School days the best of days
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.