Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 35, September 1991

The reunion commenced on Friday 12 October 1990 when 740 people gathered at the Waihi College Hall for the first function, a wine and cheese evening.

Saturday's events began with one of the largest street parades seen for several years. Led by an augmented Federal Band, the "seniors" of the Reunion, ex-pupils from Waitekauri, Golden Cross and Owharoa Schools, proudly followed their standard bearer. Each of the other school groups followed with veteran and vintage cars adding an elegant reminder of past times. The pipes of the Waihi Highland pipe band gave a distinctive final flourish to the procession which stretched from the roundabout right to the South School entrance.

The South School site was chosen by the committee as the focus for the opening ceremony of the celebration, because it has been in turn, the first primary school (later known as Central), District High, College, Intermediate, and now a primary school, Waihi South.

The guest speakers were Coromandel MP Graeme Lee, Basil Morrison, Mayor of the Hauraki District, and the former Mayor of Waihi Borough, Owen Morgan. Each speaker paid tribute to the determination with which Waihi strove to obtain the best education for its youth.

Faced with the impossible task of including all 800 ex-pupils in a roll call, the committee opted to call all pupils of the first four primary schools (Owharoa, Waitekauri, Golden Cross and Central), as well as pre-1930 enrolments from other schools.

The honour of cutting the reunion cake, which was decorated with the old Technical School (now the Museum and Arts Centre), was shared by Mrs Evelyn Rennie (nee Carter) first day pupil at South and earliest pupil at Central, and Mrs Jill Kemp, of Auckland, great grand-daughter of Central's first teacher, Miss Elizabeth Gibb. Mrs Kemp later planted a fine titoki tree, in memory of Miss Gibb.

Waihi District Schools Reunion
Waihi District Schools Reunion
Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 35, September 1991
Waihi District Schools Reunion

The ceremony concluded with the release, by Mr Morgan, of a flight of pigeons signifying the beginning of the second century of education in Waihi.

A chance to relive old memories was afforded by the hosting of ex-pupils for afternoon tea at the school of their choice. Each school prepared photographic displays as well as work projects or special entertainment by present pupils.

Saturday night's cabaret in the College Hall was also thoroughly enjoyed by over 500. The Maxina, Military two-step and waltzes mixed happily with rock 'n roll.

On Sunday a Church Service conducted by a former Waihi student, Pastor Ron Larsen, reflected on how we, as adults forty or fifty years on, would tell our own child-self how we have grown, developed and been influenced in our lives.

The Steam Train Society organised three bus and train tour packages and by late Sunday afternoon most visitors were heading homewards.