HISTORY: Sister Dolores Carrol (second from left) in 1969 with Sennis Wat, Lady Florence Bjelke-Petersen, Sister Sebastian and Andrew Douglas.
HISTORY: Sister Dolores Carrol (second from left) in 1969 with Sennis Wat, Lady Florence Bjelke-Petersen, Sister Sebastian and Andrew Douglas. Contributed

Founding sister’s busy life filled with serving others

AFTER a long life filled with wonder and mystery, the first secondary principal of Saint Mary's Catholic College, Sister Dolores (Dolly) Carroll, died peacefully on Tuesday at 101 years old.

Sr Dolores's life and work as a Catholic nun took her across the country and the world.

She joined the Good Samaritan Convent in 1932 and began teaching at schools in New South Wales, The Australian Capital Territory and Queensland.

In 1965 she became the first principal of Saint Mary's Catholic College's secondary school.

Sister Dolores (Dolly) Carroll was principal at Saint Mary’s Catholic College from 1965-1979.
Sister Dolores (Dolly) Carroll was principal at Saint Mary’s Catholic College from 1965-1979. Contributed

It was one of three schools at which she was a foundation principal and another in Ayr is still running today.

After leaving Kingaroy in 1979, Sr Dolores travelled to Japan as a missionary teaching English and religion in Tokyo, Nagasaki and Sasebo for 10 years.

On her return to Brisbane she worked as a teacher, counsellor and administrator for 20 years until illness forced her retirement at the age of 96.

Sr Dolores felt blessed by God and the Order for the life she had and felt seeing the growth of Saint Mary's was fulfilling and rewarding.

One of the few women in the 1930s to graduate from Sydney University with a science degree, Sr Dolores was an advocate for the arts and sciences.

During her time at Saint Mary's she had grand plans for a manual arts room so students would not have to walk to Kingaroy State High School to use the facilities.

Sister Dolores kept in contact with former Saint Mary’s student Cathy Jackson and current principal Michael Nayler.
Sister Dolores kept in contact with former Saint Mary’s student Cathy Jackson and current principal Michael Nayler. Contributed

It was not to happen during her tenure but in 2013 for her 100th birthday the school named the Sr Dolores Carroll Trade Training Centre in her honour.

Since her health deteriorated Sr Dolores lived at the Marycrest Hostel in Brisbane but kept in regular contact with former students and current Saint Mary's staff and saw them as her extended family.

She was a woman of incredible faith and often said she was ready to meet her beloved creator.

She died peacefully content in the knowledge that she had helped to leave the world a better place.

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