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Chemis, Annie (1862–1939)

Chemis, Annie (1862–1939)

New Zealand dairy worker and government petitioner. Name variations: Annie Dowd. Born Annie Dowd, May 24 1862, in Co. Kerry, Ireland; died Feb 21, 1939, in Wellington, New Zealand; m. Louis Chemis (laborer), 1880 (died 1898); children: 5.

Immigrated to New Zealand (1878); operated dairy business with husband until land-lease dispute resulted in murder charge against him (1889); after unfortunate circumstances led to husband's conviction, presented petition to Parliament, which resulted in commutation of sentence and nationwide debate regarding reform of criminal justice system (1891); following release of husband and his later suicide, cleaned Parliament buildings and government offices to support herself (1898); became permanent employee (1907–26).

See also Dictionary of New Zealand Biography (Vol. 3).

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