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Stories From A Life On Sullivan’s Island

By Mike Walsh for The Island Eye News

Father Lawrence McInerny.

In an oral history interview, recorded pre-pandemic, Sullivan’s Island’s much loved and admired Father Lawrence McInerny, pastor of Stella Maris Catholic Church, tells stories and shares vintage photographs from his long family and personal history on the island.

Father McInerny, more formally titled the Reverend Monsignor Lawrence B. McInerny, J.C.L., is an exceptional story teller as well as a knowledgeable Sullivan’s Island historian, and this outstanding interview is filled with stories that are both entertaining and enlightening.

There are stories of how the island managed during Prohibition, the impact of the Great Earthquake of 1886, and family experiences during the 1911 cyclone. There are stories of the McInerny family dating back to the 1840s and the role of family members in building the harbor jetties, forming the 1909 Town government, and building the first island public school. On a lighter note, there are stories of a boyhood filled with bicycles and boats and how an island boy ended up as pastor at Stella Maris.

There is also the story of why Sullivan’s Island has so many mosquitoes and gnats.

You will not want to miss this unique program.

Father McInerny’s oral history interview will be presented via Zoom on two dates, once on Thursday, Feb. 18, and again on Sunday, Feb. 21, both at 6 p.m. The link to this Zoom presentation will be available on the Battery Gadsden Cultural Center website at www. batterygadsden.com .

The personal and family stories of long-time residents are an essential part of the remarkable culture and history of Sullivan’s Island. The Oral History Project of Battery Gadsden Cultural Center captures these stories in interviews of Island residents.

These videotaped interviews are edited according to the standards of the Oral History Association.

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