June 21, 2016
St Joe’s history in interviews
A proposed bilingual oral history of St Joseph’s Maori Girls’ College has won one of this year’s New Zealand Oral History grants.
Researcher Stephanie Tibble intends to complete the history in time for the Napier-based school’s 150th Anniversary in 2017.
St Joseph’s is one of only two remaining Maori girls’ boarding schools.
It has a history of academic excellence, with past pupils including Dame Whina Cooper, Maori language champion Katerina Te Heikoko Mataira and singer Moana Maniapoto.
More than $100,000 has been awarded to 13 projects, which will support the recording of interviews.
Belinda De Mayo won funding for the second stage of her project looking at northern Maori schools, this time covering the period from 1954 to 1959.
Other projects funded will look at sheep shearing, Cook Island music-making and lesbian social life in the 1980s.
Neill Atkinson, the chief historian of Manatu Taonga, Ministry for Culture and Heritage, says the annual grants make a significant contribution to collecting local histories.
The funding comes from a gift from the Australian government in 1990.
Since then, more than 400 oral history projects have been completed and deposited in the Alexander Turnbull Library’s Oral History Centre in Wellington, where they are available to researchers and the general public.
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