Class of 48 meets with old friends

Napier old girls get to rem­i­nisce

Napier Courier - - News - BY BRENDA VOWDEN [email protected]

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.

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