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metadata.territorywomen.dc.title: Sister Mary Eucharia
Name: Sister Mary Eucharia
Also known as: Pearce, Olive May
Place of Birth: Glenbrook (N.S.W.)
Date of Birth: 1914-12-14
Occupation: Missionary
Biographical notes: Sister Eucharia was born Olive May Pearce on 14 December 1914. On the 8th of December 1933, at the age of twenty-two, Sister Eucharia entered the convent. She was inspired to enter the convent by the death of a young friend and by the stories of Father Damien and his work with the outcast lepers in the Pacific Islands. The order of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart were dedicated to missionary work among non-Christian peoples primarily through medical and educational work. After only two years of training she was sent to Darwin and then on to Bathurst Island. She stayed on the island for more than five years, caring for over one hundred children and teaching the girls how to cook. In 1941 Sister Eucharia then travelled to Melville Island to work in a new home for mixed race Aboriginal children. With the Japanese attacks on Australia, Sister Eucharia and two other nuns accompanied forty-one children to Darwin. From Darwin they were evacuated to Melbourne and then Adelaide. In 1945 they were allowed to return home to their island. A year later Sister Eucharia left Melville Island to work with leprosy patients in places such as Darwin, Channel Island and East Arm. In the 1970s, back working in the Tiwi Islands, Sister Eucharia successfully applied for a government grant to establish the small clothing company Bima Wear. This soon became a self sustaining industry that the Aboriginal people of the Tiwi Islands took over and still run to this day. Sister Eucharia was named in the Queen’s Honours List and was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in a ceremony held on the 13th June 1981, on Bathurst Island. She retired in 1987. Source: Northern Territory dictionary of biography. Darwin: Charles Darwin University Press, 2008.
Honours and Awards: Member of the Order of the British Empire 1981.
Related link: PublicationNT : The history of the Catholic Church in the Northern Territory. John Patrick O'Loughlin.
PictureNT : The Bima Wear sign
Related Materials: Northern Territory dictionary of biography. Darwin : Charles Darwin University Press, 2008. NTC 920.9429 NORT
Gardiner, Anne. The flame in the North : daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart 1908-2008. Darwin : Anne Gardiner, 2008. NTC 271.93 LEAH
Leahy, K. A. Northern Territory walk with the "Daughters" from 1908-1990. [Darwin] : Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, 1990. NTC 271.93 GARD
Appears in Collections:Territory Women

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