From The Early History of Wellington
by Frank M. Leckie
Whitcombe & Tombs Limited 1934
The first school of any consequence in Wellington which I can
trace is that of Mr Finnimore. It flourished from about 1845 to
1868 and was situated in Willis Street to the south of the then
Union Bank which was used subsequently as the site of the Albert
Hotel [the Albert Hotel after being fifty years in existence was
demolished in 1929 to make room for the Hotel St George which
occupies the whole corner] Carved wooden effigies of old
identities of Wellington were to be seen at the hotel until quite
recently. In front of the school itself was a large clay house,
which was erected after the big earthquake of 1848. There is a
legend still current that all the pupils of Finnimores
School wrote a particularly good, round hand. This is more than
borne out by the letters I have received from some of these old
boys. Mr Walter Armstrong of Greytown recently deceased, in an
interesting letter of 4th June, 1931, about old school days,
enclosed a list of boys who attended Mr Finnimores School
from 1861 to 1867. The list is remarkable for the number of
well-known Wellington names it contains, and for the number of
boys who subsequently attended Wellington College. The following
names are contained in the list:-
Le Compte, T.
Smith, J. Wallace
Taylor, Jno. W.
Webb, Joe J.
Webb, Peter P.
Wilkinson, Jas. W