The Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny, Victoria Avenue, Remuera
Cluny Kindergarten at 74 Victoria Avenue, Remuera, closed its doors for the final time on 4 December 2020. The convent and kindergarten on a 2,820m² site, in a Single House zone, is now up for sale. 
In September 1948, the Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny religious order bought a property in Remuera to serve as a Novitiate, the house being given the name ‘Maryknoll’. In 1952 an adjoining property in Victoria Avenue was purchased, and the novitiate was transferred there. Maryknoll then became the Provincial House for the order. 
In 1954 at the request of some parents, a small kindergarten was opened in the basement of the convent, previously a horses’ stable changed to accommodate the children. A school was opened shortly afterwards and about twenty years later was closed, when Catholic Schools were integrated into the state system. The school building was then used as a kindergarten. This work survived the years and until the burden of the property became too much for the ageing community. [2, 3]
Also in the 1950s a further adjoining property was bought, and served as a hostel for students and working girls for about twenty years before it was rented to the Franciscan Fathers for their Postulate. 
In 1986 renovations were begun on the former hostel, which by this time had been vacated by the Franciscans, who had moved to their own house. Between the time the Franciscans moved out, and the renovations were started, it was occupied by a Vietnamese refugee family. In 1987 the sisters moved out of Maryknoll, which was sold, into the newly renovated house, which became the new ‘Maryknoll’. In 2011 when the Provincial House in Meadowbank was sold and Maryknoll became the Provincial House until 2013 when it was relocated to Tauranga. 
Provincial Leader Sr Allison Macalister has said of the closure that they planned to gift the school to the diocese, but that fell through. Another plan to gift the building to another kindergarten also failed to materialise. Instead, they donated all the educational materials to schools in South Auckland, and will be selling the property as is.
Sister Allison said that religious orders like theirs have young members who could possibly run it, but those sisters are in other countries.
“It’s very hard to get visas just to come in for apostolic work,” she said. “We are finding that really quite hard because there is a big space between the 1960s and the 1990s where there were no vocations. That leaves a big, big hole in religious communities to be able to continue the work.”
“Realistically, we know that we are not able to sustain the governance of the kindergarten into the future, and the house that we currently live in is not really suitable for elderly people, and so we’ve decided to make this move,” she said. “The kindergarten has touched a lot of lives, not only the children but also their parents.”