Decades of serving Jesuit Mission
In 2022, we marked the 70th Anniversary of the inaugural Jesuit Mission Bazaar, first held at St Ignatius’ College, Riverview in 1952.
To commemorate this occasion, the Old Ignatians' Union (OIU) created the "Hazaribagh Award" to pay tribute to the Australian Jesuit Missionaries who pioneered a vibrant mission in India, greatly improving education and healthcare for the marginalised and the outcast, empowering them to live full and free lives.
This year, the OIU awarded Jesuit Mission companions, Doug and Maree Meagher, with the inaugural Hazaribagh Award for their “Service by a member to the Jesuit Mission Bazaar."
Doug has been a long-time volunteer for Jesuit Mission, substantially helping on the organising Committee of the Jesuit Mission Bazaar and serving on our Jesuit Mission Board for years. For over 30 years Doug has co-led the "$5 Wheel" stall at the Bazaar.
Doug’s father, Bob Meagher, comes from a large family of nine, two of whom were Jesuit Missionaries in Hazaribagh, Fr Geoffrey Meagher SJ and Fr Paddy Meagher SJ.
"It has been a wonderful opportunity to volunteer as part of a very large team of very generous people, who happily give their time and effort to help others who they’ll likely never meet. Having two uncles who worked as missionaries in India gave my family a very personal connection to their work and we always wanted to help," said Doug.
Doug’s wife Maree, also a Bazaar volunteer for decades, stepped into the position as Chair of the Bazaar Committee just when COVID-19 struck and has steered the committee since.
This required many nights of meetings in the lead up to the day, as well as an entire week of set up and cleaning up after the Bazaar.
"Doug and Maree are people of great generosity and kindness who actively serve others. Their desire to assist Jesuit Mission has its roots in their family connections, but also because they were inspired by the early missionaries," said Daniel Bolger, previous OIU President.
Maree reminisces on a recurring conversation with former Jesuit Mission Director and Hazaribagh Missionary of more than 50 years, Fr Phil Crotty SJ:
"Whenever I mentioned the weather to Fr Phil, he would always say ‘the Holy Spirit works in mysterious ways and will take care of the weather,’ and the Bazaar has always had fine weather," said Maree.
"I have met so many people over the years who have become great friends. I love that it brings our community together for the same goal, to contribute in a small way to help raise funds for people in need across the world." she added.
Doug and Maree would both like to acknowledge the incredibly generous support they have received for the Bazaar logistics, they note the following who have contributed for at least a decade:
"Firstly, Denis Eade and Terry Meagher who showed us the way. Paul and Harry Brogan, Phil Elbourne, Mark White and the Riverview maintenance crew, our sons Michael and Alex Meagher ; the boarders and gappies at Riverview, the full busload of volunteers from St Aloysius’ College, Jesuit Mission staff, the Marist Brothers students, the Bazaar Committee; the stallholders, and the St Ignatius’ College, Riverview community for allowing Jesuit Mission to use their facilities for the event."
It’s the efforts and generous spirit of all these people that make all the pieces come together for a wonderful annual Jesuit Mission fundraising and friend raising event.
"I’ve always admired Jesuit Mission’s focus on teaching and enabling people in the developing world. It’s like the old saying ‘If you teach them how to fish, you feed them for a lifetime,’" added Doug.
As Doug and Maree step down from their positions on the organising committee for the Bazaar, Jesuit Mission would like to say a heartfelt thank you to them for many years of tireless and unwavering support.