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Karangahake School and District 70th Jubilee 1889-1959

The day we were busy with examinations and the battery whistles blew madly. It was the Woodstock on fire and we sat on the school hillside and watched the fearsome sight. Sheets of corrugated iron were flying and curling like paper.

The terror of our primer class days of meeting "Old Blucher" on the road, getting along on his stool and short crutches. (He always swore at us).

Going shopping at Tommy Atkins' Store and spinning him some outrageous yarn which we were sure he believed.

The funny little game of Crongo which I never even heard of being played anywhere else, but it was very popular at Karangahake School.

Did any other school have such picnics as we did. That train trip (sometimes in "cattle trucks"). At the Te Aroha Domain it was a ritual to go round all the drinking springs and pretend to like the vile tasting mineral waters. Then a dip in the baths before lunch and afterwards the races, the great highlight of a happy day. Sometimes picnic day included launch trips up the Waihou River or else a climb on the mountain slopes.

Karangahake School visits H.S.M. "New Zealand," May, 1913.

An early morning start and a long train trip to Auckland. But did we mind? — Not we! All the schools were going by special trains to see H.M.S. "New Zealand" and from the very start every bit was exciting. Being big girls and pretending to be blase, we naturally would not let anyone know we were thrilled — that was only for the lower standards.

It rained nearly all the time we were there but the battleship was worth it all. This strange new world up and down steep companion-ways, engines here and gun turrets there. What was rain? We saw plenty of that at home and it would take more than that to mar our pleasure.

After the tour of the ship we were taken into the wharf sheds and given cocoa and buns to supplement our cut lunches.

My father was chairman of the School Committee at that time and had a large part in the organisation of the trip. He it was, who held the one ticket for the whole Karangahake party. But on the day of the return at the Auckland station, he opened his wallet and away blew the ticket — right away, quite unrecoverable. Imagine his dismay and chagrin, having to explain to the Stationmaster and wonder if he would be expected to buy return fares for all his party. But all was well and the whole group returned intact, tired but happy.

— Connie (Searle) Bernard.