When helping others is par for the course

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Home > Media > News > When helping others is par for the course
When helping others is par for the course
Gwen Doyle

Mersey Leven parishioner and keen golfer Gwen Doyle leads an active life, both on and off the course.

Mrs Doyle, 78, was awarded life membership of the Ulverstone Golf Club at its annual meeting, in recognition of half a century of involvement and service.

She is also a parishioner at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Ulverstone.

A fellow parishioner congratulated Mrs Doyle on her golfing achievement and added: “Gwen is a long-serving parishioner of Mersey Leven Catholic Parish.

“She has been involved with cleaning, flower arranging and hospitality at Sacred Heart Church.

“Gwen is a great supporter of all our fundraising activities and is a genuine, lovely and grateful person as well.”

Mrs Doyle grew up on a farm at Upper Castra, one of nine children. The Catholic faith has been a key element in her life from her early days, with visiting priests, Catholic correspondence lessons from the Missionary Sisters of Service and monthly early-morning trips to Mass in Ulverstone, more than 20km away.

“The priest used to come from town occasionally and say Mass in the hall,” she recalled.

“And as children, we had correspondence lessons from the Rosary House Sisters [MSS], and my mother would teach us.

“When the Sisters came around, several times they stayed at our house, and other times they would have their caravan. My mother looked after them and fed them. They were lovely.

“We had lessons and worksheets in relation to the catechism and general knowledge of our faith. And we came to Ulverstone to have first Communion, Confirmation and the sacraments, Penance and so forth.

“We used to come in to Mass in Ulverstone about once a month, and it was 7am Mass in those days. Mother would have the shoes all lined up, cleaned and ready the night before, and we would have to get up and milk the cows and then travel in to Ulverstone.”

Mrs Doyle started playing golf while working as a midwife in Sydney. She also worked at the National Women’s Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand, and was director of nursing for 14 years at Mt St Vincent Nursing Home in Ulverstone, until her retirement about 20 years ago.

She still plays golf about four times a week. The life membership honour came as ‘a total shock’.

“I enjoy golf, although the standard is deteriorating with the age,” Mrs Doyle said with a smile. Her best handicap was 11 but is now 26. 

At both the golf club and at church, Mrs Doyle is known for helping out with catering, skilled flower arranging and her warm and welcoming nature.