St Joseph's Māori Girls' Class of 1905 / Supplied by Stephanie Tibble.
Three old girls of St Joseph’s Māori Girls’ College reminisce about their time at the school as it celebrates its 150th year.
Former students Hera Black, Amiria Arapere Tibble and her sister-in-law Stephanie Tibble spoke to Kawekōrero Reporters about their college days.
Hera Black grew up in the Ringatu faith and then had to learn a whole new religion when she entered the Catholic college.
She says, “It's a never ending journey when you follow a religion. It's not a matter of separating them. It's the belief of a person which is the defining thing here. Whatever they believe in first of all they must believe in themselves.
St Jo’s was founded in 1867 by the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions in Napier.
Amiria Tibble says, “I really enjoyed it. Because I grew up in a Catholic home. All my siblings went to a Catholic school. So it was only right that we would come here when we were growing up.”
Stephanie Tibble says, “Because I went to a Catholic primary school I was used to the priests and the nuns on my arrival to St Joseph's. The priests at that time, they knew how to speak Māori. They would recite the prayers in Māori.”
More than a thousand old girls were welcomed back to the school for celebrations that will last throughout the weekend.