You are on page 1of 4

Issue 2 Volume 5 April 2016

MT ROSKILL (Puketapapa)
From the Editor:
This issue continues the story about the Sisters of Mercy and the Catholic
Churchs involvement with the Pah Homestead. The school is currently being
demolished but the Whare, now in open view as one drives up to the
Homestead, will remain. Restored this building will be a wonderful addition to
the historical precinct but sadly there will be little to show of the educational
activity that took place at the Pah. Hopefully one day the story of the Pah Farm
and its different activities will be available for all to see. Part of the Whare
would make a wonderful space for that history to be displayed when people
visit Monte Cecilia Park.
From the President

We are co-hosting with Avondale/Waterview, the NZ History Federation conference &

AGM, 30 April 2016 at Alberton. I will be representing our society at the AGM but
members are able to attend as observers. Anyone interested in attending the conference
please contact Lisa Truttman ph (828-8494, or email by 8 April.
Lisa will tell you about fees to cover admin, cost of morning tea, lunch etc.
We also need helpers to assist with preparing the morning tea and lunch. Contact Lisa if
you can assist.
Also you might like to attend these two events that are part of the Conference
Movie (Woman in Gold) and dinner at Ryders Cinema, on the Saturday evening 30th
April ($35 per person).
Or join in a visit to the ceramics museum in New Lynn, Te Toi Uku, at 11 am on Sunday
1 May (free entry) Again contact Lisa if you wish to participate in either these events.
This is dependent on enough people wishing to participate.
Work continues on entering data on to the Roskills People Database with the number
of references to 1840-1940 residents growing close to 23,000 entries. This is a long term
project that will provide a wonderful local resource for people doing historical and
genealogical research.
Please continue to check out the Facebook page, details below.
On Twitter go to www.twitter/RoskillHeritage
On Facebook, go to

Avondale/Waterview Historical Society

At St Ninians, St Georges Road (opposite the Hollywood Cinema.)
Avondale-Waterview HS talks:

April 2 2pm Janet Chandler, The Silk Road

June 4 2pm Dinah Holman, A History of Crime Dinah will be talking about her historical novel
that is all about Thomas Russell (Pah Farm owner) and his powerful associates. Mingling timeless

themes of misunderstanding and betrayal, A History of Crime interweaves real and fictional crimes in
19th century NZ. This talk is one not to be missed by Mt Roskill (Puketapapa) members.
Tuesday 12 April 10 am at Ryders Cinema, 177 Riversdale Road, Avondale
A Royal Night Out A Royal Night Out is a 2015 British romantic comedy-drama film
directed by Julian Jarrold and written by Trevor de Silva and Kevin Hood. The film
stars Sarah Gadon as the young Princess Elizabeth, who with Princess Margaret (Bel Powley)
ventures out of Buckingham Palace to enjoy the VE Day celebrations. (Wikipedia)
Movie, roast lunch and an ice cream all for $25.
RSVP to Alison Turner (825-0300) or Lisa Truttman (828-8494, or email by 2 April.
All Mt Roskill (Puketapapa) Historical members are welcome to attend.

The Pah Homestead - Monte Cecilia Part 3

From 1926 to 1976 Monte Cecilia (the Pah Homestead) provided education for boarders and day
pupils. Initially it was a boarding school for boys but by 1937 girls were enrolled as day pupils.

New Zealand Herald, Volume LXXV, Issue 22970, 23 February 1938, Page 9
This photo shows some of the boys working in the gardens surrounding the Homestead. Around
this time the church started subdividing the land surrounding the Homestead. The first subdivision
was for the Franciscan Friary.

The photo below shows the Monte Cecilia Scout group with Franciscan Brother Paschal. Obviously
the Franciscans took an interest in the schools activities.

Photo courtesy Mercy Archives

In 1964 the school then became a boarding school for girls and day pupils. The photo below
shows the Homestead with the girls in the grounds.

'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 7-A3145'

Amongst the boarders were girls from the Pacific Islands. The photo on the next page shows
Sister Mary Ignatius, with Queen Salote being presented with a bouquet of flowers by
Samoan pupil Jewel Meredith.

Photo courtesy Mercy Archives

From 1965 until 1969 the Homestead became a national training institute for entrants to the Mercy
Order who were undertaking teacher training. In 1976 Monte Cecilia became a religious training
institute for the Auckland Catholic Diocese and the school was relocated to the west of the Homestead
and became a parish school. This school continued until December 2015 when it relocated to its new
home at St John Vianney Parish. By the end of March the last of the school buildings will have been
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------NZ HISTORICAL FEDERATION
With both Lisa and myself involved with the Federation we are well represented at this level of the
work done by Historical Societies around the country. Our trip to Hawera was very successful. We
managed to visit museums and make contact with member organisations throughout Taranaki.

------------------------------------------------------------------------Check out our website!!
JOINING INFORMATION One year subscription: $10
Puketapapa Historical Society Membership Officer
Garth Houltham
15 McIlroy Avenue, Hillsborough, Auckland 1042.
President/Treasurer Garth Houltham
Membership: Garth Houltham
Vice-President: Lisa Truttman
Minutes Secretary: Margaret Ting
Newsletter: Garth Houltham.
Committee: Joanne Graves, John Adam, Leonie Leman, Peter McConnell and Anneli
If anyone knows people who might be interesting in joining our Society please
forward this newsletter on to them by email or forward their details to our
Membership Officer.

Related Interests