Carlow International Person of the Year

Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Michael Hopkins

Carlow International Person of the Year

Carlow International Person of the Year Award
Congratulations to Michael Hopkins, who has been presented with the
Carlow Person of the Year Award 2006

for his dedication and commitment to the people of Calcutta.

Friends of Calcutta was formed in 1994 after Michael Hopkins had visited the 'city of joy' for the first time. From a simple jumble sale/bazaar held in St Mary's Hall, Bagenalstown, the group [now a fully fledged Irish registered charity] has become one of the leading lights in the field of humanitarian aid and today the organisation funds 8 schools educating 1800 children. The schools are located in 5 of the most disadvantaged areas of the city, including Dhappa where only last year a beautiful new building was constructed in the heart of a refuse dump. There are also 2 schools in the remote Sundarban Islands as well as a village school in Chatthua.

In 1998, following the visit of a large Galway contingent to the city, Michael was nominated by Galway Junior Chamber as their representative for Irelands Young Person of The Year, an award he duly won and humbly accepted on behalf of Friends of Calcutta. Over the last decade so much has been achieved and Michael is especially proud that the ethos behind the work has never changed in that time. 'When we began we made one golden rule which we have steadfastly stuck by 'he recalls' namely that 100% of all funds given to the organisation would be used for that sole purpose'. Friends of Calcutta is a totally voluntary organisation, no salaries and all travel expenses must be met personally by committee members and all volunteers wishing to either visit or work with the projects.

In November 2006 Michael Hopkins was honoured by his own. So proud at all times to be from Carlow and especially proud to be from Bagenalstown, Michael was voted Carlow Person of the year. In an emotional acceptance speech Michael expressed special thanks to his mother Brigid who's whole hearted support had meant the world to him whether in his beloved Carlow or 5000 miles away in his second home 'The city of joy'.

I would like to thank the County Carlow Association for Inviting me here as their guest tonight. I wish them every success in the wonderful work they do here in London.

Source: Michael Hopkins who attended as an, honoured guest, the County Carlow Association London 39th Annual Dinner Dance on 13th October 2007

Website: Friends of Calcutta

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