History of St. George’s Branch of the Mothers’ Union
The Mothers Union in Grenada was established on the 26th February, 1948. The then Bishop of the Windward Islands the Rt. Rev. Vincent Tonks and Archdeacon of Grenada Harold G. Piggott were very instrumental in bringing MU to Grenada and thus to the Diocese of the Windward Islands.
An Official Worker, Ms. Evelyn G. Mann was sent from Mary Sumner House, the official Headquarters of the MU in London, to introduce the MU to this diocese. The very first Branch that was established was the St. George's Branch. Many notable Grenadian women have served as Branch Leaders during the many years of its existence. Namely: Phyllis Hosten, Mavis Fletcher, Egie Gellineau, Ivy Donelan, Earlyse Byam- Mauricette, Sybil Archer, Margaret Dowe, just to mention a few.
This year the MU in St. George’s celebrated 66 years of unwavering, steady, strong, supportive service to the church and the community. MU members are the serious, committed workers of the church. The MU has never ever been inactive or dormant for any period of time within those 66 years.
St. George's MU established its Scholarship Programme in the year 2005. After many years of assisting in purchasing books, uniforms, etc. for needy students, it was decided to put structures in place and develop an ongoing structured scholarship programme. Within that period 2005-2014, five recipients have graduated at Secondary level with very creditable successes at CXC. We are now preparing to sponsor another student, who is about to start her secondary education at Anglican High School, this coming September. For those who do not meet the criteria to be given a full scholarship, MU continues to give other support such as assistance with transport, books, food, etc. No needy cause is ever turned away, as long as there are available funds.
MU has also assisted families in need of medical assistance, families who have lost their homes through fire and other disasters such as hurricanes. Our monthly Food Basket for needy families is ongoing.
MU has given full support to our church in its many fundraising drives. MU has organized and run the All Day Fair Cake stall and the Church Bazaar Tea for over twenty five years, and when we are not organizing we cook and bake for all other activities, as well as physically assist. Financially, MU has contributed on many occasions, whenever repairs are being done throughout the years to our church buildings. After Hurricane Ivan destroyed our church in 2004, MU immediately began working and saving for the rebuilding of our church and after our very first fundraiser in 2005, we immediately split the proceeds and began building a nest egg each and every year, with monies being added to the fund for when the day arrives that our church would be rebuilt. This nest egg is now quite a tidy sum and MU will release it as soon as work has begun on our church building.
The MU Visiting Team pays visits to the sick and shut in members of the Community, bringing hope and cheer and a smile to many a face. The team seeks to find out where the needs are and reports back to the Branch. The Branch then make an effort to assist in whatever way it can either financially or by providing food parcels/clothing, etc. Visits are also paid to hospitals, orphan homes and homes for the elderly. Time and circumstances do not allow us to do as much as we should in this area and there is much room for improvement.
MU has one annual Fundraiser which enables us to earn some money to fund our many projects. There is really never ever enough money for all that has to be done but we struggle along and members supplement our many needs in whatever way they can from their own personal resources.
In 2010 St. George’s MU established an MU Face book page on the internet highlighting the activities of the MU in the archdeaconry, diocese and province with a view to educating and informing the
membership and the public at large about the work of the MU. We also have an established News Corner in the weekly Bulletin “The Anglican Herald” by the kind courtesy of our Rector, Archdeacon Christian Glasgow. This is meant to serve the same purpose as the Face Book page.
On Mothering Sunday, we invite the children and parents out to Mass (unfortunately this year we were unable to bring those from two children’s homes with their caregivers) to our Mothering Sunday Service and treat them after the service. We do a similar thing for the Holy Innocents Mass and the children are given gift bags to take home after being treated.
We are now involved in the Cradle Roll programme dealing with the baptism of babies in the church. This will be an ongoing activity whenever there is baptism.
We were also involved in bringing out the shut in members who are unable to come out to church on their own. One attempt has already been made to do so and was successful. Hopefully before the end of the year we may be able to have a second attempt at so doing.
We hosted our Provincial Council meeting in 2011, for the first time ever in the Diocese of the Windward Islands. We were indeed very pleased and happy to do so. With the help of Almighty God, we worked hard and it was a success. It was a great experience meeting the team that guides the work of the MU within the Province of the West Indies. This year 2014 the meeting was held in Jamaica and St. George’s MU sponsored the MU Diocesan Secretary, Mrs. Hermione St. Bernard, trip to Jamaica, as a member of the team representing the Diocese at that meeting.
We are indeed very grateful for the support given to us by our clergy and others who support and contribute to our many ventures.
The MU continues its work in spite of the hard economic times and the recession that has affected Grenada and the whole world. We put our trust in the Lord to carry us through. He has never failed us yet.