Gordonton School’s 125th takes shape

Gordonton Primary oldGordonton School’s 125th reunion is next month.  A number of events have been planned to mark the occasion, with highlights including visits to the school on Friday, a Powhiri on Saturday and evening meal at Woodlands Cafe.

A committee has been working on the event for about a year and many memories, photographs and comments have been shared on a Facebook page.  A memory book will be available for folk to write in on Saturday.

The only thing that’s missing is the 100th time capsule, which was buried in 1991.  It seems to be a district thing, says committee head Sally-Ann Riddell – Puketaha Primary School  couldn’t find two time capsules hidden away for its centenary this month.

“We can’t find any records from the previous committee’s organisation,” she said.

Hopefully it will turn up in time.

Gordonton School principal David McNair says the school is currently performing Thank You For The Music, an intergenerational argument as to which generation has the best music.

“It begins with a father and daughter, then grandfather, great grandfather, Maori chief (Kapa Haka item), Beethoven and an Indian boy (Indian cultural dance).”

Each class then presents a piece of music/dance from decades from the 20’s up to today.   These include  It Don’t Mean a Thing, Jeepers Creepers, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Rock around the Clock, Jailhouse Rock, 60’s Medley, YMCA, Dancing in the Streets, 90’s Medley, Dynamite and Happy. The finale involves the whole school singing.
In addition, each class is researching their decade and for the jubilee their rooms will be decked out accordingly. “Our assembly on the Friday before Labour Day will probably involve resurrecting the items for the former pupils.  On Saturday we will have speeches from our senior students, and a song from the Kapa Haka group. “

Number 8 Network hopes to talk to some past pupils of the school in coming weeks – watch this space.


FRIDAY 21 October
Open Day 9am—2.20pm. Informal open day. Turn up at your leisure and take a look around the school on Woodlands Rd. You will be shown around the school by senior pupils. You are welcome to attend the assembly at 2.20pm. A cup of tea or coffee will be available afterwards.

10am- 10-30am- Registration, programme of events given out. Light morning tea in hall available on arrival.

A memory table will be set up for you to place photos on. We invite past pupils and staff to bring photos, old school reports, certificates etc to place on it. There will also be a memory book for past pupils to write down their memories.

11am – A Powhiri will officially open the 125th Reunion.
Formal welcome and official speeches
12pm- An informal finger food lunch in hall -pre-orders required
12.30pm onwards- During lunch the official decade photos will start to be taken.

Each decade will be given a time for their photo (on programme at registration), the rest can socialise and look around the school.

Gordonton class of 1960
Class of 1960, taught by Miss Williamson.

Venue: Woodlands Cafe $55 per person.  Pre-bookings and payment will be needed by Friday 30 September.

6pm-7pm – Mix and mingle.

7pm-10pm- Dinner This will include some short speeches from a couple of the oldest pupils about their past school experiences. Each table will nominate one person from each table to give a short speech about Gordonton School.

10am Open Air Church Remembrance Service in the Old School Grounds beside Gordonton Hall. Shared finger food lunch afterwards. Church families and the community to bring a plate. (Gordonton Hall as a wet weather back up). If wet the old school rooms will still be open to view.

Note: Saturday’s lunch and dinner in the evening and morning tea after the church service on Sunday will provide time for reminiscing with past pupils, staff and friends. Sunday will allow time for people to stay at their leisure to reminisce and enjoy memories before farewelling old school friends for maybe one last time.

  • The reunion takes place on Labour weekend, Friday October 21 to Sunday 23. For more information and updates click here and here.

Members of the 125th Reunion Committee are Sally-Ann Riddell, John Bridgeman, Anthony Rigter, Arthur Riddell, David McNair, Susan Woolerton, Donna Gill and Cilla Henry.


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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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