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DOHERTY, MARY nee DARMODY

 

Mary Darmody was born in County Tipperary, Ireland about 1844, the daughter of Jeremiah and Jane Darmody nee Ryan.

 

She arrived in Wellington with her husband Edmond and an infant daughter, from County Cork, Ireland on the sailing ship Indostand in 1872 As occurred in the case of many of the early Taranaki pioneers, Mary and Edmond walked from Wellington to Wanganui and later to Patea, where they resided for a time until making their home at Normanby. Edmond carried the family's possessions on his back while Mary carried the baby.

 

The roads at Normanby were then mere bridle tracks, and Edmond was employed for many years as a roadman, forming the road between Hawera and Eltham, and later Ahipaipa Road.

 

Mary experienced the trials of early settlement common to all in that period but was noted for her strength of character and a fearlessness that carried her through the troublesome days of Maori warfare. She refused to take refuge with other white women removed to the redoubts and when the Ketemarae Maoris took up hostilities barring entry to her home by brandishing their tomahawks, Mary stood up to them. Her defiance in the face of danger won her the respect of the tribe, and this mana remained with her until the end of her life.

 

Mary Doherty died on 3 September 1944 in her 100th year, after living in Normanby for seventy years. She is buried at the Waihi Military Cemetery near Normanby.

 

SOURCES

Obituary "Hawera Star" 6 Sep 1944

Normanby School Centennial

 

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