Rural community to mark double

LAUREN HAYES
Last updated 05:00 25/01/2014
Gorge Road
JOHN HAWKINS/Fairfax NZ

SESQUICENTENNIAL: Gorge Road residents Lianna Trent, 12, and Samuel Trent, 10, and Gorge Road and Districts Jubilee committee chairman Mark Hamill prepare to celebrate 150 years of settlement in the district in March.

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Vintage vehicles will partially shut a state highway when a Southland community celebrates its heritage and future this year.

Gorge Road, a rural township about 25km southeast of Invercargill, will mark 150 years of settlement in March, while Gorge Road School is celebrating 125 years of education.

The two milestones are being observed together at a weekend-long community jubilee.

Gorge Road and Districts Jubilee Committee chairman Mark Hamill said the jubilee would be a big event for the district, even affecting the main road through town.

During the celebrations, a parade of vintage machinery, cars and floats would close one lane of Gorge Road's main thoroughfare, a state highway, he said.

"It's a big event when it shuts down the main street of Gorge Road."

As well as the parade, the jubilee weekend would include a meet and greet, time capsules and cake-cutting, a banquet and dance at the Invercargill Workingmen's Club, a church and memorial service, and a gala and sports day.

Gorge Road School, which now has about 60 pupils, merged with five other schools, Kapuka, Kapuka South, Morton Mains, Oteramika and Waituna, to create its present zone, and former pupils from all schools are being encouraged to come and catch up with old classmates.

Registrations had been pouring in, but former pupils, teachers, residents and well-wishers still had a few more days to get involved in the event, with registrations closing on January 31, Mr Hamill said.

More information about the event, as well as old school photographs, can be found on the Gorge Road School & Districts 125th Jubilee Facebook page.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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