Catherine Mary DathAge: 61 years1889–1950
- Catherine Mary Dath
- Given names
- Catherine Mary
|Birth|| 20 March 1889 42 33|
|Baptism|| 30 May 1889 (Age 2 months)|
Note: Godparents: Edward Carr and Ellen Cutler
|Death of a brother||William Joseph Dath|
19 March 1891 (Age 23 months)
|Burial of a brother||William Joseph Dath|
20 March 1891 (Age 2 years)
Note: Block 10 Plot 3
|Death of a sister||Elizabeth Norah Dath|
1 April 1891 (Age 2 years)
Shared note: There was an influenza epidemic in New Zealand in the early months of 1891
|Burial of a sister||Elizabeth Norah Dath|
1 April 1891 (Age 2 years)
Note: Block 10 Plot 42
|Birth of a sister||Elizabeth Norah Dath|
4 April 1891 (Age 2 years)
|Baptism of a sister||Elizabeth Norah Dath|
14 May 1891 (Age 2 years)
Note: Godparents: Edward and Hannah Carr
Primer 1 - Standard 5between 26 March 1894 and 18 December 1902 (Age 5 years)
School or college: Waitahuna School
Note: Thomas Dath, Paternal Grandfather, listed as Parent on the school roll
|Residence|| August 1906 (Age 17 years)|
Note: Birth of daughter: Emma Elizabeth Dath
| Birth of a daughter|
|Mary Eileen Daff|
30 December 1907 (Age 18 years)
Address: Karitane Nursing Home
|Residence|| December 1907 (Age 18 years)|
Note: Birth of daughter: Eileen Mary Daff
|Death of a brother||John Dath|
15 September 1916 (Age 27 years)
Cause: Killed in Action
Note: Battle of the Somme
British War Medal and the Victory Medal
Note: The British War Medal and the Victory Medal were presented to his mother Bridget Dath 28 September 1923
|Burial of a brother||John Dath|
September 1916 (Age 27 years)
Cemetery: Caterpillar Valley Cemetery
Note: Historical Information: Caterpillar Valley was the name given by the army to the long valley which rises eastwards, past "Caterpillar Wood", to the high ground at Guillemont. The ground was captured, after very fierce fighting, in the latter part of July 1916. It was lost in the German advance of March 1918 and recovered by the 38th (Welsh) Division on 28 August 1918, when a little cemetery was made (now Plot 1 of this cemetery) containing 25 graves of the 38th Division and the 6th Dragoon Guards. After the Armistice, this cemetery was hugely increased when the graves of more than 5,500 officers and men were brought in from other small cemeteries, and the battlefields of the Somme. The great majority of these soldiers died in the autumn of 1916 and almost all the rest in August or September 1918. CATERPILLAR VALLEY CEMETERY now contains 5,569 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the First World War. 3,796 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 32 casualties known or believed to be buried among them, and to three buried in McCormick's Post Cemetery whose graves were destroyed by shell fire. On 6 November 2004, the remains of an unidentified New Zealand soldier were entrusted to New Zealand at a ceremony held at the Longueval Memorial, France. The remains had been exhumed by staff of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission from Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, Longueval, France, Plot 14, Row A, Grave 27 and were later laid to rest within the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, at the National War Memorial, Wellington, New Zealand. On the east side of the cemetery is the CATERPILLAR VALLEY (NEW ZEALAND) MEMORIAL, commemorating more than 1,200 officers and men of the New Zealand Division who died in the Battles of the Somme in 1916, and whose graves are not known. This is one of seven memorials in France and Belgium to those New Zealand soldiers who died on the Western Front and whose graves are not known. The memorials are all in cemeteries chosen as appropriate to the fighting in which the men died.
|Death of a sister||Helen Theresa Dath|
30 November 1917 (Age 28 years)
|Burial of a sister||Helen Theresa Dath|
3 December 1917 (Age 28 years)
Address: Eastern Cemetery Block/Plot: Free Ground - 1 / 1X
|Residence|| 1919 (Age 29 years)|
| Birth of a son|
|Patrick Joseph Darth|
9 February 1924 (Age 34 years)
Address: Bethany Maternity Hospital
Bethany Maternity Hospital, Wellington
|Residence|| February 1924 (Age 34 years)|
Note: Birth of son: Patrick Joseph Darth
|Death of a father||John Dath|
1 January 1925 (Age 35 years)
Cause: Arterial cleroses & Gangrine of foot
| Birth of a son|
|Raymond John Walker|
18 October 1926 (Age 37 years)
|Residence|| October 1926 (Age 37 years)|
Note: Birth of son: Raymond John Walker
| Birth of a son|
|George Henry Dath|
9 May 1929 (Age 40 years)
|Residence|| May 1929 (Age 40 years)|
Note: Birth of son: George Henry Downes
|Death of a husband||Thomas Phillip ‘Tom’ Walker|
5 November 1933 (Age 44 years)
|Burial of a husband||Thomas Phillip ‘Tom’ Walker|
8 November 1933 (Age 44 years)
Cemetery: Block #1C RSA Plot #21 (3rd Row), Bromley Cemetery
|Death of a mother||Bridget Armstrong|
24 September 1937 (Age 48 years)
Cause: Myocardial degeneration
|Residence|| between 1935 and 1938 (Age 45 years)|
Address: 71 Salisbury St
Note: Mother Bridget Armstrong lived and died here in 1937
|Adoption of a son||George Henry Dath|
1936 (Age 46 years)
Family: Private + Private
Adoption: Adopted by both parents
|Residence|| 1940 (Age 50 years)|
Address: 71 Salisbury Street
Note: living with a Mrs Janet H Campbell
|Residence|| 1946 (Age 56 years)|
Christchurch, New Zealand
Latitude: S43.536372 Longitude: E172.62893
Address: 71 St Asaph Street
|Residence|| between 1949 and 1950 (Age 59 years)|
Christchurch, New Zealand
Latitude: S43.538409 Longitude: E172.6336
Address: 160 Durham St
Note: Her son, Raymond John Walker, is registered in the 1949 census as living here.
|Death|| 9 September 1950 (Age 61 years)|
|Burial|| 12 September 1950 (3 days after death)|
Bromley, Christchurch, New Zealand
Latitude: S43.53611 Longitude: E172.68574
Cemetery: Block #21 Plot #219, Bromley Cemetery
|Family with parents|
Birth: 1847 — Carlow, Leinster, Ireland
Death: 1 January 1925 — Waitahuna Gully, Otago, New Zealand
Birth: 1856 21 27 — Thurles, County Tipperary, Ireland
Death: 24 September 1937 — Christchurch, New Zealand
Marriage: 15 June 1881 — Milton, Otago, New Zealand
9 monthselder brother
Birth: 10 March 1882 35 26
Death: 18 June 1888 — Waitahuna Gully, Otago, New Zealand
14 monthselder brother
William Joseph Dath
Birth: 18 May 1883 36 27 — New Zealand
Death: 19 March 1891 — Waitahuna Gully, Otago, New Zealand
17 monthselder brother
Birth: 7 October 1884 37 28 — Milton, Otago, New Zealand
Death: 15 September 1916 — France
15 monthselder sister
Elizabeth Norah Dath
Birth: 5 January 1886 39 30 — Waitahuna Gully, Otago, New Zealand
Death: 1 April 1891
15 monthselder sister
Helen Theresa Dath
Birth: 31 March 1887 40 31 — Waitahuna Gully, Otago, New Zealand
Death: 30 November 1917 — Bluff, New Zealand
2 yearsyounger sister
Elizabeth Norah Dath
Birth: 4 April 1891 44 35 — Waitahuna Gully, Otago, New Zealand
Death: 15 July 1968 — Napier, New Zealand
|Family with Ernest Hall|
Mary Eileen Daff
Birth: 30 December 1907 18 — Dunedin, New Zealand
Death: 13 July 1991 — St Kilda, Victoria, Australia
|… … + Catherine Mary Dath|
Patrick Joseph Darth
Birth: 9 February 1924 34 — Wellington, New Zealand
Death: 30 August 1988 — Taranaki, New Zealand
|Family with Thomas Phillip ‘Tom’ Walker|
Raymond John Walker
Birth: 18 October 1926 29 37 — Auckland, New Zealand
Death: 8 February 1998 — Christchurch, New Zealand
George Henry Dath
Birth: 9 May 1929 31 40 — Christchurch, New Zealand
Death: 2 June 1992 — Christchurch, New Zealand
|Thomas Phillip ‘Tom’ Walker + Myrtle Maud Owens|
Myrtle Maud Owens
Birth: 3 September 1896 36 23
Death: 6 April 1987 — Auckland, New Zealand
Marriage: 17 April 1919 — Auckland, New Zealand
Divorce: 1925 — Auckland, New Zealand
Thomas Phillip Walker
Birth: 28 February 1920 22 23 — Auckland, New Zealand
Death: 5 April 1980
Constance Susan Laurie Walker
Birth: 1 July 1921 23 24 — Auckland, New Zealand
Godparents: Edward Carr and Ellen Cutler
Thomas Dath, Paternal Grandfather, listed as Parent on the school roll
Birth of daughter: Emma Elizabeth Dath
Birth of daughter: Eileen Mary Daff
Hundreds of Christchurch women worked in a convent laundry known worldwide as "laundry slaves" -- unpaid women and teenage girls who worked in large commercial laundries run by Catholic orders.
The idea was to redeem the souls of so-called "fallen" women, while generating a profit for their keepers. Tens of thousands of women toiled in these religious sweat shops in the 1800s and 1900s. Only now is their plight being recognised.
In Ireland, convent laundries were common in the 20th century. Girls were often housed in Magdalene homes, named after the biblical Mary Magdalene, the prostitute who repented before Christ and was given the honour of washing his feet.
Girls were locked away from society simply for being poor, orphaned, victims of rape, having a child out of wedlock, or deemed to be in "moral danger". Some Magdalenes, as they were called, were placed in the hands of the Church by their own families. Others came from orphanages or were committed through courts. Once incarcerated, their sentences could be open-ended. Some never left, living and dying in exile from the outside world.
Irish women were forced into unpaid labour eight to 10 hours a day, seven days a week, in commercial laundries run by the Sisters of Mercy. It was seen as penance for their sins and repaying society. An estimated 30,000 women and girls lived and died in Ireland's Magdalene laundries, before the last one closed in 1996.
New Zealand and Australia had its "laundry slaves", too. In Christchurch they were known as the "wayward girls" from Mount Magdala at Halswell. Despite the place name, they lived on 80 hectares of featureless farmland off Lincoln Road in an asylum for fallen women run by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd.
Originally from Angers in France, the order was committed to rescue work of women and girls in moral danger. By 1936, they had more than 300 homes such as Magdala around the world. From their rural isolation, the "penitents" cleaned the laundry of top hotels, military forces, and other institutions. There was something symbolically cleansing about washing, ironing, and bagging white sheets. It was also strenuous adult work in hot, steamy conditions.
The first Sisters of the Good Shepherd arrived in Christchurch from Melbourne in 1886 to staff the asylum, on the invitation of a Catholic priest. As a chaplain at Lyttelton jail, Father Laurentius Maria Ginaty became concerned by the number of Catholic Irish women jailed for drunkenness, prostitution, or both.
He approached the order's French headquarters for help, which sent two groups of four nuns. The Magdalene asylum was officially opened in Halswell in 1888, with 40 inmates. The laundry was already in full swing by then, employing most of the girls. The nuns told The Press that year that it was hard to get the women to work at first, but they soon became "expert laundresses". Those inmates not fit enough to work in the laundry tended to the gardens, did embroidery, and sewed booties for use inside the asylum.
For many years, Mount Magdala was the only home of its kind in the New Zealand and took "bad girls" from Canterbury, Auckland, Wellington, and Dunedin. The nuns told journalists in 1912 that "all who have fallen by the wayside or who are exposed to fall were welcome", regardless of religion. (By then, nearly 800 girls had passed through.)
On arrival, girls had their names replaced by the those of saints.
Mount Magdala was an industrious, largely self-contained community. Bread was baked on the premises, shoes made and repaired, and the cows, pigs, and fowls provided much of the food. "We had butter on Sundays for a treat and dripping during the week," says one former girl.
A strict regime of work, prayer, and sleep was enforced. Girls were marched to church at 7am, before breakfast. They started work in the laundry by 8am. When a big air show or race meeting was held in Christchurch, hotels would be full and the laundry worked overtime. Working in the laundry was more or less punishment, it was so physical.
Two men were employed to do the heaviest work, but the girls were forbidden to talk to them.
The Magdalene Sisters has been moving audiences to tears with scenes of nuns beating girls for the smallest misdemeanour.
Not all of institutional life was bad. There were fun times, such as picnics and rollerskating races around the laundry after dark. "You got a hiding, but that was the thing in those days."
In Auckland, a Catholic Communications director Lyndsay Freer, is appalled at what went on in convent institutions.
"This is one of the terrible shames that we have. It is indefensible, but it was a three- way partnership. Families connived with the orders (the Church). The State knew that it was going on and was a party to it," she says."But not every nun would have been a sadist."
Researcher Denis Hampton, who has written a short history of Mount Magdala, says the nuns were doubtlessly strict -- and had to be. Some would have been young themselves, untrained for the job, and overworked. By the end of the Depression, 33 nuns looked after 500 girls.
People should avoid judging the sisters by today's standards, says Hampton. "I am convinced the nuns believed what they were doing was best for the children."
However, the nuns did not -- and probably could not -- prepare the girls for outside life. "When I was 17, before I left, I was given a little red book to read and that was my sex education," says one girl. "I never knew there was two different sexes until then. I thought the only difference was that men wore trousers. I learnt about sex the hard way."
On leaving, each girl was given a trousseau -- a change of clothes, flannel, soap, toothbrush, and toothpaste, as if they were away for the weekend. Many struggled to live outside the Magdalene laundries.
With a swing away from institutions and a fall-off in vocations, the Good Shepherd Sisters left Mount Magdala in 1968 after 82 years service. They moved to Auckland, where a dwindling, ageing group of nuns still live.
In late 2001, the nuns reached a mediated settlement, paying compensation and apologising to 14 women physically abused at the St Joseph's orphanage they also ran in Halswell in the 1930s to 1950s.
Mount Magdala was eventually taken over by the St John of God Order for Marylands, a residential home for boys with learning difficulties. Today, St John still runs a hospital on the old property, alongside Hogben School.
Birth of son: Patrick Joseph Darth
Birth of son: Raymond John Walker
Birth of son: George Henry Downes
Mother Bridget Armstrong lived and died here in 1937
living with a Mrs Janet H Campbell
Her son, Raymond John Walker, is registered in the 1949 census as living here.