Known as the 'Black Joes' from the colour of their habits (long dresses), the Sisters of St Joseph opened the Sacred Heart Catholic school for girls in Whanganui in 1880. In 1912, when this photo was taken, they opened a new Sacred Heart convent and girls' secondary and day school on St John’s Hill. The pupils and the nuns who taught them are shown here with a maypole, a traditional focus for Easter celebrations in Europe. In 2003 Sacred Heart College combined with St Augustine's College for boys to form the co-educational Cullinane College.
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