Emotional reunion for Jeanne and Sister Enda

The Star, December 27, 2007


KUALA LUMPUR: “That is my former headmistress!” Datin Paduka Seri Jeanne Abdullah excitedly told her husband Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi the moment they arrived for a Christmas high tea reception.

She was referring to the founder of Assunta Convent, Datin Paduka Sister Enda Ryan. Both the ladies hugged each other before taking their seats at the function hosted by KL Archbishop Datuk Murphy Pa-kiam on Tuesday.

Sister Enda, who will turn 79 on Sunday, was seated next to Jeanne and both were seen catching up on the old days when Jeanne was in secondary school.

“Jeanne told me that she was mischievous during her school days, but I don’t remember her being so, she was a normal teenager,” said Sister Enda.

She said the last time she met Jeanne was on Dec 11 when both received their awards from the Sultan of Selangor.

Reunited: Jeanne hugging Sister Enda upon arrival at the Christmas high tea reception.

Sister Enda, an Irish nun of the Order of the Franciscan Missionar-ies of Mary (FMM) who arrived here in 1955, hoped that Jeanne would be the guest-of-honour at the school’s golden anniversary celebration next year.

Asked how she felt spending Christmas in Malaysia, Sister Enda said: “I was sweating like a buffalo at the beginning but have gotten used to the hot weather.

“Back in Ireland, Christmas is usually cold.”

She said Malaysia was very much her home although she goes back to Ireland to visit her relatives.

Last year was the first time in many years that she spent Christmas in Ireland.

Sister Enda who can speak a little Bahasa Malaysia with an Irish accent, said, “Saya warganegara Malaysia (I am a Malaysian Citizen),” while joking with reporters.

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