Y.C.W. Training Centre Opened By Archbishop
“I TAKE a deep interest in the movement, and I would be quite unworthy of my position if I did not realise its value. I have no misgivings about its prospects of great success.” This was stated by his Grace the Archbishop in opening “Maiya Wamba,” the training centre of the Y.C.W. movement, in Weatherall-road, Cheltenham, on Sunday last.
“I can assure you that you could not have given me a better birthday present than to give me the opportunity of coming to this function and formally open ‘Maiya Wamba,’” said his Grace. “We are greatly privileged in having with us to-day the Bishop of Kimberley. I know he was anxious to be here, but it looked as if he would be now on his way to his distant diocese. However, Providence intervened, and he lost his place on the ’plane. In consequence, he was able to avail himself of the opportunity to be with us to-day. These buildings have already been blessed and, as it were, baptized, and this is the day of their Confirmation. They have been given the aboriginal name of ‘Maiya Wamba,’ and it is very appropriate on the day of Confirmation of this institute that we should have the Bishop of the aboriginals here. I am delighted that an aboriginal name was selected for this institution. To my mind ‘Maiya Wamba’ is a musical and very appropriate name.
Tribute to Archbishop Simonds and Fr. Lombard
“I am sorry,” added his Grace, “that Archbishop Simonds is not here to-day because this movement owes a great deal to him. I know he is most deeply interested in the Y.C.W.M. and that his hopes for the future of Australia are largely, if not almost wholly, centred in the movement. I regret that circumstances do not permit him to be here, but I am sure he is with us in spirit, and he has made a notable contribution to the funds. “Nobody has done more for the movement than Fr. Lombard, who is really its father in Melbourne. His enthusiasm and indefatigable zeal have already carried him a long way. I would ask his executive committee to spare him as much as possible and not to make more use of him than could be reasonably expected. I am delighted to avail myself of the opportunity on this occasion to return him my most grateful thanks for what he has done for the youth of Melbourne, and, by his example, I hope, for the youth of the whole of Australia. It is a pleasure to me to do whatever I can to assist this movement. I hope it will increase in usefulness in the years to come and that it will be a backbone to Catholicity and Christianity in Australia.
Time for Action
“I need not dwell upon the need of the movement. Fr. Lombard and other speakers have already dealt with this aspect, and the time for talking about it is really over. It is the time now for doing things. You are asked to put your hands to the plough, and I know you are not going to look back. There is a heavy responsibility on the movement I know the generosity of the Melbourne people. They have never been known to fail, and they are not going to fail to support this admirable institution. The contributions that have already come in show that the appeal has touched the hearts of the people. Collections were also taken up to-day in the various churches, and I am confident when the amounts are made known that Fr. Lombard and his committee, who have given such notable assistance, will have easy minds and consciences. I congratulate Fr. Lombard, and I thank, in a special way, the laymen who came to his help and urged him to go forward and not trouble about finances. I know that the people of Melbourne can be relied on to meet the financial responsibilities, and the institution will be able to face the future without being hampered by a heavy debt. I thank all those who nave helped this movement, and I also thank those who have come here to-day in such splendid numbers to show sympathy with the movement and to inspect this splendid property. I hope your sympathy will never lessen, and that this great institution, where youths will be trained for their important work, will fulfil our highest hopes and expectations. May the Confirmation of ‘Maiya Wamba’ to-day be a memorable event in the history of the Y.C.W. movement.”
POWER HOUSE OF YOUTH
Rev. F. Lombard, P.P., said he hoped his Grace would be spared to be with them for many years. There was no diocese in Australia where the interests of youth received greater consideration than in the Archdiocese of Melbourne. “Maiya Wamba” was a power house to infuse a Christ-like spirit amongst Australian youth, and it was the Church’s answer to the problem of youth. He believed that present-day youths were just as good as youths of the past, but they had to face graver difficulties. In the workshops and factories religion was belittled, and many youths failed to stand up against the forces surrounding them. It was necessary that boys and girls should be specially trained to face the difficulties, and the Y.C.W. movement had been set up to enable boys to lead Christian lives.
Taking the Offensive
It was a movement of action and attacked the evil. Youth movements had been very successful in France, Belgium, England and Ireland, and he was confident that the Y.C.W. movement would be equally successful in Melbourne. At “Maiya Wamba” leaders, would be trained, and they would study the problems of daily life. The purpose of the movement was to make youths see that Our Blessed Lord was a Leader beyond all other leaders, and to implant in their minds the need for spreading the principles of Christ. Already some 200 boys had had a course of instruction at the Home. The cost of the building and 10 acres was £5000, and, in furnishings and improvements, from £1500 to £2000 was spent. He hoped that a generous response would be made to the appeal for funds. It meant much for the Church in Australia to make the movement a great success. Already £1400 or £1500 had been subscribed, and be hoped that the amount would be increased to £2000 by that day’s appeal. In addition, special collections were to come from the various churches. A long subscription list was afterwards read, and among the donors were Archbishop Mannix, £100, and Archbishop Simonds, £10. The day’s collection exceeded £1000. Other speakers were Mr. L. McLennan, chairman of the committee; Bishop Raible, P.S.M.; Mr. E. Long, president of the Y.C.W. movement; Mr. Field, M.L.A.; and the Mayor of Moorabbin. Apologies for inability to be present were received from Archbishop Simonds, Hon. A. A. Calwell (Minister for Information), Hon. I. Macfarlan, K.C., and Mr. H. M. Cremean, M.L.A. A vote of thanks to his Grace was carried with acclamation at the instance of Mr. P. J. Mitchell, seconded by Mr. C. Clements. A guard of honour was furnished by 1500 Young Christian Workers, who displayed their fine standards. The property, which has spacious grounds, was inspected by the large assembly, and favourable comments were made on its situation and its suitableness for training work. At the close of the speech-making, Solemn Benediction was given in the open by Bishop Raible.
Among those present together with his Grace the Archbishop and Bishop Raible were Very Rev. J. M. Murphy, S.J.; Very Rev. J. Meagher, S.J.; Very Rev. T. Considine, S.J.; Very Rev. J. Ciantar, S.C.; Very Rev. H. Bakker, P.P.; Rev. Frs. A. J. Martin, Cullinan, (S.A.), Lande, G. and N. Coughlan, O’Donnell, Arthur, Hunter, J. O’Rorke, O.P.; Aquinas, O.F.M.; Vill and Kupke, P.S.M.; Dorias, S.S.S.; T. Daly, J. A. Kelly, O’Neill, English, Catarinich, D. Coakley, Hardy, J. F. Kelly, J. Perkins, Rovira, Dando, S.J.; Hannan, Sullivan; Rev. Bro. Jerome; Messrs. Field and Mullins, M’s.L.A., and the Mayor of Moorabbin. Before the opening ceremony selections were played by St. Vincent de Paul’s Boys’ Band and the Irish Pipers’ Band.
“Maiya-Wamba” Rhymes with Rhumba
At the opening of the Y.C.W. Training Centre at Cheltenham on Sunday there was some variety among the crowd in the pronouncement of the name, “Maiya Wamba.” According to Dr. Herman Nekes, P.S.M., the missionary philologist and authority on aboriginal linguistics, who suggested the name, the closest approximation to the native inflection would rhyme with “rhumba.” The word “Maiya” (rhymes with “high-ya”) means “house” and occurs substantially in all Australian native languages, while “Wamba,” which means “men,” is peculiar to the north-west tribes of the Yaora (Broome) and the Njol-Njol (Beagle Bay). The combination, therefore, means “House of Men.”
THE ARCHBISHOP’S BIRTHDAY
“Looking Back and Looking Forward”
Acknowledging birthday greetings at “Maiya-Wamba” on Sunday, his Grace the Archbishop said: “! will always endeavour to keep in touch with young people. After all, I am not as old as I might be. In a letter I received some time ago from South Australia, the writer told me he was not an old man, though he was 84. This is the right way, 1 think, to look at life, looking back and looking forward.”
Power House Of Christian Youth (Advocate, Wednesday 8 March 1944, page 7) (Trove)