School marks long history

Last updated 12:56 05/12/2012
te kura
Nicola Stewart
Making a mark: Te Kura o Waharoa students Maraia-Taka and Tarapipipi Tuhakaraina with a new plaque commemorating the school’s 125 years.

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Hundreds of members of the Waharoa and Matamata communities helped Te Kura o Waharoa to mark a massive milestone on Friday.

The school celebrated its 125th birthday with an open day at the school that included kapa haka performances, a kaumatua lunch and speeches.

There was also memorabilia and old photographs on display, and a commemorative plaque was unveiled in front of the main building.

Principal Jason Kereopa said it was an ‘‘excellent day with an excellent turnout’’.

‘‘It’s good to see some of our former students, or people who were once a part of the school, come back to help us celebrate,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s been a day of smiles, enjoyment, fun and memories.’’

One couple happy to share their memories of the school was Neville and Sue Lawrence.

They sent all four of their children to Waharoa School – as it was originally called – between 1971 and 1985.

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Mr Lawrence was also on the school committee for 12 years and said the school still ‘‘felt like home’’.

‘‘It’s great, it feels exactly the same,’’ he said.

‘‘We had about 90 students back then and the community was mostly farmers, factory workers and the local Maori community.’’

Mr Kereopa said it was massive for the school to reach 125 years and he hoped the kura would carry on for at least another 25.

‘‘We need the local community to work together and return to the school so we can keep it going,’’ he said.

- Matamata Chronicle

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