Loyola Williams (1970-2000) looks back on her time at St Peter’s College

“I still turned right when coming out of Vogel Street”

Long after she left St Peter’s College, this was Loyola’s automatic reaction when she left home.  Thirty years of teaching there had left their mark.  Loyola was invited to join the staff in 1970 by Father Hurdidge, the Headmaster, who felt that there was a gap in the school’s provision for girls.  In the male dominated environment, of what was originally to be a boys’ boarding school, run by Rosminian priests, the decision was taken to go co-ed.  With girls coming on board, the thinking had to change and Loyola’s experience as a co-ed secondary teacher was going to be invaluable.

Loyola's story continues below.

With a background in Home Economics teaching, Loyola’s brief was to introduce a different perspective – “Education for Life”.  Many of the girls came from rural backgrounds and were used to hardwork lifestyles, but she tried to instil in her pupils that creativity could be an integral part of everyday life, no matter how mundane.  Aiming high at school became the norm for girls as well as boys and many girls from St Peter’s have gone on to study medicine and law, achieving high status in their fields.  They are also well represented in the upper echelons of the business world and many other spheres.

Over her thirty years of teaching at St Peter’s, the biggest transformation was in the make up of the teaching staff.  As the first lay teacher joining the ranks of priests and nuns she brought with her a different perspective, more in touch with everyday life.  By the end of her career the balance  had changed with only one religious, Sister Sian, on the staff.

Strong local traditions of hospitality were always in evidence in school and when they had visiting teams for sports fixtures, Loyola would help with laying on a good spread of soup, cakes and fruit.  Perhaps this is where her legendary pumpkin soup rose to fame.  She shares the recipe below.

Loyola still retains strong links with the SPC community and these days she remembers to turn left when she wants to go to town!

Loyola’s Pumpkin Soup
2 rashers bacon, I med onion, 3 tsp chicken stock, 1 tsp curry powder, 1 blade thyme, 2-3 potatoes sliced, 1 pumpkin skinned and sliced. Boil all together and then simmer for ¾ hour. 

When cool, put through liquidiser.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Freeze or serve as follows:  Heat with milk – ¾ pumpkin mix to ¼ milk.

Add knob butter and sprinkle of marjoram.  Grate some cheese, put in bottom of bowl, pour over soup and sprinkle with ¼ tsp of marjoram and parsley

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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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