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The Jubilee History of Nelson: From 1842 to 1892.

St. Mary's Schools

St. Mary's Schools.

Father Garin's schools were established in 1850, and were numerously attended by Protestants as well as Catholics. The school was opened first of all in the chapel, the teacher being Miss O'Dowd. The daily attendance at first was 19 boys and 20 girls.

Shortly after, the Rev. Father Garin opened a boarding-school, of which he took personal charge. One of his earliest pupils was Francis Redwood, who, after being well grounded by Father Garin during three years, went to France, where be remained some years, but completed his studies in Ireland, where he was ordained a priest, and became a member of the Marist Order. After spending some time as a Professor in Dundalk College, and having acquired practical knowledge of parish work in Dublin, Father Eedwood was on 10th February, 1874, appointed Bishop of Wellington in succession to the late Bishop Viard; and in 1887 he became Archbishop of Wellington and Metropolitan of the Catholic Church in New Zealand. His Grace is also a member of the Senate of the New Zealand University.

Father Garin also established the Convent and the High page 160and Parish schools for girls, and the Industrial schools for both boys and girls—all of which institutions he lived to see grow from very small beginnings, into large and flourishing establishments. On the occasion of the jubilee of his ordination, viz., 19th October, 1884, the Venerable Father Garin was created Archpriest of Nelson. He died, universally respected, on the 14th April,. 1889, and his remains lie in the crypt of the Mortuary Chapel of St. Michael, which was erected in the Nelson cemetery by subscriptions from all classes and creeds, as a monument to his memory.

The St. Mary's High school and Parish school for girls have been conducted for years by the Sisters of the Order of Our Lady of Missions. For some time subsidies were received from the Provincial funds, the schools were regularly inspected by the State, and were free to all. Since the introduction of the New Zealand Education Act no subsidies have been paid, and they have become private schools, at which moderate fees are charged. The quality of the education and thoroughness of the work were always highly spoken of by the Inspector—and it is satisfactory to know that, notwithstanding the withdrawal of Government aid, these schools are still numerously attended, and maintain their high repute.

The boys' school has languished since the present Act came Into force, but is shortly to be re-opened under the charge of the Marist Brothers, who have a high reputation in Sydney and Other places as competent and successful teachers.