The original door of the school opened by Mary MacKillop in Bungendore would have been used for firewood years ago if it hadn’t been for the sharp eyes of Mrs Barbara Donald. She was attending the monthly parish morning tea in the old school building, now the parish hall, when she saw the door in a rubbish pile. “This was a door Mary MacKillop had knocked on, had opened, and they wanted to throw it out,” Mrs Donald said. “I asked why it hadn’t been restored and was told if I wanted to fix it I could take it.”
Mrs Donald and friend Mrs Halene Herzog took the door to the Bungendore Woodworks Gallery where they were told it could be restored, but would cost around $700. The women were prepared to pay half each to save the piece of history.
At that time Mary’s beatification was being celebrated with events at places she had visited.The sisters in the parish were selling Mary MacKillop t-shirts, while Mrs Donald saw an opportunity to put her badge-making skills to use. “I used their design and shrunk it down to make badges, and, would you believe, the amount we raised from the badges was just what we needed to restore the door,” she said. The original schoolhouse door is again being used. A plaque next to the entrance explains the significance of the parish hall and its restored door.
CATHOLIC VOICE October 2010