Posted by Merv McCormack
on 13 September 2018
Ellen McGovern has died.
Finally, having courageously battled her illness for so many years, Ellen's indomitable spirit gave way today to the inevitable course of destiny. All of us are devastated. The Lasallian world is the poorer for the loss of this remarkable woman and educator. It is so difficult, almost impossible, to believe that Ellen, a personal and professional dynamo who touched the lives of so many, literally thousands, has passed away.
Ellen's vitality - spiritual, intellectual and physical - was immense. Those of us whose lives were touched by Ellen, who had the privilege to know and love her, believed that she would live forever. Ellen was brighter than the rest of us. She saw things clearly and grasped concepts with her razor-sharp intellect. She invariably devised exceptional solutions to problems while others were grappling with the rudimentary details of issues.
Ellen was larger than life. And while the Catholic educational world in Sydney did not always duly recognise her extraordinary array of gifts, and the unlimited energy with which she inspired others, for those of us who had the privilege to work with her, we knew that we were in the rare company of a gifted educator. For colleagues who graduated to Ellen's inner circle, to be called her friends, well, that was one of life's choicest treats.
Time spent in Ellen's company was invariably accompanied by her sparking personality. She was the witty raconteur with the twinkle in the eye that hinted at the vicissitudes of life, often humorous, sometimes droll, but with Ellen, always amusing. Ellen, she with the entertaining and self-deprecating laugh, took her work seriously, but not herself, for Ellen did not possess a pompous bone in her body. But she quickly saw through those who did.
It would be impossible to overstate Ellen's influence wherever she went. She left legacies with all people and places, not least in the three Sydney Lasallian Colleges where her inspired teaching and leadership will live on as her parting gift to us all.
To her dear family, husband John, and her beautiful children of whom she was so proud, Caitlin, Jack, Thomas and Bridget, to her dear mother Denise, and siblings Anne and Damien, and her extensive circle of friends and colleagues, our sincerest condolences on the loss of Ellen. We too, share in your grief, as we give thanks for the life of this extraordinary woman.Eternal Rest Grant to her, O Lord, and May Perpetual Light Shine Upon Her.
May She Rest In Peace. Amen.