BARRY’S BAY – The Catholic Women’s League (CWL) hosted their 58th annual St. Patrick’s Day Tea, in the hall of St. Lawrence O’Toole Catholic Church on March 17.
This year the tea happened to fall on the Feast Day of St. Patrick, or in Irish Lá Fhéile Pádraig, which is named after St. Patrick, the most commonly recognized of the patron saints of Ireland.
Years ago, the tea began by taking place at St. Joseph’s High School, and was held in the basement of the school. For many years now the tea has been held at St. Lawrence’s parish hall.
Although not everyone gathered was Irish, they still considered themselves Irish for this one day, sporting all shades of green.
Carmel Rumleskie, president of the CWL, welcomed the over 200 people in attendance to the tea with a proper Irish blessing.
“For each petal on the shamrock, this brings a wish your way, good health, good luck and happiness for today and every day,” Rumleskie recited.
Attendees were entertained by Gwen Woermke at the piano, playing countless Irish songs. Some party-goers sang along to well-remembered tunes, while others tap their hands in feet to the music. Woermke has been with the CWL for over 60 years and is one person people have come to expect to see at the tea.
Piping hot tea, and coffee, was served up by official tea servers, while parishioners, CWL members and volunteers were kept hopping serving fancy sandwiches and sweets, which were happily devoured by those in attendance.
As always, it was a great event for the whole community, with many coming from all around the Valley and beyond to enjoy the afternoon. It marks, to some, the opening of spring and brings everyone out of their winter hibernation.
All the monies raised from the event allows the league to continue operating in the area, sponsoring bursaries at local schools and helping out at various local charities.
As well as enjoying delectable sandwiches and sweets, along with tea, coffee or juice, attendees had the opportunity to purchase tickets to win many prizes from the various draws being held.
The ladies at white elephant table were kept busy selling wrapped gifts for as little as 25 cents. There was also the mini-raffle table, Pot o’ Gold tickets, door prizes and money boards.
Rumleskie extended her thanks to Earl Conway for collecting the prizes for the Pot o’ Gold raffle.
The $100 board was won by Audrey Stoppa, while Kesley McKenzie won $50 on the second board.
Story continues in the March 20, 2013 issue of The Valley Gazette.