School survives illness, fire
75th ‘birthday’ at Pakipaki
Despite severe outbreaks of typhoid, influenza and infantile paralysis among pupils – plus being badly damaged by fire in its early days – Pakipaki school is still around to celebrate its 75th jubilee this weekend.
The school has been the focal point for the promotion of Maori history, tradition and culture for the Pakipaki community.
It was built in 1907 on land donated by Mr Urupene, who wanted to see future generations of his family educated.
The school opened with a roll of 78 students from Pakipaki, Bridge Pa and Poukawa.
Later, schools were built in Bridge Pa and Poukawa and a new intermediate. These affected the Pakipaki school roll.
Two years after the Pakipaki school opened a large number of pupils got typhoid fever.
Eight years later a massive flood resulted in children and teachers boating to school.
In 1920, the school was again hit with problems, this time with an influenza epidemic.
Two years after that the school was nearly destroyed by fire.
The fire was in July and rebuilding did not start until November, so, in the meantime, school was held in the headmaster’s home next door.
The 1931 earthquake did little damage to the school, but six years later – on March 15, 1937 – the school was closed because of a severe outbreak of infantile paralysis.
The school records for 16 years have been lost, so there is no written information for the period 1938 to 1954.
In 1961, the school had its highest roll – 200 students.
In the same year, the area recorded its worst flooding.
The surface water covered an area 12.87km long and 4.8km wide and it is reported that the teacher had to row to school.
In 1969, the first pre-schoolers began at Pakipaki and Maori studies started for adults.
This year the school has a roll of 75, including 14 pre-schoolers.
The school committee hopes to have the school classified as bilingual and to re-establish form one and two classes.
Photo caption – Former pupils will be asked at the weekend to identify people in this picture from Pakipaki school’s past.
250 to attend celebrations
About 250 ex-pupils, teachers and guests will attend the 75th jubilee of the Pakipaki School this weekend.
Special guests will include Sir Richard Harrison, MP for Hawke’s Bay; Mr David Butcher, MP for Hastings; Father Durning, former long-serving priest in Pakipaki; Mr Tanga Tomoana, a Maori elder; Mrs Jan Graham, representing the Hawke’s Bay Education Board and Mr Terry Dymond, representing the Education Department.
Former pupils will be welcomed to the school at 10am on Saturday by a mihi (Maori challenge) by 30 present pupils and 20 Pakipaki residents.
This will be followed by a roll call and official photographs.
On Saturday night a ball and champagne supper will be held at the Mihiroa marae.
Sunday’s activities will start with an inter-demoninational [inter-denominational] memorial service at the school followed by the planting of trees in the grounds.
The 75th jubilee will conclude with a banquet supper on Sunday evening at the Houngarea marae.
Some of the ex-pupils who will be present at the reunion are: Mr Raymond Hawthorne, an actor, director and tutor at the Players Theatre, Auckland; Mr Karaan Crawford, a former pupil and teacher, who was also a former Maori All Black; A. C. L. Curtis, who received a Queen’s Service Medal in 1979 for her service to motor sports and Mr Gooch Parahi, who starred in the New Zealand production of Porgy and Bess in the 1960s.