The Co-Founder of the CAFOD Liverpool Charity Shop Harry Wallace passed away on 26 November after a short illness aged 79. Harry had been married to Win for 55 years, they had five children and 13 grandchildren. Harry retired after 15 years as head of Sacred Heart Catholic High School Crosby (now Sacred Heart Catholic College) in July 1992. After retiring, Harry co-founded the CAFOD Support Shop in St John’s Road, Waterloo. He helped run the shop, raising more than £500,000. In 2005, he was awarded the MBE medal for his charity work which he very reluctantly accepted and only on the condition it was for all the shop volunteers. His wife, Win, said: “Harry was a man who put others first – whether it was the thousands of children whose education he enriched, staff who worked with him, his family, friends or needy people overseas who he helped through his work with CAFOD. He showed his faith by the way he lived.” Geoff Farrell who has now taken over the reins gave this very moving tribute at Harry’s requiem Mass at St Peter & Paul’s, Crosby, on 5 December at a wonderful celebration of a life well-lived:
“There is a sign in the window of the CAFOD Shop in St. John’s Road which reads:
‘In June 2013 The CAFOD Shop celebrated its 20th year of opening.’
The shop was the brainchild of Harry Wallace and Tony Redmond. Tony who died three years ago and here we are now at Harry’s funeral mass.
Can I ask you for a moment to go back 20 years to 1993 and consider the strength of character that was required to start an enterprise like The CAFOD Shop. To take on the financial responsibility for such a commitment knowing that any loss would have been a personal loss to both Harry and Tony. To recruit a team of unpaid volunteers who would sustain their idea. To show an initiative that no one else in the country had shown – Remember, that this is the only CAFOD Shop in England and Wales. And 20 years on from 1993 – What is the outcome?
In 2011 The CAFOD Shop reached the magical 500,000 pounds of donations to CAFOD Headquarters in London. Half a million pounds. And this was two years in advance of the target set by Harry and Tony. And early next year in 2014 the shop will have reached the £600,000 mark. Think of the faith that underpinned such an achievement. Think of the hope that was shown in a bright future that would reap such benefits. Think of the charity that was the outcome of such a vision that enabled help and support being given to people less fortunate than ourselves and also to help and support the local community. Recently, when we realised that Harry would not be returning to the shop, we had a meeting of day managers where we resolved to continue the CAFOD Shop’s good work. I am sure that James Steel (Director of Financial Services), who has travelled up from CAFOD Headquarters in London to be here at Harry’s funeral mass will be encouraged by our decision. And so I trust that the same Faith that Harry had, the same Hope, the same Charity will have imbued our positive decision to press on and continue the good work. I know that Harry and Tony will be monitoring our progress very carefully and applauding as we hit new targets.
Our prayers and thoughts are with all of Harry’s family and friends at this sad time.