Another in our series on the reality of being ‘relocated’.
St Brigid’s church in Millers Point was a focal point for ‘Mercy’ and her family who had schooled and attended there for many years. After feeling much stress and pressure, ‘Mercy’ moved away from where she lived just up the road and from the community where she felt very connected. She did not want to go but the stress and worry became too much and a move seemed promising as it meant she would be only five minutes from her daughter and grandchildren. It was traumatic and Mercy was unable to come back to Millers Point for the Spring Picnic and other celebrations as it was too painful.
Things have settled a bit months later but Mercy now has stressors she did not anticipate. She and her son were given a larger house with a much larger yard but she is no longer connected to others. Public transport is harder to navigate, the bus stop is far away and she has to walk up a hill on the way home. She is in suburbia, which for many people, especially those who don’t drive, is an isolated existence. Her daughter says ‘She doesn’t have the same freedom and food shopping is more expensive as she only goes to the local centre instead of to Paddy’s markets which she did religiously every weekend for almost 30yrs’.
The house is located in a well to do suburb and Mercy feels great pressure to maintain the appearance of the property and is finding that there are more expenses such as frequent lawn mowing. Mercy who survived the Franco regime, says the eviction officers promise the moon and don’t deliver. “Hitler would be very happy with this Government” she says.
Photo: A young parishioner adjusts the sign outside St Brigid’s in Kent Street, Millers Point.