Page 5, 7th March 1958

7th March 1958
Page 5
Page 5, 7th March 1958 — .7 !.. Here to Help Their Families I.

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Locations: Madrid, Coruna, Barcelona, London


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.7 !.. Here to Help Their Families I.

Keywords: Asceticism, Nun


IC.H.' Reporter AGED 26 and 20 respectively, two sisters from Coruna, Spain, are now in London earning about £4.10.0 each, weekly, as house-maids and sending home £20 per month between them. This is so that their two younger brothers, now in a seminary, can become priests.

I met them in a Gloucester Road. London, club for Spanish girls started by Spanish nuns nine years ago. I was shown a neatly kept card index system where details and photographs of girls the nuns come into contact with are kept. As many as 465 members of the club are on the register.

And I met 21-year old Esther Sanchez, also a maid, whose brother (married. with three children) lost his money and moved into Madrid to look for work. Esther undertook to come to London to work and send him the funds to start a new home, She sent him £100. He has now a flat in Madrid.

There is Angeles Sanchez de Bejer, also exiled front her country, whose aged mother in Barcelona could not live were it not for the money she sends her from her earnings as a maid working in a West End house.

No charge

Sunday night is club night in the three big houses knocked into one and run by Las Madres Espatiolas. as these 27 nuns, Daughters of Mart, Immaculate, are affectionately called by the girls. 'the Club is run for members who are charged nothing for the hospitality they are afforded at the convent.

The police know the good work being done, and, as the girls are registered with them as foreigners. they send along "nice Spanish girls" to the nuns. The Mother Superior is very pleased with the co-operation she receives from the police.

The night I was there the girls staged a Benavente comedy. all about a "Prince who knew everything because he had read it in books".

I got to know everything the nuns are doing for lonesome people in such a princely way because I read it in books. — the happy looks on faces of girls who once a week can let rip in their own language with one another. I here was the little 18-year-old who had nearly gone mad serving as maid in a cheerless email] y house, where no one knew her language, and she didn't theirs.

The nuns brought her to the convent. She will stay till she finds another job near them.

Prior to my visit, I had been told that Spanish girls flocking to Britain were opportunists, their aim heing 10 work es maids and hospital nurses while they learnt sufficient English in order to go home and take Lip good posts as hotel receptionists and as clerks in tourist offices, whele knowledge of our language would be an added asset.

I questioned many girls at he club. Not one admitted to such ambitions, but many stated they were sending funds home to help support fathers, mothers, brothers I and sisters.

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