Sisters of the Past


Profiled July 2011

23 June 1890  -  6 October 1971 claver_parker.jpg

Lily Parker was born in Lawrence, Otago, on 23 June 1890, to Kate, nee Mahoney, and Charles Parker.  Her father had been born in Bridlington, York, England, and her mother in Oola, Limerick, Ireland.   They were married at St Mary’s Church Whanganui, in February 1878.  Charles worked as a gaoler/warder, and they are known to have lived in Whanganui, Lyttleton, and in Lawrence at the time of the gold rush.  Lily was the youngest of six children – five girls and one boy.  Her siblings were Mary Kate, Jane, Charles Mahoney, Margaret Ellen, and Julia Edith. 

Lily’s sister, Margaret Ellen or Nellie, entered the Sisters of St Joseph on 10 March 1905, taking the name of Claude.  Five years later on 4 April 1910, Lily also joined the Josephite community in Whanganui.  She was professed on 15 January 1912, taking the religious name of Claver.

Sister Claver was a gifted musician.  She taught music in Otaki, Feilding, Ohakune, Hastings and Whanganui - she spent most years of her life there at Sacred Heart Convent.  Sisters living with her there remember her doing the house duties and playing the organ every week at Aramoho for the children’s school Mass.  Even a slip up in bringing the music was no problem to her as she carried on without it.  Family members recall that earlier she sang duets with her sister Julia.

When ill-health meant that she could no longer teach she still enjoyed her music, playing tunes from memory and delighting all who heard.
Her sister, Margaret Ellen, Sister Claude, had died on 16 May 1945.
Sister Claver died at Sacred Heart Convent on 6 October 1971.  Requiem Mass was celebrated at Sacred Heart Chapel and she was buried in the Lawn Cemetery Aramoho.

Gallery / Whakaahua

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