Old school yard re­called

South Waikato News - - NEWS/OPINION -

Shirley Mac­far­lane can re­call the old Te Waotu school play­ground.

‘‘It was called a pad­dock and we used our imag­i­na­tion,’’ Mrs Mac­far­lane said.

Mrs Mac­far­lane at­tended the Te Waotu Full Pri­mary School 125th birth­day cel­e­bra­tions over the week­end, ac­com­pa­nied by her daugh­ter Ros­alie Mac­far­lane, brother Mau­rice Smith and his two daugh­ters.

Mrs Mac­far­lane, 90, at­tended Te Waotu Full Pri­mary School in 1932. Her brother, Mau­rice, 93, had fin­ished school be­fore the fam­ily moved to the area.

‘‘ We moved here from Wan­ganui be­cause dad’s cows died from cat­tle sick­ness. Dad farmed here in Waotu for a few years,’’ Mr Smith said.

Mr Smith’s three girls all at­tended Te Waotu Full Pri­mary School. Mr Smith lives in Pu­taruru, where Mrs Mac­far­lane lived and raised her chil­dren up un­til a few years ago when she moved to Auck­land to be closer to her daugh­ter.

Mrs Mac­far­lane re­mem­bers when the school con­sisted of only two class rooms.

‘‘A lot has changed, they have more class rooms now and a play­ground for the chil­dren. It is won­der­ful to be able to come here and cel­e­brate with the school. They have done a mar­vel­lous job.’’

An­other former stu­dent, Bob Gingles, who at­tended the school in 1940, was over­come with emo­tion af­ter the stu­dents of the school put on a play chron­i­cling the changes in the through out the years.

‘‘The per­for­mance made me so proud to be from here, the whole thing ac­tu­ally. I plus ev­ery sin­gle per­son at this birth­day feel so wel­comed and cared for. Congratulations are in or­der to the school for putting on such a won­der­ful event, let’s hope it goes for an­other 100 years.’’

The school also blessed their new hall, named Ron­gowhitiao af­ter the founder of the school.


FAM­ILY AF­FAIR: Mau­rice Smith and sis­ter Shirley Mac­far­lane sur­rounded by their chil­dren at the Te Waotu Full Pri­mary School 125th birth­day cel­e­bra­tions.

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