Sister Nannie resplendent

Sister Nannie resplendent

Anna Tempo has been discussed or mentioned quite a few times on WWW pages. The daughter of freed Mozambique slaves, she was known professionally, both as a children’s nanny and as a high-profile Worcester and Cape Town temperance and social worker, as Sister Nannie. This was the version of her name, Anna, as mispronounced by the very young children she looked after when a young woman, when working for Olive Schreiner‘s oldest sister Ettie Stakesby-Lewis, who had adopted her sister Alice Hemming’s children, the youngest as a tiny baby. The Anna Tempo of Schreiner, Hemming and Brown letters is a feisty, somewhat hasty, determined and much loved woman who was part of the extended family over the generations.

The photograph of her here appears on the cover of a 1939 Women’s Christian Temperance Union booklet, ‘Sister Nannie’, written by ‘E.L.C.’. It was taken in 1937 when Anna Tempo was in her early 70s, on the occasion she was awarded the George Medal for her social and rescue work. The booklet provides an exemplary life and Christian times of the medal recipient, as an almost impossibly good person as seen in WCTU terms. Her social, temperance and rescue work was initially carried out through the system of hotels and temperance groups set up under the aegis of Ettie, a Christian Scientist and leading Good Templar, and then in her own name and via her own organisation, which was later located within the framework of the WCTU.

I am extremely grateful to the kind reader who sent a copy of the booklet, discovered when researching the WCTU archives.

Last updated: 23 July 2020


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