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The ‘Mary E. McSheffrey Bursary’

Mary E. McSheffrey was the youngest of 4 children. Her father was a blacksmith in New Brunswick who was often paid for his services with bags of oats or potatoes.

He was a hard working, poorly paid man and when his wife past away he had to look to his community to help house his children. They were sent to farms in different areas and he visited them regularly. From the age of 3 Mary was separated from her siblings and she and her sisters were past from farm house to farm house. After 9 years the family came back together and Mary at age 11 and her sister at age 13 took on the task of all the housework so their family could stay together.

In 1919, her father entered a burning building and pulled a man from the fire. Unfortunately, the man pulled from the fire passed away, but Mr. McSheffrey was recommended for an award for bravery. He received a grant from the Carnegie Foundation for $1,000.00. He had not been able to provide a great deal for his children but this money would give him an opportunity to do something special. While his three eldest children had established their lives, his youngest daughter, Mary, was still in school. He knew the importance of receiving an education, an education he had never had and could not provide for his older children. He decided to fund Mary’s education with his Carnegie Foundation Grant.

Mary never forgot her father’s selfless generosity, spending most of his windfall on her education. Without that grant from the Carnegie Foundation, her life would not have been much different than her siblings who struggled without an education in lower paying jobs. Mary attended a business school and worked in the appliance business. She associated with people with a higher education, became a member of the curling club and took part is social events her siblings could only dream of.

She met a wonderful young business man, married and raised a family.

On the 12th of August 1998, Mary passed away.

It was her wish that a portion of her estate benefit children and provide them with an opportunity to better themselves.

This year, you have been chosen to receive a bursary established by Mary, in the hope that you, like Mary E. McSheffery, will benefit from a better education.

On Mary’s behalf we encourage you to study hard, don’t waste the opportunity and we know she would wish you success in all your future endeavours.