Vincentian Leaders | A Call to Serve

In its third year, A Call to Serve has again honoured six outstanding exemplars of what it is to be a true Vincentian.

From Leongatha, Mario Croatto, Ferntree Gully, Elsie Johnson, Drouin, Isabel and John Mclean, Ormond Syd Tutton and perhaps hard to nail down a destination Br Doug Walsh, the reach and impact of their influence has been staggering.

Vincentians tend in the main, to be by nature, humble and modest characters. Their motivation is never glory. Their achievements are however quite remarkable and worthy of acknowledgement which is why this annual event is such a fitting tribute.

This year for the first time, the achievements and motivations of these six honoured Vincentians were not only documented in the written form; they were also captured on video. Highlights from each Vincentian’s story captured poignantly the essence of each honoured Vincentian. There was a great deal of nodding of heads and laughter as attributes known so well by Vincentian brothers and sisters were laid bare on the screen. Syd Tutton’s unique way of operating and incredible networking, Elsie’s single mindedness that has achieved so much with the Education Scholarship Fund, the Mcleans’ extraordinary achievements with refugees when they had never even met a refugee before agreeing to take on this important committee work; Mario’s humility in acknowledging the role of others in his success and opening up to the challenge of not judging and the importance of coming together in prayer; Br Doug’s willingness to go wherever he was called to be. The Society is blessed to call its own, such an inspiring group of people. They do the Society in Victoria proud and we hope that these videos and stories serve to inspire current and future generations. They are valuable resources that can be used for a range of training, induction and promotional purposes.

A wonderful celebration was held at Gerard Ward House on Wednesday 23 September 2015 with over 100 guests and past honour Vincentians mingling with this year’s acknowledged six.

Vincentians don’t expect accolades but it does us all good to stop and reflect every so often on what this modest bunch of men and women have achieved for Victorians who are struggling, who are isolated and lonely and who benefit from the love and support of the St Vincent de Paul Society in Victoria.

Blessed Frederic Ozanam would be delighted to know his legacy lives on in remarkable ways.

Anne Touhey Project Writer | A Call to Serve