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Sisters of the Past

SISTER CLAUDE - Nellie Parker

Profiled August 2011

11 June 1883  -  16 May 1945

Margaret Ellen Parker, known as Nellie, was born in Lyttleton, in the South Island, on 11 June 1883, 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 also lived in Whanganui, and in Lawrence at the time of the gold rush.  Nellie was the fourth of six children – five girls and one boy.  Her siblings were Mary Kate, Jane, Charles Mahoney, Julia Edith and Lily.

Nellie entered the Sisters of St Joseph in Whanganui on 10 March 1905 and was professed as Sister Claude on 23 January 1907.  In 1910, her younger sister Lily entered the Sisters of St Joseph on taking the name of Claver. 

Sister Claude was a big woman who became a community sister, caring for the house and cooking for the community.  She was remembered as a first class cook and she enjoyed looking after the garden.

Sister Claude died on 16 May 1945 and after a funeral Mass in Sacred Heart Chapel she was buried at Aramoho Lawn Cemetery.

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