Class of 48 meets with old friends
Napier old girls get to reminisce
The class of 48, known as the 48-ers, had another memorable reunion when they met up for a weekend of socialising and reminiscing recently.
Thirty former Napier Girls’ High School (NGHS) students came from Christchurch, Wellington, Palmerston North, Auckland, Tauranga/Mount Manganui and locally for the weekend long gathering. This isn’t the first time the 83 year olds have met up — the last time was three years ago to celebrate their 80th birthdays. Smaller groups get together every four months or so for morning tea and a catch-up, says organiser Shirley Prince.
Shirley says starting high school in 1948 brought more than its usual set of challenges.
“Our group — the 48ers — started high school the year of the polio outbreak and we didn’t start until March that year and did our school work through the correspondence school.”
The 48-ers includes a retired Dean of a Canadian University, hospital matron, Justice of the Peace, volunteers in several fields and several business owners. There was plenty of catching up to do over the weekend, which started with afternoon tea put on by staff at NGHS.
“Those of us who have not visited the school in the past few years noticed a huge change in the buildings and the size of the school now. When we started school I believe there were about 300 pupils — now there are over 1000.”
The women enjoyed a luncheon at the Napier RSA on Saturday, which began with a meet and greet, and on Sunday morning they planted a tree at Colin James’ memorial garden. The group didn’t structure too much into the weekend, leaving plenty of free time to catch up with friends or take a ride to view “our lovely city” and the Nyree Dawn Porter display at the museum.
The 48-ers is not just about looking back — they have also all donated towards a one-off scholarship.
“The criteria will be a pupil who has worked hard to succeed, but would not qualify for any formal scholarship. We hope this will help her to obtain training in a non academic field,” Shirley says. The group is part of the NGHS Old Girls which has a membership of more than 100 former pupils who meet on the third Thursday of each month at the Community Hall in Tait Drive.
“We always have interesting speakers and a lovely afternoon tea. The head mistress comes to speak to us about what is happening at the school, and we occasionally have pupils’ music group or choir come to entertain us.”
Napier Girls’ High School class of 48 get together.