Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/185

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171
THE MOTHER OF THE AUSTRALIAS.

receive trading representatives of all nations at her very doors. As the oldest city of the colonies, Sydney presents a variety of quaint aspects that differentiate it from all its younger rivals. It is not, for example, laid out on strict mathematical lines, as are all the recent cities of Australasian growth, but rather rejoices in those narrow, irregular thoroughfares that characterise primitive cities of the northern hemisphere. This circumstance necessarily detracts somewhat from its architectural appearance. Nevertheless, the churches, public buildings, and business establishments of Sydney are quite as elegant, as substantial, and as imposing as those of its great rival Melbourne, despite the fact that they cannot be seen to equal advantage. St. Mary's Cathedral, like St. Patrick's, of Melbourne, is an immense, unfinished memorial of Irish Catholic piety, destined one day to be the noblest ecclesiastical edifice in the mother colony of the Australian group. St. Vincent's Hospital, which is under the kind and Christian management of the Sisters of Charity, is perhaps the institution that reflects the highest credit on Catholic Sydney. "Of all our institutions of charity," says the foremost Irish-Australian statesman, the Right Hon. W. B. Dalley, "this is the one of which we have the most reason to be proud. For nearly thirty years it has been silently and unobtrusively doing a great work. It has received during that period tens of thousands of patients suffering from all kinds of diseases, and it has relieved hundreds of thousands of out-patients. Its doors are open to those of all religions or of none. Though served by holy women who have consecrated their lives to the care of the sick and the relief of the suffering, it is supported by the entire community. The Catholic Church has the merit of its foundation, and so far as the nurses are concerned, the