Hundreds expected at school jubilee

18:33, Feb 09 2014

Now is the time to return your registration form if you are planning to attend Clutha Valley School's 75th Jubilee next month.

Secretary Karen Tunnah said about 300 people had expressed an interest in attending the celebration but so far about of third of those had formally registered.

The committee needed to know definite numbers, particularly for catering purposes, and people would not be able to turn up at the last minute for Saturday night's dinner, she warned.

One former pupil who attended the school from 1948 to 1953 had already registered and was coming from Northern Ireland, Mrs Tunnah said.

The three-day event begins with a supper at the Clutha Valley Community Centre on Friday, March 21. On the Saturday there would be tours of the school as well as an afternoon tea and a cake-cutting ceremony. That night a formal dinner will be held at the Balclutha War Memorial Hall and on Sunday a family picnic will take place at the school.

Photographer Richard Schofield will also be taking photos at the school on the Saturday, school memorabilia will be on display and the swimming pool will be open over the weekend.


Committee member Camille McAtamney said they wanted to document people's stories so as well as organising a memory book, guests were also being encouraged to write down their memories of the school to be read out at the reunion.

Mrs Tunnah said most people ringing to register had many interesting stories to share.

"The buses have been a massive part of Clutha Valley School, they have always been there, and still are."

Treasurer and former pupil Debbie Gouman said she attended the school's 50th jubilee.

"It was really nice to get back together with the ones out of the district."

Clutha Valley School opened as a district high school on February 1, 1939 with 154 pupils following the merging of Clydevale, Greenfield, Wharetoa, Popotunoa, Puketi, Awamangu, Pukepito and Waitahuna West schools, they were later joined by Taumata School in 1946 and Tuapeka Mouth School in 1949.

The catchment area was about 1000 square kilometres, with nearly all students being transported by bus.

The secondary school closed in 1967 leaving students to travel to South Otago High School in Balclutha.

For more information about the Clutha Valley School 75th Jubilee email: reunion75clutha, ring Karen Tunnah: 03 415 9492 or check out the Facebook page: Clutha Valley 75th Reunion.

Registration and payment for the jubilee closes on February 28.

Clutha Leader