Born in Temora on July 14, 1916, Joan Lucille Mullany was the daughter of James and Ellen (née Rumble) Mullany. The three children of this union – James, Joan and Fergus – joined the five children of her widowed mother’s first marriage – Isabel, John, Bede, William and Ignatius Hingerty.
With the transfer of the family home to Marrickville, Joan’s education began at St Brigid’s School, Marrickville, from where she progressed to St Scholastica’s College, Glebe Point, to complete her secondary education.
Upon leaving school, Joan undertook a course in commercial subjects, which she used to good advantage in clerical work in an office in Sydney. At the age of 19 years, Joan responded to the call to religious life, and was received into the Novitiate of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan, Pennant Hills, on February 11, 1936.
Marking this new stage in her life, she was given the religious name of Sister Mary Anthony Clare, by which she would be known for the rest of her life.
Following her profession of vows on January 4, 1939, she spent a year at St Magdalen’s Training Centre, Arncliffe, and two years as student-teacher at St Joseph’s School, Newtown, before going on to St Scholastica’s Teachers’ College to obtain her registration as a teacher in 1942.
Sister Anthony Clare taught in several schools in New South Wales and Queensland, before being appointed to Mater Dei Orphanage at Narellan in 1956.
These and later appointments included periods as superior of the community, an office which she accepted with some diffidence and would seek to forestall. To many Sr Anthony Clare was affectionately known as “Dearie”, this being her frequent form of address to other sisters and close associates. Her warm and welcoming manner, joined to a lively sense of humour, endeared her to those with whom she had contact.
In 1994 she was one of a pioneer group who established a community at Marsfield. From this community, Sister Anthony Clare assisted in the ministry of pastoral care for the sisters resident at Bethany Nursing Home at Eastwood for the next six years. From 1999 she was a member of the community at Polding Villa Hostel, Glebe Point, until its closure and transfer of the sisters to Bethany Hostel, Eastwood, where she had previously ministered.
For the past nine years, Sister Anthony Clare has been cared for by the sisters and staff of St Catherine’s Aged Care Services, Eastwood. She is survived by the Mullany and Hingerty families and is remembered with love and gratitude by all her Good Samaritan Sisters.