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Sisters of the Past

Sister Dorothea - Lottie Allen

Profiled in February 2005

24 May 1905 - 5 October 1990

 Lottie Gertrude Allen was born in Sitingbourn, Kent, England, in 1905. Her parents were William Percy Allen and her mother was Lottie Crockford. When young Lottie was 5 years old the family emigrated to New Zealand.

After her schooling, Lottie entered the bookbinding trade. She began training at Eckdahl’s Printing Office in Hawera when about 14 and worked there for 15 years. Her family were members of the Anglican Church. However, in her young adult years she, with some of her friends, became a member of the Church of Christ. Then at the age of 27 she became a member of the Catholic Church and two years later entered the Sisters of St Joseph in Wanganui. She received her religious name of Dorothea and was professed on 22 January 1939.

For about 50 years, Dorothea worked at the task of housekeeper and cook in Josephite communities in Hawkes Bay, King Country, Horowhenua, Taranaki and Wanganui. At the same time, she constantly put her bookbinding skills to work in a variety of ways. Dressmaking, embroidery and many other handcrafts were attributes of hers and she used these talents extensively. While living at Sacred Heart Convent in Wanganui, she was responsible for developing a large, fully mechanised laundry to cope with the needs of over 100 boarders and 40 sisters.

During the years before her death in 1990, Dorothea did not enjoy good health and before becoming a resident of Nazareth Rest Home, she lived in retirement in Hawera and Levin. While in Hawera she was close to the remaining members of her family -Lily Badcock, Phoebe Williams and Frank Allen.

Sisters who lived in community with Sister Dorothea remember her for her interest in them as persons, her kindness and forthrightness. She was an authentic person with a deep commitment in faith to the church and her religious congregation.

She died in Wanganui on 5 October 1990, and after a Mass of Requiem at St Mary’s Church, was buried at Aramoho Cemetery.

Gallery / Whakaahua

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