Contact Us






Elements of Serra

Blessed Junipero Serra



Jack Fogarty (1918-2004)

On 13 March 1974 Jack attended a meeting of Catholic laymen in the Southern Cross Club, Canberra on an invitation co-signed by Fr. Tom Wright and Mick Sullivan, at the request of Archbishop Thomas Cahill. The aim of the meeting was to start a Serra Club in Canberra.

The first meeting of the Serra Club of Canberra was held in the O’Donnell Centre, Braddon with Jack one of the founding members. He immediately became active in the work of the Club in fostering vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

Jack, accompanied by his wife Mary, was posted by the Australian Government to Geneva Switzerland, where Jack served as Ambassador for International Trade Negotiations from 1977–1980.

On his return to Canberra, Jack again became an active member of the Serra Club of Canberra. He was Club President in 1985 and served in other positions on the Board of Trustees of the Club for many years.

To introduce young children to the topic of vocations to the priesthood and the religious life, commencing in 1983, Jack visited each of the Catholic primary schools in Canberra annually. He spoke to the children in year 6 classes, in particular asking them to pray for the priests, sisters and brothers. Jack continued these annual visits for the next fifteen years.

Jack suffered a severe loss of his mobility over the last two years of his life and lived his last fifteen months at Jindalee Nursing Home. He continued to exhibit a wonderful spirit and zest for life when visited by his fellow Serrans.

Duncan Francis (-2004)

Duncan Francis served as the Serra Club of Canberra’s secretary for many years. The number may be able to be determined when access to the Secretary’s records are available. When SCANZSPAC was commenced, he was the inaugural Secretary & an invaluable help to John Stephens & the Board in John’s time as President.

He was always involved in Club activities. He was always reliable in his preparation of the Church for our Club Masses - he was the regular acolyte. He made contact with Jubilarian Priests & religious for the Serra Club’s annual celebration of their Jubilees. He also issued the invitations & did the follow up for our annual Mass & luncheon for the parents of the priests & religious of the Archdiocese.

He was a close friend of Fr Peter Day’s family having been through Duntroon with Fr Peter’s father.

Martin Morris (1927-2004)

Martin was born in Sydney in 1927 and attended school in the Waverley area. He arrived in Canberra in the late 1940's after spending a short time in the army and entered the Public Service. He married Moria Burns in 1951. They had two children, Anthony who died aged 16yrs and Catherine who lives in Brisbane with husband Stewart. They have three children.

For some years he lived in Turner but then in the early 90s he moved to Cook to be closer to his beloved Moira who had been admitted to a nursing home at Aranda with Multiple Sclerosis to which she succumbed in 2000. Marty faithfully cared for Moria for the best part of twenty years.

Marty was a staunch Catholic. He first approached the Franciscans’ First Order Juniorate as a young man in the early 40s but felt uncomfortable and left early. Fifty years later in 1992, he was professed as a 3rd Order Franciscan and as such devoutly attended Mass and read the Office, both daily.

He was active in the St Vincent de Paul Society, and the Serra Club of Canberra. He was a Knight of the Southern Cross in the earlier years and was a faithful Cursillista to the end, fervently believing in the great graces of group reunion reinforced by Ultreya. Every week a group met at his home. His legacy to the Cursillista movement was 'because of it he was moved from compulsion to conviction' in the practice of his faith.

As well, he was very active in Parish activities as a reader with a fine voice, and Acolyte and Volunteer at the Nursing Home.

He had many other interests including Rostrum (he was a Freeman), Friends of the ABC, keeping fit (he attended the gym 2-3 times a week) and he loved music and reading. He had a great sense of humour.

Marty was a devoted brother, husband, father and grandfather and a man of great integrity and generosity. His door was always open to those in need of help even though he had a tight daily schedule. This he managed to keep, not always easily and he would not retired until he had read his Office.

Early this year he married Faith Butt a widow from Wagga Wagga whom he had met through Beginning Experience and with true Marty gusto and determination, sold his Cook residence and moved to Wagga Wagga with the minimum of fuss and time. Eight months of happy marriage ended so sadly and suddenly.

Marty died as he lived, on the go, for he and Faith were awaiting the train in Sydney for the return trip to Wagga Wagga (he had attended a funeral) when he suddenly and apparently painlessly, collapsed and died, leaving so many sorrowful and lamenting the loss of a good man.

© Serra Club of Canberra 2004