Newspaper Article 1991 – Reunions draw many to Hastings

Reunions draw many to Hastings

Former teachers‘ training college students, nurses, St John’s College old boys and National Bank officers gathered in Hastings for four separate reunions at the weekend.

Four hundred former students of Ardmore Teachers’ Training College in Papakura gathered at Lindisfarne College. The reunion was for students who trained at the college from 1967 to 1974. Many returned to live and teach in Hawke’s Bay.

The college began in 1948 and closed in 1974. The reunion was restricted to those who trained from 1967, marking the start of the three-year course, because organisers felt they could not cope with the numbers.

Organising committee chairman Norm Millar said the reunion was held in Hawke’s Bay because many students who trained at the college were from this area.

“We had no choice when we were training, so that’s where they sent us.”

Former trainees travelled from throughout the country and some came from Australia for the weekend.

Celebrations began on Friday evening at Lindisfarne College followed by the official opening and welcome on Saturday morning. Hastings mayor Jeremy Dwyer, a former student of the college, welcomed the crowd.

A group who attended from Gisborne went away planning another reunion for 1998 marking the 50th anniversary of Ardmore. They will invite all who trained at the college from its opening in 1948.

There were about 370 past and present registered nurses from the Hastings hospital at their reunion, some coming from as far as Britain and Australia.

The nurses came from every training class dating back to the first one held in 1942, according to reunion committee secretary Bev Palmer.

Celebrations included a cabaret on Friday night at The Assembly, a roll call and photos and another dinner on Saturday night.

One of the highlights of the weekend was the launching of a book about the hospital written by a former nurse now living in Taupo, Val Smith.

About one thousand old boys and present pupils of St John’s College dined, danced and celebrated Mass together this weekend.

One of the highlights of the 50th jubilee was the Mass at which Bishop Peter Cullinane blessed the foundation plaque for the college’s new assembly hall and gymnasium.

Past and present staff of the National Bank in Hastings celebrated their reunion with a variety of activities. Many of the 90 people who came together went hot air ballooning, and included the initiation process of burning a piece of hair and a dousing in champagne.

The former staff of the branch came from throughout the country and from Australia.

Other highlights of the weekend for the group were wine trailing, golf and a barbecue.

Photo caption – Cutting the reunion cake are two women who trained in the first Ardmore [incorrect – should be Hastings Hospital] class in 1942 [incorrect – should be 1939], Elsie Leipst, left, and Grace Clemo.

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