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Josephine Mason - Obituary


Father Hudson’s Care pays tribute to Mrs Josephine Mason, who lived and worked at St Vincent’s in Birmingham.

Josephine Mason, née Flynn, was the daughter of Alfred Flynn, who was the Superintendent at St Vincent’s for many years. When her father retired she followed in his footsteps, taking over the running of the home with her husband, David Mason. Old Boy, Jimmy Spencer, said, “Her father laid the foundation of caring for the boys. She followed his kindness and carried on his work.”

Josephine and David lived on-site, raising their own children there until their eventual retirement. From her childhood to her retirement, she spent 60 years at St Vincent’s and was seen as the mother of the home.  

Known for her kind and caring manner, Josephine helped care for the boys and young men who lived at St Vincent’s, which looked after boys after they left children’s homes, helped them to learn a trade and prepared them for independence. Mrs Mason helped to make sure they had a job to go to and gave them a packed lunch to go off to work with.

She worked hard to make the transition to life at St Vincent’s as smooth as possible – making the boys feel welcome on their arrival, making sure they were comfortable in the home and helping them prepare for life afterwards. Jimmy said that she was “a perfect lady who always did her best to help the boys and to build them up.”

As time went on and the boys became young men wanting to move on, she made sure that they had a home and a warm bed to come back to if needed. She especially made sure that those returning from the armed forces had a room to come back to.

She was well liked by those who stayed at St Vincent’s, where she was appreciated for her kindness and loving nature. Jimmy said, “Her heart was in the home. Nobody had a bad word to say about her. She had a great sense of humour too – she had to, looking after a home full of lads.”

Kevin Caffrey, chair of Father Hudson’s Board of Trustees, said, “I knew Josephine and her husband David only briefly as they retired before I came to Father Hudson’s. They had a reputation of treating people with respect and care.”

With her husband, Mrs Mason supported the annual Fundraising Ball. She always donated prizes to give away in the raffle or tombola, while her husband ran the tombola and was chair of the Ball Committee for many years.

After her retirement she continued to take a keen interest in the boys and in the work of Father Hudson’s. Jimmy visited her over the years and always found a warm welcome awaited him. He said, “Any time you went to her house there was a cup of tea waiting for you. She always wanted to know how you were and to find out about other people who had left and how they were getting on.”

Josephine passed away on 10 November, aged 92. Her funeral was held on 21 November. The church was full of family, friends and Old Boys who had returned to the area to pay their respects. Jimmy said, “The Old Boys were very sorry to hear of her passing, but also very thankful for all she had done.”

Jim Delaney, a Father Hudson's Old Boy, wrote his own tribute to Mrs Mason:


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