1000 to return for school’s jubilee
Nearly 1000 former pupils and teachers are to celebrate the Parkvale School’s 50th jubilee at Hastings this weekend.
The red brick school was unofficially opened on February 19, 1920, and officially opened by the then Minister of Education, Mr Parr, on April 12.
As part of the weekend celebrations the school’s new $19,300 assembly hall will be officially opened by the MP for Hastings, Mr Duncan MacIntyre, Minister of Lands.
The hall has been in use for about 18 months.
Former pupils are coming from as far away as Australia, India and Singapore.
Mr W. A. McKain, Sydney, a foundation pupil of Parkvale is coming to New Zealand especially for the jubilee.
The first headmaster’s son, Mr Garry, will be among those attending.
Included in the programme is the entertainment of present-day pupils at the school on Friday at 2.15pm. That night a cabaret evening be held in the YMCA Stadium.
The official opening ceremony and roll call will be at 2pm on Saturday. At 7pm there will be a cocktail party and jubilee dinner.
A combined church service is planned for 10.30am in the school grounds on Sunday.
Parkvale, or Hastings East as it was first known, was the third primary school to be built in Hastings. Hastings North School was opened in 1903 and Hastings West in 1914.
Children living in the Hastings East area gathered in an [an] old hop kiln in Windsor Ave for their lessons before Parkvale was built. The hop kiln was the only building in the area big enough.
There were 203 first-day pupils under the guidance of seven teachers headed by Mr. F. E [A]. Garry.
Four days after the school opened two temporary teachers were replaced by permanent members and 39 more children were added to the roll.
A former headmaster of the school, Mr. J. Izatt, has searched through the school records for material for the jubilee magazine he is editing. Some of the highlights of the years follow –
At the opening ceremony the Mayor of Hastings Mr G. Ebbett, told the children they had one of the most up-to-date schools in the country.
The Minister of Education, Mr Parr, warned residents not to “indulge in the present orgy of high price land”. Some Hawke’s Bay land was selling for as much as £100 an acre when the best land in England was £35 an acre and in Canada £10, he said.
The Minister of Education and the Hastings MP, Mr. J. V. Brown, returned to the school two years later to consider a request for more classrooms. The roll was now 322.
As a result of the visit, wooden floors were built into outside shelters and the Education Department gave permission for two more classrooms provided the school committee paid a percentage.
In 1923 the headmaster recommended the spending of £12 on the rearrangement of the horse paddock, £5 on the saddle rack in the horse paddock, £5 for a horse trough, and £5 for a new gate for the horse entrance.
The school did not open until April in 1925 because of an infantile paralysis epidemic.
School records contain complaint by a parent that his Standard 2 girl had been strapped with “six cuts, then punched and thumped on the back,” and of the teacher having shouted “it’s a damn good job you’re leaving.”
Mr Izatt wonders whether children were more difficult in those days or teacher more outspoken.
Parkvale School was only slightly damaged during the 1931 earthquake, and no injuries were reported.
When school went back in 1935 hours were from 9am to 12.30pm and the baths hours from 2-3pm. Normal hours were resumed on February 18.
The opening roll in 1935 topped 400 for the first time. In that year a deputation from the Education Board visited the school to inspect the “open-air” classrooms, the first of their kind in Hastings. These were later abandoned because they admitted “too much air and the birds thereof.”
Another epidemic broke out in December 1945 – polio. School was closed on December 1 and not re-opened until March 1.
On October 4, 1950, the home and school association was formed.
The highlight of 1953 was a reception attended by the whole school on honour of Mr George Lowe on his return from Everest. Mr Lowe was a former teacher at the school.
On June 15, 1960, Neville and Lynn Growcott left Parkvale School, ending a continuous Growcott attendance at the school for 39 years.
In June, 1964, the school roll passed 500 for the first time.
In 1965 the first plans for the assembly hall were drafted.
The Government subsidy of $8000 for the assembly hall was granted in April 1967 and the building was begun.
A home and school social “warmed” the new hall in November 1967.
In 1966 Mr R. A. Boyd was appointed headmaster to follow Mr J. Izatt, who retired after 11 years.
The first headmaster, Mr F. A. Garry, was replaced by Mr A. E. Day in 1924.
After Mr Day left in 1928. came Mr George Lord. In the same year, Miss Mary Mayo was appointed to the school staff. Miss Mayo holds the position of infant mistress today.
Mr W. B. Roe replaced headmaster Mr Lord in 1932. Mr Roe stayed until 1950 and was followed by Mr Miller who left to become headmaster of Raureka School four years later.