McAlister, Mrs Rosanna
Rosanna McAlister (nee Murphy) was born in January 1844. In 1870 she married William McAlister of Gundaroo. She was teacher at Tallagandra for the remarkable period of thirty years. When she eventually retired on 1 September 1906 "there was a great gathering at Tom Casey's home, Rosa Villa, appropriately chaired by Thomas Coleman...She went to live with her daughter - by that time Mrs Patrick Blewitt, post and telephone mistress at Ginninderra - and died twelve years afterwards at Randwick, aged 79." [Errol Lea Scarlett, Gundaroo, p. 71]
Presentation – A quite crowded meeting of Tallagandra residents with a few visitors from Ginninderra and Hall assembled at Rose Villa the residence of Mr T Casey on Saturday afternoon for the purpose of making a presentation to the retiring and respected teacher Mrs McAlister. On the motion of Mr Jas Gillespie Mr T Coleman was voted to the chair. The Chairman referred to her 29 years among them without a single complaint against her. Miss C Casey read an address. Another pupil Miss Maggie Reid then presented Mrs McAlister with a beautiful leopard slain combination purse and card case as a gift from the pupils. Miss Ada Casey read an address tendered by ex-pupils and parents and presented Mrs McAlister with an elaborately finished travelling companion to which was affixed an inscribed silver plate. Messrs J Blewitt and Jas Gillespie passed some well-deserved compliments. [Wizard's Notes Goulburn Evening Penny Post 6.9.1906]
Obituary - Mrs. McAlister
After a long and exceedingly useful and exemplary life of four-score years, the mortal remains of Mrs.Rosanna McAlister were laid to rest beside her only daughter's grave, in Long Bay Cemetery, on September 27. During her last illness, one or another of the good nuns was always at her bedside; and the Rev. Father Fleming, M.S.H., was also most kind and constant in his attendance; he also officiated at the funeral ceremonies.
Among the chief mourners were: Miss Annie Murphy (a devoted niece, who had been as good as a daughter to her), Messrs. Terence, James and William Murphy (nephews), Miss Nita Blewitt (granddaughter), Mr. P. F. Blewitt (son-in-law), Miss O'Donnell (niece), and Mrs. W. Murphy (niece). The late Mrs. McAlister was the fourth daughter of the late John Murphy, of Druminiskill, Derry lin, County Fermanagh, Ireland, and was a teacher in Drumderg National School for a few years before coming to Australia, in 1864. Soon after her arrival in Australia she was appointed to Myrtleville School, in the Goulburn district, then under the supervision of Mr. Inspector McCann, and where many of her old pupils still reside.
In 1870 she was married to William McAlister, of Galbraith, who predeceased her by 20 years. Their only child, the late Mrs. P. F. Blewitt, died four years ago. [Rosanna Blewitt was the Ginninderra postmistress 1905-1912] Mrs. McAlister was promoted to Tallagandra Public School in 1876, and for the succeeding 30 years she laboured faithfully and success fully in that school, till her retirement from the service in 1906. Many of her pupils are now teachers; some are nuns, and several are serving the nation on the battle fields. All of them have reason to remember gratefully their early tuition, the chief aim of which was the building up of good Christian characters. A little gold medal, given to her by the late Bishop Lanigan, as a token of his Lordship's appreciation of her aims and her success in achieving them, was among her most cherished treasures.
Besides performing the regular arduous duties of her profession, Mrs. McAlister took into her home and her heart her late brother's six orphan children, all of whom are now in good positions, a credit to their up-bringing. On the Sunday following Mrs. McAlister 's death, Mass was offered for the repose of her soul (and sympathetic reference made to her life work) in the Armidale Cathedral, by his Lordship Bishop O'Connor, in whose diocese some of her old students are now teaching. His Lordship said: 'The life and labours of such a good, edifying woman, who, during a long life of four-score years, served faithfully her God and her fellow-men, afford a stimulating example. Well may we say of such a soul, 'She has fought the good fight, she has kept the faith, and a crown of immortal glory is laid up for her.' Mrs. McAlister and her late husband were among the most generous donors to the church at Gundaroo, at which they were always devout and regular worshippers. — R.I.P. [The Catholic Press, Thursday 17 October 1918]
After a long and exceedingly useful life of four score years the mortal remains of Mrs Rosanna McAlister were laid to rest beside her only daughter's grave in Long Bay Cemetery on 27th September. The late Mrs McAlister was the fourth daughter of the late Mr John Murphy of Druminiskill Derry County Fermanagh Ireland, and was a teacher in Drumderg National School for a few years before coming to Australia in 1864.
Soon after her arrival in Australia she was appointed to Myrtleville School in the Goulburn District then under the supervision of Mr Inspector McCann and where many of her pupils still reside. In 1870 she was married to Mr William McAlister of Yalbraith who predeceased her by over 30 years. Their only child, the late Mrs Patrick P Blewitt died four years ago. Mrs McAlister was promoted to Tallagandra Public School in 1876 and for the succeeding 30 years she laboured successfully in that school till her retirement in 1906. Many of her pupils are now teachers, a few are nuns and several are serving the nation on the battlefield. [Queanbeyan Age 15.10.1918]
- Tallagandra School
07/1876 - 07/1906