Topic: Greenpark School

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Opened May 1871


A most rewarding sequel to a series of newspaper articles on the Halswell River districts was the finding of the first Committee Minute Book which had been carefully preserved by three generations of the Andrew family for perhaps 90 years. This book, which covers the period 5th October, 1870 to 25th July, 1876, throws new light on the founding of the school as is shown in the following extracts which are in the exact spelling as written 100 years ago.

The first public meeting which was held at 7 p.m. on 5th October, 1870, at the house of Mr John Hart, Lake Ellesmere (Lake Run homestead) passed the following resolutions:

1. "THAT this meeting hereby declares its willingness that the District described as the South Springs School District in the public notice signed by the Chairman of the Board of Education and dated 22 September, 1870, be formed into an Education District under the provisions of the Educational Ordinance 1864.

2. "THAT this meeting hereby declares its willingness to provide the proportion of the annual expenses of an Education District to be paid by each district as provided by the Education Ordinance 1864.

3. "THAT such district be called the Greenpark Educational District.

4. "THAT the following gentlemen do form a School Committee by Messrs J. Hart, W.B. Andrew, W. Neill, T. Yarr and J.G. Murray." Signed by J.G. Murray, Chairman.


RESOLVED THAT an acre of land be purchased from Mr J. Parish according to plan submitted for school purposes.


Meeting held at City Hotel, Christchurch, attended by W.B. Andrew, W. Neill and J.G. Murray for opening of tenders for erection of school and school-house buildings.

RESOLVED that the tender of J. Williams be accepted from the following list:

J. Rastrick & Sons £225
T.J. Gee £240
Calder Russell & Galloway £221.7.0
Rankin & Greig £233.10.0
Trounce & Co. £220
W. Styche £299
J.Williams £210


RESOLVED THAT Mr Hart be authorised to get a well sunk on the school ground, the expense not to exceed £6.

RESOLVED THAT Mr Murray arrange to obtain desk, forms, master's desk, stool and shelves for schoolroom, also hinges and fastening for gate.                                                                                                                                                                                           


All Committee present at first meeting in schoolroom.                                                                                                                                                                                                           


The decision to appoint Mr J.B. Ellman as schoolmaster was not unanimous and Mr Murray resigned from the Committee which elected Mr Andrew as Chairman.

RESOLVED THAT as the contractors, 'R. Forbes' and J. Williams had satisfactorily completed their contracts that the Board of Education pay them £229.4.6. Apparently Robert.A.Forbes of Tai Tapu joined the partnership after the tender had been accepted and was still building in 1910 when he added a back porch to the school.                                                                                  


The opinion the Greenpark School Committee have been led to 'intertain' of Mr J.B. Ellman's abilities as a schoolteacher, his behaviour as a Gentleman, his piety as a Christian has encouraged them to accept him as Schoolmaster. If it is approved by Board of Education.                                                                                                                                        


William Bennett accepted as member of committee. A letter was read from Mr Ellman saying he was unable to accept the appointment.                                                      


Mr T.L. Garrett being present accepted appointment as Schoolmaster.                                                                                                                                                                                  


Schoolroom and fittings and masters house insured for £250., this probably being near the date that lessons began.                                                                                         


Half a ton of coal, half cord firewood, table for Mrs Garrett, clock for schoolroom and scrape for door to be supplied.                                                                                             


One desk to be made and three forms the same in every way as now in school. Also three posts and two rails for tying horses.

RESOLVE that the stove and piping be removed and roof (of wooden shingles) secured from taking wet.                                                                                                                                                                                                          


Messrs T. Yarr, W. Neill, J. Johnson, C. Kimber, K. Magon, H. Bearman and W.B. Andrew elected as committee members, with J.G. Murray and A.S. Davidson as auditors.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 


RESOLVED THAT Mr Kimber (of Davidson's Rd.) do take the number of children between the ages of six and thirteen in the said district.                                                       


Number of houses in Greenpark district, 38, number of children between six and thirteen years, 49, education rate £1. per house.


Permission granted to Wm. Jacobson of Lincoln, to have use of schoolroom after 4 p.m. to give a lecture on Life Assurance.


Mrs - wishes to be excused from the payment of rates. Her husband was lately killed by a horse and she is left with five little children and but a small living (Earlier a resolution had been passed that school fees be remitted in case of poverty).


Mrs Garrett appointed sewing mistress at a salary of £12 per year.


Clause 120 of Public Health Act 1872 to be carried out and all children admitted to school to be vaccinated.


Education rates collected by Mr Garrett amounted to £43.15.0 on which he earned a commission of 5%. Apparently this encouraged him to cross the boundary into the Lincoln Education District who claimed a refund of £15.10.0 which had been collected in error.


Rev. Harry Stocker of Burnham granted permission to use schoolroom for Church of England afternoon service.


School site planted with 283 ornamental and forest trees, which cost £8 plus planting £5.


A memorial was received from several of the inhabitants of the Lincoln Educational District praying for an alteration in the boundaries between the Lincoln and Greenpark.


Letter to Board of Education "Attendance at school is much increased and we have only a half-time mistress and wish your Board would kindly consider the appointment of Mrs Garrett as full time mistress this quarter".


Letter from Board of Education. "I have the honour, by direction, to inform you that it has been reported by the inspector that in several instances the attendance has not been marked on wet days on the register, also to point out that this is contrary to the Regulations, and the Board must consider any such omission as a falsification of the Register."                                      


Mrs - complained that her children did not get on at school, reply to Mr - pointed out that one child had attended 21 days, the other 17 days out of a possible attendance of 85 days.


Letter from Provincial Auditor, appointing the Lincoln Hotel, for auditing the school accounts, on 5th October 1875 from 10-12 a.m.

Arthur, Mary, Phillip and William Andrew
Charles, Emma and Henry Bearman
Alf, Jack, Mary and William Bennett
Annie and Clara Brown
John, Maggie and Phoebe Davidson
John English,
Angus, John, Joseph and Sarah Hart
Emma Head
Albert, Ammon and Jack Magon,
Annie, Jane and William Neill
Mary Page
Edward Yarr

 Source:One hundred years in green pastures

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