The last of Sister Patrick’s Golden Girls still in the saddle at 81

Sister Patrick's

After 64 years working for many of the country’s influential leaders, Samoa’s longest-serving public servant is not looking to give up soon.

Marie Margret Ripley’s deep and strong values are inspired by her influential teacher, Sister Patrick, who taught many of Samoa’s secretarial skills at St. Mary’s, Savalalo in the late 1950s.

Sister Patrick belonged to the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary (SMSM) who established numerous girls’ schools throughout the Pacific Islands in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Ripley is the last of Sister Patrick’s students still carrying the baton and inspiring younger public servants.

At 81 years old, she wants to continue her service despite her age. “As long as God gives me the strength to work, I will work,” she told Talamua after last Friday’s Public Service Day ceremony, where she was honoured as the country’s longest-serving public servant.

Sister Patrick’s students have worked for Samoa’s Prime Ministers, Cabinet Ministers and business executives in the country’s formative years after independence.

Sister Patrick’s pupils have formed a group called The Sister Patrick’s Golden Girls Association.

Members of the association include mothers and women who have worked in a variety of areas – hospitality, tourism, politics, business, fashion design and activism.

Each year they come together for an annual end-of-the-year party.



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News category: Asia Pacific.

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