Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 47, September 2003


Tirohia School marked its 80th reunion commencing with a wine and cheese evening on Friday 29 November 2002. Celebrations continued the next day with welcoming speeches, cutting of the reunion cake, a tree planting, decade and resident photographs and items performed by the school pupils. A dinner and dance was held in the evening and a tour of Leach's Quarry was available on Sunday.

The school opened in 1922 with one classroom and a roll of twenty-two pupils. Mr Arthur Pendergrast was the first permanent teacher. By the end of the first month the roll had grown to forty-five pupils. The school, at the time of the reunion, had a roll of one hundred and four pupils, the principal, since 1989 being Peter McNair.


More than two hundred former staff and pupils attended the Waihi Central and District High School reunion over Labour Weekend, 2002. Special guests were fifteen pupils who had attended the Central School, which was destroyed by fire in 1931. The rebuilt school reopened as a high school the following year, catering for pupils from Form One onwards. Following the rebuilding in 1932, Central School opened on its site now occupied by Waihi South School. In 1959 Central School pupils moved to the new Waihi College while Forms One and Two remained as Waihi Intermediate School.

The reunion commenced with a wine and cheese evening on Friday, 25 October. On Saturday morning there was a street march, headed by a group of pipers and drummers, with the eight oldest pupils riding in vintage cars, a Rolls Royce and a Bentley, lent by Ken Hogg. At the original school site (now Waihi South School), those attending the reunion were welcomed by Convenor, Don Adams. The official reunion cake was cut by oldest ex-pupil, David Cochrane with help from ex-teacher, Hilary Timanus (Miss Gale). Mr Cochrane, who had started at Central School in 1918, was accompanied by his wife, Mary (nee Briggs), also an ex-pupil.

Official photographs were taken and lunch was available at the Waihi Memorial Hall. A choice of activities were available during the afternoon, including a bus tour of the Newmont Mining Waihi operation, a ride on the Goldfields Railway train and visiting the Waihi Art Centre and Museum. A dinner was held in the evening, attended by 160 ex-pupils, followed by the screening of the Alf Margan film of the 1950 High School Reunion.


The first classroom was built in Ngatea in 1912 and was known as Orchard School, with fifteen students under the guidance of Mr W Harris of Pipiroa. The school later became Ngatea District High School and is now the Hauraki Plains College. A reunion to mark its 90-year history was held over Labour Weekend, 2002, attended by approximately 1,200 former students.

Celebrations commenced on Friday evening, 25 October and continued over the weekend. Saturday's functions included the official handover from former principal, Norman Pratt, to new principal, Ngaire Harris. A three-tiered cake was cut later in the day. Comedian, John Gadsby entertained in the evening prior to the commencement of dancing to the music of The Blarney Boys. A church service was held on Sunday by the Rev. David North, followed by words from members of three major family lines, the Haywards, Leonards and the Courtney-Costellos.