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Educationist dead

Shillong, Feb. 3: Renowned educationist and former principal of St Mary’s College, Shillong, Rev. Mother Anne D’Auray Capaldi, died here this morning. She was 91.

Hailing from Frosinone, Italy, Mother Anne, who belonged to the congregation of the Our Lady of the Missions, was born on June 30, 1922.

Her family had migrated to Glasgow, Scotland where she had completed her school and college studies.

During World War II she was drafted for military service, but was exempted as she had decided to join religious life. She entered the convent on March 23, 1943.

Mother Anne also taught in several schools in England and studied mathematics and science at the University of Cork, southern Ireland.

She arrived at St Mary’s Convent here on March 29 1956 and was made the superior in 1958. She began teaching in St Mary’s College the same year.

“As a teacher, she was capable of handling any subject whenever the need arose. She was very strict and firm in matters of discipline, justice and correct behaviour, while at the same time, her kindness and gentleness attracted everyone towards her,” Sister Judith Shadap, who belongs to the same congregation as Mother Anne, said.

She also said Mother Anne was a talented dancer. “The students and orphans proudly performed on occasions and social celebrations Scottish Highland Fling, Scottish Sword dance, Irish Jig Maypole dance, sailor dance and other western dances,” Sister Shadap said.

Mother Anne took over the administration of St Mary’s College as the principal in 1969 and served in this capacity until 1985. Her untiring dedication was exhibited in its fullest form in the development of women. She developed most of the best infrastructure and facilities in the college.

Mother Anne had also assisted Gauhati University and North Eastern Hill University in various capacities.

In the 1970s and early 1980s, Mother Anne visited the Shillong district jail every Sunday and distributed food and medicine.

“Mother Anne was a woman of few words but touched innumerable lives,” Sister Shadap said.

She passed away at 3.20am at her home, St. Mary’s Convent, Shillong, today.

The funeral Mass will be held on Wednesday at the Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians here at 1pm to be followed by the funeral at the Catholic cemetery, Laitumkhrah.