Sister Scholly by Nina Maraltadj

Sister Scholly (Scholastica) was a nun here in Kalumburu. She came over from Spain when she was very young - maybe 20. Sister Scholly was one of the the first nuns here when they started the mission - there were about six nuns - and she was here until she died (aged 90)! The missionaries came on a boat from Spain to New Norcia, near Perth, then came up to the Kimberley area. They wanted to help Aboriginal people - so they came to Kalumburu to start a mission up here. All the nuns learned the community language (mostly Kwini Language - Bela) - from the old people that used to help out at the mission.

Sister Scholly saw me grow up - I was in my 20s when she died. She was like a mother and a grandmother to all of us in Kalumburu. All the women who grew up in the convent used to call her mum - my mother was one of them. My grandmother died giving birth to my mother, so my grandfather came in from the bush and dropped her off here with the nuns. She also raised some of the old ladies who are here now in Kalumburu; old girls now.

My mother used to work for her milking the cows, and taking the fresh milk back to the convent to make cream and butter. Sister Scholly always had breakfast waiting for me when I went with mum.

As she was getting older Sister Scholly couldn't walk around the community, so the community got her a quad bike! With her quad bike she used to go to all her favourite swimming spots, go to the beach, down to the river. She used to love taking us kids for a ride everywhere!

Sister Scholly (Scholastica) was a nun here in Kalumburu. She came over from Spain when she was very young - maybe 20.”

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