Gertie, a parishioner in Francis Street Parish will be 94 in a few weeks time. Most of us by the time we're 64 are taking it easy, but not our Gertie. For years she has been selling her "toilet roll dolls" in aid of Cancer Research.
By now she has raised almost 70,000. In spite of her years she is still hand sewing the beautiful lace outfits for her dolls. In the beginning these dolls were bought by her neighbours and friends, now they find their way to places as far away as the USA.
When she was in her seventies, she was asked how long more she could keep doing this. She simply said, "for as long as people will buy them". People are still buying them and Gertie is still spending hours making them. As someone who has survived cancer herself, she understands only too well the need for research.
But Gertie, is not a "one talent" person. She has always loved dancing and still does! She gives weekly demonstrations in a local residence for the "elderly"! Why, you might ask can she still do all this at 94. It's very simple, she has always loved life and made the most of it.
It's not that she has had an easy time of it. Last year her beloved husband Mick died. She still has days when she is sad, but as Gertie says, "I talk to him all the time".
If I were to describe Gertie, I would say she is a "generous spirit". That's where true happiness comes from. Life that revolves solely around our own "needs" is a cul de sac. There are thousands of books written about how to live a long happy life - and numerous "programmes" you can follow. However, if you want to know what the real secret of a long happy life is, I can tell you in one word; generosity!

Fr. Martin Dolan
July 2008


Gertie died in her 100th year
on Friday 7th February 2014.




Office: 01-5157512 9.30am - 12noon, rita@francisstreetparish.ie
Outside Office hours: 01-5611390, franciss@francisstreetparish.ie