Around 250 former pupils, teachers, family, and friends attended the St Dominic’s School for the Deaf 50th jubilee in Feilding over Anzac Weekend (Friday 22 April – Monday 25 April 1994). Among the special highlights of a successful weekend, the fifth reunion organised by the Manawatu Catholic Deaf and Friends Association president Maree Caroll, was the pilgrimage back to the original Dover Street site.
The ex-pupils and friends, who had stopped for lunch on the way at the Botanical Gardens in Wellington, spent around one-and-half-hours looking around the original St Dominic’s building, which was once a convent, chapel, dining room, kitchen, boy’s bedroom and laundry. The building had changed considerably in the preceding years and the original layout was completely different to how it was during the visit. This mean the group did not manage to see the girl’s dormitory, hall and another classroom which had been separated onto a separate title. Two classrooms had also been transferred to another site, with the old playground area on another separate title and turned into a modern home. The group noted that the garage at the front hadn’t changed, nor the other houses on Dover Street. Many stories and jokes were shared on the bus back home, with a few grabbing the opportunity to have a nap after a busy Golden Jubilee weekend!
St Dominic’s School for the Deaf was founded in March 1944 in Dover Street, Island Bay, Wellington. The school moved to Feilding in 1953 when it outgrew its Wellington premises.
Source: Ephpheta – New Zealand Catholic Deaf Newsletter, 1994 Vol. 16.