News “The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name.” (Luke 24:46-47) I’d love to hear your stories. If you have a story related to our Catholic community and disability that you’d like to share in Sandpiper, please contact me (Daniel Giles) on dgiles.disability.advocate@gmail. com or 0439 562 286 >> Disability inclusion This month, Nora McNair tells of her brother, Peter, who lived as a paraplegic for 56 years before he passed away in October.. A lesson in perseverance Peter William Connell 23-8-1937 - 11-10 2018 P eter Connell was born in Yarrawonga on August 23, 1937, the second son of Isabelle and John F. Connell. He is survived by his brother John and sister Nora McNair. His eldest brother Fr Brian died at the age of 64 while he was in Chicago in 1999. Peter was educated at Telford State School 2241 and he later attended Assumption College Kilmore. He put his effort into playing sport. He played tennis at Telford, Cricket at Burramine , Football at Wilby and Burramine. Peter worked for a time on the Snowy Mountain hydro-electric scheme and in 1962 he was on his way home for the birth of his first child when he had a car accident that left him a paraplegic. That was 56 years ago. Air Ambulance Victoria came into action that day and flew Peter from Kancoban to the Austin Hospital in Melbourne. After 13 months recuperation at the Austin Hospital he returned home to Yarrawonga . He finally accepted his physical limitations and was taught book-keeping by Sr. Carmel at the local Mercy Convent. He successfully passed his exams, and applied for a posi- tion as a Clerk at the Mulwala Explosives Factory. He worked >> A Taste of Sandhurst Margaret-Mary Flynn brings us a recipe from our diocese Christmas is not Christmas without home-made shortbread. This recipe celebrates the wonderful dairy produce of the Diocese. If you can get it, use legendary Tatura Butter for these simply perfect little treats. The difference between also-ran-bikkies and shortbread is all in the quality of the butter. Ingredients • 250g butter, softened • ½ cup icing Sugar • 1 teasp.Vanilla essence. • 1 ½ cups flour • ¾ cup cornflour Method • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper. • Beat butter and icing Sugar with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in vanilla. Sift the flour and cornflour into the creamed mixture and mix well. • Roll heaped teaspoonfuls of mixture into balls and place on a baking tray. Press down lightly with a fork.. • Bake for 12-15 minutes until the biscuits are firm and lightly golden, but not brown. Cool, and store in an airtight container. To all the SandPiper readers, and especially those who read the recipe col- umn, warmest good wishes for a blessed Christmas, and a happy new year. Vanilla Shortbread. CROSSWORD SOLUTION there for 23 years, and was proud to prove his success. Peter became an active member of the Apex Club and was known in Apex circles all over North East and Goulburn Valley. He had a fighting spirit and a desire to take his place as an active citizen in the community. In 1965 he took up Bowls and became a champion for wheel- chair bowlers. He convinced the Yarrawonga Bowling Club to allow wheelchairs onto the greens. Bowls filled a large part of his life taking him all over Australia , England , Japan and New Zealand. He participated in the Mini Paraplegic Bowling Competition in England in 1982 and won a Bronze Medal. It was a great achievement for him . He was nominated as a repre- sentative for Australia in England 1983 and participated in the Games. Up until recently he was a keen Bowler travelling to various parts of Victoria with his mate John Lisle who is also in a wheelchair. Peter has always been a very independent person. He travelled around Australia on his own. He loved to go fishing alone or with friends. His biggest thrill was when he pulled in a cod weighing 60lb. Peter never let his disability hold him back. He believed he could do anything if he tried. He could have easily “thrown in the towel” very early in his life. He actually turned his misfortune into an advantage and was well deserv- ing of respect and admiration. A special event for Peter was held in May 2016 when Air Ambulance flew their plane to Shepparton and Paramedics met Peter to acknowledge his dona- tion. Peter always said he owed his life to Air Ambulance Victoria for their lifesaving care in 1962. After Peter reluctantly sold his car he relied on his motorised scooter for a time but eventually the Taxi company was at his con- stant beck and call for doctors’ appointments, Dialysis and U3A activities. He organised his dialy- sis 3 nights a week at the hospital so that he could keep up his social life during the day. In the last two weeks of his life John and I saw how he had endeared himself to the members of U3A, the Dialysis and Taxi Staff. Many came to say their good byes to him and spoke highly of his positive outlook on life and his involvement with the Club. Their was a genuine love and concern when they heard he was in Palliative Care. To the doctors and medical Staff who have cared for Peter over the years we are most grate- ful. They helped him to live a long and fruitful life, even though it was not without its difficulties. Peter, may you rest peacefully after a long fulfilling and some- times difficult life; BUT as he often said “ I’ve had a good life.” To sum up : He was a man who never complained, a man of cour- age, determination and inspiration to many. By Margaret- Mary Flynn Cathedral Parish The Christmas play T he Grade Threes and Twos were jammed sitting cross- legged on the floor between the desks and the platform. The Preps and the Grade Sixers were in the desks, and the Grade Fives were lined up along the sides of the classroom. The whole school had squashed itself into the Grade Four class- room, waiting with excited squeaks and rustles for our production of the Nativity . Toni O’Donahue and Joey Checuti were Mary and Joseph. No surprise there. They made the per- fect couple. Evelyn MacPherson was the Narrator. She had a lovely voice, and was a good reader. But I secretly wished it had been me. Peter McAllister, John Clancy and Guido Gianarelli were the Wise Men. Alan Casey was the Innkeeper. The Shepherds and Sheep, the Camels, Ox and Donkey and the Star comprised the rest of the class, and I – I was the Christmas Angel. We were all robed up and stand- ing in our order of appearance in the corridor outside. Mary, clutching the Baby Jesus, was arguing with Joseph and the Donkey. “I am so supposed to ride in. On the Donkey. It says so.” “He’s too little, and you’re too fat.” The Donkey nodded agreement. He was standing-in for Trevor O’Brien, a sturdy lad. Anyone could see that Mary, with or with- out the Baby Jesus, would flatten him. Mary face went very red. “I AM NOT,” she began, but then Sister Luke swooped down the line, and shooshed all three. “Get in the line,” she com- manded, her tone brooking no nonsense. “And Act 1 in we go,” she announced, throwing the door open, as the Narrator, followed by Joseph, Mary and the Donkey filed onto the platform. The show had begun. Miss Tunn thumped away at the school piano, and we scram- bled into our places, doing our best to keep up, and singing “Oh little Babe of Bethlehem” almost as well as we had in rehearsal. Alan Casey, the Innkeeper, shouted ‘NO ROOM!’ across the pandemonium and pointed to the door so fiercely that Jenny McCartney, the littlest shepherd, burst into tears, and had to be led away. The Second Camel missed his cue, and in rushing to amend mat- ters, knocked the crib over and stood on the Ox. We all got a bit stage struck and had to be helped along by the whole school in sing- ing Away in a Manger . It was glorious fun. We had a marvellous time. Everybody laughed – sometimes at the wrong places – and we all clapped at the end. And me? Almost melting under the blue cloak and white flannelette nightdress which comprised my costume, my tinsel halo drooping over my eyes, and holding tightly to the straps of my wings, I stepped forward and climbed onto the chair in front of the waiting shepherds and sheep. My voice dried up. I caught Sister Luke’s eye. Behold, she mouthed. “Behold,” I squeaked. And then, gathering confidence, I announced my only line. It didn’t seem much to me then. The others got to say much more. But now it seems to me to say everything that matters at Christmas, and for all time. “Behold! I bring you tidings of great joy! Peace on Earth, and goodwill to all.” May your Christmas be happy and holy, and the coming year be full of joy. Peter Connell showed great perseverance through his life.