‘Back in the day’, Brown Square was a small Protestant enclave at the bottom end of the infamous Shankill Road in Belfast. It was a place where the people possessed very little in terms of material wealth, but what they did have they willingly shared with each other. Yet, regardless of their obvious financial and material lack, the people in this rundown inner-city slum, had enough self-belief to call themselves ‘Brown Square Millionaires’. They might not have had much in their pockets, but they were rich in hope, humour and hospitality, whose wealth was not based on money, but on having the kinds of neighbours, friends, and family that no amount of money could buy.
Brown Square may not have produced any real financial millionaires, but it did produce quality pieces of ‘Hidden Gold’. Kathleen McKee (née McDermott), is one of those whose life enriched the lives of many within and beyond the Square, and whose life has proved that Brown Square really did have some Hidden Gold.
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ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Kathleen McKee was born and raised in Brown Square, later marrying Jackie McKee who was also from the same area. Most of their lives together have been spent helping and ministering to the people of West Belfast, including their beloved area of Brown Square and the Greater Shankill community.
Throughout the difficult times of the Troubles and personal challenges they’ve faced, nothing would avert their calling to serve the locals, in many instances, endangering their own lives. As founders of New Life City Church, City Life Projects, and Hobby Horse Playgroup, they still to this day, minister in the area they have always called home.