A life in the world of education
If you are looking for an expert in early education, meet Annette Golding, who has education coursing through her 93-year-old veins.
She may not have been in a pre-school environment for more than 30 years, but Annette’s family is synonymous with education in Rangiora.
Her mother set up the very first nursery in the district — one of the first two in New Zealand — and Rangiora’s Golding Ave is named after her family.
Her grandfather built the bowling pavilion and her father ran the local hardware store for many years.
The nursery, on the Rangiora High School site, was set up by her mother in 1938, aided by a child psychologist from the UK who was also instrumental in its success.
‘‘My mother, having come over from Sydney, had to find herself something to do,’’ Golding explained.
‘‘In those days the country people would come to town on sale day and needed to leave their children in a safe place.
‘‘My mother had a lot of skills and it was a very good scheme, she kept it going for 25 years.’’
Having started out at the onset of the war, Golding remembers her mother having to beg, borrow and virtually steal to get toys for the children to play with.
As a high school student, Golding spent one day a week at the nursery with the children where she learned the ropes. Being attached to the high school, the older students were also able to practise their food preparation skills on the toddlers.
Golding began her career in physical education, specialising in movement and dance. She went on to work for the Ministry of Education as a schools’ inspector, as well as teaching pre-school teachers in the 1950s.
As something of a local education celebrity, she was asked to cut the cake for Woodend’s Acorn Preschool which celebrated its fifth birthday last month.
It was the first time she had set foot in an early-childhood centre since retiring 33 years ago and said technology had made an incredible difference to the system.
‘‘I remember my mother used to type up a weekly newsletter with a recipe on it.
‘‘It’s amazing to see the advances in society with photography, iphones and computers, and I love the way all the children have their own personal books now.’’
Annette Golding, 93, cuts the cake for Acorn Early Childcare in Woodend.