Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/40

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mistresses, an Irish girl is preferred before all others for her virtue, honesty, and integrity. "No Irish need apply" is reversed at the antipodes, for Irish girls are sought, asked, and invited, even by those who hold their country and creed in detestation.

The reason is obvious. Experience has taught them that an Irish girl, who is attentive to her religious duties, can be trusted under all circumstances, and in every position of responsibility in household affairs. It rarely happens that a bigoted master absolutely refuses to allow a servant girl to go to Mass or Vespers. Still such cases have occurred, but the girl was usually too high-spirited and too loyal to her faith to submit to such an unwarrantable deprivation of her liberty and her religious rights. She has informed her confessor of the circumstances—he has advised her to quit the place at once; she immediately takes the course recommended, and very soon she obtains another and a better situation, one in which no obstacle will be thrown in the way of the performance of her religious duties. Taken as a body, the thousands of Irish girls who emigrated to the Australian colonies during the past thirty years have worthily upheld the honour of their race.[1] The great majority of them married well and became the mothers of the fine body of Irish-Australians that are now growing to maturity. But in their material prosperity they did not forget the old land or those they left behind them. There is no means off ascertaining the total amount sent home by Irish girls from it Victoria, but all contemporary evidence goes to show that it must have been a very large sum in the aggregate—many thousands of pounds. Every girl seemed to regard it as a

  1. "The best servants I found during my travels in the colonies were Irish girls educated at the Roman Catholic orphanages."—Mr. G. A. Sala.