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Br. Bede Francis Maher

 Date of Death: 01/05/2019
Place: Australia, North Sydney
Province: Australia
Age: 92

Bede Francis Maher was born at Haberfield, Sydney on 27 January 1927. His parents Caroline Frances (nee Denham) and John Michael Maher had him baptised on 20th February at St Joan of Arc Church. He had one other sibling, an older brother, John Patrick, who died some decades ago.

He attended school at Kogarah, went to the Mittagong Juniorate in January 1940 at the age of 13, graduated to the Postulancy in 1944, entered the Novitiate and took first vows on 2 July 1945. He was given the name Brother Edward Powell. There was no Scholasticate or teacher training for Bede. He went straight to Randwick from the Novitiate in mid-1945, and then stayed in school ministry of one kind or another for the following 60 years. While offered the opportunity to participate in the Second Novitiate programme several times, he never accepted the invitation. Neither did he undertake a Third Age programme or anything similar. The closest he came to tertiary study was one year of the Kletoi programme in the early 1980s.

In the years between 1945 and 1978 he had 20 different appointments, teaching Primary and Secondary classes, filling in at short notice, moving mid-year, taking on any responsibilities that were thrust at him. However, he finally found some permanence in 1978 when he was appointed as Infirmarian at St Joseph’s College Hunters Hill. He remained in that one community until his death – 41 years in all.

This was his life, his chosen vocation. He never complained. He never criticised. In fact, no-one can remember him uttering an unkind word about anyone. Even though he had a series of health problems – in earlier years: persistent headaches, back and neck issues; in later years: heart attack, stroke and skin cancer, he continued to be of service in any way he could. It was noted by a previous Provincial that Bede was “generous to a fault”.

We were reminded by some who were with him in his earlier years at Joeys that his nickname was ‘Mitre 10’. He could repair anything and did. Even now when you look in his cupboards there is so much ‘fix-it’ gear on the shelves where the rest of us would have clothes. He was a delight to live with.

The funeral will be held here at St Joseph’s College on Monday May 6 at 10:30 am and following the Mass the cortege will then move immediately to the Field of Mars for the burial. Refreshments will be available at the College immediately after Mass for those not going to the Cemetery and also at the College following the ceremony.