Slice of history up for sale

A 101-year-old piece of Pahiatua history could be uprooted from the town.

The former Brigidine Convent building on Tyndall St is for sale by tender for removal.

Owned by St Brigid's Parish in the Tararua town, the 380-square-metre building was built in 1912.

Parish priest, the Rev Brian Walsh, said he was sad the building was for sale, but it was the right decision.

"We need the money to continue with the refurbishment of the church, which is pretty much done.

"We are going to use the section to develop accommodation for the elderly in the community."

The convent was founded initially as accommodation for nuns who had travelled to Pahiatua to teach at the Catholic school, he said.

"They lived in houses in the town from 1906 until the convent was built."

During their time there, the sisters taught piano in the front room, hosted people in need and helped teach people with speech problems.

Mr Walsh said the sisters left the convent in 1998, but it was still a much-used building.

"It was used as accommodation for refugee families as they got adjusted to the area. It was also used by local people who were out of accommodation or in transit.

"The parish used it quite charitably."

In recent times, it had been used for meetings, children's classes and social events run by the parish.

The hardest part about selling the building was the loss of history. "There is a lot of memories of the old convent, especially from the sisters' point of view," Mr Walsh said.

He hoped the building would be put to good use, possibly as a restaurant or wedding venue.

Property Brokers agent John Arends, who is selling the building for the parish, said it was not often an old convent came up for sale.

Although it was 101 years old, the building did not look it, he said.

Tenders are due by 2pm on Thursday, March 14.

Manawatu Standard