WelCom August 2021
The Catholic Church has always been important for Theresa Dwyer, so she was delighted when Cardinal John Dew was able to join her and family members on 17 June 2021, to celebrate her 100th birthday at the Vincentian Home in Wellington. Cardinal John gave Theresa a special blessing and presented her with an icon of the Virgin Mary and adult Jesus.
Also joining Theresa for her birthday celebrations were residents and staff from the Vincentian Home, and other family members on Zoom. Sharing a big smile and her ‘can do’ attitude, Theresa swiftly blew out the candles on multiple cakes.
As part of the celebrations, family members arranged for a letter/telegram from the Queen, which Cardinal John to presented to Theresa.
Theresa said she really appreciated the Cardinal’s visit. ‘It was a highlight of the day and a wonderful memory.’
Kathleen Theresa Dwyer was born in Wellington in 1921 at the Empire Hotel, which was run by her parents Richard and Margaret Dwyer. The youngest of seven siblings, Theresa grew up in Wellington, spending time between the family home in Days Bay and attending boarding school at Sacre Coeur/Erskine College in Island Bay.
Theresa has travelled far and wide. Her first trip, aged 16, was accompanying her mother on a long sea voyage to Ireland to attend the ordination of her oldest brother Tom.
In the 1940s Theresa worked at the New Zealand Defence Department and later trained as a nurse. In the 1950s, she worked in England for about ten years, having many adventures, visiting family in Ireland and ‘backpacking’ around Europe.
In the 1960s Theresa returned home to New Zealand, where she worked as an industrial nurse in Seaview, Lower Hutt, and was active in the local parish of San Antonio in Eastbourne. Theresa also cared for her elderly mother who lived to her 100th year. Theresa has followed her passion for horse-riding, and been active in the outdoors, hiking, skiing, and gardening. Art and painting are also among her interests.
In 2010 Theresa moved to Rita Angus Retirement Village in Kilbirnie, and more recently has settled into the Vincentian Home in Berhampore. Theresa takes part in daily activities and is known for her positive outlook and generous smiles.