Anne Morris

Born: 29th October 1942

Dublin, Ireland

Date of interview: 20th July 2006

Map showing where Anne Morris came from

How long was the process from the idea ... ?

It took probably eighteen months, probably, I'm just trying to think, about eighteen months. But the thing is, my philosophy is, if you really believe strongly in it, you go for it, even if it doesn't succeed, at least you tried. It's great fun when it succeeds. So that's the story of the book. Meanwhile the Irish programme was running, doing very well, and it's been running now for, since 1995, the Irish Eye programme on local BBC, and of course people can pick it up now on the internet, and we have listeners all over the world, and people in Ireland, not just local people. It was great fun.

Getting back to our charity, our aim was to do something for the older people in the community. Now of course you can't do much without money, and it's very hard to raise money, I mean the book sells for just under a fiver, that doesn't make a huge difference to be honest, but we're very lucky in that we're supported by the Ireland Fund for Great Britain - they give grants out - we've had a grant from them for the last three years, and that helps.

The first thing we've done, and we're hoping to move on and do something more now, is three years ago, actually after I retired, is to set up a weekly lunch club. We hired a hall at the English Martyrs Church at Liebenrood Road. We hire that church there every Wednesday. We have a hot lunch, the first week we had it we thought we'd have a glass of sherry for everybody, it was so exciting to have this lunch. So we had a glass of sherry and juice and a hot meal, and then people had a raffle and then a game of bingo ... So obviously we do charge, we charge £2 for lunch, but after three years we've just put it up to £2.50, but for that you have a glass of sherry, a glass of orange juice, some lovely crusty bread, fresh flowers on the tables, proper table cloths, proper china. Somebody said to me one week, 'Why don't you use paper plates? I said, 'I wouldn't give my mother her dinner on a paper plate. Why would we use paper plates? Why shouldn't our generation have proper ... why should we settle for second best?' All these people have worked hard all their lives. I mean, I wouldn't want to eat my dinner off a paper plate. I always have this nice Irish CD in the background, nice music.

We then organise outings, we have trips to the theatre. It's more actually, it's not just the fact that people can have their lunches, it's really not about food or drink, it's more about people coming together, people of the same generation, and meeting their friends - that's really what it's all about. It's a bonus if you have a nice lunch on top. Why should they be forgotten, because, I think they are quality, they've worked hard, and they deserve the best.