The Marillac: Celebrating 100 Years of Service
8th September 2021 was a wonderful day in the life of the Province and in the history of the Marillac, Warley Essex – as residents, family members, staff, volunteers, friends, and Daughters of Charity celebrated the Centenary of this remarkable place and the wonderful service it has given to so many people over the years.
Initially, on 8th September 1921, the Daughters of Charity opened the Marillac Sanatorium for people with tuberculosis. With the advancement of modern medicine, however, the need for this service greatly reduced. In true Marillac spirit, the Sisters again responded and turned to those most in need. They not only changed their focus to care for the young chronically sick but, in 1963 on the exact same date, they moved premises 200 yards down the road to what was then known as the Officers’ Mess of the Essex Regiment.
Life moved on, and In 2021 the Marillac Neurological Care Centre (MNCC) was born, an independent charitable company and part of the Daughters of Charity Services in Great Britain.
Below are photos taken during the centenary programme celebrations. The day began with Mass at which Bishop Alan Williams presided alongside Father Paul Roche CM, Father Fergus Kelly CM, and Fr Joe Farrell. Sister Ellen Flynn DC gave a wonderful address that reflected on the history of the Marillac and all that it means to so many and its vision for the future. Afterwards staff members, dressed as Edwardian waitresses, served teas and coffees in the appropriately decorated hall giving a wonderful start to the day. Due to COVID restrictions, the residential units were not open to visitors. However, each of the units had been decked out by staff and residents. These were judged as to which one had the best centenary “look and feel”. We are pleased to let you know that the décor was so good that each unit won the prize of a large new HD smart TV. A tasty lunch was served in the marquee specially erected for the occasion. As always, the Marillac catering department did us proud!
Later, many gathered for an equally delicious afternoon tea, during which we were entertained by Tina, a singer who had a great repertoire of sing-along classics, whilst a magician moved from table to table performing card tricks. Following on Sister Ellen addressed the gathered company which was live-streamed to residents and staff. There was also a presentation of the “Centenary Volunteer Award”.
Another great feature in the late afternoon was the Staff free raffle hosted by Pat, Anne, and Sheree. Some great prizes were won which added to the fun and excitement of the day.
In the evening, it was CEO Paul Dixon’s opportunity to host a Cheese and Wine party. It was lovely to see so many connected with the Marillac dressed in evening attire, relaxing and chatting while the “Rat Pack” duo performed Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin classics.
At the end of the evening Mr. Peter Nicol, Chair of Trustees, invited Sr Ellen, Provincial, to address the guests. She reminded all of us, that while the history of the Marillac is a wonderful achievement, our job now is to look to the future and work to make the next 100 years even better!
After her address, the Marillac Centenary Awards were presented followed by a toast and the cutting of the Centenary Cake.
“For all that has been THANKS! For all to come YES!”