FATHER Bob Maguire insists he received a call from Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott while flying into Launceston yesterday.
"Both of them pledged $100,000 to keep Marillac House going," Father Maguire said.
"Oh, I can't be controversial, can I?"
The larrikin Melbourne priest visited Launceston yesterday as a guest of Marillac House, a Launceston home providing support and accommodation to people affected directly and indirectly by hospital treatment, rehabilitation and surgery.
The initiative of the St Vincent de Paul society held its first cocktail party last night to raise money to upgrade its bathrooms.
Marillac House manager Jennifer Lyall said the home received no government funding.
"We raise all the money ourselves," Ms Lyall said.
Father Maguire said being diagnosed this year with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy made him "beside myself with admiration for people in hospital".
"They're all heroic, they're all gloriously ordinary," Father Maguire said.
"The community needs to do gloriously ordinary things and help.
"I was sitting next to someone on the plane and she said `Are you going to see the monkeys in the park?'
"I said, `What the ...?'
"You've got monkeys in your park - if you can afford to do that, you can afford to help each other."