Newspaper Article 2007 – HB man had lifelong devotion to education

HB man had lifelong devotion to education



Kingy Barley, who died on September 1 after suffering deteriorating health over the past few years, devoted his life to education, mostly in Hawke’s Bay.

In a 40-year career in teaching, Mr Barley served as principal of four schools in Napier and Hastings, ending his career with seven years at Hastings’ Parkvale Primary, where he had been a pupil in the late 1930s.

He was born in Hastings on May 21, 1928, the third of four children and the only son of longtime Hastings tailors Ralph and Florence Barley.

He started his secondary education in 1940 at Hastings High School, a co-educational institution which later became Hastings Boys’ High.

He was a prefect, in the 1st XV rugby team and, as many did in the war years, joined the school’s Air Training Corps, becoming a Flight Sergeant, in anticipation of being among the first call-up after leaving school, had the war continued past its end in 1945.

Mr Barley opted to study medicine, starting at Otago University in 1947, but two years later revised his goals and began his career in education at Dunedin Teacher’s Training College.

It was there that he met future wife Colleen Black, whose family moved to Hastings in 1950.

His first teaching role was as a probationary assistant at Hastings Central, but after only two terms he was transferred as relief teacher at the sole-charge Ardkeen School, about 25km from Wairoa on the road to Waikaremoana.

It was a challenging role for a term before he made his first return to Parkvale as a teacher in 1951, a year he ended by marrying Colleen.

In 1953, to fulfil a requirement to teach in a country school, Mr Barley started a three-year stint at Pakipaki, a valuable teaching experience considering the roll was mainly rural Maori.

In 1956 he won a position at Hastings Intermediate, where he spent six years before being appointed deputy principal of Leififi Intermediate in Apia, Western Samoa, where, with his wife and children, he spent a term before becoming a lecturer at the island Teacher’s College.

At the end of 1966 he turned-down the job of principal of Apia Primary School, and returned to Hawke’s Bay where at the age of 37 he became the youngest principal ever at Napier Central.

In 1974 Mr Barley became principal of Flaxmere Primary, but at the start of the second term the following year was back in Napier as principal of what was then Hawke’s Bay’s largest school, Wycliffe Intermediate, with a staff of 42 and a roll of more than 900.

There he remained until his move to Parkvale, his last teaching job before moving into the inspectorate covering the Hawke’s Bay Education Board region from Woodville to Hick’s Bay.

In retirement he moved to Taupo for boating and fishing and visits from the family, and travelled abroad several times, to see friends and relatives in Britain.

In 1997 he underwent a triple heart-bypass operation which was regarded as a 100 per cent success, though he didn’t recover his former fitness and energy.

He is survived by wife Colleen, daughter Jenny Butcher (Napier) and sons David (Auckland), Roger (Wellington) and Richard (Napier), and 12 grandchildren.

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Newspaper article

Date published

1 September 2007


Hawke's Bay Today


Published with permission of Hawke's Bay Today


  • David, Richard, Roger Barley
  • Florence Barley
  • Kingsley (Kingy) Barley
  • Ralph Barley
  • Colleen Black
  • Jenny Butcher

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