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Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 9, May 1968

A COMMUNITY EFFORT

By LES MORGAN

29th January, ANNIVERSARY DAY: What a day for the children of old Waihi who attended their Sunday Schools. There were many anxious moments on the morning as they looked out to see if the sun was shining, for it was the day of their year.

After an early breakfast there would be a rush to get ready and off to meet at the Sunday School. The only necessary requirement was a mug usually tied on a string with a loop long enough to hang round the neck. The Classes were assembled under their respective teachers, then marshalled and paraded off to meeting point, which was usually the Seddon Memorial. Children from the other Sunday Schools would also assemble, and grand Marshall, Major Kendrick, Manager of the Bank of New Zealand, would appear on his horse, to us a magnificient animal, and take up his position at the head of the gathering. During the latter years, this event was performed by the late Joseph Slevin, who had a white horse. The Federal Band would then line up and some of the children would be assembled, four abreast behind them. When about half were there, the Salvation Amy Band would then fall in and the rest of the children would line up behind them.

All being ready, the Marshall would blow a shrill call on his whistle and the leading band strike up a lively marching tune to which all would step off, mugs swinging and heads held high, turn into Moresby Avenue and march along to Hollis's Bush, the entrance being directly opposite the end of Moresby Avenue, where the College entrance now is. On arrival at the top of the road, just short of old Hollis' homestead, different Sunday Schools would break off and go to places prepared for them. Sunday School officials must have put a lot of time preparing the sites at the bush; there was usually a copper boiling, heaps of buttered buns, sandwiches and cakes for all. Races for the different age groups, then at mid-day a gong was sounded for lunch. Later more sports and games in the delightful setting of Hollis' Bush most of which has been preserved in the present College grounds being a constant reminder to we older residents of many happy Anniversary Days spent there.