heritage of pukekohe hill school

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  • 1. November 2011

2. Pukekohe Mori School officially opened on 26th May 1952. Mr R.W Bates was the headmaster. 63 children were enrolled. 3. Back Ray Te Anau, James Clayton, Richard Taka, Sonny King, Boy Paparoa, Chas Tahapehi, George Rhind, Willie Paerata, Thompson Moeroa, Tom Astle. Middle Mac Hiku, Dick Epere, Annie Tuhi, Rosie Thompson, Wannoe Grey, Eva Taka, Jean Matia, Willie Te Rangi, Bruce Ngauma. Front Rebecca Kite, Phyllis Andrews, Rangi Ngarere, Roha Kani, Joyce Harwood, Helen Hemopo, Muri Taranaki, Lucy Pene, Arlene Toto, Eileen Toto, Margaret Walker 4. 15th November 1954 Mr John (Buzz) Worthington became the headmaster, later followed by Mr Len Manning (who saw the transition from the Mori School to Pukekohe Hill School), Mr Ian Morgan, Mrs Hettie Tapsell and Mr Graeme Rix. 5. In the 1950s there was a high Mori population in Pukekohe. This was largely due to the work offered to Mori people in the market gardens around this area. Living conditions for Mori were difficult and the Mori community suffered several epidemics, such as smallpox and influenza. There was no tap water in the homes and they used outside fires to cook. Pukekohe Mori School was established to help improve health conditions for Mori people. 6. Princess Te Puea saw what was happening to her people and approached the government to build a Native School in Pukekohe. She then donated 200 for the establishment of a communal building to be built on the school grounds. This was officially opened by the Rt Hon Walter Nash in 1959. The hall was named Nga Hau e Wha which means The Four Winds. It was situated on Ward Street near where our swimming pool currently sits. 7. The local Rotary Club contributed to the development of the Mori School playing area and communal hall. They liaised with the Mori people offering their assistance and some financial support. Quarter of an acre of the school site was given by the Education Department for the purpose of building the hall which was named Nga Hau e Wha. It was opened in June, 1959. The Mori Womens Welfare League raised funds from the Queen Carnival which they contributed towards a building fund to assist in the erection of the communal hall. 8. Just before lunch Mr Buzz (John) Worthington, Principal, announces over the intercom system who is to shower at lunchtime. Yes, shower!! (It must be remembered that many of these families lived in army huts and had only cold running water from an outside tap). It was incredible that they had their kids come to school in such a clean state. All children had two hot showers a week and was much appreciated by both parents and children. Dale Mackey ex Teacher / Deputy Principal 9. A quarter-acre of the school grounds was set aside for cropping with the hope to earn money to pay for school and community projects. Students were given duties to perform after the 3.00pm bell. On Fridays they cleaned and polished the floors. This enabled the school to use the cleaning budget for stationery. The boys helped to construct a building on site. The girls prepared meals for the staff and helped sew curtains and tablecloths for the school. 10. The school rugby team named Pukema did very well in Inter-school competitions The singing group conducted by Don Pene went to different places to sing. E.g. The Auckland Old Folks Association. Bible in Schools was offered to students.The school has their own film projector which gave students the opportunity to view films in Room 7. Children were given woodwork and cooking classes and were encouraged to use these skills around the school. Good hygiene practices were taught and encouraged and dental clinic facilities were available. The full curriculum was offered to all students with special emphasis on aspects of Mori culture. Children could bus to school. The school had excellent grounds with basketball courts and a football field. Don Pene and Bev Phillips supervised Haka group. 11. 8.00am. Ive just been picked up by Shaws Transport in Prospect Terrace. The Te Rangi children are ready on board sitting nice and quietly. (Any misbehaviour and Jacks got you out the door in no time and Ward Street is a long way away). Now we do the rounds. Out through Princes Street and the Block and then out to Russells. Then around the back of the Hill and back down to school. Everyone is neatly attired. Girls in black gym frocks with clean white blouses. Boys in grey shirts and black serge shorts. As soon as the bus pulls up in Green Lane everyone stands and walks out slowly and quietly. Bags are hung up in the cloakrooms and everyone is out on the tennis courts playing a variety of ball games. Many have tasks to carry out in the classrooms, e.g. Sharpen pencils; top up ink wells; hand out marked exercise books e.t.c. Dale Mackey. Ex Teacher / Deputy Principal 12. The Mori School concept was phased out. The introduction of strict zoning was one reason why children had to attend the school in their local area. The school was passed over to the Auckland Education Board and became a contributing school known as Pukekohe Hill School. The school was reopened under its new name on the 1st of February 1966. During the year a new four classroom block was completed which is now called the Manning Block named after previous principal Mr Len Manning. This was used for junior classes. 13. It was agreed to move the communal hall. After more than ten years of negotiation the decision was made to shift this building to the current marae site in Beatty Road, Pukekohe. The Rt Hon Bill Birch was instrumental in establishing the site for relocation. Nga Hau e Wha was officially opened at its Beatty Road location in 1985. 14. Fire devastated six classrooms, storerooms and a toilet block. An administration building was damaged by smoke. Staff were heartbroken not only had equipment in classrooms been destroyed but resources built up over ten years were lost. The fire which began at 4.15am was treated as arson. Relocatable classrooms were brought to the school so that classes could resume. 15. Nearly three years after a major part of Hill School was destroyed by arsonists a replacement block which cost $334 000.00 was opened by Mr Merv Wellington, the Minister of Education. Education Board representative Mr Jack Van der Hulst and Mrs Van der Hulst, Mayor and Mayoress of Pukekohe Mr Max and Mrs Gwen Short joined others in the official opening of the new classroom block. The six teacher variable space block is now named the Sizemore Block after Gary Sizemore. The building was dedicated by Lieutenant Christofferson of the Salvation Army. Mr Merv Wellington, accompanied by one of the youngest pupils, Ramara Brooks unveiled the plaque. 16. The previous school committee was dissolved to make way for the introduction of Tomorrows Schools and the election of the first Board of Trustees at Pukekohe Hill School. Stuart Brittnell was elected as the first chairperson of the Board of Trustees. B.O.T Chairperson Stu Brittnell with a student and caretaker Ken Browne. 17. Pukekohe Hill School celebrated its 25th Jubilee in 1990. A production named The Answer Lies in the Soil was written by Renton Brown to launch the weekend. The production recalled landmarks in Pukekohes history and was performed by pupils on the outdoor stage. 18. BACK ROW: Graham Edwards, Margaret Barnett, Dale Mackey, Carol McCarron, Mavis Hatwell, Maree Stephenson, Bev Heppleston, Lorraine Watson, Helene Riddle, Robyn Anderson, Wendy Ritchie MIDDLE ROW: Elliot McKenzie, Chic Waitai, Ngaire Keary, Naida Walker, Beris Ryder, Nick Sheppard, Renton Brown, Suresh Parsot FRONT ROW: Margaret Russell, Maureen Aston, Alison Johnson, Stuart Britnell, Hettie Tapsell, Pat Scott, Lorraine Hill, Glennis Paton, Gary Sizemore 19. Pukekohe Hill School was the first school in New Zealand to run the Iron Kids Triathlon. Gary Sizemore was instrumental in organising this event which took place annually from 1990. Matthew Martin, Sarah Hill, Michael Croft, Jade Skilton, Joel Gauntlett, Lynley Barnett, Robbie Ritchie, IRON KIDS 1990 20. In 1994 approval was given for the establishment of a Satellite Unit for special needs children. The building is managed by Pukekohe Hill School and is staffed by Parkside School. In 1998 the school hall was built. The first school production to be held in the new hall was Starblaze which paved the way for many more wonderful performances and school events. 21. Construction of a new multi-purpose building is currently underway. This will house a new staffroom, library and a break out room to be used for a variety of purposes.


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