With over 20 years’ service under her helm, the St Mary MacKillop SuperCat ferry recently enjoyed a suitable send-off on Sydney Harbour.
Over 50 sisters and staff from the Sisters of Saint Joseph gathered to say a special farewell to the vessel which was named in honour of Australia’s first saint. Launching from McMahon’s Point and hosted by NSW Transport, the final cruise was an opportunity for everyone to enjoy one last ferry ride before her ‘retirement’.
“It was such a lovely surprise to be invited to enjoy and acknowledge the life of this lovely ferry,” said Sr Monica Cavanagh, Congregational Leader.
“We were all able to reflect on the life of this vessel and the community it served, the special trips, and its many circuits around the inner harbour. Ferries were an important part of Mary MacKillop’s life. According to our archives, when the Sisters moved to their home in Mount St, North Sydney in the late 1800s, they used ferries to cross to the charity house known as Providence in The Rocks where they worked.
“At first they walked down Blues Point Rd to catch the punt. When trams were introduced in Blues Point Rd, the Sisters came back from the ferry by tram. Later they caught the ferry at McMahons Point and then at Lavender Bay which was much closer. Mary also used to take the ferry from Woy Woy to Kincumber on the NSW Central Coast where we ran an orphanage.”
Inside the 275-seater ferry, there is a depiction of Mary and one of her favourite quotes Oh, how I wish that we would only remember, we are all but travellers here.
“It made me think of all the hundreds of people who have been on this ferry over the years. I hope they were inspired by Mary’s story,” continues Sr Monica.
Launched in 2000 as one of 12 new Sydney SuperCat catamarans, the Saint Mary MacKillop was named by the general public in a competition.
Mathieu Paroissien, Director of Ferry Contracts for TransDev, thanked the sisters and staff for attending and presented Sr Monica with the SuperCat’s original name plate which says Mary MacKillop (1842-1909), Australia’s first saint, a regular traveller on the waters of Sydney Harbour on errands of service to the people of Australia.
“I’d like to thank everyone for coming along for this special trip, and I’d also like to thank all those including St Mary MacKillop, if she’s watching us today, for lending her name to this vessel,” says Mathieu.
“It’s really special to have you all here to be part of this vessel’s life, its launch, through its renaming after Mary MacKillop’s canonisation and now here today for one of the last services the vessel will complete.”