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Historic grave restored

Local

The grave of Father Patrick Kehoe, an Irish immigrant who was ordained in Adelaide in 1872 and was appointed parish priest of Penola five years later, has been restored and blessed 140 years after his death.

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Sadly Fr Kehoe’s ministry in Penola was short-lived as he met with a tragic accident in 1879, only two years after his appointment.

Despite the fact that he was described as an “accomplished horseman”, he was violently thrown from his horse and died a short time later.

Thirteen years after Fr Kehoe’s burial at the Penola cemetery, the local South-Eastern Star reported in the edition of September 29 1882 that “A handsome monument has been erected at the new cemetery over the grave of the late Fr Kehoe…”. Again, in 1924 it is recorded that “…the monument was repaired and redecorated by the Catholics of Penola 18 months ago.”

In 2019 the repairs and renovations to Fr Kehoe’s grave were completed by the Penola Knights of the Southern Cross.

Many hours of work were undertaken and the project was greatly assisted by a generous donation from Father Sean McGearty.

Fr Sean visited the grave of his fellow countryman recently and expressed deep satisfaction at the work that had been completed.

Fr Sean arrived in Adelaide from Ireland in 1958. Six decades later he is the last Irish priest in the State.

Father Michael Romeo blessed Fr Kehoe’s restored grave on Friday July 30. He acknowledged the generosity of Fr Sean and the Knights of the Southern Cross.

A group of Penola parishioners and some of Penola’s Knights of the Southern Cross attended the ceremony.

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