Nora McManus was an American Catholic nun whose life and work in the USA were rudely interrupted by a malignant condition. She decided to devote what time she had left to ministering to Australian aborigines, and finally settled in Wilcannia in western New South Wales.
She became something of a legend among the town’s indigenous population, and when she died was buried in the aboriginal section of the cemetery. Her grave is marked by a rough stone border and a small hand-made headstone.
John Terry was a lawyer from a non-indigenous well-to-do Sydney family. He worked for the Aboriginal Legal Service, and had become deeply impressed by Nora McManus and the work she did in Wilcannia. He died at an early age. His family were shocked to learn from his will that he wished to be buried “at the feet of Nora McManus” in the aboriginal section of the Wilcannia cemetery.
Today you can see the solid granite grave of John Terry lying at right-angles at the feet of Nora McManus in the Wilcannia cemetery.