Old school yard recalled
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.