Sister Ethel Normoyle 2001


Sister Ethel Normoyle was born in Ireland and is a Catholic nun of the Little Company of Mary Congregation. She came to Missionvale in Port Elizabeth, South Africa in 1988 eager to share the gospel values of compassion and love with the poor people in the area. Sister Ethel set up a school and basic clinic under a tree in Missionvale, which attracted a group of concerned business leaders who visited the area, resulting in their funding the building of three small rooms for the school and clinic. This was the beginning of a fruitful partnership aimed at assisting poor people and making a difference in their lives. 
The centre was visited by Mother Theresa in 1988, and in 1992 the first phase of the Missionvale Care Centre officially opened. This included a fully equipped clinic, nutrition unit, a library and administration offices. In 1995, Queen Elizabeth visited the Care Centre and in her Christmas message to the Commonwealth, she paid tribute to the wonderful work that Sister Ethel does there. This highlighted the good work and great service that Sister Ethel has provided to the community of Missionvale and also promoted the Care Centre to the rest of the world, attracting more interested donors. 
Sister Ethel’s work amongst the poorest of Port Elizabeth’s poor in Missionvale has received local, national and international recognition. She was a pioneer in opening the New Missionvale Care Centre, which is still currently host to a fully equipped clinic, a nutrition unit, a library, church, pre-primary school, primary school and a community hall. More than 1000 people visit the centre daily and are fed.  Through Missionvale’s self-help projects, they are able to uplift their quality of life. 
In 2006, the start of Home-Based Care initiatives and other projects directly focused on the HIV and AIDS pandemic, were launched. In 2009, Sister Ethel was honoured with the Order of the Grand Counsellor of the Baobab (Silver) by the South African government for her excellent service to society.
Sister Ethel received an honorary doctorate from the former University of Port Elizabeth in 2001, in recognition of her compassion, dedication and considerable contribution to the upliftment of her fellow human beings.