Not that the Cassars will ever willingly tell you about it. As Horace points out from the onset, “I don’t want to show off or make a fuss” – and he would be more than happy to leave it there.
But as a fellow parishioner revealed in a letter to The Southern Cross, the Cassars epitomise what ‘living Catholic’ really means and their “beautiful story of goodness, giving, sincerity and love” needs to be shared.
Devout Catholics, Horace, 82, and Doris, 80, emigrated from Malta at different times during the 1950s. They met through their faith, when attending Mass at St Patrick’s Church in the city, fell in love and married in 1964. They moved to Lockleys, started attending Christ the King Church and have been serving the parish ever since.
Over the years their volunteer work has included helping the Maltese priests and Sisters (who run St Raphael’s Home for the Aged) with maintenance jobs and in his work as an inspector at the then SA Gas Company, Horace was instrumental in finding work for more than 80 members of the Maltese community.
He and Doris were also very active in the establishment of St Francis School, which their children Joe and Theresa attended. In what were very different times, Horace recalled how he was given permission to use equipment from the Gas Company on the weekends to build a road into the school when it was first developed.
Since retiring from the Gas Company 30 years ago, Horace has devoted his spare time to attending to a variety of maintenance jobs for the Maltese Sisters and priests.
“I’ve done a lot of work, but I love it. I was at the nursing home this morning to fix something.
“If a curtain is falling down, one of the doors is jammed, they say ‘call Horace’.
“One Christmas at six in the morning I got a call to say their hot water service was not working. So I went and fixed it…. it’s just what you do,” he said.
Likewise, Doris is also a tireless helper and her great cooking skills are often on show when she has the Sisters over for a meal.
They attend Mass every week day at the Salesian priests’ residence – “it’s at 7.30am as the 9am Mass at Lockleys is too late,” Horace explained – and on weekends they are regulars at Christ the King.
While both octogenarians have had their share of major health issues over the years, they have no plans to cut back their service to the Maltese community and say their strong faith provides all the motivation they need.Jump to next article