Petane-Eskdale School Centenary 1859-1959







It is a pleasure to me to accept the invitation of the Centenary Committee to write a few words by way of introduction to this booklet which will serve as a valuable and interesting historical record of one of the earliest schools in the Province of Hawke’s Bay.

Your School is 100 years old. It has the distinction, therefore, of being the first school under the control of the Hawke’s Bay Education Board to attain its centenary; it was cradled in the early history of the Province, and with it was associated the illustrious name of Colenso, the first Chairman of your School Committee. The tradition is thus an eminent one and, I am sure, has been an inspiration to all those who have worked in and for the school over the years. In congratulating the School on its Centenary, I would like to say how greatly the Board has valued the contribution of pupils, teachers and parents alike, not only to the material growth and development of the school, but also to the influence and standing which it holds in the community.

With such a past record I am confident of a worthy, successful future and I know that the pupils of to-day, mindful of the examples and traditions of the past, will do their utmost for the school and for the community into which they will grow up.

I hope too, that all who take part in the celebrations will find the re-union a happy and stimulating experience and that the work of the Centenary Committee, which is responsible for the arrangements, will result in a continued, lively interest in the school and its affairs.

On behalf of my Board, I wish the school, its pupils and supporters a successful and useful future.

Hawke’s Bay Education Board.

6th March, 1959.

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“We went to school together!” What a wealth of memories these words recall! Even though we “remember with advantages the deeds we did” those days, we can be forgiven.

The simple joys of youth are among the greatest treasures of life. Torn trousers and muddied pinnies, seen in retrospect, provoke laughter to-day, if the recalling of such is in the correct company and atmosphere. A Jubilee gathering certainly provides the right atmosphere.

Schoolday memories bind you together and the “old school tie” is a symbol of something very real. School friendships are often friendships for life. You experienced the same difficulties, helped one another in time of trouble, played happily together and even shared the dictatorship of school discipline. You became blood brothers by submitting to the same initiatory rites.

In retrospect, you will appreciate what your teachers have done for you. Their teaching skill will appear secondary to the abiding influence of their personalities have had upon the moulding of your characters. Their scholarship fired your zeal. Their standards had something to do with the life standards you established for yourself.

This is an occasion when you will honour their memories while appreciating the contributions they have all made to the welfare of the Eskdale School and district.

The influence of your school and scholars has been a power for good for a whole century, something of which Eskdale can be very proud. Few schools in New Zealand can lay claim to such an honour.

May I add my congratulations to those that will flood in to you from all parts of the Dominion and express the hope that these celebrations, so carefully planned by your enthusiastic committee, will be crowned with every success.

(Ex-Inspector of Schools and now Member H.B. Education Board).

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A Headmaster’s Review of the Years he spent at Eskdale School

1932 to 1938.

On my arrival at Eskdale School in 1932 one of my first outstanding impressions was the splendid team of footballers amongst the pupils attending at that time. They seemed to be able to beat any team that had the audacity to challenge them. I remember the first match I attended, against Westshore School, when one of my pupils, Bob Tait, ran through and scored with two or three opponents on his back. Eskdale won that day and in many subsequent matches which followed.

There was also a number of keen cricketers at that time. The school being as it was, situated on the side of a hill, did not lend itself as suitable grounds for such a game. Not to be outdone, the boys dug out a pitch on the side of the hill, and during play one boy was stationed on the top road above the grounds and one at the foot of the hill, below the pitch. Under these difficulties they nevertheless enjoyed their games and were keen on their sports.

The pine plantation above the school harboured a number of magpies, which often attacked the children, especially when they were lined up to go into school. These birds would swoop down and with their strong beaks they would take a piece out of the children’s heads and bodies. To overcome this menace it was suggested that the children should carry a branch over their head for protection, and it was very comical to see them walking about with their cumbersome headgear.

Many children came from far and near by various means of conveyance, but I particularly remember on many occasions watching the arrival of five of the Kyle family on their well-groomed and well-shod horses after travelling a distance of six miles from their home.

We also had a very active Literary and Debating Club, which I initiated. One of our keenest and most capable debaters was an ex-pupil and dux holder, John Tait, who is now chairman of the School Committee and also a member for the district on the Education Board. His constant ambition at these debates was to have a piece of me and many happy and profitable evenings were spent.

Being a keen gardener myself, I encouraged the children in gardening work, which they seemed to prefer to arithmetic and English. However, they were good workers, and as a result of their efforts we took 200 prizes at various Hawke’s Bay Agricultural Shows. Amongst the many varieties they grew they had 40 different kinds of potatoes, 30 different tomatoes, 100 different herbs and 45 varieties of onions.

During my term as Headmaster the School Committee supplied the cocoa and my wife made up the hot drinks for the children’s


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lunches. Every year a fancy dress dance and concert was held, which were always a huge success, and the School Committee’s funds were augmented from this source.

In 1938 the disastrous flood came down the valley, inundating valuable farmland and causing enormous losses. Fortunately the school property was not affected, although the flood waters swept close by.

Many incidents, too numerous to mention here, occurred during my time. Although I taught in many Hawke’s Bay schools over a period of forty years, I think the most memorable term of office was as Headmaster of the Eskdale School from 1932 to 1938, and I look back upon those years with much pride to think that at the end of my career I had the privilege of being associated with one of Hawke’s Bay’s oldest and most historical schools.

27th March, 1959.


In 1865 Inspector Goodwin reported to the Provincial Council regarding twelve schools with 174 boy and 135 girl pupils. In 1867 the expenditure of £1500 was the large sum spent for education, but Inspector Green considered this insufficient. He asked the Provincial Council for a further £1500 by the imposition of an income tax of 2½d. in the £ on residents.

In 1880, when the total white population amounted to 5175 in the province, the Maori (full blood) scholars only numbered 16. There were no Maori State schools. Te Aute Maori College was founded by the Anglican Church, with Bishop Williams as teacher of the twelve pupils, in 1854.


William Craig, grandfather of Mrs Speight, took up land in 1852 on the present Ellis-Wallace Road (old Taupo Road). The timber for his house was brought up the river in a flat-bottomed boat. Before completion of the house this was found to be too expensive. Around the area called Craig’s Garden were many blue-gums, grown originally from seed posted to Craig from Australia. The site of his headquarters is now covered by a big block cutting of the railway. William Craig later went to Napier, where he founded the Vulcan Foundry (still under that name) and which he later sold to Henry Williams and Co.

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Centennial Celebrations, May 15th, 16th, 17th, 1959.


FRIDAY, MAY 15th 1959 –

SATURDAY MAY 16th, 1.30 p.m., at the School Grounds –


SUNDAY, MAY 17th, 10 a.m. –


President and Chairman of Executive – MR JOHN TAIT.

Treasurer – Mr A. GOLDSACK.

Secretary – Mrs RAY GOLDSTONE.

Historical Committee – Messrs F. WILSON (Chairman), R DE DENNE (Secretary and Editor), N. WALLACE, W. KIRKHAM, JOHN FRANKLIN.

Publicity – Messrs M. WALLACE (Chairman), B. SMITH (Secretary), Mrs J. WILSON and Miss D. KIRKHAM.

Entertainment – Messrs M. McKAY (Chairman), O. WOOD (Secretary), J. POHIO, F. PAYNE, L. THOMPSON, B. YULE and D. L. HOLT.

Catering – Mrs A. MCHARDY (Chairman), Mr JOHN OLSEN (Secretary), Mrs W. MITCHELL, Mrs A. PETTIGREW and Mr C. SMITH.

Billeting – Messrs E. MARTEL (Chairman), R. BLAIR (Secretary), ROB YULE and G. STAFFORD.

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Although this Booklet was started with the original intention of being purely “School,” it was compelled to break out into local history, and it is hoped that readers will find many items of interest and for discussion within its cover. As is natural in all research, it is possible to make mistakes, but to counteract this, sometimes as many as four sources of information have been consulted before one story, or even one sentence, could be accepted. The Historical Committee acknowledges gratefully the help it has received from the Napier Museum and Art Gallery, Messrs Whincop and Mercer, of the Education Board, Mr J. G. Wilson, of Hatuma, for his offer of any information to be found in the books under his pen, Miss Robina McKain’s “Documentary of Early Days,” the present Head master (Mr Burr) for records in his care, and from those ex-pupils and others who came along with early snaps or daguerreotypes or anecdotes, etc., to help along the good work.

18th April, 1959.



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In the days of the whalers the area adjacent to the present mouth of the Esk River and Jim Nicholl’s hill was called “Kai-arero”. The Missionaries arrived and no doubt soon became aware of the meaning of the name, “The Eating of the Tongue”, and concluded that it was too sinister and renamed it with the biblical “Bethany”. Perhaps the pakeha could not easily pronounce Kai-arero. However, it was found that the Maori could not get his tongue around “Bethany” and the nearest he could get to it was Petane. Some person in the Government of the time (Provincial Council) re-named it Kai-arero until another person in a high place changed it once more to Petane. Later, however, as Petane became confused with Petone, the inappropriate name of Bay View was given to the present area adjacent to the hotel and the shops. The present Petane Pa is now on the north bank of the Esk. The name Eskdale made its appearance in the Petane Valley at the turn of the century, and this still sticks.

At the opening of the School, on the 22nd August, 1859, it was called Petane until in 1927, when the Board decided to rename it Eskview. However, when the Bay View pupils went to the Westshore School, by special school buses the name was quietly changed to its present attractive name of Eskdale. The children of the first settlers on and around the Petane hills had no organised schooling apart from that given by their mothers. Under these circumstances learning was limited to the three R’s. Mrs J. B. McKain, who arrived in 1855 in the Petane valley, and so must have been one of the first mothers to revolt, and so after a meeting in Napier of interested parents it was decided to form a School Committee and William Colenso was elected to the chair. Messrs Charlton, Kelly, J.B. McKain and I. Steven completed the Committee.

History has taught how indefatigable was Mr Colenso in the pioneering of the famous tracks, etc., within the Province over the Ruahines to Auckland and Gisborne – all on foot. It is recorded that during his term as Inspector of Schools he would walk from Napier along the shingle beach and then over the hills to our School, where he would inspect the pupils and have lunch with Mrs and Miss McKain. After putting the students through the hoops he would then walk back to his home in Napier, all in the one day. Perhaps at this stage we should say that Mr Colenso had various official positions in the very early days. He founded the Mission Station at Waitangi (Clive) in 1844, but had hiked around Hawke’s Bay with his wife before that as a Missionary-Printer for the Missionary Society since 1834. Until 1852 he served as a Deacon, with headquarters at Waitangi. Owing to a lapse of conduct he resigned his position with the Church. From 1872 until 1878 he was the Inspector of Schools for Hawke’s Bay. In addition he was a member of the Hawke’s Bay Provincial Council, a member of the General Assembly in Wellington and a botanist of no mean repute. In 1899 he died at the grand age of 88 years – certainly one of the fathers of Hawke’s Bay and, we are proud to say, a founder of our School.

Mr Elwin reports that Mr I. Steven, of Napier, was the building contractor who tendered for and erected the first school building for £100; of necessity very spartan inside, and we doubt if it was

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even lined. Mr Steven had procured his timber (white pine) from a sawmill about a mile this side of Wairoa, at Turiroa (Powdrell’s), where some very tall native trees may still be seen. Regulations regarding office holders under the Crown now preclude their fulfilling contracts in a private capacity – Mr Steven was a member of the Committee and, incidentally, Mr Elwin was his adopted son.

Those early Masters (or Mistresses) had a hard time on rather short pay, and nearly all of them supplemented this by working in various other capacities, such as postmaster or farmer. The desperate shortage was a handicap to future development and the Provincial Council offered various inducements to head teachers to train new blood. They were offered a bonus of ten pounds for the first pupil teacher they could train well enough to pass a quite elementary examination; five pounds for each subsequently trained pupil teacher. In addition, another incentive bonus was offered in 1867 to the teacher in charge of a school in the Hawke’s Bay Province who, in the opinion of the inspector, maintained his charge in the most general state of efficiency. This bonus of fifty pounds was to be competed for each year and to be paid by instalments to the teacher over the next five years. We have no definite record of any of these bonuses coming to Petane, but we do know that Mr Elwin resigned in 1869, due to the non-payment of £50. His total salary in that year was apparently £60 10s. Apparently for this reason the school was obliged to go into recess for four years. The fact that Miss McKain re-opened the school in 1873 invites us to think that because she lived nearby with her widowed mother she was able to find the salary sufficient for her needs. We believe the various bonuses were discontinued when schooling came under the Education Act. In 1887 Education Boards were formed in all districts in New Zealand. Mr Lozell reports that he received 1s. per pupil per week from parents and collected from the Provincial Council 12s. per pupil per quarter. Did those original scholars have four terms a year where we now have three? It looks as if he got a pound for pound subsidy while teaching pupils and no pay for the holidays.

Documents appertaining to the days before 1887 are very scarce in Hawke’s Bay, but we are assured that some considerable quantity are preserved in the Turnbull Library in Wellington, a source of information of which unfortunately this Historical Committee was unable to avail itself. The title board on the School led us to believe that the School had started in 1860, whereas research unearthed the fact that this date should have been 1859; consequently our historical inquiries were foreshortened. School Inspectors’ reports (on rice paper) in the hands of the Education Board gave us quite a lot of data and we are indebted to those first Inspectors who reported at length to the Provincial Superintendent, the dictator of all things in the district.

Inspectors. – H. B. Sealy (1861-1865), later Commissioner of Lands; Henry M. Goodwin (1866), Edward L. Green (1867-1872), W. Colenso (1872-1878). Under the Education Act the first Inspector was Henry Hill (1878-1914), much travelled and of such long service to education; we are especially indebted to him.

We are intrigued to find that more school mistresses took charge in the pioneering days prior to 1900 than did masters. Mistresses,

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four for 19 years; Masters, three for the same time. These women certainly must have maintained pretty good discipline to merit their excellent reports from the various inspectors.

In 1892 we find in the Education reports the appointment of the first assistant teacher, Master Ivan Tuxford, an ex-pupil. The accent seemed to be on youth in those days, hence the “Master” Tuxford. He soon graduated from probationer to assistant and stayed on the job for four years. In 1897 his sister, Ethel Tuxford, was also a trainee in the school.

Roll numbers for the various years make interesting reading. The highest number recorded was in  1924, when the school had four teachers, with 124 pupils, and now, after 35 years, it is only just touching that number. The cutting up of the large properties for the rehabilitation of war veterans of the 1914-18 war and the consequent greater number of couples with their children, undoubtedly provided the upsurge in numbers. The Beattie Settlement was cut into six sections and the Kaiwaka Block into about 24 sections. In addition the amount of construction work available on the railway helped to increase the rolls.

As times became more settled the Maori inhabitants of the main fortified pas, Kaiarero, above Nichol’s, and Heipipi, near the present Glenvale cellars, on the promontories, gradually drifted down on to the flats; in the last twenty years we have seen quite a mass movement from the country to the towns and cities of the Pakeha. This movement has created one of the gravest worries of their Maori Elders. Those Maoris remaining in and around our area are now operating as market gardeners, etc., and are also the backbone for labour in the vineyards and wine cellars.

We have written of the different floods of the modern day. Some people still maintain that in Hawke’s Bay the floods have occurred solely because of general farming practice in clearing all the hill sides of the water-arresting agent, be it fern, bush or just scrub. However, we are assured by writers – Guthrie-Smith and Colenso – that the floods in olden times must have been just as big, even before any farming took place in the hills. Now the rivers are practically harnessed any flood is going to impress the minds of thousands of residents, whereas when the occupants of the plains were very few in number the occasion of a giant flood was unreported. Changes in our Esk River are, however, very noticeable over the years, mainly because the 1931 earthquake lifted the bed several feet, subsequently causing the 1938 flood to be so severe. The debris brought down off the hills and ranges in slips by the quake being deposited to a great extent in the Valley and on the bed of the river was a major cause of the severity of this disaster, while a contributing factor was the coinciding high tide. Since this flood the Rivers Board has dragged dozens of willow trees from the river bed to help the freer flow of the water. In about 1880 a small steamer was accustomed to come through a mouth near Quarantine Island to the present site of the hotel and around the base of the hills to the Petane Valley. This part of the Esk was called the Waiohinganga River and was usually deep enough for vessels of shallow draught only when the true mouth of the Esk at Martin’s was blocked. The landing stage on that river for the

JUNIORS – 1879.

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store of Mr Thomas Torr was actually where the Nichol’s cowbail is now. Mr Ben Warnes had a good service by river and sea to Ahuriri for the brothers Villers, whose store was situated at Petane

near the recent Bay View Post Office until drays and wagons could come along the Napier-Petane road. At this time there were two pas in Petane – one on the opposite bank of the Waiohinganga River to the present King George’s Hall and the other a mile nearer Napier. We hear that in later years the river had narrowed considerably so that boats could not be rowed and it was necessary to have a person on the bank with the hard end of a tow rope. The Smiths who resided in the Shirley home found it necessary to build a bridge, which is possibly the one still there, and this was found to be most disconcerting and a barrier to pleasure yachts. At present the Esk River runs into a lagoon near the sea and then flows north for many chains before breaking into the sea. A long strip of shingle, only two chains wide, deflects it to the north. The old river bed in Bay View is either expected to carry a portion of the Esk continuously or to have water pumped from the river into the channel for irrigation purposes on the market gardens.

To the north of the Esk is, we believe, the only “wild-flooded” irrigation farm in Hawke’s Bay, and this farm draws its water with a colossal pump from the river.

The many picturesque scenes in the Valley, with their autumn tints or the luscious green of spring growth, are considered second to none. Whether from ground level, off the hills or from the air the river view, with its trees, is most entrancing. The opinion of the hundreds of picnickers who come in the week-ends is really proved by the numbers who return so often, especially to the Eskdale Domain.

The development of the Eskdale Valley from the point of view of housing has been slight and since the last war only about nine new houses have been erected because of the County Council planning policy. No land may be cut up in the Valley for housing purposes into areas of less than five acres. In contrast we must mention that Bay View has developed about 100 per cent, in the same period. In addition many sections have been sold along the beach front north of the Esk and to date there are 32 sections with holiday baches and permanent homes erected or in course of construction. It would appear that under this policy Eskdale must of necessity just “vegetate.”

Some regular long-distance walks to school – the Franklin family from the present farm of Ray Goldstone to the Petane School. Also the Mintofft children from their home just past Quarantine Island turn-off. No wonder some of these pupils made friends with Joe Burton, driver of Mr Harvey’s coach. The latter said, “No children on the coach.” The former said, “Hop round the corner where Mr Harvey cannot see and I’ll pick you up.”

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Records show that the Dux Medal was first awarded in 1903, and we believe this to be correct. For the years 1955 to 1958 no Dux was awarded after a lengthy controversy on the matter, but the present School Committee has intimated that they intend to re-commence the custom.

1903 – Nelly Bee
1904 – Edith Ellis
1905 – Rose Wilson
1906 – Emily Wilson
1907 – Ruby Kirkham
1908 – Hannah Wilson
1909 – Annie Wilson
1910 – Gertrude King
1911 – Rose Milne
1912 – Ruth King
1913 – George Turney
1914 – Maud Wilson
1915 – (Ruth Speight
(Chrissie Conway
1916 – Nancy Robinson
1917 – Ralph Conway
1918 – Frank Wilson
1919 – Aileen Conway
1920 – Ronald Hayman
1921 – Una Wilson
1922 – Hazel Conway
1923 – Bryan Lopdell
1924 – Maida Saunders
1925 – John Tait
1926 – Molly King
1927 – John Shirley
1928 – David Rench
1929 – Fred Rench
1930 – Jock Booth
1931 – Edward Mandy
1932 – Doris Roseby
1933 – Jack Jones
1934 – John Nichol
1935 – Alfred Newman
1936 – Donald Morton
1937 – Calvert Tait
1938 – Ronald Singleton
1939 – Ray Haycock
1940 – Ernest Stewart
1941 – William Peck
1942 – Moira Rodgers
1943 – Desmond Marsh
1944 – Ray Smyth
1945 – Henry Danvers
1946 – Alan Wilson
1947 – Charles Spicer
1948 – Desmond Wilson
1949 – Jock McKay
1950 – Colin Morgan
1951 – Terry Wilson
1952 – (Jean Robertson
(Letitia Tait
1953 – Robert McKay
1954 – Sally Brown
1959 –


William Kirkham – 1900
Rose Milne – 1911
Gertrude King – 1911
Ruth King – 1912
Kathleen King 1913
George Turney – 1913
Ernest Speight – 1913

(Before the Log Book)

Year.   Roll.   Teacher.   Chairman.
1859   13   S. Lozell   Opening of School   W. Colenso
1862   25   S. Lozell   W. Colenso
1863   22   W.I. Elwin
1867   29   W.I. Elwin
1869-1872   No School (no pay – no teacher)
1872   13   Miss R. McKain
1873   13    Miss R. McKain
1874   8   Miss R. McKain
1875   5   Miss R. McKain
1876   8   Miss R. McKain   G. Spence
1877   18   A. Hamilton   G. Spence
1880   29   A. Hamilton   G. Spence
1881   37   A. Hamilton   I. Steven
1882   30   A. Hamilton   I. Steven
1883   27   A. Hamilton   I. Steven
1884   29   A. Hamilton   I. Steven
1885   28   A. Hamilton   H. Twigg
1886   37   A. Hamilton   H. Twigg
1887   23   A. Hamilton   C. Villers
A. Wolstenholm (?)
Miss Andrews (Temp. to 19th July)
Miss F. Reed (Perm. 19th July, 1887)


Year.   Roll.   Teacher.   Assistant Staff.   Chairman.
1887   23   A. Hamilton   C Villers
Miss Andrews (T)
Miss F. Reed (from 1st August)
1888   28    Miss F. Reed   H.I. Twigg
1889   38    Miss F. Reed   W.H. Smith
1890   49    Miss F. Reed
1891   52   Mrs Marshall (nee Reed)
Miss E.T. Bogle (from 1st July)
1892   –   Miss Bogle   Ivan Tuxford (T)
1893   53   Miss Bogle
1894   52   Miss Bogle
1895   57   Miss Bogle   Eva Haultain (T)
1896   44   Miss Bogle
1897   45   Miss Bogle
1898   46   Miss Bogle
1899   74   Miss Bogle
1900   63   Miss Bogle
1901   56   Miss Bogle   Mrs Meikle (T)
Miss Torr (T)
1902   63   H. Speight   Miss Samson   W. Kirkham
1903   61   H. Speight   Miss A.I. Siddles
1904   57   H. Speight   Miss A.I. Siddles   G. Bee
1905   71   H. Speight   Miss P. Shaw   D. Milne
W. Kirkham
1906   62   H. Speight   Miss C. Burgess    W. Kirkham
1907   45   H. Speight   Miss C. Burgess   J.A. Milne
1908   49   H. Speight    Mrs Speight (T)   J.A. Milne
1910   62   H. Speight   Miss M. Shugar   G. Tait
1911   61   H. Speight   Miss M. Shugar

Year.   Roll.   Teacher.   Assistant Staff.   Chairman.
1912   82   H. Speight   Miss M. Shugar   A. King
1913   73   H. Speight   Miss M. Shugar   G. Tait
Miss V. Macfarlane (P)
1914   82   H. Speight   Miss M. Shugar   J.A. Milne
1915   74   H. Speight   Miss M. Shugar   J.A. Milne
1916   81   H.E Stanton (R)   Miss M. Shugar   J.A. Milne
W.J. Murphy (9 mths.)
1917   84   W.J. Murphy (9 mths.); Miss Shugar (8 mths.)   A. King
W.S.M. Cockerill   Miss E.M. Webb
1918   89   W.S.M. Cockerill   Miss Webb (8 mths.)
Mrs W. Finch (T)
1919   85   W.S.M. Cockerill   Miss A.M. Marten (6 mths.)
Miss E.G. Sinclair
1920   103   W.S.M. Cockerill   Miss R Pedersen   E.A. Butcher
Miss R. Pedersen
1921   112   W.S.M. Cockerill   Miss K.M. King (T)   A. King
Miss E.M. Duncan (P)
1922   105   W.S.M. Cockerill   Miss Pedersen
Miss King
Miss Duncan
1923   111   W.S.M. Cockerill   Miss R. Pedersen   T. Hayman
Miss K.M. King
Miss Lumsden (T)
Miss Fenton (T)
1924   124   W.S.M. Cockerill   Miss Pedersen   E.A. Butcher
Miss M. Bailey (T)
Miss N. King (T)
1925   125   W.S.M. Cockerill   Miss Pedersen   H. Nicoll
Miss M. Bailey
Miss N. King
1926   112   W.S.M. Cockerill   Miss Pedersen   A.E. Arnott
Miss Bailey
1927   114   W.S.M. Cockerill   Miss Bailey   A.E. Arnott

Year.   Roll.   Teacher.   Assistant Staff.   Chairman.
1928   109   W.S.M. Cockerill   Miss Pedersen   H. Phillips
Miss A. Archer
Miss U. Wilson (P)
1929   105   W.S.M. Cockerill   Miss Pedersen (5 mths.)   H. Phillips
Miss E. Wills
Miss M. Saunders (P)
1930   57   W.S.M. Cockerill   Miss Archer (8 mths.)   H. Phillips
Miss Wills
Miss E. Dever (T)
1931   63   W.S.M. Cockerill   Miss Maxwell (R)   H. Phillips
Miss I. Veale
1932   76   W.S.M. Cockerill   Miss Veale (9 mths.)   H. Phillips
Miss V. Smith
R.H. Florance
1933   75   R.H. Florance   Miss V. Smith   H. Phillips
Miss Campbell (T)
1934   74   R.H. Florance   Miss Campbell (4mths.)   H. Phillips
Miss U. Wilson
1935   82   R.H. Florance   Miss U. Wilson   H. Phillips
1936   73   R.H. Florance   Miss U. Wilson   L.A. Stafford
1937   67   R.H. Florance   Miss U. Wilson   L.A. Stafford
1938   59   L.E Schwabe (R)   Miss U. Wilson   L.A. Stafford
Miss L.C. Fleming (R)
N.B. Boyle (R)
1939   38   B.A Rodgers   Mrs E.M. Nicholl   L.A. Stafford
Mrs B. Stevens
1940   45   B.A Rodgers   Mrs B. Stevens   L.A. Stafford
1941   52   B.A Rodgers   Mrs Nicholl   L.A. Stafford
Miss Woodhouse
1942   44   B.A Rodgers   Miss Woodhouse (4mths.)   L.A. Stafford
Miss Ridgway (T)
Miss A. Barnes

SOME OF 30 PONIES – 1904.

Year.   Roll.   Teacher.   Assistant Staff.   Chairman.
1943   59   B.A Rodgers (3mths.)   Miss A. Barnes   L.A. Stafford
C.H. Holyoake
1944   –   C.H. Holyoake   Miss A. Barnes   L.A. Stafford
1945   –   C.H. Holyoake   Miss M. Whealen   A.M. McNeill
1946   –   C.H. Holyoake   Miss M. Whealen   A.M. McNeill
1947   54   C.H. Holyoake (3 mths.)   Miss M. Whealen   A.M. McNeill
W. Lankovsky (R)
H.W. Shirreff
1948   70   H.W. Shirreff   Miss M. Whealen   L. Thompson
Miss M. H. Gwynne
1949   76   H.W. Shirreff   Miss Gwynne   L. Thompson
Mrs M.A. Anderson (R)
1950   78   H.W. Shirreff   Mrs D. Leitch (nee Birks) (R)   F.H. Wilson
Miss M. Dowling
1951   75   H.W. Shirreff (4 mths.)   Miss Dowling   F.H. Wilson
R.W. Ward   Mrs P. Harrington (P)
1952   70   R.W. Ward   Miss Dowling   F.H. Wilson
H.W. Sweeting (P)
1953   94   R.W. Ward   Miss M. Dowling   F.H. Wilson
Miss M. Kane (P)
Mrs E. McLinden (R)
1954   82   R.W. Ward   Miss S. Milne   R.L. de Denne
P. Lorck (R) Miss P. Barclay
1955   108   C.G. Price   Miss P. Barclay   R.L. de Denne
1956   –   C.G. Price   Miss P. Barclay   J. Tait
1957   103   C.G. Price   Miss Milne (4mths.)   J. Tait
Miss M.T. Small
I. F. Taylor
1958   119   C.G. Price (8 mths.)   Miss M.T. Small   J. Tait
Miss M. Major   I.L. Willis
1959   114   H. Burr   Miss Small   J. Tait (until April 15)
I.T. Willis   O.S. Mitchell

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1887 – March 17th: Holiday for St. Patrick’s Day (not now kept.)

Henry Hill, inspector.

1890 – Holiday for Petane horse races. School library started.

1891- Teacher now employing monitresses. Difficulties about drinking water supply.

1892 – Master Ivan Tuxford appointed pupil teacher. Concert realised £12 5s. for prizes and tennis racquets.

1897 – Boys in trouble for taking water-melons from Mr H. Wilson’s garden. He claimed for 15s.

1902 – Three teachers. Contract let for levelling grounds and moving closets. Instituted daily Bible lessons. Two days holiday for declaration of peace after Boer War. Flag-staff erected and museum started.

1903 – Blackberry cutting contract completed. First case for museum erected; given by G. M. Mason and H. S. Clark, and made by Mr Speight. School prizes presented at picnic.

1904 – Completion of contract for new house. Pupils with horses

photographed. Concert by the Cathedral Choir, Harmonic Society and School Pupils.

1905 – Concert by Napier Frivs., realising £9 12s. Barometer and rain gauge installed.

1906 – Gymnastic Club apparatus presented. School closed for day of funeral of Mr Seddon, Prime Minister. Belfry taken down as its timbers were rotten. Picnic and prize-giving in Tuxford’s paddock.

1907 – Arbor Day celebrated. A visit by Mr Fowlds, Minister of Education and Mr J. V. Brown, Mayor of Napier. One week’s holiday for Napier carnival. Dominion medals presented.

1909 – Sixty pine trees planted.

1910 – Picnic and prize-giving in Harvey’s paddock.

1911 – Concert in aid of Public Hall Building Fund. Coronation medals presented. Bathroom added to house.

1912 – Mr Just visits monthly for physical training. School concert at Petane.

1913 – Visit of H.M.S. New Zealand in Hawke Bay. Education Board declared School Committee election void. Dr. Leahy vaccinated 125 children and adults. Coach service started between

Petane and school.

1914 – Trees and shrubs planted. Pupils gave funds raised for the picnic and prize-giving to British and Belgian Relief Fund.

1915 – Funds collected for Lady Liverpool’s Soldiers’ Fund.

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1916 – Heavy rains cause floods in Esk Valley. £3 7s. subscribed for Belgian Relief Fund. Dominion Day observed ceremonially. Concert produced £17 for prize fund. Pupils attend unveiling of obelisk commemorating Maori battle in valley 50 years ago.

1918 – Petane Patriotic Sports holiday. Armistice Day celebrated. School closed 12th November for rest of year on account of influenza epidemic.

1919 – Attendance by motor lorry at Peace Celebration Sports in Napier. Ball (plain and fancy dress) at Petane for school improvement fund, netting £20. Picnic and sports at Taradale

racecourse. Transport by horse drags and buses.

1920 – Attendance reaches 100. Holiday for visit of Prince of Wales to Napier. Horseback allowance made available to riders to school.

1921 – Four teachers now on staff. School picnic in Lopdell’s paddock.

1922 – Seventeen pounds worth of book prizes, plus several prizes donated, awarded to pupils.

1923 – Sixty pupils represent school at Anzac Day service in Eskdale Church. School and residence repainted. Picnic and prize-giving on Mr H. Nichols property. Twenty boys from France House entered on roll. A major flood in valley, with forty children kept overnight at school.

1924 – One hundred and twenty children visit H.M.S. Hood.

1925 – Four teachers again for 124 pupils. One hundred and forty at householders’ meeting. Committee election again declared null and void. Prime Minister Massey’s funeral – holiday. Re-modelling of school. Classes scattered. School Ball at Eskdale Hall. Apples donated by fruit board sold to pupils at 1d each for games fund.

1926 – School Concert in Bay View raises £19 10s., to be used to buy a gramophone.

1927 – Eighty-five pupils by train to Napier for visit of Duke and Duchess of York. Name of school changed from Petane to Esk-View.

1928 – Basketball instituted for girls. Eskview Ladies’ Guild raised about £50 at a sale of work for a school piano. Well bored in horse paddock; good water at 70 feet. Concert by Frivs at Bay View for water fund. Picnic at Sailing Club Westshore. Transport by Kirkham and Christianson. Swimming lessons in Esk River. Septic tank installed for closets.

1930 – Picnic again at Sailing Club.

1931- Hawke’s Bay earthquake, school opening three weeks later in air for a few pupils. School repairs completed at end of March and school re-occupied.

1932 – After 14 years in charge Mr Cockerill transfers to Clive Grange. Picnic in Conway’s paddock.

1933 – Picnic as last year.


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1934 – Twenty- seven prizes for vegetables awarded at Hawke’s Bay Show. Pupils transported to Napier to see Duke of Gloucester.

1935 – Seventy-fifth anniversary of school opening celebrated in paddock lent by F.C. Clark. Forty-two prizes won at Hawke’s Bay Show. Holiday for King’s Silver Jubilee. Stone all erected on frontage.

1936 – School concert realises £9. School closed on December 15th on account of outbreak of infantile paralysis.

1937 – School re-opens on March 1st after epidemic. Holiday for Coronation Day George VI and Elizabeth, and at a short service at school a walnut tree was planted.  Entrance was concreted and a water tank erected on hill. Holidays for Springboks versus Hawke’s Bay match.

1938 – School reopened after one month’s closure owing to major flood. Pupils taught at Hastings Street School, Napier, and France House in interim. Mr F. Clark provided bus to convey 22 pupils to primary school sports at Napier. Raymond Haycock won 440 yards and silver challenge cup.

1939 – School roll only 38 when school opened. School being repainted. Christmas tea party organised by Eskdale Women’s Institute.  Picnic at Napier Baths, followed by cinema for all pupils.

1940 – Start of school milk supply. School of closed on death of Mr Savage, first Labour Prime Minister of New Zealand. France House boys isolated and anti-diphtheria injections given to pupils. Seven-a-side boys’ team beat Tangoio Native School 21 to 5. Frivs.’ concert in aid of school funds at Eskdale Hall.

1941 – Primary school sports Napier. George Gurr won 880 yards championship. In holidays headmaster harvested and sold three sugar-bag of potatoes, 14s. and 12s. 10d. (two).

1942 – Seventeen pounds collected by school for Hawke’s Bay Children’s Homes. School represented Country Schools in drill display Napier. School Ball realised £12 3s.

1943 – Surrender of Italy. Picnic at Eskdale Park.

1944 – Seniors conveyed to Napier for film “In Which We Serve”. Miss J. Spencer formed Junior Red Cross Club. Picnic at Windsor Park, Hastings.

1945 – Pupils of Form I and II started manual training and cooking classes in Napier. Celebration of liberation of Europe and Pacific. Pupils conveyed to Napier for children’s procession celebrating end of World War II. Holiday for pupils to view H.M.S. Indefatigable passing Napier. School picnic at Windsor Park, Hastings.

1946 – Seniors visited H.M.S. Belfast at Napier. Boys versus Haumoana at football, 13 all. Return match at Eskdale won 14 – 9. Seniors to Napier to see film “The True Glory”. James Olsen won Jack Swain Cup.

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1947 – Survey of pupils’ feet (25)? Holiday as a result of visit of Field Marshal Montgomery. School versus Haumoana at Eskdale; won 19 – 3. Seniors attended visit to Napier of Governor-General. School closed December 1st on account of infantile paralysis.

1948 – School remained closed until Easter. Tuition by correspondence and radio. Bus service started. S. Kaimoana won first race for steeplechase cup (two miles). Picnic at Windsor Park. Senior trophy won by R. Eagle.

1949 – Concert for school by Napier Variety Entertainers. Steeplechase Cup won by W. McKay; fastest time by B. Neilson. Picnic in McKay’s paddock; Swain trophy won by “T. Whyte.

1950 – School placed in Grade 4. Radio set installed. Steeplechase to W. Waikato. Fastest time James Locke. Alan Bell and Brian Neilson selected for Ross Shield team.

1951 – Parents voted 32 to 15 against Forms I and II transferring to Napier Intermediate School. Steeplechase won by Alan Bell, off scratch.

1952 – Picnic Eskdale Park.

1953 – June 1st and 2nd: Coronation holidays. Primary School sports at Napier. J. Parks won junior steeplechase.

1954 – Wet day picnic at Eskdale Hall. Swain Cup won by J. Parks for second year. Steeplechase won by A. Baird.

1955 – Eskdale Park for picnic. While residence vacated for renovations, headmaster installed in house at Westshore The loan of a tape-recorder by Mr A. Robertson to help speech training.

1956 – Pupils arranged and assisted at School Gala Bazaar in aid of school baths. Giant stride, vaulting horse and Wendy house installed.

1957 – Polio vaccinations for older children. Second gala for school baths fund.

1958 – Transport by parents to Napier Baths for swimming lessons. Picnic at Eskdale Park. Swain Cup to Tony Barber. Seniors to Napier for film “Under the Southern Cross.” More polio vaccinations.

1959 – Picnic at Eskdale Park. Swain Cup to Tony Barber.

Many children in the Napier area are most grateful to the training that has been instilled so carefully by Traffic Inspector Heaven (plus his assistant, the monkey) and by A.A. Patrolman Locke. Surely this is the easiest and most “Heavenly” way to learn safety on the highway.

Does Charlie Rewi still maintain that his grandfather, Thomas Pompey, was the first white man to cure bacon in Hawke’s Bay?

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In Order of Service.

Samuel Lozell (Loisel, Lozel) – Colenso, Inspector of Schools, and Mr Elwin give the first spelling; Mrs Robina Roe, nee McKain, an original 1859 pupil, gives the second spelling. A third spelling has come to light as we are going to press – Lozel is seen to have been written on a family marriage certificate. Which is correct? He was a pioneer for country schools and advertised the “salubrity of the Petane Valley for a boarding establishment” in conjunction with his school.  We have no record of there having been any boarders. He later went to Kaikoura (Otane) School, and while there had much bitter correspondence with Colenso. He later turned sheep farmer and resided at Whangara (East Coast).

W.I. Elwin – Served six years at the school. An adopted son of Mr. And Mrs. I. Steven (farmer and builder); married Sarah Villers, of Petane.  Served as postmaster for the Petane Valley.  Owned a block of land in the valley which he farmed while teaching. Served in the Volunteer Militia on patrolling duties in the Valley, necessitating school to be on alternate days, during the Hau Hau scares in the district. He resigned because the Provincial Council would not pay a £50 bonus.

Miss Robina McKain – Daughter of J.B. McKain, hotelkeeper and farmer of a 100-acre block bought from the Provincial Council at 5s. An acre, bare; now part of the Wilson farm at Eskdale. One of the first day pupils at the school (roll 13).  Took sole charge of school when only 18 years of age and held position for five years, living with her mother quite nearby. Colenso gave Mrs. McKain blackberry cuttings and gum trees; some of the latter and all of the former are still flourishing.  Colenso, as Inspector of Schools, reports that “Teacher is a young woman, zealous and attentive, and has the nice tact of doing the school work quietly, and her pupils imitate her. It is a pleasure to be amongst these scholars; would they were more in number. All here read, write and cypher and know a little of geography, maps, history and grammar.” Married Charles Villers, who pre-deceased her, as did her second husband Roe.

Augustus Hamilton – Master for nine years, 1878 to 1887, when the Education Act was passed. Later was Curator for the Hawke’s Bay Museum in Napier, and also was a Director of the Dominion Museum in Wellington. He retired to Russell and later died there on 14th October, 1913.

Miss Florence Reed. – Served for four years as sole teacher and in her last year married David Marshall, a farmer in the Seafield Valley. Henry Hill, Inspector, says that “her presentation of over 90 per cent, actually 92 per cent, Ed.) of pupils for examination is unexcelled so far in the Hawke’s Bay district.”

Miss Elizabeth T. Bogle. – Served for almost ten years as sole teacher and later as head with the school’s first assistant, finishing her term of duty at the turn of the century. The last permanent headmistress of the school. Roll had now increased to 74.


Page 29

Mr Hubert Speight. – Headmaster for  14 years.  Rolls rose by another 50 per cent. Keen botanist and friend of naturalist Guthrie-Smith. In 1928 he took Holy Orders and accepted a call to the Anglican Church as curate in Hastings for five years, when he left to take charge as Vicar of the Parish of Patutahi. near Gisborne. He eventually retired to a residence he had built on the Wharerangi Road, Taradale, alongside that of his daughter Iris (Mrs Tredray).

W. S. M. Cockerill. – During his 15 years as headmaster he saw many changes and disasters in the Valley. He wrote extensively in the School Log of the 1925 flood and of the 1931 earthquake, as well as of various epidemics of infantile paralysis, as poliomyelitis was then called. Had great interest in the School and enforced an iron discipline. His interest in the school was maintained in later years by regular visits to the district. During his term of office the School had four teachers for the only time in its history. He has now retired to Tauranga. We hope to see him at the celebrations.

R. Florance. – Five and a half years. Came from Clive Grange when he exchanged positions with Mr Cockerill. He was a very keen gardener and under his tuition pupils were taking regularly 30 to 40 prizes at a time at various A. and P. Shows. He founded a keen Calf Club among pupils. He fell ill while on holiday in Tauranga and his health then made it necessary for him to retire to his present home at Haumoana.

B. A. Rodgers -Four years. Held a commission in Eskdale Home Guard during World War II. Transferred to Rangiwahia and later to Rongatea (Foxton). Stood unsuccessfully as Labour candidate for Rangitikei against Sir William Oram.

C H. Holyoake. – Three and a half years. Went to Pongaroa on leaving this district at the end of World War II. Is at present teaching in Palmerston North. He is a brother of K. J. Holyoake, Opposition Leader in the present Parliament.

Gurghat Singh (alias Charlie the Hawker), the Indian shopkeeper and traveller around the farms and mills with his four-wheeled Express with its commodious body which held most things an use around the farmhouse. We believe he also slept in the Express. His Store was near Nant Bros.’ Garage and was pulled down only a few years ago. He married and retired to Taupo.

The first cars in the Valley: A saxe blue Rover belonging to Mr Thomas Clark. Mr Charlie Canning had the first car with pneumatic tyres.  Mr Frank Lopdell had an early Cadillac. (only the King and I have a Cadillac – his words). Dr Leahy did the round of his patients on a motor bike.

Once upon a time white butterflies were a menace which some misguided persons thought could be eradicated by netting them. Prizes were given to students catching the greatest number. Did any student do better than Rob Kyle with his 16,000 butterflies?

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CENTENARY 1859-1959

Oh, lovely peaceful Eskdale, you spread your beauty wide
And bask in mellow sunshine, in the autumnal countryside.
The vineyards all have gathered their treasure safely in
And there is time to stand and pause ere winter’s storms begin.

You, little school, stand in your fold of strong encircling hill.
A hundred years have come and gone, yet you are with us still.
You stand, undaunted and serene, immune to all things mortal,
While children of both races pass through your ancient portal.

On sunny sheltered hillside the burial ground is spread
And there are many honoured names among your peaceful dead.
They are the proud progenitors of generations yet to be.
A hundred years is but a second out of eternity.

The little grey church stands in the vale, tile-roofed and creeper-clad;
Nigh forty years you have endured to make your people glad.
In times of stress or peril, in sorrow, fear or pain,
We come to you for comfort and. do not come in vain.

What do we, who live here now and love this peaceful place.
Know of your hard and care-worn lives, pioneer women of our race;
The loneliness, so far away from all things loved and known.
The fear of hostile natives when you were left alone.

What homesick, heartsick settler gave the River Esk its name
And called the valley Eskdale when to this place he came?
Did he think of his native Cumberland, with its craggy fells and streams,
And did his memories of home fill all his waking dreams?

The lovely limpid river with water amber brown.
Was once your lifeline .and your link with Napier’s little town.
Oh, lonely little settlement, bound by river, swamp and sea,
You built the firm foundations for our prosperity.

‘Tis we who reap the benefit from your hard and lonely toil
With farms and homes and gardens in the good and fertile soil
From the present we salute you, pioneers of another age
To you we owe it to do our best to deserve our heritage.

– Jean Nichol.

Who were the boys who escaped the wrath of the Master when John Tait was caught up the schoolhouse pear tree? Likewise, who were the three boys (perhaps another lot altogether) who had their photographs taken, while perching guiltily up a fruit tree, by Mr Cockerill. A pupil was told not to pick plums, so took the whole branch. Did this chap ever become a “Truth” reporter?

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When School started in August, 1859, it was advertised as a Boarding Establishment, but, in spite of extensive research, we are unable to say what building was on the site or how many boarders. We are assured that School has always been held on the School property. The School Committee which was formed in Napier for the Petane School had for its chairman William Colenso (later to be Inspector of Schools, 1872-1878). This Committee obtained from Mr T. H Fitzgerald, as Superintendent of the Provincial Council, a grant of approximately 100 acres. On this section a very rough Schoolhouse must have been built for Mr Samuel Lozell.  We rather think that a room of the schoolhouse catered for the first pupils (13). Our first print of the School dates back to 1879, and this building is probably the one referred to by Mr Elwin as being erected in 1861 at a cost of £100. Apparently it was very rough.

In 1898 the School part of the building was extended by 32 feet by 20 feet. In 1904 some part of this building was shifted to a lower level and acted as a nucleus for the house which was then built, with a total of six rooms. In 1911 the Education Board apparently felt that teachers’ houses must be modernised, so a bathroom was added. No reference is available as to what happened to the old hip bath!

In 1925 extensive alterations were made to the School and in this the shelter along the north-east side was dismantled, a corridor erected on the road side and the old cloakroom at the house end was extended to form the third classroom. In 1924 and 1925 the roll was at the record high of 124, four teachers being employed, two being accommodated in the present large infant room.

Whilst all this face-lift was in operation the Log tells us that teaching was carried on in the King residence. As Mr and Mrs King owned several houses in the district we made inquiries and found the house referred to is the present home of Mr E. Martel, whose parents had since purchased it from the Kings.  At this time Miss Nancy King was one of the Pupil Teachers. The heating of classrooms was not satisfactory until kerosene heaters were provided. Pathways, etc., around the temporary classrooms suffered badly in times of rain, as they were not capable of standing the wear and tear of over 250 feet (pupils + 2 = feet) many times daily. Classes returned to the school classrooms pn July 25th. Outside renovations were not completed until August 7th.

In 1955 extensive modernising, painting and interior decorating was done in the house. Some of this was necessary because re-blocking of the piles levelled the floor, possibly for the first time, and this upset the swing of doors and ruined the wallpapers. The cost of all this was over £1000. The storeroom at the school was cleaned out and painted and is now the Staff Room, complete with sink and bench.

1959. – Another face-lift for the School, with a good painting outside and reblocking underneath.

THE SCHOOL – 1922.

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The bell seems to have given trouble over the years and the first belfry was pulled down in 1906 as the timbers (white pine) were very rotten. In 1925 the belfry was again found to be dangerous and this was renewed at the end of the extension, the belfry was finally discarded in 1959. The bell now is down to our own level and no gymnastics, etc., will be needed to replace the bell rope or bell wire.

The girls’ saddle shed became the garage about Mr Shirreff’s time, but the later Headmasters were given a new carshed on the same site.  A flagstaff was erected in 1902, possibly in conjunction with the  two Peace Day holidays declared at the cessation of the South African War. It is still in use. Other equipment in the grounds consists of various play devices to facilitate muscular development and health in the children. Some parents contend that many more injuries are now suffered at school because of the “jungle jim,” “giant’s stride” and “horizontal ladder.” More supervision has certainly been necessary, but it is very gratifying to read health reports regarding the improved physique among pupils. A high netting fence is again being erected by the Committee to help those interested in furthering their skill in tennis and basketball. In 1891 we And that the School was having trouble with the drinking water, but it wasn’t until 1928 that a permanent well was drilled and good water found at seventy feet below ground level.


Turiroa, Hawke’s Bay,
18th March, 1913.

Mr Speight,
Dear Sir,

Answering yours of January last, first let me apologise for being so long in doing so – better late than never anyhow. I was not the first teacher of Petane School. That was a Mr Lozell. I was appointed in January, 1863, I think; early in that year anyhow. The settlers in Petane Valley applied to the Provincial Council of that time for a school. The council allocated £100 towards the building and Mr Steven, a builder in Napier and possessor of land in Petane contracted to put up the schoolhouse for that price. He made nothing from the contract, though erection was a mere shell and anything but substantial. The timber was white pine sawn in Turiroa, where was a bush and sawmill from which place regular shipments took place to Napier. The chimney was a wattle and dab affair which went to pieces one wet time whilst I was in occupation. I made a sort of chimney of boards to replace it – just to take in the stove I had. The Provincial Council would not replace in brick though it was done afterwards. The schoolhouse was put up in 1861 or 1862. There was a school reserve of 96 acres on which it was put – the land was in its natural state, mostly fern. The settlers put a ditch and bank fence round the plot used as a garden and Mr Lozell planted therein some ngaio trees and peach trees. Whilst I was in office I persuaded the Provincial Council to give a few pounds towards placing two rails on top of the bank, which otherwise was no sort of secure fence. I dug over and sowed grass seed in the garden which I had previously cropped. The average

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attendance at the time I was master was 13 for the first quarter, but rose to from about 20 to 25; I believe at one time to nearly 30. I resigned in 1869. The teachers in Hawke Bay were paid in a peculiar manner. The Council paid £2 2s. per head per annum on the average attendance and a bonus of £50 per annum. The teachers could charge up to 2s. a week for each child; the usual amount, though was 1s., but even this was not always paid. In 1869 the Council was in financial difficulties and stopped the payment of the £50 bonus without notice too – hence my resignation. The school was vacant for some time after I left it. But eventually Miss McKain, then living in Petane, and who had just left the convent school in Napier, was appointed. I may say I had land in Petane which I worked, or I could not have made a living at the school. I was also postmaster, for which the pay was £6 a year; this more to oblige the neighbours than for the emolument. The inspectors were not much trouble to the teachers in those days and left us pretty much to ourselves as long as there were no complaints. On one occasion a new man had been appointed with whom I was not acquainted. A gentleman came up with the mailman on horseback, and whilst I was attending to Post Office matters with the mailman came into the schoolroom, had a look round, then asked a few questions and seemed inclined to be conversational, so I told him I wished to go on with my scholastic work and would be glad if he would clear out, which he did. On his return trip I discovered from the mailman that it had been the new Inspector making his first annual visitation. At the time of the Hau Hau racket in Hawke’s Bay I had to do my share of militia duty with the rest. On various occasions for weeks together the children never came to school and my salary was stopped for the time being. We had a blockhouse and a camp for the militia and volunteers close to the school. We all had to take our share too of patrol duty, which came rather hard on the Petane residents, as we were out on alternate nights for some time. You can imagine tuition did not advance very rapidly then. Let me know if I can do any more for you.

Yours truly,

How many remember the first red stag to arrive in the district – 1867. Apparently the first offspring expelled from in the herd liberated in Wairarapa on the property of J. R. Carter? Who can remember the last stag shot in the Valley by the late W. Cowper Smith on his farm near the Eskdale cemetery in 1939?

‘Flu Epidemic, 1918. – This tragic epidemic caused several (about six) deaths in a very short time around Eskdale. We instance the case of Mr. Foster, manager for the North British Farm at Petane, arranging with Mr Jim McKain for a grave for a son of Mr Kinross White and then was himself stricken and buried within the week.

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Research to date has not told us just when the School Committee started the “Ball” rolling, with the so popular night out for the children.  Indeed, we now find that the function has attained such interest in the district that it has really outgrown the hall where the function is always held. During the last ten years, with the ever-increasing roll, the Committee has been most embarrassed at suppertime. At no other function in this hall is it necessary to have three full sittings for supper, plus a sitting for the toddlers on the stage.  Children certainly enjoy themselves, parents get a good kick out of watching the family dancing, etc., and grandparents get ducky too We feel sure mention must be made of the pianist who must play so conscientiously throughout the evening and also devote time at school for practices for those intricate dances. Miss Dorothy Kirkham has now acted as pianist for approximately twenty-five years practically ever since the Ball’s inception, and we take much pleasure in recording our gratitude for this fine gesture to her old school and the pupils attending in later years.


A little-known fact of the history of the Esk Valley was unearthed when a note in the Esk View School log book was analysed. Mr Cockerill reported that he needed to use the apparatus for milk testing, but found it had been borrowed by Mr Riley, teacher at Wallace’s Crossing. From further inquiries made we find that very few people know of this school’s existence. Some settlers even maintained that there had been no school of that name in the district. However, it is a fact that Mr Riley was sole teacher at a school on the flat across the Esk from Mr Wallace’s homestead and that it was in operation from October 1st, 1922, to December, 1923, and also that it catered for children from the railway camps, scrub cutters and the immediate residents (Browns, Schaeffers). For the short time of the school’s existence Mr Neil Wallace was the chairman of the committee. The school building was later shifted to near the Kaiwaka homestead.

In 1877 Guthrie-Smith, of Tutira, bought from W. Villers a team of eight bullocks, complete with wagon, etc., for £135 payment when he was able.

We believe the days of tuning-forks are past. How many ex-pupils can recall Mr Speight’s tuning-fork and his “do, ray me” chart on the schoolroom wall. Neil Wallace, being the most out of tune, was required to go to the back of the class.



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Football. – This sport seems to have priority here, we think mainly because of the extra number of boys available from France House, enabling the School to field a good strong team. Annual games and return matches in the season are still held with Haumoana and Tangoio. Seven-a-side teams have always been well up the list in tournaments around Napier and we nearly always have a representative in the Ross Shield matches. In the absence of a football field in the School grounds it has been necessary to go farther afield for an area suitable for practising. The school is indebted to Mr Frank Wilson, and to his father before him, for the use of a football field in his adjacent grass paddock. For serious games the Committee generously has made transport available to Mr Ron Le Quesne’s headquarters, where a field and hot showers are kindly made available. The School has for many years been most grateful to those staunch Rugby fans, Mr and Mrs Ron Le Quesne, the former for his coaching and general interest in the School and also to the Esk View team drawn from this district for the Saturday competitions. This team has won consistently. Mrs Le Quesne has always done more than her share in any arrangements for catering or entertaining of the various teams.

Basketball. – The girls have not been so lucky. They have had their court many years now, but it is only recently that roll numbers have enabled them to field two teams for practices, etc. They do now, however, visit Haumoana and Tangoio Schools in conjunction with football matches arranged for the boys. Steeplechase. – This annual event, sponsored by Mr Brian Smith, has now been going for many years, and although it has been shortened from the original length, it is still most popular. France House boys have always been to the fore in this section – they have always been in a hurry going to and from school, jogging along the Taupo Road. These same boys, on going to High School, always collect the first few places in their age groups in secondary school steeplechases.

Swimming. – Swimming lessons are a popular procedure for hot summer days and have been given in the Esk River adjacent to Mr Williams’ farm. Tests for distance swimming were sometimes taken in the Esk Lagoon. In the last few years transport made available by the Committee and parents has enabled the higher standards to benefit from lessons by Specialised Officers of the Education Board at the Napier Municipal Baths. There is no doubt about the advantages gained in this direction.

Cricket – This sport has not had the advantages of other sports on account of the unsuitability of the grounds available. However, interest fostered at school has continued in later years with the Eskdale Cricket Club, with headquarters in the Domain. So serious and locally important have been some of these club matches with country district teams at the Kaiwaka Bowl or the Domain that shearing has had to be postponed for the day.

Swain Cup. – A cup presented by Mr Jack Swain is competed for by boys in athletics at the annual School Picnic.

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Saleyards. – How many farmers know that Petane conducted quite regular stock sales – not weekly admittedly – for which buyers came from quite far afield, especially as all stock had then to be driven on the highways. The first set of yards was situated on Mr Jack Olsen’s property, adjacent to his farm entrance. In later years another set of stockyards was in the paddock between the present Nichol and Robertson entrances. The 1938 flood caused a big slip out of the hillside to bury the yards and as it was not considered economic to repair them the site was abandoned.

Marble Ring. – Amongst the boys the marble ring was a popular spot at odd times of the day. We hear that the main ring was down in front of the Master’s house, and to get the area good and smooth the girls had been co-opted and were required to do some concentrated skipping.

Nature Study. – Mr Speight encouraged his pupils in the collection of birds’ eggs, and this activity also had the interest of the well-known naturalist Mr Guthrie-Smith, of Tutira. Collections of pressed grasses on paper and of rocks, both labelled with common and scientific names, were accommodated on shelves and in glass cases made by the pupils and the Master. These exhibits suffered considerably over the years and the remainder were destroyed in the quake of 1931.

Wrecks. – Can the students remember any of the following wrecks on the Petane beaches? Since school opened in 1859 the following vessels have been wrecked: –

Royal Bride, a full-rigged schooner of 526 tons, in 1863.
Star of the Evening, with seven men lost, in 1867.
Duncan Cameron, capsized in the roadstead, all hands lost, in 1867.
The Henry, a small schooner, 1868.
The Ida Zeigler, a wool ship, 1869.
The Coq du Village, 1876.
The Transit, a coaster, 1883.
Northumberland, a large wool ship, 2095 tons, 1887.
The Boojum, Union Steamship tender, lost while trying to help the
Northumberland, all hands lost, 1887.
The Weka and Trusty.
The Winona, steamer, stranded and a total loss, 1906.

With the loss of the steamer Winona in 1906 storms and winds seem to be beaten on our immediate coastline, due, no doubt, to better marine knowledge and also to better and more powerful engines. We except, of course, “the occasional wreck” around Bay View after 6 p.m.

School Transport. – In 1913 a coach service was started for pupils residing at Petane and continued until the Motor Company Taupo service took over. Until 1948 pupils up the Taupo Road had to find their own transport to school, both horses and cars being subsidised by the Education Board. The numbers had increased to such an extent that the Board was persuaded to put “Scotty” on the run with the Esk View-Napier bus. Now his successors have taken over and collect children from the Petane Pa and Wairoa Road to Beattie Road, with the terminus at Waikato’s corner.

Page 39


The School log (1925) opens with an entry on March referring to discussions with staff with regard to work assignments. Now, it appears that pupils did not return to school after the Christmas holidays and that the staff only arrived on that date to work out home correspondence courses for their respective pupils.  At no time does the log say why this was necessary, but on inquiry we found that an epidemic of Infantile Paralysis had been rampant in the Hawke’s Bay education area and all schools were kept closed The headmaster wrote at great length of assignments, etc., until April 20th and indeed he appeared to have the whole matter well in hand,  with his series of collection boxes at different points in the Eskdale and Petane areas. His duties also included various fumigation jobs necessary for the protection of the staff. Due, no doubt to the masters system of isolation, it is most gratifying to read that only one person suffered from Infantile Paralysis, or Poliomyelitis as it is now known.

A second epidemic appears to have given another enforced vacation to students from the 15th December 1936, until March 1st, 1937. On this occasion Mr R. Florance was in charge and the procedure followed was much the same as previously.


Few children at school in 1959 can remember any pupil riding to school on a horse. We believe that John Rennie was the last pupil to have a pony at school, but members of the Thompson and Olsen families were only slightly earlier. It is obviously the machine age to-day, with teachers arriving in cars and pupils by bus and bicycle. We can’t help noticing the bicycles at Mr Waikato’s corner and how patient those steeds are in comparison with those of the early 1900’s. We know some horses found their way home unattended from the school paddock and we do know that Mr. Speight’s Daisy was expected to come back to school from the blacksmith on her own. We surmise this is the only horse that did go to school by itself. Parents of present pupils can remember the horse paddock with up to 30 ponies and aged hacks eating the paddocks bare. Those pupils must have had a lot of fun going to and fro, with races, etc on the Taupo Road. We have heard of various gigs being involved in tip-outs and smashed, and many narrow escapes over the years. The Brown children drove Ellis-Wallace Road families in their gig until Mrs Hunt commenced driving a Model T Ford. Girls and boys had their own saddle sheds, and a spot behind the latter was a grand place to settle arguments by fighting, where the attention of their teachers could not reach them. Much money, time and energy have been expended in keeping the horse paddock clear of the blackberries which were so generously donated as cuttings by the well-known botanist and inspector of schools, William Colenso. While on the subject of Mr Colenso, we must mention that he donated and planted a blue gum tree in the school grounds which over the years became a venerable giant, so that it was necessary to top it in the year 1927, or thereabouts, and finally to get rid of the tree altogether in 1958. Now the horse paddock has had the bulldozer to scar the hillside whilst levelling an area as an extension to the lower playground.


Page 41


The district is most proud to have with us in the Valley that part of the Hawke’s Bay Children’s Home which is now for boys from the age of 11 years until they have completed High School or have been apprenticed to a trade. The early conception of the Home came with a generous bequest from the Estate of Robert France, at one time owner of Eland Station, on the Taupo Road. This was augmented by a welcome offer of 20-30 acres of farm land adjacent to the Eskdale Rail Station from the Clark family of Hedgeley. Since its inception the House Committee has been drawn from sincere and public-spirited residents. With able and kindly control by the House Managers and Matrons many very worthwhile potential citizens are set well on their own feet against the time when they go out into the world. Nor does the interest of the Committee lapse once the boys have left our district. Mr H. E. Edgley, of Napier, held the position of Secretary to the Homes (including Randall House) for very many years, and his direct support was missed when he retired from the position in recent years. Mr H. M. Swinburn has taken over the Secretaryship. The general fitness of the boys has always been favourably commented upon (see steeple chase notes), their hobby room has fostered the use of hands and tools, the initiative brought out whilst camping and in general activities and in a grand team spirit must be mentioned. The boys are enthusiastic Scouts and were the nucleus of the Eskdale Troop, now under the control of Scouter Goldsack.

The buildings have suffered considerably with the various floods and were very badly damaged in the 1931 quake. To-day nothing can be seen of past devastation – the grounds are very spic and span and are a credit to all the occupants; a credit also to the original donors and to those generous persons who “give” to keep the Home thriving.

House Managers and Matrons in the following order have been Mr and Mrs H. Phillips, Mr and Mrs A. Turner, Mr and Mrs L. Shaw and Mr and Mrs E. Morgan, the last-named being there at present.

Run in conjunction with the hostel is a small farm worked by the House Manager and two farm boys under his training for the production of milk, butter, eggs and vegetables. Randall House, in Napier, caters for girls and infants, and this home receives farm produce by delivery in the France House truck. This vehicle is also fitted to enable the boys to be transported in comfort to the A. and P. Shows, cinemas and the many forms of entertainment that are available to them.

Who was the pupil who told Mr Murphy that he had a dirty neck and who subsequently was chased unsuccessfully by him round the classroom and out of the window?

We heard that Mr Murphy had forgotten that indiscretion by next day.

Page 42


George E. Turney.

A successful former pupil at the Petane School, Mr G. E. Turney was this year appointed Public Trustee. He was at the School in 1912 and 1913, during Mr Speight’s headmastership, and after further schooling at Napier Boys’ High School he joined the staff of the Public Trust Office. In his spare time he continued his studies and completed the Accountants’ Professional Examinations at the age of nineteen. He made quick and steady progress in the Public Trust at a time when employment in that office was much sought after. Mr Turney served successively in Napier, Wellington District Office, the Head Office, Invercargill, and again in Wellington since 1936. For a period after the last war he served as an assistant Public Service Commissioner, returning to the Public Trust Office in 1949. As Public Trustee, Mr Turney, through 51 branch offices, supervises the administration of dozens of types of businesses, all included in the eighteen and a half thousand estates left in his care. The value of all this property is about £71 million – surely a great responsibility.

Ernest John Speight.

Son of Mr H. Speight, Headmaster 1901-1914. Born at Eskdale and went to school there, and then on to the Napier Boys’ High School. Served with Mr G. Rochfort whilst qualifying as a surveyor. Joined the Ministry of Works in Wellington and is now Hydraulogist, Soil Conservation and Rivers Control Department of the Ministry of Works, Christchurch. Has much valuable machinery of his own and in his spare time makes precision instruments for the Government, and on retirement intends to go into business in this field. Has written many official articles on the subject of Hydraulogism, etc., for Soil Conservation Local Bodies. His son Gary is a B.Sc. and is now studying for M.Sc. Following in father’s footsteps!

Arthur Clark.

Rode daily from “Wairoiti” and enjoyed the fun on these rides. Went to Heretaunga and High School and later to Scotland. Studied medicine at Edinburgh University in 1909 and completing in 1914 with M.B. and Ch.B. with first-class honours. Served with R.A.M.C. World War I and later was prisoner of war in Pomerania (Poland) until repatriated. Served with same corps on China Station at Shanghai. In World War II was in charge Trentham Training Hospital with N.Z.A.M. Corps and transferred to Base Hospital, Egypt, at Helwan. He was appointed Commander C.C.S, Italy, after Battle of Cassino, returning to New Zealand in 1946. At present Dr Clark is Consulting Surgeon Napier Hospital. For services to his country he received the Military Cross and Order of the British Empire.

Page 43


In September, 1866, a body of 100 fanatics from the Taupo area was seen at Petane and it moved over to Omarunui. Shortly afterwards about 40 additional warriors of the same faith were proceeding down the Esk River with the intention of joining the first party for a proposed attack on Onepoto, then the busy area of Napier. Captain Fraser, with military, settlers and the friendly Natives under Ihaka Whanga and Kopu, ambushed the Hau-Haus at Herepoho, from the ridge which has all now been cut away to allow the Main Highway to be straightened. They were taken by surprise and practically all Rangihiroa’s (Hau-Hau leader) men were killed or wounded. Three escaped, but two of these were unfortunate enough to be shot by the Glengarrie Station shepherds Breingan and Whitehead.

The Omarunui engagement is also Hawke’s Bay history, and that Hau-Hau section was also routed, all prisoners being sent to the Chatham Islands. An expedition was later sent to Titiokura to destroy Rangihiroa’s pa. After the Te Kooti fights in 1869 a presentation took place in Wairoa of a Sword of Honour to Ihaka Wihanga, and later memorials were erected to the latter and also to Kopu at Mahia and Wairoa, An obelisk commemorating the Herepoho fight is to be seen alongside the Eskdale Railway Station. In these troublesome times all local settlers were required to do patrol duty in the valley on alternate nights, and as the schoolmaster, Mr Elwin, was involved we understand that scholars had alternate days away from lessons.

At the time of the Eskdale Hau-Hau engagement we understand that some raw recruits, under fire for the first time, fired their ramrods from their muzzle loaders at the enemy, with more serious results to their (recruits’) shoulders than to those of their opponents.


We consider country children always have lots of initiative, and the inventive genius of Alec Milne left its mark on the school. Muzzle-loading guns and pistols started off the production line, made from old bicycle pumps, and inevitably progressed to the half-inch pipe model. Now, Mr Murphy had heard that pupils had used these patents indiscriminately and had been seen taking pot shots at Mr H. Wilson’s sheep and cattle with undesirable effects. One winter’s day this teacher spotted a lethal weapon in the classroom, confiscated same and immediately tossed the article straight into the fireplace behind him. Imagine the glee of the pupils and the chagrin of the master when the weapon exploded, knocking bricks out of the fireplace! Evidence of this episode is no longer available, as it collapsed in the earthquake. Mr Murphy’s health precluded his staying at the Eskdale School for more than six months, and we can understand why.

Old boy Alec Milne was welcomed back at the School some years later, obviously forgiven or forgotten, and presented the annual prizes to the pupils.


Page 45


Though first mooted as long ago as 1886 and actually started in January, 1900, estimated at that time to cost £11,100 per mile, this railway was not completed until September, 1942, and it cost £45,000 per mile. The first sod was turned in 1900 by the Premier, the Hon. J. G. (later Sir Joseph) Ward. In the depression years, with the line far from finished, the Forbes Government decided it would never pay its way, and although more than three million pounds had already been spent, all construction work on the railway was stopped in 1931. The earthquake had badly damaged a large proportion of work completed. In 1934 the East Coast and other railways became an election plank, and the new Labour Government, under Mr Savage, resumed construction, and eventually, in September, 1942, the Hon. R. Semple performed the opening ceremony. Eskdale district on the whole prospered by the influx of workers and their families. Not only did the store flourish, but local farmers were glad to supply horses, chaff, meat, etc. Riverslea Railway Station (one small shed) was washed away in the 1938 flood and not replaced. The highest level of the water during this flood is marked on the present Eskdale Goods Shed. To-day many and frequent goods trains carrying manure, live stock, farm machinery, timber, etc., use the line constantly, and several railcars daily (Mr Blair, beware!) carry passengers between Napier and Gisborne. Recently a timber wagon became detached from a train at Waikoau and travelled alone all the way downhill to Bay View, fortunately without mishap. The workmen from the Eskdale depot now travel to work by bus – surely very tame compared with jigger transport.


Records indicate a severe flood with five days’ rain in 1895, with conditions generally so bad that 50 per cent, of pupils were absent from classes for at least a week after the rain had stopped.

In 1924 a flood really disorganised the district, but the headmaster, Mr Cockerill, appears to have taken effective precautions with pupils under his charge. Forty-three students were obliged to spend the night in the school on this occasion. Mr Cockerill records that rain commenced early in the morning and that in three hours nine inches had fallen and that two feet of water which was rushing through the school grounds warned him that a disaster was imminent in the valley. He hailed a passing butcher boy and purchased a large piece of corned beef. The pupils were made at home and fed corned beef sandwiches and porridge. Artillerymen from the Army Camp near the present store brought bread and extra butter, etc., by horseback over the hills as the valley flats and roads were quite impassable. In the Esk Valley there had been a break through by the river in the embankment higher up and within a few minutes Waikato’s corner was under four feet of water. The following morning, after Mr Cockerill had been relieved of the Eskdale children by their anxious parents he then escorted the remaining Petane children over the hills to their homes. There was no loss of human life, but the camp of the Artillery Detachment was most unfortunate in losing a number of their horses and much equipment in the flood waters.

In May, 1938, the Esk Valley was once again inundated, and this

Page 46

was apparently just as serious as the floods previously recorded. All the Valley floor was covered to a depth of several feet water and silt. On the western side of the railway goods shed is to be seen the painted record of the height of the flood at its maximum. One resident was seen being washed down the river on the top of his whare, but was luckily rescued. Residents recall that Roy McGlashan was washed from the top of the railway gates at the old Riverslea Railway Station, right across the valley, to land in the willows adjacent to Mr J. Tait’s residence. They believed that McGlashan could not swim a stroke and cannot understand how he managed to stay afloat, burdened as he was with an overcoat with its pockets filled with silt. The old Riverslea Railway Station was situated near the present barbary patch at the entrance to Martin’s shingle plant. The school was closed for two weeks on this occasion and Eskdale pupils received their lessons at France House and the Bay View pupils in the Hastings Street School at Napier. Mr L. C. Fleming was the Head Teacher (relieving) on this occasion and he recalls that there was no damage done to the school.

The silt deposited from these floods is still to be seen in the main part of the valley and has generally resulted in only a poor sward of grass being grown where previously ryegrass pastures were predominant. This silt has changed the soil types in the Valley very considerably. Previously sheep grazing and agriculture were the usual pursuits; now the growing of lucerne and of grape vines prove more lucrative in the frost-free lower valley. These plants, with their deep tap-roots, reach down to the rich reserves many feet below the surface, and in the opinion of viticulturists these soil conditions and climate compare very favourably with the vine-growing areas in Spain. To-day grapes are grown on many acres, and bare land prices of £180 an acre are certainly indicative of the new prosperity which has been brought about by the local Glenvale Company of the Bird family and in later years by the overseas firm of McWilliams Ltd. The mouth of the Esk River is now directly opposite the Valley entrance, but around 1900 this river used to meander around the Petane foothills and go out to sea south of the Bay View township. The old riverbed is now just a drain, but plans are afoot to make this into an irrigation race, which should be of material benefit to the vegetable growing industry that flourishes for Napier City all in and about Bay View.

Over the years several types of sport have had a most zealous following, but have now gone out of fashion. The Petane Gun Club had one such pastime. We know that several types used to practise at Troutbeck’s (Swain’s) and shoot over the river at clay-birds, sparrow and pigeons.

New Zealand was a Crown Colony, but was made a self-governing Dominion in 1907. Commemorative medals were struck in aluminium for the occasion by the Mint. Anyone possess one to-day?

Who was the pupil due for chastisement by Mr Cockerill and who, not wanting to come off second best, got in first and grabbed or hit the Master’s tender whitlow?

Page 47


The very severe quake which devastated the twin towns of Napier and Hastings and created the valuable asset of the farmlands on the old Inner Harbour and Lagoon, also did a great amount of damage in the Eskdale district. Although the damage elsewhere was mainly structural, in the Esk Valley it largely took the form of big and small land slips. We feel sure that many slips occurring to-day can be attributed to the fracture of the earth’s crust in this quake. Recent aerial maps of the lands between Te Pohue and Napier, and Mohaka in the north, show that practically every hill side is marked with the scar of slips. Some slips at the time of the quake only moved a few feet, but with later flooding all these cracks took up water and created “greasy backs” for more slipping to occur. This debris was to a great extent deposited in the valley in the 1938 flood. Houses and buildings did suffer, several of those built in brick being razed to the ground, the chief of these being Mr F. Clark’s home at Highgrove, above the Eskdale Railway Station. The school, being of wooden construction, was luckier than most, but its share of damage was concerned with chimneys, cupboards, pictures and the showcases of the various collections. One primer boy, Kenneth Brown, was most unlucky and was struck by a piece of brick from the chimney and very seriously hurt. Mr Cockerill reports that it was most fortunate that the children had been given “warning drill” for the evacuation of buildings, laid down as the result of the lessons from the earlier Murchison quake. Master Brown sustained a broken femur (thigh bone), a cut ear and a scalp wound, and was in such a condition that Mr Cockerill, Nurse Lopdell and the boy’s father had despaired of him. However, by next morning the boy had recovered slightly and the doctor, with Mr Cockerill, conveyed him by car to the Napier Emergency Hospital at Greenmeadows. France House suffered considerably, and Mrs Gibson and a boy were both injured and also stayed with Mr Cockerill and were conveyed by him to the hospital. As Dick Schaeffer had not been collected by his parents he also was required to spend the night at the school. On February 28th the School Committee placed on record, and ordered the secretary to compliment, Mr Cockerill and the other three members of his staff on the discipline of the scholars during this unfortunate experience. Communications to the north and south and up the Taupo Road were all disrupted and for many months cars had to drive on planks over the railway bridge at Wallace’s Crossing. The Martel glass houses suffered considerably and all private houses lost their chimneys.

Mail contracts: Mr Henderson Wilson between Wairoa and Napier, by packhorse – two days up and two days back. Twice daily mail service to Eskdale by coach in the early times, and now – three times a week only. Getting worse!

Why did Mr Murphy have to sit right in front of the fireplace and be at the same time a target for rubbish supposed to be shot, long distance, into that fireplace?

BAY VIEW – 1959.


Printed by the Daily Telegraph Co. Ltd., Tennyson Street, Napier.

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Booklet (9-32 pages)

Date published

6 March 1959

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