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Sisters of the Past

Sister Bertille - Alice Devon

Profiled May 2010

1 July 1902  -  23 February 1978
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Alice Devon was born to Catherine nee McGregor and Patrick on 1 July 1902.   The city of  Glasgow in Scotland was her birthplace, and she was the sixth in a family of fifteen children.  She was educated at Glasgow Comprehensive School, and received her religious education from her family and from her parish priest.

When Alice was twenty-two years old the family emigrated to New Zealand, and settled in Wellington.  Alice had trained as a tailoress in Scotland and obtained a position with Bond’s Hosiery in Wellington. 

Two years later, on 31 May 1924, Alice entered the Sisters of St Joseph community at Sacred Heart Convent, Whanganui.  She was professed on 20 January 1926, taking the name of Sister Bertille.

Sister Bertille became a primary school teacher, specializing in teaching the infant classes.  Inevitably some of those young children unknowingly adopted a Scottish accent for many words!  Bertille taught in many of the Josephite Schools around the lower North Island, spending several years in Hastings.  In her latter retirement years she spent time at Gonville, Whanganui. 

She was very clever with her hands, used her talents for sewing and handwork, and also did some painting.

Her family remember her kindness to all her nieces and nephews, and how much she enjoyed hearing of their lives.  Whenever she travelled to Wellington there would be a big family reunion.

Bertille’s niece, daughter of her brother Michael, entered the Sisters of St Joseph in 1953. She became Sister Martin, but later reverted to her baptismal name of Therese.

Sister Bertille died in Whanganui Hospital on 23 February 1978.  Her Funeral Mass was held at St Anthony’s Parish Church at Gonville, Whanganui, and she is buried in Aramoho Cemetery, Whanganui.

Gallery / Whakaahua

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