19 May 2024

Parishioner set to stand-up for a cause

Port Melbourne parishioner Shane Mahar will appear on stage to raise funds for Myanmar. Picture: iStock.

Jenan Taylor

15 May 2023

A Port Melbourne parishioner is set to raise cash for a humanitarian cause in an unusual way.

Holy Trinity congregant and retiree Shane Mahar has organised a stand-up comedy show to raise money for food, medical supplies and other aid items for people in Myanmar.

Mr Mahar said he hit on the idea after the Australian representative of Myanmar’s shadow National Unity Government Dr Tun Aung Shwe visited the church in April.

Dr Shwe related the violent military regime that Myanmar’s civilians lived under, and the brutal massacre they endured last Easter.

Upon hearing about the show last week, Dr Shwe expressed delight.

Holy Trinity locum Bishop Philip Huggins said the NUG was involved with raising support for a range of human rights issues in Myanmar, and that there tended to be very little awareness about the atrocities there because it was overshadowed by media coverage on conflicts such as those in Ukraine and Afghanistan.

Read more: Calls for unity, love and prayer as Burmese endure brutality

Bishop Huggins said Mr Mahar’s initiative would go some way towards making Australians more aware about the troubles in the nation, and providing humanitarian assistance for people in Myanmar, including those affected by the powerful Cyclone Mocha that hit the region over the weekend.

He said Mr Mahar had been a long-time member of Holy Trinity, and that the show would be his inaugural attempt at stand-up comedy.

Mr Mahar said as it would be his first stand-up, he was unable to say who he thought his comic style most resembled, so he would get up on stage and be himself.

He said he hoped his experiences, some of which involved being a public speaker on cruise ships, would help raise some laughs.

The show will also feature cruise ship performer and singer Caissie Dillon, and Bishop Huggins will open it tomorrow evening in the Melbourne CBD.

Although the comedy fundraiser has already sold out, contributions can still be made to the NUG Myanmar humanitarian assistance fund here.

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