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Sisters of the Past

Sister Alphonsus Minnie Haddock

1 September 1876 4 November 1952

Profiled December 2012

Minnie Haddock was born in Ross in the South Island of New Zealand on 1 September 1876.  Her parents had emigrated from Galway in Ireland and married in Christchurch.  Her father was killed in a coal mining accident at the age of 38.

Minnie was directed to the Sisters of St Joseph when it became evident that she may have a vocation to the religious life.  She entered in Whanganui on 16 September 1894, and was professed on 18 January 1897, taking the religious name of Alphonsus.

Sister Alphonsus then began teaching in the primary schools, and though her earlier appointments are unknown, in later years she taught in Ohakune (twice), Taihape, Patea, and Waipukurau.  She also taught Commercial Practice in the secondary classes in some schools.  Alphonsus was Head teacher in Ohakune on two occasions: 1928-32 and 1949-1950. She possibly was head teacher also in Hastings.  Later she became head teacher and superior in Taihape.  When the Sisters of St Joseph went to Patea in 1904, she was one of the four founding members of the new community there.
Alphonsus was an excellent and exacting teacher, and although children were often awe of her, she had a very deep and kind nature.

Sister Leonard Mischewski, taught by Sr Alphonsus, recalled in 2007: ‘One of her brothers, Patrick Haddock, lived in Horopito, and his children travelled each day to the Ohakune Convent School.  Another brother went overseas to Italy and visited Lourdes where he procured a life size statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary which he had sent to Waipawa Convent where Sister Alphonsus was residing at the time….It was later taken to Waipukurau Convent and from there donated to the Hastings Church where it now remains.’ 

In 1949 while Alphonsus was still teaching in Ohakune, a sudden illness caused her to be taken to Whanganui for care.  She spent part of 1952 in  Waipukurau, but returned to Whanganui and died there on  4 November 1952.

Mass of Requiem was celebrated for her in Sacred Heart Chapel, Whanganui, and she was buried at Aramoho Cemetery.

Gallery / Whakaahua

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