Ex-pupil marks 90 years

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By NI­COLA STE­WART ni­cola.ste­wart@wrcn.co.nz

Vic Maf­fey was six years old when he first walked through the doors of Hin­uera School in Fe­bru­ary of 1924. He can still re­mem­ber catch­ing the train from Oko­roire, where his fam­ily were sharemilk­ers.

‘‘There were just two class­rooms back then. Al­though, there were a lot of chil­dren – over 90 in 1924 and 60 or 70 in 1925,’’ said Mr Maf­fey.

‘‘A lot of the chil­dren rode horse­back to school then, the pad­dock was full of horses.’’

Mr Maf­fey wrote to the school ear­lier this year, en­clos­ing a cheque for $90 to mark 90 years since his first day. ‘‘I did it for a bit of fun ac­tu­ally,’’ he said. ‘‘I started on the third day of the sec­ond month and they started on the same day this year.

‘‘The two dates were ex­actly the same, so I thought, ‘ Oh well, I’ll write to the prin­ci­pal’.’’

He asked that the money be spent on books for the li­brary as he had al­ways loved read­ing at school.

Prin­ci­pal Dean McDon­nell said it was a buzz for farm and took up build­ing, work­ing for the McKen­zies for the next 29 years.

He found him­self back on his old romp­ing ground when he was put in charge of con­struct­ing the new Hin­uera School in 1973. ‘‘That was a big job,’’ he said. ‘‘There was me and three oth­ers. It took us six months I think. I know it was win­ter when we started and we fin­ished just af­ter the New Year in 1974.

‘‘It was very nice to be in­volved in it.’’

Mr Maf­fey was back at the school again in 1992 for its cen­te­nary and helped plan the pro­gramme.

He was most re­cently there in about 2004 when the prin­ci­pal at the time in­vited him to see the new li­brary and hall.

‘‘I en­joyed be­ing back again,’’ he said.

‘‘The prin­ci­pal took a photo of me in the ex­act spot where we had our school photo taken in 1925.’’

Photo: SUP­PLIED

Grate­ful: Stu­dents Ash­ley Cox-Milne, Mikayla Collings and Javon Law­son with their thank you letters and the new books bought with Mr Maf­fey’s do­na­tion.

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