Official Opening of the 6th Annual Forum for Organisations Working with Homeless Women, hosted by The Lady Musgrave Trust
Speech by Mrs Kaye de Jersey: I was delighted to receive the invitation from The Lady Musgrave Trust, to represent Paul in officially opening today’s Forum. He is particularly sorry that he is unable to be here, because he has long admired the work of the Trust.
In fact, one of Paul’s disappointments at the Bar, and he fortunately didn’t have many, was in the mid-1970s I think it would have been. He was briefed by Mr Michael Crouch, the venerable, then solicitor, for the Trust, to advise whether the Trustees could gift an honorarium to the retiring, long-serving Matron. In human terms mean, but as a professional, Paul advised it regrettably would breach the terms of the Trust. He has always remembered that, and shortly after that, we purchased a pleasant watercolour of the Lodge which hung in the study at Kenmore for almost 35 years, and is now hanging at Fernberg.
That connection to the Lodge is even more significant for me today because, a hundred and twenty-nine years ago, it was another vice-regal spouse, the extraordinary Lady Musgrave, whose passion and compassion led to the establishment of the Lodge and of the Trust which bears her name.
While the Lodge itself is no longer there on Astor Terrace, this annual Forum acts as a reminder of the vital, long-term work done by the Trust and the other organisations here today, and of the invaluable support given by the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Service in meeting the ever-growing demand for accommodation and support, for young women in need.
Paradoxically, in a world so fully and immediately connected electronically, we have become progressively more isolated as individuals, and now run the risk of losing our sense of community, of becoming less caring as a society, and, ultimately, of seeing the globalisation of indifference.
Happily, the three themes chosen this year squarely confront those trends, and so it is with great pleasure that I declare officially open, the sixth annual Forum for Organisations Working with Homeless Women, and wish you all a fruitful morning of fresh ideas and renewed inspiration.