Biographical entry: Marie Irenee, Mother (1878 - 1965)

23 September 1965


Mother Marie Irenee was born in France in 1878, and was the first Catholic nun to become a missionary in the Solomon Islands, in 1904. She arrived having spent four years in Fiji. For nearly forty years she directed the work of the Mission's Sisters throughout the Protectorate. She was first based at Rua Sura on Guadalcanal teaching Solomon Islands women, after which she served at Tangarare, where she opened the first school for girls there. When the Japanese invaded she was in Visale, and with other mission staff managed to escape to Tangarare. A government boat picked them up and took them to Lungga to travel by American Liberty ship to Noumea. She returned to the Protectorate in 1946 and was again stationed at Visale as Mother Superior. After she retired she continued to train indigenous sisters there. Mother Irenee was awarded an M.B.E. in 1959 and died on 23 September 1965. She gave over sixty years of service to the Protectorate, her few years in Noumea being her only absence. (NS May 1959, 30 Sept. 1965)

Published resources


  • British Solomon Islands Protectorate (ed.), British Solomon Islands Protectorate News Sheet (NS), 1955-1975. Details