Assunta schools' pioneer Sister Enda Ryan passes away aged 96


PETALING JAYA: Datin Paduka Sister Enda Ryan, the founder and headmistress of Assunta all-girls schools in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, has passed away.

Fondly known as Sister Enda, the 96-year-old passed away at 11am on Sunday (April 7).

"It is with a heavy heart that I share the news of our beloved Sr. Enda's passing from this world at 11am today," said Sister Elizabeth Tan of the FMM sisters n an email posted on the Assunta Alumni Facebook page on Sunday.

Sister Enda's dedication to service and giving through education and charities dates back to her arrival in Malaya back in 1955.

She had made significant contributions throughout her lifetime – from championing women’s education to assisting her Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM) sisters in the growth of Ave Maria Clinic, which has expanded to Assunta Hospital today.

During her 31 years of dedicated service, Sister Enda received numerous awards, including the Excellent Service Award from the Ministry of Education (1985), the Pingat Jasa Cemerlang (1986), the Pingat Jasa Kebaktian (PJK.) from DYMM Sultan of Selangor (1987) and the Anugerah Tokoh Guru Selangor (1990).

Sister Enda was also conferred an honorary doctorate in humanities from Taylor’s University in 2022.

She was born Eileen Philomena Ryan on Dec 30, 1928, in Galbally, Ireland.

She joined the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in 1947 and arrived in then-Malaya in 1954 following a request by Sir Michael Hogan (the then-Chief Justice of Malaya) to set up schools to cater for girls whose education had been disrupted during the Communist insurgency

She became a Malaysian citizen in October 1966.

The Assunta girls schools have produced some of the nation’s most notable women including former Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Aziz, Nurul Izzah Anwar, Tan Sri Dr Jemilah Mahmood and model Kavita Kaur.

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