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Farewell, ‘Alli’

Sr Catherine Therese Mc Comie OP pays tribute to a former Dominican Sister, Allison Hatt, who died January 11 in South Africa.

Allison Margaret Hatt was born January 26, 1946 to Estela and Alec Hatt. She was the eldest of four children. Her siblings Anthony, Richard and Patricia remember her as someone who loved to read, was always ready to protect the weak and care for others.

She was also a bit of a tomboy. As a young girl riding her bike one day, she saw her brother in a fight with a much larger boy who was a known bully. Despite being half his size, she dropped her bike and gave the bully a good licking. He had the deepest respect for her after that.

Allison attended St Theresa’s Girls’ Primary, and after winning a scholarship went to St Joseph’s Convent (Port of Spain). After leaving school, she became a nun with the Dominican Order in 1967. She was known as Sr Paula. Many past pupils of St Dominic’s Convent, Barataria still inquire after her.

She left the convent to pursue her dream of nursing. This she did until her death. She was a qualified state registered nurse  and midwife, and worked in the UK, Port of Spain General Hospital, Canada and the Peach Arch Hospital in White Rock, British Columbia.

She also worked as a nurse in Saudi Arabia where she became friends with a South African nurse who invited her to visit Johannesburg. She fell in love with South Africa and its people, and the rest is, as they say, history.

In South Africa, she soon became an integral part of the parish of Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Krugersdorp under the care of the parish priest Fr Ignatins Fidgeon OMI. The soup kitchen was just one of her projects.

Terrible news came to us in December 2020 that Allison had contracted COVID-19. Allison had already very generously donated one of her kidneys to a friend, so she was very susceptible to the disease.

We believed that she would come through with her fighting spirit. She actually came out of the hospital then got a relapse and had to return.

Allison was buried in South Africa after a beautiful Mass celebration.

She leaves to mourn her family and many friends.

Fortunately, her sister was able to send her greetings just before she died. She heard through the kindness of a nurse that she was a most loving, caring sister, a wonderful friend to many, and that she was loved. She will be sorely missed.

May you rest in peace dear ‘Alli’, and may you receive the reward prepared for you.

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