About Our School



From the earliest days of Catholic settlement in Dannevirke, it had been the hope and intention of the parishioners that their children would have a Catholic education provided for them in Dannevirke. Not until the church had been built and the parish priest housed in suitable accommodation were they able to turn their attention to this goal.

An announcement was made to the parish on Sunday 5 April 1909 that, through His Grace Archbishop Redwood, arrangements had been made with the Sisters of the Mission to build a convent in Dannevirke.

Tenders were called in August of the same year for a building capable of housing up to 100 children but with the provision for allowing for further enlargement. The successful tenderer was Mr JH Fairhurst, who was responsible for many of the early buildings of the town.

The foundation stone was unofficially laid by a member of the contractors team in December 1909 but Father Cahill, the parish priest at the time, re-covered it until the official ceremony conducted by Archbishop Redwood on Sunday 30 January 1910.

Archbishop Redwood dedicated the school to St. Joseph, stating that it would “consequently be called St. Joseph’s School.” It is interesting to note that despite this, it is only since the demolition of the brick convent in 1988 that the more commonly used term “Convent School” has given way to that which was originally intended.

In his address Archbishop Redwood made reference to the enthusiasm of Father Cahill in providing the children of the parish with a good Catholic education, and expressed the hope that a new convent would soon be a reality. At this time the parish had made remarkable progress in a very short time and it was one of the most up-to-date of the Diocese.



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