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Marie Constance Boyle was born in 1933 in
Peterborough where her father Paddy Sullivan
was a chief clerk of the railway office on what
was then a very busy route to Broken Hill.
Her mother Morna Bennett was active in the local
community, including the Red Cross, and Marie
would accompany her on trips to the station to
feed the soldiers as they passed through to New
South Wales to board their ships during World
Her older siblings Terry and Tony were a great
source of inspiration to her and she fondly
remembered her country childhood with pets,
riding, tennis and teasing.
Marie was educated by the Josephite Sisters,
supporters of the rural poor, and she maintained
a devotion to Mary MacKillop throughout
her life. She attended boarding school with
the Dominican nuns in North Adelaide and
worshipped in this church.
Having joined junior Red Cross as a girl, her first
job in Adelaide at the age of 21 was a telephonist
at the Red Cross Blood Bank, which was the
beginning of a life time of connecting people.
In her thirties she signed up for service overseas
in the Red Cross Field Force and was initially
assigned to Butterworth in Malaysia where she
supported the young wounded soldiers on their
way home from the Vietnam War. Marie had
two tours in Vietnam, including enduring the
dangerous Tet Offensive in 1968, and was then
promoted and moved to Singapore. From there
she oversaw the region and continued to visit
war hospitals in Malaysia.
She was awarded an MBE in 1968 for her
professional work with Red Cross in Butterworth.
She spent seven years in total in Asia before
returning to Australia with her husband Michael
Boyle whom she had met while he was working
as a doctor in the hospital at Vung Tau in the late
They were married in 1972 in Adelaide and
moved to Queensland where Marie became
a step-mother to Mick’s three children. She
continued her involvement with Red Cross as
a branch member and emergency services
After Mick died in 1991 on the Sunshine
Coast, Marie moved to Canberra and then to
Adelaide to be closer to her sister Terry and her
family. She became an active member of the
Kensington Red Cross branch and in 1998 she
was honoured with an Order of Australia Medal
for her volunteer service and Red Cross life
With six grandchildren, Marie was always quick
to jump on a plane to France, Germany or
Sydney to attend a family event or birthday.
Four years ago she moved in to Helping Hand in
North Adelaide, where she died peacefully.
Outstanding Red Cross service
St Ann’s Catholic Church, Elizabeth East, will
celebrate being part of the Elizabeth community,
both spiritually and socially, for 50 years on
The church was blessed and opened by
Monsignor Henry Skehan on December 5, 1965.
It was the realisation of a long-held desire by
then parish priest, Father Pierce Murphy, that the
young parish should have Elizabeth’s first and
only purpose-built Catholic church.
St Ann’s continues to be a vibrant and
enthusiastic parish community, meeting the
needs of its people in these times, while being
aware and appreciative of the dedication of
priests and people when they established and
welcomed this church 50 years ago.
Designed to seat 400 people, the church
reflected the energy and enthusiasm of the new
parish, and was described in The Southern
Cross as “the church with the golden glow”,
in reference to the amber glass featured in the
foyer; a striking backdrop for the baptismal font.
Using copper as a medium, the sculptor Voitre
Marek created the Stations of the Cross and the
Risen Christ above the altar.
Also in copper and donated by the artist Marlene
Penna was a work featuring St Ann, patroness of
the church and Mary the Mother of God.
In later years the church has been further
adorned with religious icons donated by
Monsignor Jim O’Loughlin.
The cost of the Stations of the Cross ($500) was
covered partly by donations from parishioners
and friends. Vestments and sacred vessels
were also donated – outstanding generosity
considering that most of the parishioners had
new homes and young families.
Sunday Mass had previously been celebrated at
the Elizabeth East Girls Technical High School.
Now people embraced this new church
community and were eager to be involved in a
practical way, sharing their time and talents.
St Ann’s has had the benefit of the contribution
of many Sisters of Mercy including Sr Marita
Mullins, Sr Joan Haren, Sr Claudette and Sr
Veronica McArthur as well as Sisters of St
Joseph Sr Liz Murphy and Sr Margaret Tully and
Good Samaritan Sr Bernadina Sontrop.
In 2006 an extensive building and refurbishing
program included a new entrance porch,
extended foyer, kitchen and function room. The
facility is used for social events, gatherings after
Mass and funerals, and meetings.
The Catholic Charities morning tea is an annual
event and the Knights of the Southern Cross
Para Region Branch gather there for their
monthly meeting as does the Taize prayer group.
Following the purchase of a property at the rear
of the church, a much-needed car park was
opened in July 2011 and has been developed in
a garden setting with the addition of a grotto.
The anniversary Mass will be celebrated at 6pm
on Saturday December 5, followed by a shared
supper. All are warmly welcomed to attend this
event, which acknowledges the initiative and
commitment of present and past parishioners
over those 50 years.
For further information please contact the
parish on 8255 1191.
for St Ann’s Church
St Ann's Catholic Church, Elizabeth East, will celebrate being part of
the Elizabeth community, both spiritually and socially, for 50 years on
Boyle MBE OAM
Born May 9, 1933
Died July 13, 2015
accredited courses in
theology and ministry.
08 8416 8400
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