Sister Doreen Dyson (1929 – 2015)

Doreen Dyson SGS

Doreen Dyson SGS

Doreen Dyson was born in Sydney on October 10, 1929 to Wilfred and Winifred (nee Guyver) Dyson. Doreen’s older sister, Winifred had been born two years previously.

When Doreen was four years of age, the family moved to Wollongong where her father worked in the iron and steel industry at Port Kembla. Commencing school at St Francis Xavier’s School, Doreen met the Sisters of the Good Samaritan for the first time. Here she made her First Communion. She later attended the Sisters of Charity at Auburn during a period when her mother was ill.

Returning to Wollongong she spent the remainder of her primary years at the Wollongong Public School where she gained a scholarship to St Mary’s College in 1943.

At the end of 1945, Doreen left school having attained her Intermediate Certificate and commenced work as a clerk typist with a Sydney firm. Before long she returned to Wollongong and took up a position in a solicitor’s office which she found very rewarding.

In 1948, Doreen applied for admission to the Good Samaritan Novitiate at Pennant Hills and on July 2 a new phase of her life commenced. Doreen was given the name of Sister Dominic Mary, but later reverted to her baptismal name, Doreen.

On January 6, 1951 Sister Doreen made her first profession of vows and moved to St Scholastica’s Teacher’s College at Glebe Point where she gained her Certificate of Teaching at the end of that year. This enabled her to commence a ministry of classroom teaching, both primary and infants which would span a period of 26 years. Doreen was a very good teacher and some of those years were spent in the Demonstration School, St James’ Forest Lodge. This stage of her life included two years working on the Coffs Harbour Motor Mission.

In 1978, Doreen gained a Diploma in Teaching from the Mitchell College of Education at Bathurst. She spent the next two years as an advisor at the Catholic Education Office in Brisbane. In 1981, Doreen worked as the Provincial Librarian in Brisbane. Returning to New South Wales in 1982, Doreen taught full time at St Scholastica’s College for one year and then part-time for three more years.

In 1986, Doreen undertook a course in Clinical Pastoral Education and for the following two years she was a member of the chaplaincy team at St Vincent’s Private Hospital. Moving to Brisbane, Doreen continued her work for a further two years as chaplain at the Brisbane General Hospital. In 1992, she returned to New South Wales and commenced a renewal course at the Pacific Mission Institute at Turramurra.

Over a period of seven years, Doreen was a member of the team which organised The Letters of John Bede Polding in three volumes for desktop publication and the two volumes, Adjutor Deus, which encompassed the letters and documents of the Polding era.

On the completion of this project, Doreen became involved in parish ministry at Macquarie Fields. For some years she visited the Frank Whiddon Homes, Glenfield on a regular basis; she was the spiritual advisor and member of the St Vincent de Paul Society as well as a team member of the Macquarie Fields RCIA group. Doreen spent 13 years ministering at the Glenfield Home where she was much loved.

Towards the end of 2014, Doreen became ill and was admitted to hospital on a number of occasions. She recently took up a new residence in the Whiddon Group Easton Park, Raines House but unfortunately had only a few days at her new home.

Sister Doreen Dyson died on March 4, 2015 and is survived by her sister Winifred, her six nieces and one nephew and their families. She is remembered with love and gratitude by all her Good Samaritan Sisters.