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Sisters of the Past

Sister Fidelis - Evelyn Le Lievre

Fidelis-Le-Lievre.jpgProfiled in Jul 2009

11 December 1888 – 12 October 1982

Evelyn Le Lievre was born in Akaroa in the South Island, on 11 December 1888.  Her father Eugene was a farmer, and her mother was Mary Buckley.  Her grandfather Le Lievre had emigrated to the French settlement of Akaroa, and the family always remained very proud of their French heritage.
Evelyn had a brother, Clem, who served in World War I.

Evelyn entered the Sisters of St Joseph on 15 August 1914, and was professed on 27 January 1916 with the religious name of Fidelis. 

Her talents in music, speech and drama became the basis for her ministry, and she quickly became renowned for her teaching skills in these areas.  In her long teaching life she moved around the various schools and convents of the Sisters of St Joseph, spending the greater number of those years in Hastings.

Fidelis was a vibrant, energetic woman who was always involved fully with life and her interest in people meant never refusing help to anyone who requested it.  She was a skilled teacher and her pupils, both school children and adults, became high achievers.   She was strict and direct in her teaching methods, and pupils usually had a very high level of compliance with her directions.  Fidelis was always very supportive and helpful towards the Sisters doing their Teaching Certificate by correspondence.  She was also an excellent seamstress and made many of the Sisters’ habits and veils.

Sister Fidelis was the recipient of the Queen’s Service Medal in 1976, which she received at Government House for her services to music.  Her generosity in sharing her considerable musical knowledge was thus acknowledged by music teachers and pupils the length of New Zealand.

In retirement Fidelis still kept in touch with her former pupils and stayed on in Hastings.  However, she became quite unwell, and was brought back to Whanganui, where she died in Whanganui Hospital quite suddenly on 12 October 1982.

Her funeral Mass was held in St Mary’s Parish Church and she is buried in Aramoho Cemetery.

In a homily given at a Memorial Mass held back in her home parish of Hastings on 19 October 1982, Sr Marcienne Waite recalled …
“Her determination to give of her best at all times encouraged others to do likewise, and if Sister Fidelis thought you could do it – you did it!”

Gallery / Whakaahua

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