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Hannah May Connolly (1891–1961)

The death occured at her home in Kendrick St., Merewether on Saturday 18th March, 1961, of Mrs. Hannah May Connolly. Mrs. Connolly, well known for her work in the Legion of Mary, was a very active member of St. Joseph’s parish Merewether. 

Mrs. Connolly, the 6th child in a family of thirteen, was the daughter of James and Mary Campbell of Raymond Terrace and was born at Millers Forest in May 1891. One of her brothers, Raymond, was the well-known Sacred Heart Missioner Fr. R. Campbell, M.S.C., who died in 1958. One of her sisters is Sister Mary Sebastian of St. Joseph’s Convent, Summer Hill.

Hannah May Campbell was married at St. Brigid’s Church, Raymond Terrace, to Peter Connolly before Fr. J. O’Flynn on 5th Feb., 1916. 

Peter Connolly was a Member of the Legislative Assembly 1929-1935. He died in Oct., 1959.

God blessed the Connollys with seven children, Luke (deceased), Mary (Mrs. T. Leddingham (Moree), Raymond Patrick (Belmont), James (New Lambton), Rita (Mrs. J. B. Best of Merewether), Peter (Wickham) and Nora (Sister M. John of St. Joseph’s Convent, Summer Hill).

Mrs. Connolly had two nephews priests, Fr. Ephram, O.F.M., of Wahroonga (Paul Campbell) and Fr. Hugh, O.F.M., of Wewak New Guinea (Phil Campbell). Three of her nieces are Sisters M. de Lellis and Sister Teresa Joseph of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Lochinvar and Sister M. Carmel of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Sydney. Sister M. Majella (Taree), Sister M. Mychaeli (Denman), Sister M. Majella, O.P. (Wahroonga), Sister M. Laurence (Sisters of Mercy, Singleton) and Sister M. Norbett (Sister of Charity (deceased) and Fr. Harold Campbell (Maitland) are cousins.

After a very brief illness Mrs. Connolly was annointed by Fr. E Jordon of Merewether on the 15th March and died on Sat. 18th March. 

The funeral left St. Joseph’s Church, Merewether on Monday, 20th March after Mass which was celebrated by Fr Ephram, O.P.M. for the Catholic Cemetery Sandgate. Fr. Ephram was assisted at the church and at the graveside by Fr. Harold Campbell together with Fr E. Jordan P.P., Fr. A. Hayes, Fr. P. D. Cotter, Fr B. O’Hearn, Fr R. Symthe, and Fr. C. Linchan.

Mr. Douglas Dyboll of the Newcastle Curia of the Legion of Mary said the Rosary and the Legion prayers at the graveside. 

Mary Connolly was one of the most active and most faithful Legionaries of Mary in the whole Diocese. She was the foundation president of the Merewether praesidium when it began fifteen years ago. She held that position for the maximum period of six years. She was also an officer of Curia and it was due to her zeal as an Extension Officer that the Legion spread to many parishes even outside the Diocese. At the time of her death she was president of the Junior praesidium at Merewether. In latter years she especially devoted in her zeal towards the younger members of the Legion while her enthusiasm for, and skill in teaching religion in public schools was widely known and greatly admired. 

Her daily attendance at Mass and Holy Communion were no doubt the source of her zeal and fidelity while her gentle manner and kindly way gave her a great influence over everyone who knew her. Her charity towards those in trouble, whatever its nature or cause was a byword among her neighbours and acquaintances.

Besides her own immediate family already mentioned May Connolly is survived by her sister Mrs. J. P. Idstein of Maitland and her brother Mr. Henry Campbell of New Lambton and William Campbell of Kotara.

Original publication

Citation details

'Connolly, Hannah May (1891–1961)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Campbell, Hannah May

May, 1891
Millers Forest, New South Wales, Australia


18 March, 1961 (aged 69)
Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.