School days the best of days

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By HEATHER GUR­NEY

I be­lieve the great­est gift you can give your chil­dren is a good ed­u­ca­tion and I cer­tainly re­ceived that at Mata­mata In­ter­me­di­ate and Mata­mata Col­lege.

My mem­o­ries were very happy ones – right from the very start when we were as­sem­bled un­der the large trees at the col­lege while the roll was called.

There seemed to be hundreds of us and I re­mem­ber think­ing, ‘‘Wow, 1948 and 1949 must have been very busy times for Mumo and Dado’’.

We seemed to do end­less tests, spell­ing, long di­vi­sions and men­tal maths in an ef­fort to grade up into classes. Six­teen of us joined the form twos with Mr O’Car­roll as our teacher.

We car­ried the desks and chairs across the col­lege play­ing field, over the fence and into our new class­rooms. I felt we were very lucky to have Mr O’Car­roll. He took an in­ter­est in all of us.

We had our own pop singer, Peter Ut­tinger. He brought his gui­tar to school and sang Save the last dance for me to the class. Did he ever make it to Hol­ly­wood? I was sure he would.

My pas­sion was net­ball. We had an awe­some team and stayed to­gether the rest of my school years.

Twenty-five years later I still have our photo framed and on the wall. I was so proud of that team.

Our shoot­ers Rangi Dou­glas ( nee Wini­ata) and Jenny Green could send that ball clean through the hoop, of­ten from the edge of the goal cir­cle and no one

for could de­fend Pam Smith, she was so fast around the court.

We could have been the All Blacks play­ing for New Zealand – the feel­ing was so ex­hil­a­rat­ing.

So when I hear peo­ple say, ‘‘I hated school’’, I think, ‘‘I didn’t, they were one of the best times of my life. I must have just been lucky’’.

Look­ing back: Heather Gur­ney, fifth from the left, with her net­ball team. She was the first pre­fect at Mata­mata In­ter­me­di­ate when it opened 50 years ago. She will at­tend the Mata­mata In­ter­me­di­ate School 50th Re­union cel­e­bra­tions on Oc­to­ber 21 to 22.

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