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Sisters of the Past

Sister Perpetua - Lucy Quinlan

Profiled in January 2009

23 August 1894 – 10 December 1984

perpetua-quinlan.jpgLucy Quinlan was born in Melbourne, Australia on 23 August 1894 to Timothy and Annie, nee Maher. Timothy was a railway engineer, and on moving to New Zealand, he worked on viaducts on the Main Trunk railway line. 
Lucy was known to have had at least one sister, who was to work on the Trans Tasman ships as a stewardess.  She lived and died in Sydney.

Lucy entered the Sisters of St Joseph on 7 March 1919, taking the religious name of Cuthbert.  A year later her health was such that she was considered to be unable to live the religious life.  She left on the 17 July 1920.
However her health improved and she reapplied, and four years later she re-entered on 18 June 1924.  She was professed on 20 January 1926, this time taking the name of Perpetua.

Sister Perpetua became a ‘house’ sister and with her happy disposition and practical skills she helped provide for many communities around the lower North Island.  This included the small boarding school at Otaki.

She was a cheerful person with an immense store of stories and tales which she recounted with relish.  Her hearty laugh is remembered, as was her way of biting her tongue when she felt she had said too much. 

Perpetua was always involved in visiting the sick and elderly, and she became known and loved in parish communities.  She spent many of her recreation hours crocheting, and she loved playing cards.

Perpetua died on 10 December 1984 at Aubert Home of Compassion in Whanganui.  Her funeral was held at St Mary’s Parish Church, and she was buried at Aramoho Cemetery.

Gallery / Whakaahua

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