Waitomo News : 11 February 2014
Waitomo NeWs Tuesday, February 11, 2014 7 maniapoto st, otorohanga, (07) 873 8640 e firstname.lastname@example.org www.murrayhuntfurnishers.co.nz Your local curtain, flooring & bedding specialists FREE measure and quote on all flooring TALK TO YOUR LOCAL GOOD NIGHT SPECIALIST COME IN-STORE TO SEE OUR OTHER TRADE IN OFFERS NGUTUNUI Enviroschool has been at the forefront of the district’s educa- tion system for the past century. It’s a milestone former and current students, teachers, principals and residents will celebrate from March 21-22. Organisers Alison Murray and Di- ane Scott hope that out of the school’s 700 former and present students, at least 300 people will help celebrate the school’s 100th year, and are they encouraging people to register early. The celebrations will include a mix and mingle on Friday (March 21) fol- lowed by a powhiri, dinner and formal dance the next day. A roll call of students enrolled from 1914 to today will also be made and decade photographs taken. Colin Murray Snr, a former chair- man of the school’s board, says the school’s ability to survive 100 years is nothing short of surprising as many other schools with larger rolls closed. “We have had some wonderful teachers come through the school, especially back in the days when it was compulsory for teachers to work in small country schools,” says the 92-year-old, who still lives locally. “It (the school) was a real stepping stone for teachers, who came out to the wop-wops to become sole charge teachers in a school and a community which was focused on the kids and their education. Working at the school was a real lift for both the teachers and the pupils.” Mr Murray says many teachers became residents of the community and had “long stints at the school” with only 36 employed throughout the past century. The school and its grounds were developed by locals who volunteered their time and materials including building a swimming pool, three tennis courts and a car park. The original school buildings and grounds were owned by the early settlers and built on land do- nated by Charles Ormsby on Pekanui Rd. In 1927, local farmers Reti and Hannah Roa donated the land on which a new single classroom was built three years later. The old school building was then shifted behind the district’s hall, becoming the supper room and is now a private residence. “Thanks to generous residents donating land, time and support the school was able to survive,” says Mrs Murray. In 2000, the school’s roll fell to just four students and the Ministry of Education advised the school to modify how it operated. In order for it to stay open, the board of trustees decided to establish it as an environmentally- friendly school under the Enviroschools criteria. In 2001 the school was renamed Ngutunui Enviroschool, and in addition to the national cur- riculum students are also taught how to recycle and garden. With the centenary just around the corner, Mrs Murray hopes people get their registrations in early. “We want people to celebrate and add to the school’s history which has accumulated over its 100-year life span.” For registrations email Alison Murray at alison. email@example.com or contact the school. Register now! ROLL CALL: Former Ngutunui Enviroschool chairman Colin Murray Snr (left), reunion committee member Diane Scott and secretary Alison Murray encourage former students, teachers and principals to register for the school’s centenary anniversary early as they are expecting 300 people. The current school (below left) sits on land gifted in 1927 by local farmers Reti and Hannah Roa.
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