Share the memories at reunion
An awful lot has changed at Edendale Primary School over the century.
But as it prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary this Labour weekend with a major reunion, the changes give past and present pupils and staff plenty more to talk about.
Gala days, trams passing every 10 minutes, square dancing, singing, playing the recorder, athletics, and the “fun doctor” – an entertainer who performed for the school by playing the piano with a chair balanced on his head – are just some of the memories that reunion committee members Lou Farndon and Stan Foster have.
“Sandringham’s been a great district and although the area and the school has changed, it would be good for people to come and share their recollections,” says Mr Foster, who attended Edendale Primary School from 1926 to 1932.
“The centennial is something to be proud of. We’d love to see people coming back and I can see no reason why it shouldn’t be here for another 100 years.”
Mr Farndon agrees.
“The last reunion in 1984 was so good. Everyone in my age group turned up and we want to make sure that happens again.”
His most fond memories during his time at the school from 1949 to 1954 relate mostly to friendships made because he says he was not always popular with the teachers.
“They were very good teachers and you learnt a lot but I’m a social person. I got into my fair share of trouble,” he laughs.
Rosemary Vivien, who took on the role of Edendale’s first female school principal in 1997, says she’s often told how the school has stood its pupils in good stead at secondary school.
“It’s amazing really, a real privilege and a good challenge,” she says.
In preparation for the centennial, she took the school’s year 5 and 6 pupils to visit Archives New Zealand to get a sense of its history.
Archivist Mark Stoddart says the visit from such a young age group was rare and refreshing.
“We enjoyed their enthusiasm and interest. It’s great to see young kids interested in research and enjoying themselves.”
The events planned for Labour weekend include a mix and mingle evening followed by a ticketed social dinner on Saturday.
From Monday visitors are welcome to see the school in action, with daytime activities hosted or performed by the students.
For information or to register contact Jilly Dutton on 846-6340 ext 222 or email jdutton@ edendale.school.nz.
One hundred years: Former Edendale Primary School pupils Lou Farndon and Stan Foster share some memorable moments on the school’s original stone wall.