walked from one end of Redfern
to the other. I was a visitor from the Bush. I decided
to settle down in Stirling
Redfern with my two sons Lenny (31/2) and Keith (12
partner worked in a chocolate factory across the road.
He had gone to work on a particular day so I decided
to take the boys for a nice stroll up and down George
Street Redfern. I was looking around everywhere saying
hello to this person and that person and thought to
myself these walks are good for us. So we started out
each morning for our walks up and down George and Redfern
Sunday morning I packed the boys into the pram and,
much to my surprise, I stopped outside a church. It
had no name written on it but there where lots of people
entering. We kept walking down towards Redfern
and stayed for not longer than 20 minutes. We came back
and walked on the other side of this church with No
couldn't wait for the next Sunday to arrive so that
I could make some new friends at that church. The Sunday
had come very quickly, so I asked my partner if could
go to Redfern to make some friends with these Koorie
People. I walked into the yard and there were lots of
Koories. I was very nervous, frightened and shaking.
I didn't know the first group my eyes were set on. Then
I heard this loud voice saying, “Go out to the car,
and bring in the food, and bring it into the kitchen
please.” The three men were Wayne West, Norman West,
and John Dixon. They had gone to get food from the car.
These young men had walked past me with all the vegies.
My eyes couldn't take in all this meat they were carrying.
It was practically the whole butcher shop, boxes of
bread, milk and other basic food. I just stood there,
still in shock. These Koories were going about their
business, cleaning, washing, and cooking. Anyhow I decided
to walk back out the gate when I heard this voice saying,
“Pruney, what are you doing here? Come up the stairs.”
This voice was my brother Stanley. He was very pleased
to see me; he was a lovely brother.
a while the loud voice called out, “Ted where are you?”
Ted answered to the call, “I am here in the lounge room.”
I then asked my brother, “Who is this white man?” Stanley
said, “His name is Father Ted Kennedy.” I said again
to my brother Stanley, What's he doing here?” Stanley
said that God had given Mum Shirl and Father Ted Kennedy
a job to do. I said, “What do they do?” He said, “They
come and get us out of jail bring us home here. They
give us food, a roof over our head, pray for us, and
give us lots of respect.” And I said to Stanley,
“How do you people repay these two wonderful people
back for what they're giving?” His reply was, “Just
don't go away and get lost, because Father Ted and Mum
Shirl have to come and pick us up.” Stanley
said the only way that they could get in contact with
Father Ted and Mum Shirl was to send for the Police
or the Police would ring Father Ted and tell them what
location and suburb where they are.
that I did ask my dear Brother what is the name of the
Church. He said it was the Presbytery and not St
Catholic Church. I wondered from that day to this day
was I meant to meet Father Ted Kennedy and his wonderful
community of followers of St
Ted Kennedy has been available at all times for the
Koorie people. He is a good man when it comes to visiting
Koories in hospitals and jails or in their homes, if
they are sick or want to make a confession. Father Ted
would listen to anyone's problems and try to do or say
something that may ease their burden. Father Ted has
a heart as soft as a green pea for a priest who knew
all those Koorie people who, lived next door in the
presbytery, whilst he lived in the back of the church.
one will ever know how Father Ted feels and thinks after
the death of members of his Koorie family from their
home, the Presbytery. Father Ted was heartbroken each
time he received news that one of his Koorie friends
had died. I myself felt his pain, as I look at the teardrops
dripping down his face.
Ted has done all of his Koorie friends and family's
funeral services and stayed at their grave site in disbelief
at his loss of another one of his friends. When Father
Ted was called into any hospital when he heard news
one of his Black Theatre crew or one of those who lived
at the presbytery were very sick, Father Ted would stay
at the hospital bed when they were near to death, praying
for them and holding their hand.
Brother Stanley knew that Father Ted was there. Stanley
went peacefully home to Jesus. Him and Mum are sitting
on the right hand of our Lord Jesus Christ
you Father Ted - for being yourself.
by Pruney Pitt