Rangiuru School to mark 100th

Te Puke Times - - Schools -

Rangiuru School is turn­ing 100 and will cel­e­brate its cen­ten­nial in March next year.

It was a rocky road to get the school es­tab­lished.

In May 1918, com­mu­nity mem­bers had pe­ti­tioned the Auck­land Ed­u­ca­tion Board to open a school on two acres of land that had been do­nated by Mr Mitchell but this was de­clined. Mr Mitchell and oth­ers con­tin­ued to cor­re­spond with the board and fi­nally in De­cem­ber 1918 the es­tab­lish­ment of Rangiuru School was ap­proved.

How­ever, in the mean­time, the lo­cal com­mu­nity had al­ready gone ahead and erected a 8m by 4.9m (26ft by 16ft) build­ing on the site for a sum of £200. The school of­fi­cially opened on Fe­bru­ary 17, 1919 with a roll of 16.

The orig­i­nal build­ing is still in use to­day as the school’s li­brary. New build­ings and a swim­ming pool were added in the 1960s.

Past pupil Melvin Hintz re­calls the ear­lier swim­ming pool be­ing a hole dug in the mud where stu­dents would blow bub­bles in black water.

Fur­ther de­vel­op­ment took place in the early 2000s which re­sulted in the present school lay­out.

Cur­rent prin­ci­pal Mike Gul­lick says Rangiuru School com­bines the best of tra­di­tional ru­ral school ed­u­ca­tion with mod­ern teach­ing prac­tices.

“We be­lieve that a coun­try school should be dif­fer­ent from those in town and cel­e­brate our unique­ness. Here you’ll still find kids up trees, build­ing huts, work­ing in the vege gar­den or feed­ing a pet lamb,” he says.

“Rangiuru School is set to un­dergo some ma­jor build­ing work which will set it up for the next 100 years.”

The cen­ten­nial cel­e­bra­tions will be­gin with a wine and cheese evening at the school on March 1.

This will give past pupils, staff and school fam­i­lies the op­por­tu­nity to catch up on decades of mem­o­ries.

The fol­low­ing day will in­clude speeches, roll-call, pho­tos, cake cut­ting, per­for­mances by cur­rent school pupils, lunch and the un­veil­ing of a new school sculp­ture in hon­our of the oc­ca­sion.

■ Tick­ets for all cen­ten­nial events are avail­able on­line at eventfinda.co.nz or from the school of­fice; ph 573 7035.

Rangiuru School pupils in 2018 in front of the same build­ing that is now used as the school’s li­brary.

Rangiuru School pupils in 1920 in front of the orig­i­nal school build­ing.

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