Monsignor Finlay used to come out to our farm at Knapdale and he would talk about the possibility of having a Catholic boys’ school in Gore.
Initially the Capuchins were invited to staff it. The church had some property in East Gore so that helped with the funding. Local farmers had a scheme where calves were donated to add to the funds. My husband was one of those who donated grass seed for sowing the school field when the time came.
Other fundraising events were held in our woolshed. The local police kept any eye out as gambling wasn’t allowed.
When the school actually opened, the Fair Day was the big fund raiser. Brother Ted was the key player with his Tombola and Big Slide. The slide was on the bank by the chapel steps and Brother Ted didn’t think it was steep enough, so he got someone’s truck in to lift the top higher and make the slide more exciting – this was in the days before Health and Safety!
People were always generous with their donations. I was part of a group of ladies who made craft items to sell at the Fair. We used to go to a big warehouse in Dunedin and buy materials to make things. This led on to the idea of our own shop and “Our Patch” opened in Gore Main Street. The shop still thrives thirty years later, but on a different site.
Having St Peter’s open in Gore, meant that there was more competition between the schools on the sports field which was a good thing for everyone.
Parents took turns at serving for a few years on the PTFA.
The older two of Noline's children were pupils at St Peter’s and she now has grandchildren at the school.Return to Founding Families page