Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 19, June 1975

By Grace Morran

About 250 former pupils and residents of the Karangahake district attended the Reunion held at Labour weekend last year. Actually there had been a school at Mackaytown 99 years ago when Mr John Ritchie, the first teacher at Paeroa School, opened a half-time one in a shed that had been hastily constructed prior to the Opening of the Goldfield in 1875. This primitive service, under various teachers, continued for another 12 years, by which time the population had greatly increased at Karangahake, so a new school for the district was built there in 1889.

The first full-time teacher was Miss Patterson, and a feature of our recent reunion (our 4th) was that her son, Harry Guthrie, was with us. He gave us a beautiful "Illuminated Address" which had been presented to his Mother in 1993 [1893 – E], on the occasion of her marriage.


Presented to


Head Teacher District School, Karangahake Goldfield


Dear Miss, We, the Residents of KARANGAHAKE, note with regret your leaving the above SCHOOL and cannot allow this opportunity to pass, without expressing our feelings for the kind manner and untiring energy you have displayed as TEACHER of this SCHOOL for several years. You have endeared yourself to the children and gained the true and lasting respect of everyone connected with the School, as also by all classes of the community. The marked success of the scholars during your tuition and guidance is a noticeable fact and we hope the cause of your leaving will tend immeasurably to your welfare. We wish you every success and happiness through life and trust that you at some future day will visit us in the same good health you now enjoy. We bid you farewell and wherever you go you will carry the hearty good wishes of yours faithfully

Mary Shepherd, Selina McLoghry, Walter Ridings, John E. Guthrie, Arch. McLoghry, David Dunlop, W. Foubister

SIGNED 20th day of December, 1893


It was pleasing to see 15 first decade pupils (1890-1900) present, one of the oldest being Mrs Ivy Ball, (nee Shepherd), now 90 years of age, who came with her daughter from Sydney.

Every function was well attended, the Banquet and Dance in the Hall being an outstanding success. The joy of old friends meeting again, the brief, well-spoken toasts, and the rousing songs which followed, all helped to create an atmosphere of warmth and friendliness.

A small community now, Karangahake remembered its more exciting days when the largely mining population reached 2,000 and the school, together with the new side-school at Mackaytown, catered for nearly 500 pupils.

Our "Slide Evening" on the Sunday night proved a fitting conclusion to a memorable weekend, and our thanks go to Allan Beck and Phil Jones who showed us pictures of long ago as well as some of the same localities today. There were great contrasts and yet - the hills remained. As John Masefield wrote:

"These were here, I well remember, so many years ago,

Subject to untiring nature as to many dying creatures,

Altered always, crop and colour, but preserving living features,

That we love and seem to know."