Sister Elaine LumPrint
Sr Elaine Lum was born in 1930 in Auburn, NSW to Alice and George Lum, who were very respected shopkeepers in the district and very involved parishioners.
Elaine was the youngest of three children and was educated at St John’s Primary School, Auburn and Bethlehem College, Ashfield. The family were life-long tennis players and Elaine enjoyed the game, even in her later years.
She entered the Sisters of Charity on 2nd July 1948 and, following her Novitiate and Teacher Training, was appointed to the following schools:
St Ambrose Primary School, Concord West NSW, (on two occasions)
St Thomas More’s Primary School, Brighton NSW, (on two occasions)
St Canice’s Primary School, Elizabeth Bay, NSW
St John’s Primary School, East Melbourne, VIC
St Monica’s Primary School, Moonee Ponds, VIC
St Patrick’s Primary School, Paddington,VIC
St Mary’s School, Liverpool NSW
St John’s Primary School, Auburn, NSW
St Mary’s Star of the Sea Primary School, Hurstville, NSW
St Thomas’ High School, Lewisham, NSW
At Concord West, Auburn, Hurstville and Lewisham Elaine was Principal.
As a teacher, Elaine excelled from the very beginning, studying for her I.T.C. within her first years of teaching. Also, during these teaching years, she managed university studies, obtaining degrees from Armidale University.
Perhaps Elaine’s greatest contribution to teaching was during the years after retirement from school when she, first of all, worked in the Outreach Childcare Programme at Cranebrook and then spent a number of years teaching English to migrant people at Cabramatta.
She had a gift for making friends and was much loved by the migrant people with whom she worked. Her Asian background seemed to give her a greater understanding and affiliation, especially with the Vietnamese community.
Elaine never lost her sense of humour and even in her final illness she was still the gentle, playful character she had always been. She eventually moved into St Joseph’s Village, where she was beautifully cared for and very much loved by the wonderful staff. Elaine died peacefully on 30 January, 1998.