Happy birthday Gordonton School!

Oct 24th, 2016 | By | Category: News

The weather was fantastic as was the birthday party – which carried on over the whole of Labour Weekend.

Happy birthday Gordonton School, 125 years and going strong.  Old and young turned out in great numbers to raise toasts, tell tales, catch up with classmates from decades past.

Number 8 Network’s Annette Taylor checked out proceedings on Saturday morning and found a lot of people having a splendid time.

 

 

School reunion

Folk began gathering for speeches in the hall on a sunny Saturday morning –

 

The hall

 

The hall filled up rapidly –

Crowd scool reunion

 

One of the oldest former pupils, Arthur Riddell, tells some tales –

 

School reunion

 

Followed by Dr Ngapare Hopa, who told of her journey from Gordonton School to Oxford University, where she earned the first PhD for a Maori woman.

 

polly

 

Then came the anniversary cake, featuring the oldest former pupil Margaret (Peggy) Weeks, nee Laidlaw. Peggy is 88 and started Gordonton in 1932.  Her young assistant is Casey Foster, who started school on the previous Monday and so is the youngest current pupil attending on the day.

 

 

cutting-the-cake

 

Outside there were line-ups featuring current and past pupils –

 

School reunion

 

One attendee enjoyed a spot of shade –

 

School reunion

 

 

Flowers for Dr Hopa, pictured here with her cousin Cilla Henry.

 

 

School reunion

 

Cilla then brought out her guitar for an impromtu song.

School reunion

 

Reunion committee head Sally-Ann Riddell addresses the crowd.

School reunion

 

The new fountain celebrating the school’s past –

 

School reunion

 

Treasures and memories will be stored for future generations –  happy birthday Gordonton and well done the hard-working, wonderful committee!

School reunion

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5 Comments to “Happy birthday Gordonton School!”

  1. Susan Mellsopp says:

    Hi, is there any chance of getting a copy of the photo of my guide dog Jay.
    Thanks, Susan Mellsopp (née Wylde)

  2. Amanda foster says:

    Hi there – The ‘assistant’ in the Cake cutting pic is my Daughter Casey, she started at gordonton the Monday of that week so was the youngest current pupil at the school 🙂

  3. Alan SHARP says:

    Greetings.

    The photo in the memory box is one I don’t recall seeing before. I’m assuming it is an old one of Parfitt’s store, and could do to have a high resolution copy there of posted on this site..

    The Parfitt store started life as a Billiard’s room for the workers associated with the development of the local district and in particular the WOODLANDS ESTATE. Post the sell off, of the estate, [early 1900’s] Mr Cuthbert shifted it to a new site on a parcel of land fronting the Gordonton Road, near the Public Hall and local Domain.

    In 1906 Mrs Ellen PARFITT and her son George took it over as a “going concern” and operated the Gordonton Store from it until selling the business to Robbie WARD in late 1945.

    Ref: See editorial notes by Edith WILLIAMSON in the 1991 Gordonton School reunion book.

  4. Alan SHARP says:

    Greetings.

    The photo in the memory box is one I don’t recall seeing before. I’m assuming it is an old one of Parfitt’s store, and could do to have a high resolution copy, there of, posted on this site.
    The Parfitt store started life as a Billiard’s room and provisions supply store, for the workers associated with the development of the local district, and in particular the WOODLANDS ESTATE. The proprietor was a Maori, and it was located opposite the School [Hukanui Park]#1
    Post the sell off, of the estate, [early 1900’s] Mr Cuthbert shifted it to a new site across the road on a parcel of land fronting the Gordonton Road, near the Public Hall and local Domain.
    In 1906 Mrs Ellen PARFITT and her son George took it over as a “going concern” and operated the Gordonton Store from it until selling the business to Robbie WARD in late 1945.#2

    Ref:
    #1 PEEPS INTO THE PAST by Wm [Bill] RIDDELL.
    #2 Editorial notes by Edith WILLIAMSON in the 1991 Gordonton School reunion book.

    Alan SHARP, Local history researcher.

  5. […] And click here for photographs from the 125th reunion from Gordonton School. […]

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