More angels arrived today. I finally asked at the reception desk if a room could be located for me that wasn’t on the top floor, and was told that the only room was a private room on the first floor. ‘Couldn’t afford that I told him and trudged on up the stairs.
Later when in the kitchen cooking eggs and mushy peas for lunch, the owner took me aside and told me the nice guy at reception told him about the chore I have ‘uping and downing’ on the stairs, and that he would give me the private room for the same price as the room with seven other females. Angels? Yes indeed! I believe! I believe!
Before that good news I walked up the stone path to St. Anne’s Church Shandon for The Holy Eucharist services.
Arriving a bit early, a nice gentleman told me a bit of the history of the church. The church is one of Corks oldest buildings, that is almost 300 years old, and is the oldest church in continuous use today.
Inside are beautiful stained glass windows and a Christening font dated 1629. “It was rescued from the original church which was destroyed in the 1690 Siege of Cork,” he said.
“So after the fighting, then everyone goes back to church?” I sarcastically asked and he nodded yes.
The material that was available reads that the first rector in 1772, Rev’d Arthur Hyde, was the great-great grandfather of the first President of Ireland.
The eight bells in the tower were cast in 1750 and weigh over six tons. The weather vane at the top is a gold leaf painted salmon, which represents the River Lee.
I sat at the very front row and couldn’t see when to sit and stand, and because the seats are nice and soft, I couldn’t hear people getting up and down from their chairs, so I probably didn’t behave appropriately. But anyway, I did get communion, and when leaving the church, met some very nice people. One man knew all about Monterey and the famous people who live there, including Doris Day.
One other pamphlet available that I couldn’t resist was one about the Mother Jones Festival in Shandon Cork. I have taken some of the information for today’s blog.
A festival will celebrate the 175th anniversary of Mary Harris’s baptism in the church. Mary Harris was other wise known as Mother Jones. (I could have called my grandmother that, for she was Mother (Nellie) Jones and a believer in the abolishment of alcohol – she was an active member of the WCTU-Women’s Christian Temperance Union).
Back to Mother Jones, the union organizer. Her family immigrated when she was a child first to Canada and then to the U.S. where she became a teacher. She married George Jones in 1860 and they settled in Memphis. The couple lived through the American Civil War and had four children.
Tragically, Memphis was hit by a yellow fever epidemic and Mary’s entire family died within a few days of each other.
Moving on in her life, she became active in union activities in Chicago during the industrial boom. She took an active part in the March of Covey’s unemployed army in 1894 and became a union organizer for the United Mine Workers Union of America. She organized workers throughout America.
She was outraged over the treatment of young children working long hours in mills and mines, and because of that, she lead the march of the Mill Children from Pennsylvania to the summer home of President Roosevelt in 1903.
Because of the courage she demonstrated, the miners began calling her Mother Jones. She was the only woman present at the Foundation of the Industrial Workers of the World in Chicago in 1905. Later she became active in the Socialist Party of America, and supported the Mexican revolution. That got her an acknowledgment by Pancho Villa.
Mother Jones was known for her passionate speeches in defense of working people. She died on Nov. 30, 1930 at age 93.
On Aug. 1 of this year, Mother Jones (Mary Harris) will be recognized for the first time in her native City of Cork. Plaques will be presented, along with concerts, film exhibitions and a lecture at the Bells of Shandon (the church I attended).
The Irish premiere of Mother Jones, America’s Most Dangerous Woman” will be shown at the Maldron Hotel on July 31. (Next door to where I’m staying) A whole week has been dedicated to honor Mother Jones, with music, bell concert, choirs and bagpipes, to name a few.
I will be gone by then, but I cannot help but feel in awe of a woman who took her energies from what could have ruined her life, to doing good for others.
So, today, Sunday, was one of quiet reflection, and a thankful heart for the people who are so good to me. I can hear the bells from my room!
Back to the lunch and mushy peas. I’ve seen that on menus and wondered about them and found a small can at the grocery store. They are mushy and very delicious.
By the way, for those who follow me and aren’t aware of my book, here it is: “Too Close to the Sun” a Dutch boy becomes a man during WWII. It is available from Amazon.