Added on 24/05/2013
Two remarkable milestones have been reached by the ‘A Free Gift For All’ project in Derry / Londonderry. The leaders of the four main churches in the city made a symbolic presentation of a signed copy of the last copy to Ms Elizabeth (Lil) McLaughlin. Ms McLaughlin is one of our most senior citizens, at 100 years old, and remembers witnessing Amelia Earhart’s famous landing in the city.
The presentation, on 15 April, to the Mayor marked the first copy to be given as part of ‘A Free Gift For All’ – an initiative to give out 40,000 free commemorative copies of St Luke’s Gospel across the city. The church leaders marked the successful completion of the project by visiting Ms McLaughlin on Tuesday 21 May and presenting her with her own copy of Luke’s Book.
Remarkably Lil McLaughlin saw Amelia Earhart when she landed in the field on the edge of the city. Bishop Ken Good was able to tell her that Amelia Earhart used the phone in the See House to tell the world of her achievement.
Elizabeth (Lil) was born 100years ago on a farm in Ardmore, one of 12 children. A spokesperson for the church leaders said, “Ms McLaughlin is clearly a remarkable lady She is a woman of strong faith. Despite the ups and downs of her life she has always had the attitude that it is God’s will and has accepted whatever life brought.” He continued “This is a wonderful way of marking a number of milestones – the delivery of gospels to every home in the city, the working together of churches across the community and Ms McLaughlin’s remarkable life.”
With poor eyesight Ms McLaughlin is currently having Luke’s book, which was delivered to her home, read to her by her niece.
She spent her early years on a farm before moving into the city. She spent many years working in Goorwich’s fashion shop, as well as other businesses in the city. Displaying a remarkable energy she worked until about 20 years ago. At 99 years old she crossed the Peace Bridge and “thought it was lovely”.
A Free Gift for All is an unprecedented initiative by churches from across the city community. Hundreds of volunteers from across the community came together to ensure that specially illustrated copies of Luke’s Gospel were hand–delivered to every home in Derry / Londonderry.
Photo L–R – Fr Francis Bradley (Diocesan administrator) , Revd Dr Robert Buick (Clerk of Presbytery), Ms Elizabeth McLaughlin, Bishop Ken Good (Bishop of Derry & Raphoe), Revd Peter Murray (Superintendant of Methodist City Mission)
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Mr Paul McFadden