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Awarded for service to community
Born: 19 May 1939
Entered on roll: 2019
By quietly working behind the scenes, Rossalyn Giudici has made a significant contribution to the preservation of the history of the Catholic Church in Tasmania.
From 1988 to 2000, Rossalyn provided secretarial support to the Archbishop of Hobart, Dr Eric D’Arcy. These well-developed administration skills would prove valuable.
In August 2000, Rossalyn started volunteering with the Archdiocese of Hobart Archives and Heritage Collection where she designed a database to record entries from sacramental registers. Transcribing these records has meant all information from historic baptism, marriage and death registers could be entered onto the database, thus facilitating daily requests from individuals in Tasmania, other states and overseas for family history research without the need to handle historic and fragile registers.
The registers contain data that does not exist elsewhere, particularly information about Catholic convicts. Early entries were often in Latin, and Rossalyn worked assiduously not only with translation but difficult handwriting patterns that would stump the average reader.
Over the last 18 years, Rossalyn has entered 190,000 records onto the database and has also recorded the names and details of all the Catholic clergy who have worked in Tasmania since 1821 (a total of 946 to date); she has developed a catalogue of parishes and churches and other sites used for Catholic worship (past and present).
Rossalyn also volunteers many hours per week as Sacristan at St Mary’s Cathedral. She is responsible for preparing the Cathedral for funerals, school masses, ordinations, Easter Week ceremonies and other liturgical celebrations.
Rossalyn has always been ready to assist others. Her husband was a migrant from Italy, a ‘New Australian’, and Rossalyn is sensitive to the needs of the newly arrived in the community, and others struggling in any way, and provides practical and material support, for example, making soup for Loui’s Van.
Rossalyn is now a widow and is blessed with grandchildren and great-grandchildren.