Aorere looks back over 50 years

16:00, Apr 02 2014
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THEN: Aorere College around 1964, when the school first opened. bbPhoto: Trevor Penman and Gladys Penman/Auckland Libraries Footprints
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MILESTONE CELEBRATIONS: From left, Aorere College teachers John Sandford and Angela White with principal Patrick Drumm are looking forward to celebrating at the school’s 50th jubilee as well as catching up with former students and teachers.
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EXAM NERVES: Fifth form students wait to sit their School Certificate technical drawing exam in 1979. bbPhoto: Fairfax Media/Auckland Libraries Footprints
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FIRST LEADERS: Foundation student prefects with foundation principal Charles Herbert (centre front).
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NOW: Aorere College as it sits today, with a roll of 1500 students.

It was 1964 when Aorere College foundation headmaster Charles Herbert saw the school gates open for the first time.

His legacy still resonates strongly among staff preparing for the school's 50th jubilee this weekend.

Principal Patrick Drumm says Herbert, who led the school for 14 years, believed strongly in lifelong learning.

"He's a real force at the school and ahead of his time," Drumm says.

Head of technical subjects John Sandford has taught at Aorere College for the past 30 years and says its leadership team has always allowed him to do his job to the best of his abilities.

Sandford says technical subjects - woodwork, metalwork and graphics - are expensive to run because of the equipment needed.


But the school has been "very blessed" to have had principals who recognised that and allowed for it in their budgets.

"They made sure no money went to waste," he says.

Angela White was a student at the school from 1966 to 1969 and has been teaching information technology there since 1996.

It has changed immensely in that time, from the physical buildings to the range of classes offered, she says.

But the one thing that has stayed constant is the foundation principal's philosophies behind teaching and the school.

"As a student I knew it was a good school and looking back now as a teacher and knowing the philosophy, I understand why," she says.

Aorere College's 50th jubilee celebrations are taking place tomorrow and Saturday.

The celebrations include speeches, performances, social activities and a sports exchange with teams from Papatoetoe High School.

Former students can email, phone 278 5608 or go to for more information or to register.

Manukau Courier