Activist commemorated

A new public road off Cemetery Rd, East Taieri, is to be named after a Dunedin woman who promoted world peace.

McCarthy Court commemorates Mary Ann Recknall McCarthy (1866-1933).

Associate Prof Annabel Cooper, who wrote the Mary McCarthy entry in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, said of the new road name, "It’s a good idea; it’s good to see her work recognised."

Born in South Dunedin, Mary McCarthy was one of eight children. She became a teacher, serving in Dunedin, Naseby and Waihao Downs, before retiring from teaching in 1913.

Ms McCarthy was politically active, initially in the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, then from 1916 as a member of the fledgling Labour Party.

In her support of world peace, she agitated on behalf of conscientious objectors.

In 1919, Ms McCarthy represented the National Peace Council of New Zealand and the New Zealand section of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom at the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in Switzerland.

She returned to New Zealand in 1920 and continued to work for internationalism, anti-militarism and the interests of working-class women.

Ms McCarthy never married and died at her sister’s home in St Kilda at the age of 66.

In the same subdivision, the developer has chosen Petre Lane for a private way. It honours Francis William Petre (1847-1918), a New Zealand-born Catholic architect, known for buildings such as St Joseph’s Cathedral, St Dominic’s Priory and Cargill’s Castle.

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