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Dunedin History

The story of the foundation of the Little Sisters in Dunedin began in England in the 1870’s:  "Anne, as much as you wish to dedicate your life to God in the religious life, it is evident that your health will not stand up to it".  The young postulant, Anne Mullholand knew this to be so, but it was a great blow to her.  She returned home and began picking up the threads of her former life.  A few years later, Anne migrated to New Zealand and settled  in Dunedin where she became housekeeper for Bishop Moran and Bishop Verdon successively.  And so, it was Anne Mulholland'’s influence that brought the Little Sisters to the South Island.  Anne first made her request to Bishop Moran, but it was not until Bishop Verdon'’s time that her dream was realized. On 3rd December, 1904, eight Little Sisters arrived in Dunedin.   The Bishop and Anne Mullholand expressed the desire that the future home  be under the patronage of the Sacred Heart.  

On 8th December the new Home was blessed and opened and the Blessed Sacrament reserved in the little chapel.   The day was made complete when the Little Sisters received their first elderly gentleman; hence the work had begun.  They now had Our Lord in the tabernacle and in the person of the Aged. Soon building commenced for a larger home, and the large old Sacred Heart Home, Anderson’s Bay, which was completed in 1907, served the elderly of Dunedin well for the next 70 years.  This was the first of the old homes in the Province built in that era to show the wear and tear of the years. 


In 1970 it was declared unsafe and a re-building project was planned.  After much deliberation and for many reasons, the decision was made to find a new site.  In November 1978 the Little Sisters and residents moved from the familiar surroundings of Anderson’s Bay to their newly built complex across the city in Brockville. This home is situated high on a hill with magnificent scenic views for the elderly to  enjoy.  As always, and in every home, friends, benefactors, volunteers,  families and dedicated employees sing the song of joyful giving and witness to  the charism of St. Jeanne Jugan.

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