The Spike or Victoria University College Review June 1918
Just before the beginning of the first session—on February 25th, 1918, we heard with great sadness of the death of Mrs. Macphail at Port Chalmers.
Mrs. Macphail had been spending the long vacation with her cousin, Mrs. D. L. K. Walker, and, though her health was uncertain, and she was under the care of the doctor, yet up till the very last, she was at work on the lectures that she hoped to give her classes this year.
To those of us who knew and loved her, Mrs. Macphail was a constant reminder of that high sense of duty that counts for so much. She did her work well and most faithfully, although she was never really strong and often so frail that there seemed little but her will left. She told one of us that she was never happier than when she was feeling fairly well and was standing in front of her class, and every member of that class must have known and benefited by the keen interest that she took in each one of them. She never spared her time nor her slender reserve of strength when it was a question of helping one of her students either by encouragement or by admonition. "My students are my family " was a phrase which she was wont to use, and it is symbolic of what she considered the high seriousness of her duty towards her students. It is the students who did repeat and honors work with Mrs. Macphail who, perhaps, knew and appreciated her best, for none knew better the spirit of untiring devotion to her ideals which she showed throughout, in spite of ill-health.