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Rediscovering Ginninderra:
Alice Sister Mary Pierre Rolfe

Born: 1871; Died: 1951

Alice Rolfe was one of the fourteen children of Edmund Rolfe and third child of Margaret Jane Rolfe nee O’Keefe or Keeffe (Edmund’s second wife). Edmond was a grazier born in Oxborough, Norfolk, England and Margaret Jane (Edmund’s first wife also being Margaret) was born in Limerick, Ireland. Alice was born on 9 May 1871 at Ginninderra in the district of Queanbeyan. The names of nine of the siblings were written in the obituary for their mother Margaret in the Freeman’s Journal of 11-7-1918, namely Alice (by then Sr Mary Pierre), Bridget (Mrs J V Hibberson), Margaret (Mrs Flanagan), Gertrude (Mrs Comrie), and the sons Anthony, William, James, Patrick, and Edmund Rolfe (Jnr).

Alice entered the Sisters of the Good Samaritan at Pitt Street Convent on 24 May 1889 when she was 18 years old and received the name of Sister Mary Pierre. Her first promises of perseverance, conversion of life and obedience according to the Rule of the Oblate Sisters of the Good Samaritan were made in the presence of Cardinal Moran and Mother Magdalen Adamson.

After profession she taught Primary Classes at Ultimo, Pitt Street, Chippendale, Albion Street, Manly, Balmain, Newtown, Glebe, Windsor (Superior), Albion Street and again at Balmain. All these appointments were in New South Wales In 1941 she was in St. Scholastica’s Infirmary but then in that same year Sister was appointed to Windsor.

From 1944 to 1947 Sister was again in the Infirmary at Glebe but moved to Rosebank during 1947 and died there on 9 September 1951 at the age of 80 years and in the 63rd year of her religious life. After the Requiem Mass at St Scholastica’s, Sister Mary Pierre was buried at Northern Suburbs Cemetery which is now called Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium North Ryde.

[Sr Mary Pierre was said to be a double first cousin of Ada Mary Rolfe (Sister Mary de Chantal Rolfe), some 16 years her junior. Their fathers are cousins and mothers are sisters.]

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