St James kindy has proud his­tory

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By SHEL­LEY GRECO

St James Kinder­garten is cel­e­brat­ing 100 years of ed­u­ca­tion.

The Grey Lynn preschool is mark­ing its cen­te­nary this week­end and the pub­lic is in­vited to join them.

Former teacher Ju­dith Goldie, 72, first ar­rived at St James while train­ing to be a teacher in 1959.

‘‘St James in those days I re­mem­ber as be­ing like a house with lots of dif­fer­ent rooms and there were dif­fer­ent ac­tiv­i­ties in the rooms,’’ she says.

‘‘As teach­ing stu­dents we had to wear smocks which were bought from Smith & Caughey’s. And if we got paint on them it was there for­ever.’’

Ms Goldie, who still works as a re­lief teacher at the school, says she en­joyed her time at St James.

‘‘At lunchtime we sat around the ta­ble and a table­cloth was put on the ta­ble with a lit­tle vase of flow­ers.

‘‘I al­ways re­mem­ber that; that was quite a thing.’’

Opened in Fe­bru­ary 1913, St James is one of the old­est sur­viv­ing kin­der­gartens in Auck­land.

It was the third kinder­garten to be es­tab­lished by the Auck­land Kinder­garten As­so­ci­a­tion and was ini­tially housed in the St James Church hall in Welling­ton St.

It has been at its Home St ad­dress since 1924.

Through­out the years St James has re­ceived sev­eral awards.

In 2006, it be­came the first preschool to join the En­vi­roschools pro­gramme. Since then, it has re­duced waste by 50 per cent through com­post­ing, worm farms and re­cy­cling.

The garden has been ex­ten­sively devel­oped and a wide va­ri­ety of fruit and veg­eta­bles are grown, har­vested and eaten by the chil­dren.

In 2007 the kinder­garten was awarded a Sil­ver En­vi­roschools Award and three years later it be­came the first Auck­land preschool to gain a Green Gold En­vi­roschools Award.

Then in 2010 St James was also awarded an Auck­land Re­gional Coun­cil Sus­tain­abil­ity Award in the be­yond re­cy­cling cat­e­gory.

St James Kinder­garten opened with just two teach­ers and 16 chil­dren. Al­most a cen­tury later 60 chil­dren at­tend the cen­tre each day.

The kinder­garten’s youngest stu­dent, Freya An­der­son, 3, en­joys her time at the pre-school.

‘‘I like the toys and the swings,’’ she says.

Cen­te­nary cel­e­bra­tions will in­clude a mo­saic dis­play cre­ated by the chil­dren based on what they think is spe­cial about St James to­day.

One of the par­ents has cre­ated a stone sculp­ture of a child’s head which will be mounted on a plinth and used as part of a time cap­sule.

Free­lance his­to­rian and writer of up­com­ing book ‘A His­tory of St James Kinder­garten 1913-2013’, Ta­nia Mace says: ‘‘It’s an op­por- tu­nity for peo­ple to see the kinder­garten and those who have been here in the past can come back and see what it’s like now.’’

‘A His­tory of St James Kinder­garten 1913-2013’ will be on sale and avail­able from the school later this month.

The open day and of­fi­cial cer­e­mony is on Sun­day be­tween 11am and 2pm at St James Kinder­garten, 25 Home St, Grey Lynn.


Cen­te­nary cel­e­bra­tions: Ju­dith Goldie, 72, taught at St James Kinder­garten in the 1950s while Freya An­der­son, 3, is the new­est and youngest stu­dent.

Former stu­dents: Don Baker, 81, and his sis­ter Pat Walden, 88, both at­tended St James Kinder­garten as small chil­dren in the 1920s and 1930s.


Art room:

Chil­dren at St James Kinder­garten in 1950s.

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