Ex-pupil marks 90 years
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.’’
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.