Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 40, September 1996
The following are extracts from the Centennial magazine of P.D.H.S. 1975.
From the article " A Few Memories For The Oldies" by Brick Budd:
Standard 5 - That was the year (1918) we started going to 'Tech'. We went for two years whilst in Standards 5 and 6. Red letter days these . . . train to Thames, a bob to spend on lunch, and a day away from the ordinary run of school work. We spent half the year learning to draw the thing (probably a tooth-brush holder) before we were allowed to even touch a tool. The remainder of the year was spent in making the most perfect (and probably, in terms of man-hours) the most expensive tooth brush holder you ever did see. A "savage" perfectionist named Yates was the teacher, Woe betide any lad who got a hammer anywhere near a chisel, Yates from any distance up to 20 feet would let fly with a lump of 4x2, heads ducking in all directions. How he didn't kill someone, I will never know - but we did learn never to use a steel hammer on a wooden-handled chisel. For some reason the second year we went to 'Tech' in Te Aroha, under a very nice man named Burgess. His idea was that we went there to make things - and we did too. The music stool I made there is still being used. As far as I can recall, he never hit anybody - certainly not with a lump of 4x2 anyway.
See also 'The Train Boys and Girls' - Journal 18 (1974) and 'Epitaph On the Paeroa - Waihi Line' - Journal 22 (1978).
A further extract from the article 'Train Travel For Standards 5 and 6', by C W Malcolm reads:
In the days before Paeroa had a Manual Centre for the teaching of Woodwork and Cookery the pupils of Standards 5 and 6 enjoyed one day off school each fortnight plus the excitement of a railway journey to the nearest available centre. To add variety to these experiences we travelled at one time to Thames, another to Te Aroha, and for a further change, to Waihi.
The Thames run was a dreary one enlivened only by a glimpse of the sea and by the slow crossing of the long bridge across the Kauaeranga River into which, on the homeward journey, some of the boys tossed their unvalued woodwork models . . .
The trip to Te Aroha was shorter, with fewer stops, and a much shorter trek from the station to the Manual Centre. Here we were not belted by an angry instructor for our mistakes as I had been at Thames where the holes I bored in my egg-stand were too small. I had used the wrong sized bit, and although I tried to save my skin with the quickly thought up untruth that our hens were bantams, I learned that no school boy should use his initiative by daring to change the set plan without special permission from the authority. At Te Aroha the more liberal approach permitted me to construct a model of the Taniwha - the Northern Steamship Company's well known river steamer.