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Wednesday, 25 May 2016 11:13

Sr Emmanuel Chapman turns 100

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sremmanuelchapman02 250Another Sister, a daughter of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, has achieved her century. Sister Emmanuel Chapman was born in Auckland in 1916 but grew up in Randwick and Coogee, NSW. Here she developed the two greatest loves of her life, for the spirituality of the MSC Fathers and the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart and for the sea. Her love of the sea endured and for her 90th birthday while at Port Douglas with her nephews she celebrated by going scuba diving.  She said it was wonderful!

She entered the OLSH congregation in 1936 and started her missionary life in Thursday Island in 1939.  During the years of the Second World War she accompanied the people who were evacuated from Thursday Island to Cooyer in Queensland.  Then in 1946 she was one of the first group of sisters to the newly opened mission at Port Keats, now called Wadeye. Sr Emmanuel loved teaching and for the next fifty-five years she was a primary school teacher in remote communities of the Northern Territory. During the wet season, in the early years of the missions of Port Keats, Daly River or Bathurst Island, the supplies could not come from Darwin and the sisters lived on fish, geese, goanna, and bully beef with vegetables and local fruits.  In 1996 Sr Emmanuel received the Order of Australia Medal for her services to aboriginal education. She finished her missionary life at Port Keats where she had started many years before. Here Sr Emmanuel worked with children who needed extra help and did the ironing and cooking for the sisters.  After almost seventy years in remote mission territories she returned to Kensington where she lives now and participates in all the community activities.