St. Vincent de Paul Society

by Laurence Hession

The Riverstone Conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society was formed on 3rd April 1949 with about twenty members, the following being elected to the executive positions. President, Mr P.H. (Harry) Lemon, Senior Vice President, Mr Tom Robbins, Junior Vice President, Mr Tom McNamara, Secretary, Mr Joe Loos, Treasurer, Mr Laurence Hession.

At their meeting of 13th June 1954, the President reported that Blacktown Central Council had decided to undertake the building of a Church -School at Scheyville Migrant Centre as a Special Work. This project was financed mainly from bottle drives, the different Conferences within the Blacktown Circumscription collecting bottles by the lorry load and delivering them to a bottle yard at Auburn, Frank Hession supplying lorry and driver for Riverstone. These bottle drives were carried on for some years, culminating in the opening of a Church -School at Scheyville.

Membership in the past was restricted to men only, but for some years now women have been allowed to join this Society.

For many years regular clothing drives and bottle drives were held to gain clothing and funds to assist the poor and under privileged, but now with the advent of retailing centres and clothing bins at different locations, these drives are not conducted as they were.

Through the years the Presidents of Riverstone Conference have been:- Harry Lemon, Tony Agten, Vincent Mason, John O’Hanlon, Bob Puzny and Malcolm Reed. This Conference was disbanded early in 1996 due to the inability to get members to fill the executive positions.