The Irish potato famine
Giving honour to the victims
It was a beautiful walk from South Hobart Primary up to the Female Factory on a lovely autumn day. The procession was led by a large number of children dressed as they would be in the years 1845-51.
The idea was to commemorate and give honour to the victims of the great hunger.
Not just those who died but also those who were displaced or convicted (often of stealing to keep their children alive), and then sent to Australia to work as convict labour.
This commemoration was to happen around the world, wherever the Irish had gone. A wreath was laid by the Deputy Mayor and the children sang. Around the wreath all those present who had an Irish ancestor were given a rose to place.
The event was very well attended by many interested people. Refreshments of bread and water were served so that all could experience a taste of the time.
Shelagh Shaw wrote this Prayer for the Victims of the Potato Famine
Prayer for the early settlers
Today we honour the memories of those millions of people who died or were displaced because of the Irish potato famine.
We remember those who left their own land to settle elsewhere and those who were transported for crimes committed; often done in an attempt to provide for their family.
We remember the women who followed their men to Australia facing fears and dangers that we can only imagine.
So we pray,
Loving God we give you thanks for the courage, tenacity and strength of those people who left their land and came to Australia either as a convict or as a free person.
We honour the memory of those who died so long ago for the part they played in creating this society in which we now live and thrive.
We give you grateful thanks for creating hope from a hopeless situation and for all we have learned from the past.
May we never forget your love and protection contained in our history.
We offer these thanks in the name of your Son Jesus Christ who died for us. Amen