Karangahake School and District 70th Jubilee 1889-1959

Many will remember the Saturday night picture shows where with a 3d bag of roasted peanuts amidst the crunching of which, the smell of escaping carbide, and appropriate music by dear Mrs Houghton or Mrs Cook, we watched enraptured, the acting of John Bunny, Fatty Arbukle, Flora Finch, Clara Finch, Clara Bow and other old timers and our happiness knew no bounds.

There are vivid memories too of how we swam in the river, thick with tailings and cyanide and still survived to manhood. Of the pig hunts into the bush on a Saturday morning ending up with a feed of Nikau-pith or an occasional tafata (a rare delicacy indeed if one forestalled the rats). Of collecting wild strawberries on Te Moananui's Hill and of the huge eel caught under the bridge in the creek at Mackaytown.

I can still see the great coal wagons drawn by teams of six and eight horses returning to Paeroa with the drivers sound asleep but still holding the reins. And it was well known that there were two-up schools on a Sunday morning behind the shed in the Recreation Ground at Mackaytown — besides the occasional bout of fisticuffs. One of these went almost 100 rounds, caused by the one receiving the worst punishment falling to the ground when approached by his opponent, each fall constituting a round. As dinner time drew near the earlier crowd of quite big proportions dwindled till only the participants and their seconds remained.

Then there were the old identities, Dad Lee, Blucher, Fish Billy, John Ross, Overtown Jack who raced and beat the coach from Waihi to Thames, Jack Allen who never wore hat, boots or coat and who organised sports and live pigeon shooting, Tom Toughey and Jim Griffin the wrestlers, and the many other characters who helped to make old 'Hake such an interesting place to live in.

— M. L. McNamara