A Dundee nun who celebrated her 100th birthday last May has died.
Sister Anne, who had been resident in the city’s Wellburn Home for many years, was a Little Sister of the Poor. Born in Springfield, near Cupar, in 1912, her family of eight girls and two boys moved to Dundee with their parents. Having visited Wellburn Home with her family as a child, she was inspired by the work of the Little Sisters of the Poor and entered the order in 1937. She made her first vows two years later at the Mother House in La Tour, Brittany.
When war broke out Sister Anne (pictured), whose family name is Green, was moved to a house run by the Little Sisters near the Belgian border. When the Germans came to the town, the mayor phoned the Reverend Mother and told her to send any foreigners away. Told there was nowhere for the four foreign nationals to go, the mayor burned their papers and Sister Anne and her companions spent the rest of the war in hiding in the home, looking after the elderly residents. Every day, she and the others lived in fear the Germans would find them and they would be killed. One day, however, she begged one of the sisters who was going with an old man to collect fruit and vegetables from neighbouring farms to let her go with her. On the way back, they saw a German patrol in the distance. Sister Anne hid in the back of the cart, among the potatoes they had bought. She recalled: “My heart was hammering as the Germans approached. I was sure I would be found. I prayed like I’d never prayed before.They asked the old man and the Sister for their papers and what they had in the cart. The two of them remained so calm and just told them it was fruit and vegetables for the home. I hardly dared breathe and then they just told them to move on. I never ventured out of the home again.”
When American tanks rolled into the town, Sister Anne ran outside and told the soldiers her brother Tom was serving in the British Army and asked the American to find him. To her absolute delight and surprise, he did just that and two days later she was reunited with her younger brother, who had still been at school in Dundee when she left in 1937.
Sister Anne remained in France until 1949, working in various homes. She returned to Britain that year and has worked across Britain caring for the sick and elderly in homes run by her order. She returned to Dundee in 1993 and used to run the shop at Wellburn. Described as a wonderful seamstress and lover of handicrafts, she made soft toys to be sold to raise money for the home.
In her youth, her great love was dancing and she would go to dances as often as she could. Mother Superior at Wellburn, Mother Aimee, said: “She was exemplary. Her continual smile and serenity were testimonies to her happiness in religious life. She will be greatly missed by all of us in the community.”
A Requiem Mass for Sister Anne was said today, 6th February 2013, in Wellburn Chapel. It will be concelebrated by Bishop Vincent Logan, Bishop Emeritus of Dunkeld and priests of the diocese.