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Sisters of the Past

Sister Gertrude Minnie Collins

Profiled FEbruary 2013

25 February 1874 1 June 1944

The birthplace of Minnie Collins on 25 February 1871 is thought to have been in County Cork Ireland, as it is known that she arrived in New Zealand with her parents aged three years.  Her father was an assisted immigrant brought to NZ to work on the railroads.

Minnie had at least one brother John, and a sister Catherine, who was married to Fred Sisson.  Fred had an orchard just outside the settlement of Turakina south of Whanganui.

Minnie entered the Sisters of St Joseph, Whanganui, on 24 May 1889, and was professed on 30 January 1891 taking the religious name of Gertrude.

Sister Gertrude was early called to administrative and leadership roles in the young Congregation.  In 1896 she was chosen as Sister Assistant to Reverend Mother Clare.  She was made Mistress of Novices in 1899, and was in this role for 15 years.  She was elected Sister Assistant to Mother Xavier in 1914, Bursar in 1917, and then Reverend Mother in 1920.  Re-elected to this position in 1923, Mother Gertrude then became a councillor in 1926, and served in this role until 1941.

In 1897, a niece of Sister Gertrude, Lily Middlemiss, entered the Sisters Congregation and was professed as Sister Liguori in 1899.

Sister Gertrude died in Whanganui on 1 June 1944.  Requiem Mass was celebrated in Sacred Heart Chapel and she was buried at Aramoho Cemetery.

Gallery / Whakaahua

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