School­ing at St Joseph’s runs in the fam­ily

Central Leader - - Front Page - By Lisa Sloan

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.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

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.

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