40 years of Cambridge memories 

Anne Jagose  | April 2,1932 – July 11, 2022

Anne Jagose’s family remember her as a strong woman who modelled compassion and hard work, who instilled in them values of service and generosity.

She was an exceptional dresser, fierce and courageous, a ‘hit-and-miss’ cook who insisted being together was more important than the food, and always up for a good story.

One, recalled daughter Una Jagose at Anne’s Requiem Mass in Wellington last Friday, had young impressionable minds wavering, uncertain.  “She would drive us everywhere … making up stories to entertain us.  ‘I am not your mother, I am a witch’, she would say.  She said it in such a way that I was never really sure …”

Anne died in Wellington on July 11, aged 90.  She had lived there for the past few years, leaving behind a life rich with memories, many of them made in Cambridge over almost 40 years.

Life for Anne started prematurely in Ireland, one of 11 children and so small that she fitted into a shoebox.  Early anxiety around her survival gave way to an enjoyable childhood before she went to London aged 17 to study nursing.  Her leadership and compassion shone, and Anne was the youngest new graduate nurse of her time to become a matron.

It was at a party at the nurses’ hostel that she met Rustom Jagose, known as ‘Rusty’, a Bombay-born medical student of Persian descent with the world in his sights.  The two married in 1956 and, as was the custom, the groom took his bride back to the family in Bombay to live for a while.  Determined to give it a year, Anne rattled family convention by taking a nursing job.

The couple came to New Zealand in the late 1950s where Rusty took up a role at Dunedin Hospital.  As the family grew, they shifted to Greymouth, Ashburton and Hamilton before settling in Cambridge in the early 1970s and opening a medical practice from their home.

It was here that their five children, who all attended St Peter’s Catholic School in Cambridge and Sacred Heart Girls in Hamilton, flourished.  Pheroze, Maki, Annamarie, Una and Fiona all tumbled around Cambridge with their peers, blessed by parents who encouraged their individuality and groomed them through a commitment to reading, debate and robust discussion.   Anne ran the annual Cambridge Speech and Drama Competition until it was disbanded.

“She was a good teacher,” said Una. “We all went through speech and drama.”

All five went on to become exceptionally high-achievers across the legal, medical and educational professions.  Pheroze is a High Court judge, sitting in Auckland; Maki recently retired from her general medical practice on the Kapiti Coast; Annamarie is the University of Sydney’s provost and deputy vice-chancellor; Una is New Zealand’s solicitor-general, having headed the country’s spy agency; and Fiona works as an expatriate teacher in Oman.  Anne was deeply proud of them all.

Following her husband’s death more than 30 years ago, she kept the home together while continuing to work in nursing and management for Cambridge aged care residence homes.

Anne was always stylish and a good sport, up for anything.  Una remembers her taking part in short, silly films which ‘left us gasping with laughter’.

“She kept us secure.  She laughed easily, was a master of many classic one-liners. We will miss the fullness of her amazing character … this funny, loving, elegant woman.”

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