Irish legend's life full of giving

At the farewell

Patrick Crilly has not lost his soft Irish lilt even though he arrived in Australia nearly 50 years ago and settled in Woodridge in south-east Queensland. 

- Catholic Leader

Neither has he lost his love for the Church nor supporting the vulnerable in his role as senior field officer for Home Assist Secure Services for some 18 years. Yet the Derry City native proved to be retiring in both senses of the word at the farewell lunch held in Woodridge's St Paul's parish hall on August 2. His own speech at a recent luncheon to mark his retirement from Centacare about his contribution to the community was brief, modest and halting.

Firstly he acknowledged the support of his colleagues. "We all help each other," he said. "I could not have asked for a better group of people to work with.

"That's one thing that brings you into work each day ... when people are a pleasure to work with and be around...it's really not about the money."

Typically, he managed to make light of the heart attack before Easter, which had brought his retirement plans forward. Patrick acknowledged he should be considering more exercise given the condition. Then the cheeky Irish humour emerged. "I think we should also raise the matter of exercise with Fr (David) Batey (Woodridge parish priest)," he said.

There was sadness as well as celebration at the farewell lunch, which had drawn Church and civil officials including Brisbane archdiocese's vicar general Monsignor Peter Meneely, archdiocesan Centacare executive director Peter Selwood, Member for Woodridge Desley Scott and Logan deputy mayor Russell Lutton.

FULL STORY Retiring legend's life full of giving

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