Picia Harvey Kelly is a lady who happily and productively did so for very many years!
I first met Picia as a young child attending summer camp and more recently met her again many years later through the Westmeath SPCA. Picia took on the role of secretary of the Westmeath SPCA in April 2004, a role she held for the following 13 years.
At the same time Picia was also President of the Westmeath Hunt Branch Pony Club leading to the undeniable truth that she absolutely could and did work with animals and children. And that she was looked up to in both arenas.
Picia and her family moved to Multyfarnham, Co Westmeath in 1972, her husband Colonel William Harvey Kelly MBE had served in WW II and in Palestine and then returned home following his retirement from service. In 1984, due to difficult farming conditions and other pressures the family, and most of their belongings, moved to Joristown Lodge, near Raharney, Co. Westmeath. In May 2017, much of the contents of the former family house were put up for auction marking the end of that chapter. Picia’s 45 year visit in Westmeath was over, it was time to move west and learn to take it easy.
Picia’s 13 years as secretary of Westmeath SPCA saw so many changes, the annual volume of The Golden Pages was replaced by Google and other online resources.
The rise of digital has been one of the biggest changes in the last 13 years. Facebook was launched in February 2004, Twitter was launched in 2006 marking and making huge changes in how people communicate and their expectations.
In the animal welfare sector the Animal Health And Welfare Act 2013 was enacted. Before that new requirements for Identification and Microchipping of Equines; all foals born from 1st July 2009 onwards must be identified in accordance with Regulation No 504/2008. The Regulation had binding effect from 1st July 2009 across the European Union. Later the Microchippng of Dogs Regulations 2015 came into operation on 1 June 2015. This is just to mention but a few modifications to the legal system as regarding animal welfare between 2004 and 2017.
Throughout all this time Picia was at the end of the phone to the many who sought assistance and advice about animals in distress or hardship. Countless animals, domestic and wild owe a debt of gratitude to the efforts of Picia. It didn’t matter what time it was if she could help out she did.
From time to time Picia allowed herself the luxury of creativity to switch off from the rigours of her organisational and supervisory roles, she was a long time artist, painting in oils and watercolours for pleasure and for profit. But even in her painting her generosity was apparent. She donated some artwork to The Jack & Jill Foundation, unique providers of nursing care and support for children with severe neurological development issues, as well as offering some respite to the parents and families.
Westmeath SPCA are immensely grateful for the beneficial impression and developments Picia Harvey Kelly, former Secretary has left behind her, thank you Picia!
Thanks to Westmeath Hunt Pony Club for the photos.