Gympie’s Nev Bermingham wants a permanent reminder of Mary Mackillop’s time in Gympie.
Gympie’s Nev Bermingham wants a permanent reminder of Mary Mackillop’s time in Gympie. Craig Warhurst

Call for holy lane name

IT only takes two minutes to drive the length of an unnamed lane between Bligh Street and Nelson Road but by naming it Mary Mackillop Lane the saint’s connection to Gympie may be remembered forever.

The call to place a plaque on the original St Joseph’s school site to mark Mary Mackillop’s time in Gympie came soon after her canonisation on October 17.

Now the call to name a laneway near St Patrick’s College after her has come from Nev Bermingham, who confessed he was a true believer.

Mr Bermingham said he used the lane twice a week to get to the college, where he worked, couldn’t find it on any maps and didn’t think it was already named.

“I’m a fan of Mary Mackillop,” he said.

A leukaemia survivor, Mr Bermingham said praying to the saint’s shrine helped him.

He was diagnosed with the disease in 2001 and would visit Mary Mackillop’s shrine near St Steven’s church in Brisbane regularly and pray.

After a bone marrow transplant five years ago he has been cancer free.

“I’m still here,” he said.

He isn’t calling it a miracle, but he is now asking for her connection with Gympie to be marked in history.

“A lot of people drive past this intersection,” he said at the lane yesterday.

“It wouldn’t cost much, just the cost of a sign.”

Mr Bermingham has done some research on Mary Mackillop’s time in Gympie.

He said she arrived in 1872 and opened Monkland’s St Joseph’s Catholic school – the site is now on the corner of the Brisbane Road and Araluen Terrace.

The Sisters of St Joseph were asked to leave the Monkland School in 1879 after Mary clashed with Bishop Quinn’s teaching directions.

Gympie Times


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