“I remember coming in to the main street there, the whole front of the church near the steps were over grown and there were two light stands out there. One of the lights were out so I thought that’s where I will start, I will fix that damn light.
The Priests used to come down to our little town, such good men and I thought gee wouldn’t it be nice to be like them. We were trying to build schools, churches and things like that. Banks said you can’t do that for any longer. The manager at the time, guy by the name of Hunt, he said why don’t you set up your own bank. So we started, a wing on a prayer.
Sometimes people see the horizon here, for some reason he can see the one that’s beyond that.
He believes so strongly in education, particularly vocational education. So his love is that Newman College.
Seeing him that day and his pride and recognition of seeing his vision come full circle and to fruition was just really, really quite amazing.
When I’ve been here, I noticed, I got to know a lot of older people who have grown old. I started to wonder, what’s going to happen to these older people, who’s going to look after them.
It’s where you see a need, a human need. Within a new organisation that is agile enough to deal with a new situation and that’s Centacare.
As Fr D always says, it’s not the fact that you own the building its what’s going inside the building that matters. Are people being cared for, are children learning, are old people being looked after.
He’s the five eight. He’s the person who gets the ball and knows when to pass it back inside to certain players who work inside the Parish structures to take it up. Or he passes it outside, he actually utilises the community also to assist him In a way through delivery services. But the main thing about Fr D being a five eight, is that he knows when he takes the ball up for himself and do the hard yards.
Not only over time has Leo Donnelly’s personality become our organisational personality, it’s become our DNA. It’s about that innovative approach to meet needs and that will be his legacy. He has created this organisation that will go on for decades, and decades and decades and in the spirit of Father Donnelly, will continue to see a need and make sure that is met.”