There were three boys in the family: Tom, the youngest, later joined the Marist Brothers and was known as Brother Joachim.
Pauline was educated by the Sisters of Mercy at Greymouth, having completed her primary education at St. Patrick’s and her secondary education at St Mary’s. Two of her friends became Religious: Peg McGrath joined the Carmelite Sisters, and Dawn McDiarmid joined the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary. Pauline entered the Sisters of Compassion on 14 August 1939, and at her Reception received her Religious name Sister Mary Imelda. She was Professed on 19 March 1942.
Sister Imelda trained as a nurse at the Home of Compassion Hospital and gained her State Registration in 1946. During her Religious life she always had a position of authority until she retired due to ill health in 1992. She was Sister in Charge at Timaru 1957-1960, Island Bay 1960-1963, Suva 1963-66, and Auckland 1966-1969. During 1969, Sister Imelda was elected as Second General Councillor at the General Chapter. On the completion of her term on the Leadership Team she once more became Sister in Charge at Timaru until 1981, and finally of the Island Bay Community in 1987. She was a very practical and resourceful person who learnt by her experiences.
Sister Imelda reverted back to her Baptismal name, Pauline, in 1992. About this time she had the opportunity to go to England and visit some of her relations. On her return to New Zealand she lived at the Island Bay Home with pastoral duties in the Compassion Hospital and Rest Home. When the Hospital closed in May, 2002, Sister Pauline and Sister Brendan went flatting in one of the units at the Aubert Home, Whanganui. It was a great experience for them both, and in her inimitable way, Pauline made the most of it, enjoying her hobbies of cooking, knitting, crocheting and tatting in which she excelled.
The Sisters remember her last few years being a continual battle with poor health but in spite of this she was very generous with helping those who were also struggling with ageing and health problems. She was always interested in the Church, in the Sisters, West Coasters, in fact anyone who crossed her path.
It is easy to see how fidelity to God, through Religious life, enabled this young strong-willed woman to grow into a mature holistic person full of the love of God and human kind. Pauline died quietly in her sleep on Sunday, 2 March, 2003. After a suitable farewell from the Community at Whanganui, her remains were transferred to Island Bay where the Funeral Mass was said on Wednesday, 5 March, before internment in the Sisters’ Plot at Karori Cemetery.
Born Entered Professed Died Place of Death Place of Burial
05.08.1922 14.08.1939 19.03.1942 02.03.2003 Wanganui Karori Cemetery