December 2020 marked the 175th anniversary of the arrival in Gibraltar of the first Loreto Nuns. They came here expressly to open a school for Gibraltarian girls, and actually ended up opening two. Both immediately attracted a large number of pupils.
The party of five nuns were escorted to Gibraltar by the Catholic bishop, Rt Rev Mgr Henry Hughes. They were Mother Angela Kelly, the Mother Superior, and Sister Vincent Clinch, Sister Seraphia Rorke, Sister Placida Byrne and another sister thought to be Sister Josephine Underhill. The eldest of the nuns was just 28 years old.
Thus began the long association between the Loreto Nuns and Gibraltar.
The GHA has donated packages of food and personal hygiene items to “Help the Needy at Christmas”. A spokesperson for the GHA said, “Despite working hard during these difficult times, all our staff are thinking about the community”.
Two cheques have been presented by His Excellency the Governor, Sir David Steel, to two local charities with donations on behalf of the Convent Christmas Fair Appeal 2020.
This event, which every year raises significant sums of money for local charities, did not take place this year because of COVID restrictions, but His Excellency was still keen to present as much as possible to these worthy causes, recognising the challenges that so many have faced in 2020.
A cheque of £750.00 was presented to the Saint Vincent De Paul Society, and received by one of the charity’s volunteers, Mrs Maria Teresa Pitto. The charity was very active during the COVID lockdown earlier in the year, distributing food supplies to people who were in self-isolation and unable to leave their homes. The charity is exceptionally busy during the Christmas period, especially in delivering food to those of less able means.
Another cheque of £750.00 was donated to the Care Agency, in order to purchase school uniforms for local children. The cheque was received on their behalf by Ms Eleri Surrey, who sits on the Committee of the Convent Christmas Fair.
Specialist Freezers Arrive
The freezers that will store Gibraltar’s supply of COVID-19 vaccines have arrived in Gibraltar.
The COVID-19 vaccination programme is expected to begin in the middle of this month.
Each freezer can store up to 60,000 doses of the vaccine at temperatures of up to -82 degrees Celsius.
Minister with responsibility for Health and for Civil Contingencies, Samantha Sacramento said, “The GHA team team guided by the Director of Public Health, in conjunction with the office of the Civil Contingencies Co-ordinator are working extremely hard in devising the vaccination programme. The arrival of the freezers … is an important step and we are ready to receive the vaccines in early January”.