Schooling at St Joseph’s runs in the family
Going to school at the weekend isn’t most kids’ idea of fun.
But that’s exactly what pupils at St Joseph’s School in Onehunga will be doing this Sunday.
The school is celebrating its 160th anniversary with an open day this weekend.
Children will be in class for a normal day while visitors will be able to see a range of educational activities, take part in lunchtime sports and join in a group mass in the afternoon.
Among those attending the open day will be Basil Hafoka, who was a pupil at the school more than 50 years ago.
His son Gregory went to St Joseph’s in the 1970s and the family tradition is being continued with Gregory’s children Maddison, 5, and Connor, 6, now there.
Mr Hafoka says there has always been a sense of community at St Joseph’s.
“I wanted to carry on the tradition of Catholic education and send my children to the school,” he says.
“It’s very well established, it’s been here for a long time and it will be here for a long time yet.”
The site of St Joseph’s School was gifted to St Joseph’s Church in the 1840s to be used for education.
The school began in 1848 with 44 pupils and now has 280.
Principal Andy Thompson says the site of the current school is one of the oldest places of education in Auckland.
“Not many schools can link their past to the same decade as the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi,” he says.
Mr Thompson says the children have come around to the idea of going to school on a Sunday.
“They were quite shocked at first but now they are looking forward to it, they have realised it is something a bit different,” he says.
“And the promise of having their Christmas holidays a day early has helped with that.”
Mr Hafoka says the open day will give people a chance to reminisce and see people they had lost touch with.
The open day will run from 8.45am to 2.30pm on Sunday at 125 Church St, Onehunga.
Family ties: From left: Gregory, Maddison, Connor and Basil Hafoka have all been pupils at St Joseph’s School in Onehunga. The school is celebrating 160 years of education with an open day this Sunday.