Home after half a century

Warm welcome ... from Gwen Ashbrooke and Brenda McColl to Sylvia Mulcahy from Australia (Pic by Lindsay Addison)
Warm welcome ... from Gwen Ashbrooke and Brenda McColl to Sylvia Mulcahy from Australia (Pic by Lindsay Addison)

FOR one very special lady, the emotionally-charged annual ceremony to remember the dead children of Lanark’s Smyllum Orphange was a very bitter-sweet occasion.

Memories ranging from ecstatically happy to downright heartbreaking flooded back for Sylvia Mulcahy that day as she stood before the Memorial Stone in St Mary’s Cemetery to the 100-plus young ones who died in the century or so the former orphange operated under the Sisters of Charity.

She has, in fact, very personal, sometimes tragic links to the orphange going back over half a century, links that have brought her back here after many decades.

Her late husband was a ‘Smyllum Orphan’ and died in 1961 after they married and moved to Australia.

The visit she made to the annual memorial service in Lanark was her first trip back to Scotland.

See this week’s Carluke and Lanark Gazette for the full story.