School days time warp
In the middle of June I returned to my old neck of the woods, South Kaipara Head, the rural district north-west of Auckland where I grew up. Mum had timed my visit with an errand out to my old primary school and so on Saturday afternoon we bundled Gran in the car and took off on the 15 minute drive out there.
The errand was donating a book to the school library, a book written by my aunt. Taketakerau: The Millenium Tree has been received fantastically well since being published about 18 months ago, and was a finalist in a recent childrens’ book awards held in NZ.
She has loads of creative talent and one of my cousins inherited a supercharged dose of that too. Check this out.
But I digress… once at Waioneke School, Mum and I left Gran perusing a magazine in the car and we went to meet Merril, the school librarian.
When I first started there were two classrooms: the Junior Room and the Senior Room. Along the way we acquired a third, which was duly called (and I’m sure you will be shocked) the Middle Room.
Being here provided a great opportunity to look around the rest of school. I was last here in 2005 for the 75th jubilee. This time it was getting late in the day with light fading fast so it was a quick blat around.
The school has changed SO much since my day but a lot is still familiar.
Today the library is in the old Senior Room. The old library is gone, and the Junior Room has several of these new fangled electric boxes called Computers. The Middle Room, like the other classrooms, is full of colour and creative stimuli and a vast contrast to how I remember it three decades (sounds better than 30 years) ago. New classrooms have sprung up to cater for the 30-odd additional pupils – the roll now hovers around 90 – and there’s even a school hall.
We left Waioneke. As a spur of the moment thing, a few minutes away we swung up Wilson Road where we lived when my brother and I went to high school in Helensville. Up the metal road a ways, then left into a right-of-way.
This was (maybe still is) a deer farm and a beautiful place to live.
Past our house and onto the airstrip where we turned around in front of a guy holding a gun. (He was target shooting.) (I don’t think at us.)
Time to end the nostalgia and get back – Dad was cooking a roast!
Hayley I learn so much from your blogs about so many different places and this one too. It is so nice to learn more about your young days and who would not know that the pretty little blonde girl in the middle of the back row was not you Hayley. Delightful. The deer farm looks a lovely spot and the bionic cow was definitely saying it was their spot now. You have creative talents Hayley and this must be a family trait. Your Aunt’s book looks so interesting and what a fantastic achievement. I will look for the book in the library. Your cousin too has amazing art. A very interesting blog Hayley.
Thank you Janice 🙂 … it’s fun dipping into the old albums, thanks to Mum’s fastidious record-keeping. It would be interesting to know if your library has that book – hopefully!
Ummm……your mother learns a few things she did not know from your blogs!!!!
Imagine that 🙂
What a trip down memory lane! Your old school looks about the same size as the one I went to….a good old country school!
I’m really glad for my country upbringing!
Me too! I’m very grateful that I got the opportunity to grow up in the country.
Many thanks for this unsolicited advertisement!
Excellent dose of nostalgia. I’d be scared to go back to my old school…I’ll just pretend they still use the splintery wooden play structures that taught us what it feels like to have the wind knocked out of you, but which we all survived just fine.
And congrats to your Aunt! The children’s book market is reportedly a ferociously difficult one to get into; my mother has been trying for a few years now, and she’s been a professional writer most of her adult life!
Thanks :). The top of the old adventure playground would’ve been handy to take a photo from – another disadvantage of making everything safer! My aunt toiled long and hard and got very little support from the publishing industry so the family is very proud of her accomplishment. Hope your mum can eventually crack it.
What a cool post! And, dang, that drawing of Morgan Freeman is insanely good!
Ain’t it just!! Thanks Steph 🙂