ster y
at Mayfield. They did this and the
chalice actually remained there for over
About 1980, Redemptorist Fr Gerard
Bourke, who had himself been a POW in
Sandakan, noticed the chalice's inscription
indicating that it was in memor y of
Patrick Clyne, a POW in Bor neo. Fr
Bourke decided he must immediately
make contact with the Clyne family. He
wa s successful in doing this and as Ter r y
Murphy (nephew of Patrick) recalls, "Fr
Bourke met family member s in Grandma's
house for afternoon tea in the early
80s." The chalice was seen once mor e by
the family and then taken by Ter r y and
Laurie's Mum, Flo (aunt to Patrick) to a
Newcastle jeweller to be refurbished.
As far as anyone knew, the chalice was
returned to the monaster y -- or so it
In 2003, the monastery closed its door s.
This prompted Patrick's nephews, Ter ry
Murphy and Br yan Tolhur st, to attempt to
track down the chalice. Another nephew,
Fr Geoff Mulhearn, was also involved
in the search, checking with diocesan
per sonnel and at the Redemptorist
Monastery at Galong, but all these
searches were in vain. Like the Holy Gr ail,
the chalice had just disappeared. Or, said
Clare, sister of Laurie and Terry, "It had
gone to a good home in the Philippines,"
quoting one of the Redemptorists.
In August this year, when all thoughts
of the chalice had vanished from the
minds of the Clyne clan, a strange thing
happened ! Fr Geoff was preparing
to celebrate Mass for students from St
Paul's High School in the local church of
St Michael at Boor agul. Fr Geoff 's mind
was on the celebr ation of this event and
not so much on what was happening in
the sacristy. Out of the blue, the sacristan
idly commented that the chalice Fr Geoff
was going to use had a name engraved on
it. Fr Geoff felt compelled to look at the
bottom of the chalice...
To his astonishment, on the bottom of
the chalice was the name, "Patrick James
Clyne" and the date of Patrick's death
Geoff explained to the sacristan that
Patrick Clyne was his uncle, and that the
family had been trying to track down
the whereabouts of the chalice for
many year s.
The family has no idea how or when or
even why the chalice ended up wher e
it did. The cousins, of whom there are
many, have differ ent theories as to its
disappearance, but none knew how close
it had been through all the years or even
whether it was still in the country.
With its return, this large, dedicated,
boisterously close family began planning
a reunion, with of cour se Fr Geoff
celebr ating a memorial Mass using this
much-loved, much-tr avelled chalice on
All Souls Day, 2 November, a day for
remembering and honouring the dead.
However, the myster y remains : how did
the chalice get to Booragul? Where else
has it been ?
If anyone has any information about this
mystery with a happy ending, please
contact the editor.
(l-r) Family members Laurie Murphy, Clare Tacon holding the chalice,
Terry Murphy and Fr Geoff Mulhearn.
The girls are talking and it's all done in
the name of the charity, "Girl Friday". It's
about spending time with friends and
making new friends whilst reaching out.
It's women helping women.
Girl Friday is a not-for-profit group that
r aises funds for women's and children's
issues in the Newcastle and Lake
Macquarie region through luncheons and
Founders of Girl Friday, Kathie Good,
Michelle Barnett and Sandr a Jar vie, held
their fir st social event in 2012 and have
had a positive response with suppor t
r apidly growing in number s since.
The idea was sparked after the founders
became friends through regularly
attending 'Real Women', a group that
meets 3-4 times a year at St Mary's Parish,
War ner s Bay. The young Mums, now
inspired, br anched out, loving the idea
of meeting up with friends on a more
regular ba sis, but with a desire to help
women in need as well.
Through various organised events such
as luncheons, r ace days and fun r uns, the
trio has been able to work together with
other ladies to r aise much-needed funds
to help change the lives
of some women and children in
"We're sending suppor t through to
women we don't necessarily know but
we ar e also giving each other suppor t
by meeting on a regular basis , by being
women, just stopping and catching up,"
said Ms Barnett.
"We are giving to ourselves and
helping other s."
Girl Friday is cur rently assisting two
refuges in the local area , a women's
and children's refuge and a
Funds raised at previous events have
helped the ladies recently complete
a 'makeover' of the women's refuge by
providing new bedding, linen, cur tains ,
light fittings, soft fur nishings and a new
coat of paint.
Girl Friday has been able to provide a
kitchen star ter pack to ever y lady when
she leaves the refuge. They have also
provided clothing, food drops, Mother 's
Day presents as well a s Christma s
presents for both the women and
"They are just like me and my kids, they
are just in a little bit of trouble ," said
The kitchen pack is basically funded
COLD CASE: THE MYSTERY
OF THE MISSING CHALICE
Founders of Girl Friday (l-r), Kathie Good, Michelle Barnett and Sandra
by members when they purchase a
pin. With the pin, comes a card where
member s can write words of kindness
and inspir ation to the ladies receiving
"Often the ladies find the pack
over whelming -- that anyone who didn't
know them would give them something,
but the words on the card mean so much
more," adds Ms Bar nett.
"It makes them feel valued and that they
The kitchen packs are so well received by
the women at the refuge that in addition,
Girl Friday has added a linen pack with
fresh towels and bedding to help them
once they are able to leave the refuge.
Girl Friday's jour ney in helping these
women, however, would not be possible
without the help and suppor t of other s.
If you would like to attend the nex t
event, become a member or make a
contribution, visit the website w w w.
girlfridaylunch.com or like them on
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