Ethel supported her mother with the education of the children and by keeping the family together during the hardships of the war years. Ethel had little choice when it came to extending her education and sacrificed this to enter employment at an early age. Her management skills and work ethic gave her promotion to become Manageress of a city restaurant. There she worked until the age of 30 when she left to enter the Sisters of Compassion in Wellington. At Reception Ethel received Baptist as her religious name which well suited her strong and single-minded character and personality.
As a young and enthusiastic person Sister Baptist enjoyed the challenges of being involved in various ministries. For many years she supported the Novice Mistress and Novices with the management of the large laundry at the Home in Island Bay. Her training and discipline for exactness and team work was remarkable and was respected by the many Sisters who later in life appreciated her supervision.
Sister Baptist spent some years at St Vianney’s Home at Timaru, St Vincent’s Home in Auckland and later was transferred to Loreto Home of Compassion in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. Engaging in the care and frail person brought new challenges for Sister Baptist. Her work demands of duty were handled in a courageous manner. Her generous and compassionate spirit towards the sick and elderly was nourished by her faithful attendance at community events, prayer and daily Mass.
She accepted her illness and physical frailness which necessitated her withdrawing from community life to the care of the Loreto Nursing Home. Her younger sister Roan went to Wagga to be with her. Here she was able to repay Sister Baptist for her many kindnesses and self-sacrifices she had made while the family were growing up in Auckland. Sister Agnes Backhurst, the daughter of her brother joined the Sisters of Compassion in 1959.
Sister Baptist lived a life dedicated to the Lord, willingly lived for the well-being of people. She will be greatly rewarded by the Lord she loved and served so faithfully as a Sister of Compassion.
Born Entered Professed Died Place of Death Place of Burial
28.02.1908 05.01.1939 15.09.1941 28.05.1986 Wagga Wagga Wagga Cemetery