The Indian Swamis recently visited the Hill of The O’Neill & Ranfurly House, as part of a two day trip to celebrate the life and work of Sister Nivedita.
Margaret Elizabeth Noble was born in Dunganon, Co. Tyrone in 1867. After spending her early years living with her grandmother in Dungannon she relocated to England to be with her family. Margaret later went to India in 1897 and became a member of the Ramakrishna Order, where she was given the name Nivedita, meaning The Dedicated One.
In India, Sister Nivedita threw herself into Indian culture, serving the Indian people and living the Hindu religion. She won over the hearts of Indian people with her self-giving and devotion to their plight, particularly helping the cause of women and the poor.
Welcoming the Indian visitors to Dungannon, Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Sean McPeake said,
“It is with great pride that we remember Sister Nivedita here today in her birth town as the 150th anniversary year of her birth draws to a close, and we are especially delighted today to join you in celebrating the inauguration of the Eire Vedanta Society as a new branch centre of the worldwide Ramakrishna Math.”
‘I am honoured that we are able to do so with religious leaders and dignitaries all the way from Dublin, Singapore and of course, India, a country which she knew and loved so much.’
A number of dignitaries from India attended the celebration. The Indian Swamis and other dignitaries visited Dungannon Library, the Sister Nivedita Blue Plaque which was unveiled in 2011, and enjoyed a guided tour of Hill of The O’Neill & Ranfurly House. The centre showcases a terracotta statue which was donated to Dungannon in 2016 by Sister Nivedita’s grandniece.