Documenting centenary of St Brigid’s Church

THE project to create a book commemorating the centenary of St Brigid’s Church’s first Mass yesterday took a big step forward.

To help those involved with St Brigid’s uncover and share their family history, a workshop was held at the Crossley church hall, with Melbourne historian Helen Doyle, genealogist Mary Kelly and project co-ordinator Regina Lane leading the session.

Ms Lane said the two-hour workshop aimed to give those interested the skills and starting points they needed  to begin researching their family story.

“We had about 50 people in the room from all over and some people travelled from far away to be involved,” she said. 

“It was amazing to go around the room. At the start people shared their family backgrounds and there were a lot of stories from Shanleys, Kellys, Ryans and Gleesons. I think we all worked out we’re all related.”

Ms Lane said the turnout was bigger than expected.

“Our biggest problem could be how we cull it down  to one book,” she said. “We are looking at a page for each family and what we have is many people with a whole book on their own family already.

“It was a really good start point. Helen Doyle and Mary Kelly made very useful presentations and many people left very motivated to dig information out from under their beds.”

Ms Lane said people would be given a couple of months to find information and bring it back for another workshop.

She said the book would be printed in time for the centenary, which will be celebrated on the weekend of June 28 next year.

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