On Saturday 23 July 2022, walkers set off from the St Francis Xavier Hall on one of a variety of possible routes in the historic South Hobart area, including along part of the Hobart Rivulet. The John Wallis Winter Walk, organised by the Tasmanian Branch of Highways and Byways, attracted over twenty supporters and friends, and one gentle greyhound, Lucy.
Welcoming participants, the Chair of the Highways and Byways group in Hobart, Eva Dunn, spoke of Tasmanian priest Fr John Wallis’ impact on parish and education, especially in Hobart’s northern suburbs. We were also reminded of his unique achievement, as a parish priest, when in 1944, in Launceston, he founded a religious order, the Home Missionary Sisters of Our Lady, now known as the Missionary Sisters of Service (MSS). Eva made special mention of Sisters Frances McShane MSS and Lorraine Groves MSS who were present.
The original ministry of the MSS was to support the needs of isolated families. Since 1944, members of the order have served throughout Tasmania, in most other states and in Singapore. Highways and Byways was established in recent years to continue the work of the MSS and does so by supporting projects that enhance community, resilience, connection, and care for the environment. The Hobart group also holds an annual public John Wallis Memorial Lecture (coming up on 6 October this year).
Walkers split into several small groups to head in different directions (all well planned by branch member Mary Williams) and were given strict instructions to plan a route length that would enable them to be back in good time for an enticing afternoon tea! Some chose a route towards Cascade Gardens with return via the Female Factory, others tackled the full Rivulet Walk, several stayed close by the church to admire gardens and local architecture.
This year’s walk follows on from events in previous years including at The Springs (kunanyi/Mt Wellington), Marion Bay, Tynwald Park (New Norfolk) and Bellerive.
IMAGE: One of the walking groups pausing at Cascade Gardens