Raising The Roof At Sr Mary’s African Fundraiser

A full house for Sr Mary’s musical fundraiser is a huge success.

It was a full house at the St Patrick Centre in Downpatrick as entertainer Stephen Smyth, a musician originally from Portaferry, supported by his band played a wide range of Irish and pop numbers to raise the roof literally for a special fundraiser for Sr Mary Delargy from Downpatrick.

Sr Mary, of the Sisters of Mercy, has long supported the African community around Lusaka and when one African lady in Lusaka in Zambia who is seventy years old fell into hard times when her roof collapsed in his home, Sr Mary decided to fundraise to help her out.

At the fund-raising concert were Margaret and Vincent McNabb, Marie Gallagher, Sr Mary Delargy, Eamonn McGrady, Fionna Connoly and Fr McManus.

The ladies son has also benefitted from Sr Mary’s help in the past when he set up a business and now employees six Africans, but she added that he was still not in a position yet to help his mum with repairing her damaged home.

Sr Mary said: “I have been trying to encourage young Africans to set up small businesses and employ people. That way it will kick-start their economy more and get money moving around.

“There’s a moos loos aboot the hoos”… A sixties hit.

“The lady whose home collapsed has fallen on hard times. It was a cement block home with a tin roof so we will be able to re-build much of it and put on a new corrugated roof. We raised an amazing £3800 on the night when I was hoping for just £3000. Everyone was just so generous and amazing. I really do appreciate their great generosity. The extra sum will now help pay for the labour to get this job done.

“I’d like to thank all who donated prizes for the draw, to Frenches Restaurant in the St Patrick Centre for the lovely food, and to thank our sponsors – Downe Travel, Seamus Fitzsimons Undertaker, Connolly’s Strangford and Downpatrick, Frenches Bistro, McNabb Waste Management,

A full house enjoyed an evening of music from Stephen Smyth and his band.

‘The home is actually in Lusaka itself. There is still much hardship there and the lady we will be helping will be over the moon with this fundraising effort. It will make a huge difference to her life. She has had to move into rented accommodation so this will come as a welcome bit of news to her.

“Last but not least, everyone who helped out, and I’d like to specially thank Stephen Smyth and his band for the fantastic time we all had. He gave us a very entertaining evening.

Talented musician Stephen Smyth playing at the St Patrick Centre raising the roof – literally!