Campbell, Sr. Elaine

Campbell, Sr. Elaine

Sr Elaine Campbell (nee Stoppard)Nationality: British
Congregational Register No. 326
D.O.B. 23.05.1920
 First Profession 26.04.1955
Died: 17.07.2000 Aged: 80 years

Elaine, known in MMM for quite some time as Sr. M. Campion or ‘Camps’, was born in Ipswich, England. In 1943, as a young woman of 22 years she married an equally young Royal Air Force pilot. Unfortunately, their happiness was to be all too short. He was one of the many young men killed in action during World War II. In 1945, after a year given to war service, Elaine started general nurse and midwifery training. Sometime in the late 1940’s she saw the film Visitation, which greatly impressed her and caused her to write to Mother Mary some 18 months later for additional information. She entered MMM in 1952.

After profession she was assigned to Obudu in Nigeria as matron of the hospital and worked there for four years. Returning to Ireland, she spent two years as a ward Sister in the IMTH before being assigned to Kenya with Srs. Andrea Kelly and Bernadette Gilsenan as a pioneer for MMM in Turkana, in response to a call for aid during a famine.

One Sister remembered Camps reminiscing about coming to Lorugumu during the famine. She said that their water had to be airlifted to them and their clothes smelled really ripe! The same Sister recalled that she was impressed during her own time in Turkana at how much the people loved and respected the MMMs. She thought that this reflected from the early pioneers who laid the foundation and were very much loved. Some of the Turkana called Elaine ‘Champion’ thinking that was her name. It seems an appropriate name for a lady who lived her life wholeheartedly and gave of herself so unstintingly for so many years. A former MMM wrote recently, “She was such an inspiration to all of us in those early days in Turkana, a real ‘mother hen’, a truly valiant woman whom I will always love and respect.”

Camps was also known as a great character, full of fun and good humour and apparently played a mean game of Canasta!

Apart from one year staffing in Waterford, Ireland, Kenya was to be Elaine’s mission until 1994 when she returned to Europe. With the same zeal as ever, she took on pastoral duties in a parish in London, but it was not to be for long as her health deteriorated rapidly. After a short spell in a nursing home there she came to Áras Mhuire in 1996. Elaine died and is buried in Drogheda.