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Sisters of the Past

SISTER Raymond - Sarah Young

Profiled June 2011


28 January 1893  -  16 September 1972

Sarah Young was born in Drumadd, Northern Ireland on 28 January 1893 to Michael Young, a farmer, and his wife Sarah, nee McPeak.

Sarah came to New Zealand, possibly from Donegal, and after a few years in the country she entered the Sisters of St Joseph on 31 August 1915.   She was professed on 23 January 1917, with the religious name of Sister Raymond. 

Sister Raymond became a House Sister, attending to the meals and other needs of the community.  She was first appointed to Taihape where she spent one year, and from then on she alternated between Hastings and Sacred Heart, Whanganui.  All in all she spent sixteen years in Whanganui, and twenty-six years in Hastings.

She was very capable, kind and thoughtful, and her main concern was always the needs of others.  Attentive always to the Sisters’ needs, Sister Raymond carried her generosity and kindness to many others in need as well.  During the 1930’s when there was real poverty, Raymond gave all she could to families.  She made sure that the poorer children at school got hot soup during the cold winter months.   She was a dedicated visitor to people’s homes, and was greatly loved by all.

Prayer in the Chapel was an essential part of her day and her deep Irish faith was lived out in her service of others.  She had a great sense of humour and an infectious chuckle.  Raymond never seemed to get flustered or agitated, and nothing was ever a bother to her. 

At different times she managed the kitchens at Sacred Heart in Whanganui and St Joseph’s in Hastings – two of the largest communities.   Her cooking was legendary – a cook par excellence!  Yet when asked for a recipe she would be non-plussed as all her cooking and baking was carried out from memory and long practice.  Both sisters and lay staff members have grateful memories of her delicious morning teas.  During her time in Hastings she spent many hot summer days preserving the bounty of local fruit and vegetables for the local and further afield communities.  Local orchardists would ring her when their crops were abundant, and she would organize the collection of fruit and distribution to those in need.

Years of hard work resulted in painful legs in her later years, but she kept going, till she actually collapsed in the kitchen in Hastings.  She died in the place where she had served so many, on 16 September 1972.

Her funeral was held in the local Sacred Heart Parish Church, Hastings, and she is buried in Hastings Cemetery.


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