Before COVID-19 took her life in January, T&T National Allison Margaret Hatt got to hear from her sister just how much she meant to her loved ones.
Hatt, 74, died from the disease which she contracted in December 2020 in South Africa, a place where she became an integral part of the parish, Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Krugersdorp.
One of her many projects was working in the soup kitchen at the church, a job in alignment with her lifelong personality as her relatives described her as someone who was always ready to protect the weak and care for others.
“We believed that she would come through with her fighting spirit. She actually came out of the hospital then got a relapse and had to return,” her relatives wrote.
After her death, parish priest Fr. Ignatins Fidgeon O.M.I said he had a very distinct memory of her pleading for donations to help the poor, 10 years before COVID-19 and its impact on the same group.
He also remembered her as someone who loved so many facets of God’s wonderful creations which showed in her photography.
“It was her serious hobby,” her relatives wrote.
Raised in T&T, Hatt attended St. Theresa’s Girls’ Primary School and won a scholarship to attend St Joseph’s Convent in Port-of-Spain.
Described as a Tomboy, her siblings remember the time she stood up to a “bully” as a child.
“As a young girl, riding her bike one day, she saw her brother in a fight with a much larger boy who was a known bully. Despite being half his size she dropped her bike and gave the bully a good licking. He had the deepest respect for her after that,” they reminisced.
After leaving school she became a nun with the Dominican Order in 1967 where she was known as Sr. Paula.
She left the convent to pursue her dream of nursing a profession she did until she died. Hatt worked as a midwife and State Registered Nurse in the U.K., PoS General Hospital, Canada and at the Peach Arch Hospital in White Rock, British Columbia, Saudi Arabia and Johannesburg.
“She fell in love with South Africa and its people, and the rest is, as they say…history,” they explained in the letter.
She was buried in South Africa after a beautiful Mass celebration.