A pair of boots inspired a lifelong love for the Society

Father Vince Casey, one of nine siblings, has fond memories of his late parents, Roy and Maureen, and many an endearing story to tell.

The pair met at a church youth group at St John Vianney Parish in Manly [the Brisbane suburb], Fr Casey says, adding that they married at Guardian Angels at Wynnum in April 1954, aged just 22 and 20 respectively.

Fr Casey says his parents had been raised Catholic and were always involved with their parish. When very young he asked his dad where he was going as he left the house after dinner.

“He was going to a St Vincent de Paul Society meeting but said he was “going to see a man about a dog”. I got very excited, thinking we were getting a dog and was disappointed when he came home without one. He never used that excuse again!”

Although they were not wealthy his parents were generous folk: “I remember being told, years later, that they had paid for the funeral of a parishioner who had died because his widow had no way of paying it herself. They always supported the St Vincent de Paul Society appeals in our church.”

Maureen Brushe was born in 1933 in Gympie where her newly married parents had gone so her father could get work in the cane fields. She left school after her junior year, did secretarial studies and worked at a Brisbane radio station until she was pregnant with their first child.

Roy Casey pre-deceased his beloved wife in 2003 at the age of 72. Maureen died in August 2020 at the age of 87. The couple had nine children, 20 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.

Fr Casey adds, “Mum and Dad always supported the St Vincent de Paul Society and wanted to leave something for them in their will because our family is Catholic today because of the good work done by Vinnies.”

The news of the generous bequest from Maureen Casey was conveyed to our Gifts in Wills and Estates team recently.

“This donation is made with much thanks for the work of the members of the Society 80 years ago and for your continued work today,” Fr Casey says.

He explains that, “The family’s early life was tough and reminiscent of a bygone era. My granddad got a job Maureen and Roy Casey celebrating one of their many Christmases together.

A pair of boots inspired a lifelong love for the Society moving mud from the high tide mark on the shore of Moreton Bay in Wynnum to build a children’s wading pool.

“To start he needed a horse, a dray and a pair of work boots. He arranged to lease an old horse which was grazing in a neighbour’s paddock. The neighbour threw in an old buggy which Pop fixed up to do the job as a cart to move the mud.

“But he didn’t have a pair of boots. In desperation he went to the local St Vincent de Paul Society who gave him the money to buy a new pair. Pop had never owned a new pair of boots!”

The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW is deeply appreciative of all donations received through its Wills and Bequests program, which benefits our charitable works with a wide variety of families and individuals in need of material and emotional support.