Blue Plaque commemorates Sisters’ lasting legacy

A special Blue Plaque commemorating the lasting legacy and stewardship of the Sisters of the Little Company of Mary in Wagga Wagga has been officially unveiled at Calvary Riverina Hospital.

The Heritage NSW Blue Plaque recognises the Sisters, who established a hospital in 1926 at Wagga Wagga’s Foxborough Hall. It is one of the first 17 to be installed as part of the NSW Government
program, which recognises extraordinary people and events from the state’s history.

It also received a public blessing by Most Reverend Bishop Mark Edwards OMI as part of an event celebrating Calvary’s precious heritage in the community and the enduring commitment to “being for others”.

The hospital moved to its current site in 1930, was renamed Calvary Hospital in 1954, and continues to provide compassionate health care to the community.

Calvary’s National Director of Mission, Mark Green, said the work of the “Blue Sisters”, as they were known, was ensconced in the fabric of Wagga Wagga’s community and it was exciting to have the work of the Sisters of the Little Company of Mary formally recognised as an integral part of the Riverina’s and NSW’s health care history.

“At Calvary we are proud of our heritage. This Blue Plaque not only symbolises the importance of the Sisters of the Little Company of Mary in 1926, but will forever be a constant reminder of the values we uphold when caring for the Wagga Wagga community today and into the future,” said Mr Green.

“It is truly wonderful to be able to honour the historical recognition of the Sisters’ work with a blessing of the Blue Plaque in the presence of those currently working at Calvary Riverina Hospital as well as two local Sisters, Sr Carmel Byrne LCM and former staff member Sr Lois Woodcock LCM.”

Sister Carmel told the local Daily Advertiser newspaper that she was delighted to see the plaque put in place to recognise the work of her predecessors.

“We live in such a changing world and I think the past can be easily forgotten,” she said. “They had almost nothing but faith and the importance of keeping this story alive in this rapidly changing secular age is vital.”

Also joining the commemoration was Sr Monica Whelan LCM, a member of the Little Company of Mary Sisters Region Leadership group for Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand and Tonga, and State Member for Wagga Wagga Dr Joe McGirr, who has been a long-time supporter of Calvary Riverina Hospital and the care it provides for the community.