'His place was magnificent and his wife a very gracious lady, who was most hospitable to us.'

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'His place was magnificent and his wife a very gracious lady, who was most hospitable to us.'


Rosemary remembers a serendipitous meeting which resulted in her getting a job.


Rosemary McCloskey


Trinity College Dublin




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Rosemary McCloskey

Is Part Of

Work and Employment


Life Story

Spatial Coverage

Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Temporal Coverage


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Between August and January I had no work and again applied to the Sacred Heart. I had His picture above the mantelpiece and each time I passed by I asked Him to get me something in the meantime. I met a Scot a few days later. He wanted to buy some British currency from me. During the course of the conversation I told him that I was looking for work for a few months. He completed his transaction and said he would find out if anyone had anything. He returned the next day and said 'Alan Burke will phone you!' I asked who Alan Burke was and he just laughed and said he would be in touch. Alan Burke did not phone, but I found out where he lived in Burnside and Galina Bhebe and I went up to see him. His place was magnificent and his wife a very gracious lady, who was most hospitable to us. I explained that George the Scotsman had told me he had something for me. Alan laughed and when I asked him what kind of a job it was he laughed again and asked what I was earning per month in UCE. I told him, and he said he would give me a bit more and also petrol for my car. He told me to present myself at his office Mining and Farming Supplies in Fife Street the following Monday. Alan Burke had made a bit of a job for me. I was to answer the phone and the door and perhaps do a few bits and pieces around the place maybe going for messages occasionally. Just whatever was needed when it was needed. In reality there was very little to do. I sat at a desk wondering how I was going to put my time in. There were customers from South Africa on the telephone and apparently they thought my accent was comical and kept phoning just to get a laugh. I had some tots to do but was provided with a calculator which was no help to me, as I did not know anything about the workings of such contraptions. I worked for the month of September. In October I had to go into Mater Dei Hospital again, for major surgery on my back which had been causing me problems for a while. I explained this to Alan, who said not to worry as he would pay me half my wages when I was discharged and the other half later on in the month. Some of the staff came to visit me in the hospital and brought me flowers and on the morning I was discharged Alan came in his big car to take me home. When he brought me into the house he went to the kitchen, looked in the fridge and told me to go to bed, while he went to the local shop and bought eggs, milk, bread, bacon and butter, to keep me going. He then put the wages on the table for me. I have never met with the likes of this before or since. After a few weeks he phoned and asked me to return to the office part time. I went in for the mornings and he paid me full wages. In December I left to fly home.


Irish Research Council for Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (IRCHSS)

Research Coordinator/P.I.

Dr Kathleen McTiernan (Trinity College Dublin)

Senior Research Associate

Dr Deirdre O'Donnell (Trinity College Dublin)


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