The dream of creating a catholic boys’ school in Gore might have remained just that, were it not for the foresight, dedication and sheer hard work of a varied group of people. Back in the 1950s and 60s they schemed, laboured and made plans, raised funds and nurtured that dream into the reality of St Peter’s College. Many of these families have retained a long standing connection with the school.  Once it opened they sent their children here as pupils, ferried them to sports events, served as helpers on school trips and the PTFA, ran the stalls at Fairs, and coached sports.  Without their ongoing support St Peter's College would not be what it is today.

On our Founding Families' Page we will be highlighting some of their stories, while others can be found in the pupil profiles on our Ex-Students Page.

An Introduction to the Catholic Women's League

Gore Catholic Women’s League 2014 Back Row left – right   Anne Welsh, Catherine Bennett, Shirley Mallon, Heather Shields, Brenda McLay, Elaine Kelly, Lorna O’Connor, Rosalie Wallis, Joan Duncan

Front Row left – right Annabelle Bagrie, Pauline Brick, Margaret Wilson, Margaret Walsh, Noline Nicholson

Memories from members and references from “The Meeting of the Waters” by Helen Bruce

From 1953 onwards there was a branch of the Catholic Women’s League in Gore and the organisation provided social and spiritual contact for its members. There weren’t many other things for women to do in the parish in those days, so membership was high. Activities included discussions, music and drama. “Faith and Service” were their guiding principles and they tried to help those in need. They provided pantry evenings for the nuns based in Gore and enthusiastically collected things to send out to the missions overseas. Nowadays with the rise in postal costs they usually send money. 

Father Finlay was chaplain to the League and members were closely involved in the early fundraising for a boys’ school in Gore. In 1955 they held a bazaar and raised 3900 pounds. Funds were also raised by holding house parties, dances, tug of war contests and a Male Debutantes’ Ball. Members of the League worked for many years to raise funds towards the opening of the school and later sewed curtains and bedspreads and did other domestic chores to help it get established. When the school was finally opened in January 1969, the Catholic Women’s League members were there, serving afternoon tea to the guests. Memories from some of their members are featured here amongst our Friends, Helpers and Supporters.

Stories from St Peter's Founding Families, Supporters, Helpers and Friends

Contact Details

Street Address: 121 Kakapo Street, Gore, Southland, New Zealand
Postal Address: P O Box 94, Gore 9740
Telephone: (03) 208 9060
Fax: (03) 208 0000
Email: office@stpetersgore.school.nz

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