Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 44, September 2000

Over Easter Weekend 2000 (commencing Friday 21 April 2000), 475 people, comprising former staff, pupils, committee, Board members, their partners and families celebrated 40 years since Waihi College moved to its current location on Kensington Road.

A get-together, with supper and bar facilities was held in the assembly hall on the evening of Good Friday. On Saturday morning attendees assembled at the South School, the old College site on Moresby Avenue, to process behind the Waihi Federal Band up to the College. The walk commemorated an historic march by Waihi College students who, some forty years previously, had walked to their new school, carrying desks and equipment. On arrival at the college there was an assembly, welcome and roll call presided over by current and past principals, Harry Shepherd, Fred Saunders and 'Mac' McDonald. Mayor Basil Morrison and Coromandel MP Jeanette Fitzsimons addressed the gathering. A picnic lunch followed. During the afternoon former pupils played netball and in the evening a cabaret was held in the College gymnasium.

Teaching at secondary level in Waihi commenced in 1901 when Waihi School became Waihi District High School. This was on the site where the South School now is and it burned down in 1931. The rebuilt school was opened as Waihi Intermediate with a secondary department attached. The principal was Mr F R Slevin, a former Waihi student. Mr D E Swinton became principal in 1947 and, in 1953, after strong representation to the Minister of Education, Waihi College was established as a full secondary school, with an intermediate department attached. The Waihi College Board of Governors was established in 1957 and in 1958 work commenced on the site where the present college is situated. Staff and pupils moved to the new buildings in September 1959 and the college was officially opened on 11 March 1960 by the then Prime Minister, Walter Nash. The intermediate school remained at Moresby Avenue and sixteen years later Forms 1 and 2 students returned to the College roll.

The school now has a roll of 800 students. A pool was added in the early 1960s and a gymnasium in the 1980s.