This no doubt accounted for her great love for music. Probably the family as a whole was musical, as her sister Kate played the piano, and one of her brothers left home early in life to become an entertainer. Later, Sister was to entertain the Sisters at the Island Bay Home with her ready wit and ability to impersonate Harry Lauder.

Emily entered the Sisters of Compassion, Island Bay, on 2 September, 1935, receiving her Religious name Sister M. Thomas of Aquinas. Sister was Professed in 1938.

In March, 1942, the Leadership Team appointed Sister as Assistant to the Secretary General, who at that time was recording the Reminiscences of Mother Aubert’. Sister Thomas held this position until she herself became Secretary General in 1957, which she retained for the next eighteen years.

During the last few years of her life, Sister was cared for in St. Anne’s Ward. One of the hardest things she had to put up with was her inability to communicate. Those closest to her could see her struggling to say something, and there were indeed times when she just longed for the Lord to come and take her home.

Sister died in the 48th year of her Religious Profession, in April, 1986. Sister Thomas was a good Religious, loyal and faithful to her religious commitment.



Born                      Entered               Professed              Died              Place of Death         Place of Burial

19.07.1899        02.09.1935           19.03.1938       29.04.1986          Whanganui             Karori Cemetery