Sherenden and Districts School makes 100 years
By Alice Lock
A cake was cut, a tree was planted and a mural was revealed as past and current staff, students, family and friends celebrated 100 years of Sherenden and Districts School.
The centenary celebration was held at the school on Saturday and 150 people from around the country made their way to the country district.
Past pupil Penny Hallgarth, said the original classroom that started the school in 1916 was still there today.
“On Saturday we got to have a look around and I could see the flue on the ceiling from the smoking boiler and the tiles on the floor that were there when I was a student in the classroom,” Ms Hallgarth said.
She attended the school from 1960, when there was just one classroom and teacher.
“I had nine people in my class and we ranged in age from five to 13. It was not until the following year another classroom was built when the roll increased to 37.”
This year, there are 57 students and four teachers. Ms Hallgarth said the community built the school to what it is today.
“It was such a community-driven school. The farming families and shepherds helped the roll and kept it open.”
The school grounds and swimming pool were mostly funded by the community through working bees and a variety of fundraisers.
“Back in 1961 the community pulled together and made £580 to fund the swimming pool,” she said.
“It was a real team effort.”
When Waiwhare School merged with Sherenden in 1996, the school became known as Sherenden and Districts School.
Former pupil and board of trustee member, Andy Coltart, spoke at the centenary celebration and said it was a great success. “We had a lot of people make the event and the school is still doing really well. It is very well-run and has some really good kids,” Mr Coltart said.
Ms Hallgarth said overall it was a very special occasion and a “fabulous” day.
“Some travelled from Auckland and Wellington to be here and we had people of all ages and generations, so it was a lovely catch-up and such a wonderful day of celebration.”
Photo caption – HISTORIC DAY: Sheila Comrie, who attended Sherenden and Districts School in the late 1930s cuts the centenary celebration cake with the school’s youngest pupil, Robbie Logan, 5. PHOTO/WARREN BUCKLAND