Muriel Lillian Evans was born at Charters Towers on December 4, 1915, the fourth of five children born to Thomas and Margaret (née Walsh) Evans, well known local identities in Charters Towers.
Muriel completed her primary education at Prairie and Queenton State Schools before moving to St Mary’s College, Charters Towers for her secondary school education. Muriel and her younger sister, Mary, then became boarders at St Mary’s College in 1928 following the accidental death of her sister, Olive, in 1927, and the death later that same year of her young mother.
Her aunt, Good Samaritan Sister Winifred (Muriel) Evans, was living in St Mary’s community at the time, and Muriel kept in close contact with her throughout her life. She recalled with deep gratitude “a wonderful father, who with love and not without hardship” nurtured two young girls during their formative years. Muriel later returned to St Mary’s College, on two occasions, as a Sister of the Good Samaritan and in the role of teacher for a total of 17 years, ten of them as Principal of the College.
Muriel was accepted into the Good Samaritan Novitiate, Pennant Hills, New South Wales, on July 2, 1937 to begin her preparation for life as a Sister of the Good Samaritan. She made her profession of vows on January 4, 1940 with 19 companions, the “Twenty Set” as they were always known.
Following preparation for teacher registration, Muriel began her ministry of teaching in Kandos, New South Wales, followed by five years in Gawler, South Australia. The remaining of almost 40 years spent in the classroom, saw Muriel apply her teaching kills with great success in schools and colleges throughout Queensland.
In 1980, Muriel took up the role of Secretary to the Provincial Superior of the Queensland province. In 1985, she applied her many clerical skills in her ministry in Innisfail where she served as parish secretary for eight years.
Returning to Lourdes Hill in 1993, Muriel divided her time between offering gracious hospitality to community and guests at Lourdes Hill Convent and assisting in the school library at Sts Peter and Paul’s School, Bulimba, where her generosity and gentle presence was appreciated by staff and children.
In December 2007, Muriel moved to supported accommodation in Marycrest Hostel, Kangaroo Point. Looking back on her many years as a Sister of the Good Samaritan, and the wide-ranging changes that happened in community living during the years, Muriel reflected “…youthful dreams have given way to the reality of present day living and above all, to the lifelong search necessary for that deeper union with God which really beckoned as we each journeyed years ago to Pennant Hills”.
Muriel was much loved by her sister, Mary Baker. She was held in great esteem for her care and wisdom by her five nieces and nephews, nine grand nieces and nephews and many great grand nieces and nephews. She is remembered with love and gratitude by her extended family and all her Sisters of the Good Samaritan.