Māori girls' college celebrates 150 years

4:49 pm on 3 October 2017

Thousands of past students are expected to travel to Napier this weekend for the 150 year anniversary of St Joseph's Māori Girls College.

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St Joseph's will celebrate its 150th anniversary this weekend. Photo: Screenshot / Google Maps

The Māori catholic boarding school will host a number of events celebrating the anniversary.

There will be an exhibition of archival material and oral histories, a presentation about the school book by historian Malcolm Mullholland and a banquet dinner.

Stephanie Tibble, a former student and event organiser, has been collecting interviews from kuia who were students, sisters and principals at the school.

Ms Tibble said students from overseas were returning home for the occasion.

"It's going to be great to catch up with people, but I think also it's significant in that St Joseph's is one of only two Māori girls' colleges that remain today."

Jubilee committee chairperson Julie Tangaere said the school was excited to host whānau during the weekend.

"It's really going to be a great event. St Joseph's has been home to many girls over the years. It will be great to get together and share memories and acknowledge the school."

The school was established by the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions in 1867 and former students include famed Māori activist Dame Whina Cooper.

In 1995, the ownership of the school was handed over from the church to iwi Māori who established a trust board.