Wednesday 23 January 2019

At 95 years young, Anne calls time

Anne Ennis, centre, on her final day at Wexford's Oxfam shop with (from left) Lily Deasy; Helen Kehoe and Kathleen Hillis, Ann's daughters; and Dorethy McGee.
Anne Ennis, centre, on her final day at Wexford's Oxfam shop with (from left) Lily Deasy; Helen Kehoe and Kathleen Hillis, Ann's daughters; and Dorethy McGee.
Anne Ennis and Bridie Reynolds chatting about past times in the shop.
Anne Ennis and Trevor Anderson, Director of Trade for Oxfam.


AFTER 27 years of loyal service at the Oxfam Shop in Wexford, 95-year-old Anne Ennis has called time at the Main Street charity shop where she was honoured for her service last week.

Trevor Anderson, the Director of Trade for Oxfam, and District Retail Manager Mark Sweeney joined local staff to thank Anne for her years working at the shop which opened its doors for the first time 27 years ago 'when there was only five milk crates to sit on.'

Anne, who lives in Davitt Road South, said Oxfam had always had very good 'stuff' and that hadn't changed over the years, with some large donations being made.

She recalled one man who presented the shop with €5,000 after saying: 'Why give it to the taxman, when it can do some good'.

And there are still cash donations coming in, with a regular few pounds from a man after he collects his DOLE every week and 'a girl who puts a fiver in the box every week'.

Anne, a mother of 11 children, seven of whom are still living, said she started work with Oxfam in Oxford in England in the 1960s 'and then I came home and was a cook and a housekeeper at the Lady of Fatima School for years'.

Asked about her memories of England in the Swinging '60s, Anne replied: 'That was some place.. I could tell you some stories'.

She attributed her longevity and laser-sharp mind to good food and hard work.

'I never smoked and if I went out for dinner I would always have a Harvey's Bristol Cream, not a schooner, a small one, and then a three course dinner at Kellys and then a brandy,' said Anne, a twinkle in her eye.

'I've had a lovely life. I loved my style and always dressed well.'

Anne said Michael Tierney from the Stores had been very kind to her over the years and laid on a complimentary three-course lunch and a glass of Guinness seven days a week, if she wanted it.

'They have always treated me like a mother and I have treated them like my sons,' she said, recalling that she celebrated her 80th she was treated to a special cake.

'Aw Lord, I have been spoiled rotten.. and the big do down at Oxfam for me was great,' she said, adding that she wanted to thank Wexford Cabs for a door-to-door service over the years and if asked 'they'd even carry me up the stairs'.

Anne, still has three daughters and four sons alive, but had lost her eldest and a son soon after he was awarded awarded the OBE by Queen Eilzabeth and 'lost a lovely girl at 53'.

'While I have had a wondeful life it hasn't been an easy life. My husband got Parkinson's when I was 36 and he was 43, but there's nothing I would take back.

'I have wonderful friends and family, three lovely daughters and four lovely sons, 39 grandchildren and

nine great grandchildren, so it has been a very good life,' she said.

Wexford People

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