Posts Tagged ‘International Womens Day’

Jane Maas, Mass and the miracle of twitter!

March 10, 2013

Mad Women - Jane MaasThis woman was determined …is that any surprise to any of us?

Jane Maas, advertising legend from New York, author of Mad Women and the creator of the famous “I Love New York” campaign announced over dinner on Friday evening that on Sunday she wanted to go to mass and preferably one with a good choir!

We had spent a few days with this very special lady, who at the age of 82 would teach us all so much with her energy and determination.

She stole the show at the Network event in Cork for International Women’s Day enchanting the audience with her tales from an incredible career and how she sparkled in an industry, which was dominated by men.

It’s easy to see how she has had such a terrific career – every time myself and Deirdre had a work conversation while we were in her company she sprang into life with interest, words of wisdom and encouragement.

So …our dilemma – a church with a choir on Sunday in Cork?

I called my mother first and she wasn’t sure – the choir in her church weren’t up to much she reckoned!

I wasn’t feeling very optimistic but I decided to put the question out on twitter ..

To my huge surprise within minutes I found myself back and forth on twitter with Saint Fin Barres Cathedral – not only was there mass at 11:15 on Sunday but they sent me a link to their website with information about the choir!

There we were, on a wet and miserable Sunday morning with our special American friend being greeted warmly by the priest and we were treated with a really lovely service and a fabulous choir at Saint Fin Barres Cathedral ..how did I end up here – its a miracle !

Jane ..you are some woman

Twitter ..you are some resource

Saint Fin barres ..you are on the ball!!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion PR

Fuzion offer social media consultancy and training from our offices in Cork and Dublin

An Inspirational Woman – Henrietta Chevalier

March 8, 2011
Henrietta Chevalier - Hugh O'Flaherty

Henrietta Chevalier - Inspiration of World War 2

With all of this talk about inspirational women on International Women’s Day I wondered why it was just the women who were taking about the subject!

This is my nomination for the most inspirational woman – before that, first question.. have you heard of her?

Mrs Henrietta Chevalier was a young Maltese widow with six daughters and two sons, one of which was imprisoned as soon as Italy entered the war due to being a British subject. Her other son, Paul was a clerical officer with the Swiss Legation so his diplomatic papers protected his freedom.

Even though she lived in a small third floor apartment in Rome she played a huge role in the Rome Escape Organisation set up by Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty from Killarney throughout the war in providing shelter for escapees.

Mrs Chevalier showed tremendous courage as she constantly took these risks, which if found out would have resulted in execution for her family.

At one point in time she had four British soldiers staying with her and when asked by the Major about the risks here comment was:

They are absolutely grand, these boys. They are just like my own children. It is all so marvellous

O’Flaherty warned everyone lodging with her that in the event of any danger, her safety and that of her family had to come first.

Her flat was used as a depot for food and supplies, which was risky as the movement of black bags could easily arouse suspicion.

Eventually the Gestapo suspected the Chevalier household and had it watched around the clock as well as conducting a number of raids but each time the lodgers managed to escape on time due to a system of tip offs. The daughter Gemma, had a very narrow escape on one occasion while buying supplies, which she kept from her mother. (Gemma subsequently married one of the British Serviceman Sands that was sheltered by the family and the wedding was conducted by the Monsignor in Rome.)

Despite the close escapes and the warnings, she always wanted the lodgers back.

Mrs Chevalier, who also had some nursing experience used to venture out and provide medical assistance to various escapees around the city with Milko Scofic, a Yugoslavian.

Mrs Chevalier made everyone feel welcome:

at Christmas she served brandy instead of tea, Christmas gifts were exchanged among the family and the three British lodgers

Eventually it was felt that Mrs Chevalier and her family due to the close scrutiny should be evacuated and one by one they left and were brought to a farm on the outskirts of the city.

John Furman recalls of Mrs Chevalier:

What can be said of this incredible woman, who I guessed to be in her early forties? I would not call her brave for it seemed to be she had no conception of fear. Her kindness and generosity were unparalleled, her maternal spirit and compassion boundless

Mrs Henrietta Chevalier was awarded a British Empire Medal for her work and bravery.

The stress and strain of the war took its toll on Mrs Chevalier and she suffered from sickness later on in life as a result.

Isn’t she inspirational?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion Communications