Summers past: contests, coal and calls
Once upon a time Porirua actually experienced a summer.
This week we take a look back over the old issues of Kapi-Mana News at how news of summers past were reported.
Since 1952, when our records began, advertisements for school uniforms, jobs for school leavers and news of summer parades made the pages - how much has changed?
In 1952, sun smart citizens could buy straw hats ‘‘for Dad and the boys’’ at Hendry’s Drapery Store or spend a rainy day at Porirua Pictures watching Burt Lancaster in Ten Tall Men.
In March 1953, the ‘‘appalling conditions under which 116 children and 3 teachers exist at Titahi School’’ prompted the Education Board to erect two more classrooms.
Somewhat menacingly, school parents were warned committee members would ‘‘soon be canvassing the district for the collection of voluntary donations’’.
The same year we reported summer telephone traffic had been ‘‘exceptionally busy’’ for the Plimmerton exchange, which handled 500 outward calls alone on one day.
Milnes Store carried large stocks of rubbers and ‘‘undergarments’’ for the 1956 new school term while another advertisement warned readers to order their winter coal to avoid missing out.
The paper tackled the tricky subject of co-education for Porirua College after a reader wrote to express his displeasure at the proposal.
‘‘Secondary school children go to school to learn, not catch the eye of the first-fifteen captain,’’ he wrote.
In 1962 an ‘‘extreme teacher shortage’’ was worrying parents - concerned mothers should get out and do the job themselves, a columnist said.
Paremata School’s 1957 summer concert received rave reviews but they still needed to raise £150 for their new playground.
For school leavers there were plenty of career choices. Girls could apply to be a laundress at Porirua Hospital - receiving a sal- ary of £415 - while boys could apply to be a laundryman which would get them £583 a year.
In 1958 the ever-popular Bathing Beauty contest in Paraparaumu attracted 30 entrants and was won by Miss Doreen Melville of Tawa Flat.
Titahi School went for a summer bus trip to Rotorua, the paper reported.
There were 41 pupils and adults onboard, 992 photos were taken and 114 letters written arranging the adventure.
The 1961 Summer Show run by the Elsdon ladies fellowship was a great success with the popular cooking, sewing and knitting competition won by a Mrs Morgan.
The 1958 Bathing Beauty contest was won by MIss Doreen Melville of Tawa Flat.
Titahi School’s Rotorua trip.