Pearl received her early education at the local primary school. Her vocation to become a Sister of Compassion was inspired by Mother Aubert’s social work to improve the quality of life for the needy and disadvantaged person regardless of age, race, or religious belief.

In 1918, Pearl, aged 23, left the security of her family and journeyed north to Wellington to join the newly founded Congregation of the Sisters of Compassion. On entering the Novitiate she received her Religious name, Sister Mary Gertrude. Two years later, she made her life time commitment and was professed as a Sister of Compassion in the presence of Mother Aubert and Archbishop O’Shea.

As a newly Professed Sister, she commenced her nursing training, passing the General Nursing State examinations in 1927.  Sister then nursed at the Island Bay Hospital for three years. In 1930, Sister Gertrude was elected Sub-Mistress of Novices and in March, 1931, was appointed Mistress of Novices for a period of three years.

During 1937, Sister Gertrude joined the Community at St Vincent’s Home, Auckland, caring for babies and their mothers. In 1945, at the request of the Bishop of Dunedin, the Sisters were asked to undertake the ministry of domestic management of Holy Cross Seminary, Dunedin. Sister Gertrude was one of the five Sisters chosen for this work and remained there until the arrival of the Cluny Sisters in 1949. On returning to Auckland, she was appointed Local Treasurer of the Home.

Born                  Entered            Professed           Died             Place of Death         Place of Burial

19.08.1895     19.04.1918       19.03.1921      03.05.1951           Auckland           Panmure Cemetery