Beyond a century for Lichfield School
There are milestones and then there are 132 year milestones which is exactly what Lichfield School in the South Waikato has just celebrated.
Students and school staff gathered recently at the small country school which opened in 1884 15km north of Tokoroa in Lichfield Rd to mark the school’s significant birthday.
A special cake was made and shared with everyone and caretaker and elder statesman Arie Plessius had the honour of cutting it.
Principal Tony Biddick said the day meant a lot to the school which is the oldest in the district.
‘‘It is really important to celebrate the history of the school and to treasure that history because sometimes we do lose some of those important things,’’ he said.
He said the school had set up a special garden to honour its past which they planned to continue contributing towards.
‘‘We have a memorial wall at the entrance which we put in place in 2014. The school’s original plaque sits there, the centenary stone sits there and the names of anyone that dies also go on there because it is important to value our history,’’ he said.
Biddick put the school’s longevity down to the supportive community.
‘‘We go to year six and have 80 students and four classes. Most of our students come from the Lichfield area but we do have some that come from Putaruru as well,’’ he said.
‘‘The biggest thing has been the supportive community. We are a well resourced and supported school and it will continue in the future.’’
He said it was encouraging to see different generations of families coming through.
‘‘We have lots of generations coming through and there are even third and fourth generation children. It is quite amazing when you find out these sorts of things,’’ he said.
‘‘I was speaking to one mum this morning who was taking her child somewhere so I said I would save them a piece of the cake and she said ‘‘me too’’ because she had come here as well. I said all right, not a problem, ‘‘ he laughed.
Biddick said the school decided to kept things simple for the 132 year birthday.
‘‘Having the cake is mostly it but when we have a really big birthday we will make a huge fuss,’’ he said.
Lichfield School caretaker and elder statesman Arie Plessius cuts the birthday cake marking the school’s 132 years.