When Brother Ted wanted prizes for the St Peter’s Fair, he would visit La Hood’s Chemist shop in Gore and convince Mark’s father that lots of items on the shelves were no longer needed and could be donated for his Tombola.  He would often phone the family and ask what they were having for tea.  If he liked the sound of it, he would say he’d be there in half an hour – if he didn’t -  he’d go elsewhere!


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These are just two of Mark La Hood’s memories from his time at St Peter’s College.  He didn’t realise it then, but looking back, he acknowledges just how inspirational and influential the Rosminians were in teaching their students.  Many of them came from Europe in the 60s and 70s and brought a world view to Gore, which could be quite parochial back then.  Brother Ted, especially, was a well known and much loved character in the locality.

Mark was a pupil here for seven years in the 1970s – followed by a younger brother and two sisters.  He recalls that growing up in Gore was uncomplicated in those days.  Whatever the weather, you walked or biked to school; discipline was strict but fair and you knew where you stood.  In the days before cyber bullying and drugs problems, you made your own entertainment with your friends – a bike and a fishing rod were all that was needed.

When he left St Peter’s, Mark went on to study pharmacy and after qualifying, worked in Auckland, before returning to the family business in Gore.

He has travelled widely, but still thinks that Gore is a great place to bring up a family – a caring community and an enviable environment.  Mark makes the most of what is on offer here and in the surrounding areas, enjoying cycling and running, as well as skiing and other sports.

He still thinks there could be more recreational facilities in town that people could walk to, especially down by the river – perhaps a playground and barbeque area and riverside walk where families could picnic and relax together and enjoy their surroundings.

When he meets old friends from his schooldays, Mark says there is an instant bond and he enjoys keeping in touch with old classmates. 

He didn’t have a particular career in mind as he went through school, but jokes that he started work in the pharmacy aged four, when his dad sent him up the chimney of the old pharmacy building to remove some bricks from the top.  He was the only one small enough to go up and his dad wanted to prove to the council that the chimney wasn’t holding the whole building up and so could be removed.

In the intervening years, the advent of computers may have changed the pharmacy business in undreamed of ways, but the family commitment to the town remains the same.

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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