Share the mem­o­ries at re­union

Central Leader - - News - By Carly Tawhiao

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.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

One hun­dred years: For­mer Eden­dale Pri­mary School pupils Lou Farn­don and Stan Foster share some mem­o­rable mo­ments on the school’s orig­i­nal stone wall.

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