Topic: Hororata School

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Booklet produced by W.R.Oliver for the Jubilee Celebrations 1965

12th, 13th and 14th March, 1965 Record Press, Darfield

Chairman: Mr A. D. Oliver.
Secretary: Mrs E. Bruce. Assistant Secretary: Mr I. R. Smith.
The Committee made up of the following Sub-Committees: Roll: Mr A. D. Oliver (Chairman), Mrs E. Bruce (Sec.),
Mrs C. Bruce, Messrs M. J. Ballagh, R. J. Locker,
K. Oliver, I. R. Smith, J. F. Thwaites.
Catering: Mr W. H. Oliver (Convener), Mesdames S. J. Hunt, H. Simms, Messrs I. C. Bruce, S. J. Hunt, G. D. Oliver, W. T. R. Rowe, B. E. Wright.
Ball: Mr R. H. Ballagh (Convener), Mrs B. W. Halliday, Messrs R. W. Chapman, A. E. Green, B. W. Halliday, J. R. Inch, M. H. Oliver, L. Paintin.
Photographs: Mr R. D. Gray (Convener), assisted by Mr H. < Thorne and Miss E. Thome.
We are indebted to Mr W. R. Oliver and- other Committee Members for the compiling of this booklet.                                                                               

The Hororata School Jubilee Committee would like to take this opportunity of welcoming you back to your old school to join with us in celebrating its 95th Anniversary. To some, it may seem a little odd that we have chosen this year to celebrate a re-union, but it is not without significance. Pupils of the 1914 period will no doubt remember with joy the day that their school was burnt to the ground and possibly with a little regret the opening of the new school on the new site a year later. As the present school is now 50 years old, it was decided to hold this Jubilee and to gather together the ex-pupils of both schools for a few days of "back to childhood". No doubt you will see many changes in the landscape, the playground, the school buildings and the many faces you knew so well. Surface changes are inevitable, but underneath we are still the same pupils who sat together in those by-gone days and shared the same text books under the watchful eye of our teachers.

Those who attended the present school are more fortunate to return to the buildings they knew so well. To those who have no familiar school room to return to, we hope you will meet many of your old friends and re-live those good old days in the "Old" School, the original school, the one where our story commences.
We wish you one and all a very happy and memorable re-union.

December 11 "Lyttelton Times" 1869
Applications are invited for the position of Head Master of the Hororata District School, 35 miles from Christchurch. Salary £100 per annum. House and 25 acres of land free. History records that Mr F. Digby, a teacher at the Governors Bay School, accepted this tempting offer and in February 1870, took up his duties and faced his 17 pupils for the first time. Prior to this, land had been taken up in 1852 by the ancestors of many local residents to-day. In 1866, it is recorded in Lady Barker's writings that "nests of cockatoos" were established in 50-80 acre holdings along the Downs Road, indicating the beginning of close settlement of our district.

The Canterbury Provincial Council was aware of the need for schools. In 1863 a Board of Education was formed. A year later they granted residents the right to form a school committee, which could levy a school rate for the purpose of raising a quarter of the cost of the school building; the rest being provided by the Provincial Council. Our early settlers were not slow in taking advantage of this offer and under the Chairmanship of Mr John Hall, a , school committee was formed in June 1869, the rate collected and the school and house built at the Downs Road Corner for a total cost of £325.

Some opposition to this school was met, as the district already possessed a private school at the corner of Cotons Road and Haldon Road. Very little is known of this school, except that it was active several years before the State school and carried on for quite some time after the Hororata School had opened. It is of interest to note that Mr George Baker, Snr. (courageous gentleman) was appointed to collect the Education Board annual rate, a task that must have required considerable tact, tolerance and perseverance.


As the first public building erected in Hororata, it is not difficult to imagine its importance to the people of that time. All manner of gatherings were held in it and it soon became the social centre of Hororata. In 1871 when the Rakaia Road Board met at the school, Mr C. S. Harper resigned as Chairman and Mr John Hall took his place. Few Sundays went by without a Church Service being held beneath the roof. Congregations of 100 or more were the order of the day. The "Lyttelton Times" records that the Hororata School was being used by the Church of England twice a month and the Presbyterians and Methodists once a month for Church Services.

With more interest being shown in reading and learning, a library was soon formed at the school and in 1874 a building was erected by Mr Prestidge in the school grounds at a cost of £74. The library stood here for many years and was removed to the Hororata Hall grounds soon after the hall was completed.

With the building of the Hororata Church of England in 1875, the school lost some of its importance, but still maintained its position as a centre for the district, as it indeed does today. At one time Mr John Hall was very pleased to report to the "Lyttelton Times" that the skylarks he had liberated, also the chaffinches and sparrows imported from England were doing well and increasing rapidly. This increase became less pleasing with the years, as the birds began to steal the grain crops and fruit. Very soon the small boys and girls were making useful pocket money by selling the eggs and pickled heads they had gathered to the Council.

Our first headmaster, Mr Digby, bore the brunt of establishing the school to the satisfaction of the community and this would be no easy task. Teachers at that time were under the control of the Education Board and the School Committee and to carry out the wishes of both parties was often a formidable undertaking. Mr Digby remained until 1879 and resigned owing to a difference of opinion with his Committee. Pupil promotion was the responsibility of the Education Board inspectors and on this occasion the inspector's visit was six months overdue, which meant that all the pupils had the benefit of six extra months in their present class! The concern of the parents can well be imagined. What if an inspector never came? Sufficient to say that Mr Digby resigned in protest when an inspector's visit was demanded. The pupils all passed their exams with ease, and another advertisement was published for another teacher. With so many schools being built at this time and all offering varied rates of pay, teachers found themselves in demand and schools changed hands frequently.

Hororata was well served during this period by:

Mr Henry Willis ............ 1880 -1882
Mr Samuel Carleton 1883 -1887
Mr T. L. P. Pole 1888 -1889
Mr George Quartermain (1889-1916) then took over and remained for 26 years, until he resigned owing to failing health. During this period the roll rose to the sixties and many teacher assistants came and went under his guidance. Mr Quartermain was a remarkable man. A serious illness in his youth made him unfit for heavy manual labour, so he went back to study and became a teacher. At Hororata he had the distinction of teaching children's children. His great love for good literature made a lasting mark on many pupils, who can still remember the fine poetry learnt at school.

We have been very fortunate in having a succession of fine teachers throughout the years. Not only have they taught our children well, so that when passing on to High School they have held their own with city children, they have also been happy to work with the children after hours, coaching them in all kinds of sport. They have also encouraged a real spirit of citizenship by example, as they have assisted with the various efforts in the district and community. Many are remembered with real love and affection by the different generations of pupils.

Unfortunately we do not have a full record of the many mistresses who have taught here. Through the courtesy of the Canterbury Education Board we are able to complete the list of Head teachers:

Mr P. Scott ........... 1916-22

Mr W. S. Pratt ..... 1922-25

Mr G. E. Cartwright 1925-36

Mr E. Mauger ..... 1937-41

Mr I. R. Smith ..... 1941-42

Mr J. P. Knight 1942-47

Mr A. I). Saumlers 1948-49

Mr E. II. Hanson .. 1949-53

Mr A. T. Calder ..... 1954-59

At present the teachers on the staff are

Mr I. R. Smith (Head teacher)

Mrs M. Nell

Mr W. S. T. Foote

Miss E. Oakley


Over the years many residents have served faithfully on the School Committee. Through their efforts much needed school equipment and amenities have been supplied.

We regret that we cannot publish a complete list of Committee men who have served during the period. The Canterbury Education Board has supplied the following list of Chairmen of Committees:
Mr J. Hall ............ 1870-72 Mr A. Gray ............ 1908-10
Mr J. Cordy ............ 1872 Mr S. R. Wright ...... 1910-11
Mr J. E. Fountaine 1873-77 Mr J. S. Mcliugh ...... 1911-12
Hon. J. Hall 1878-79 Mr T. E. Pearson 1912-13
Mr J. E. Fountaine 1880-81 Mr J. S. Kilty 1913-14
Mr W. Baker 1882 Mr S. R. Wright ...... 1914-20
Mr R. Maffey 1883-86 Mr A. W. Ironside 1920-23
Mr J. Thorne 1886-88 Mr F. S. Barrett ...... 1923-24
Mr R. Maffey 1888 Mr D. Bruce 1924-26
Mr W. Baker 1889 Mr A. J. Harris 1927-37
Mr J. Thorne 1890-93 Mr W. R. Oliver ...... 1938-41
Mr J. Nelson 1893-97 Mr A. L. Parker ...... 1942-45
Mr J. Thorne 1897-01 Mr P. H. Collison ...... 1946-49
Mr W. Page 1901-05 Mr C. Stockdale ...... 1949-52
Hon. Sir J. Hall 1905-06 Mr A. D. Oliver ...... 1953-62
Mr H. Oliver 1906-08 Mr J. R. Inch 1963-

Messrs J. R. Inch (Chairman) L. D. King
W. G. Inch A. E. Green
B. E. Wright (Secretary) J. A. Parsons
L. C. Early


The old wooden school, with all records and rolls, was destroyed by fire on 17th February, 1914. Temporary accommodation was provided at the Parish Hall for 5/- per week.

The Education Board purchased 5 acres of land, east of the township on Haldon Road, from Mrs Andrew Beattie for £110. The School Committee and several householders did not approve of this site. They preferred the Hall site. The Education Board won that argument.

The new two-roomed brick school, built by Mr George White for a total cost of £1255, was opened in March 1915. The architect's specifications show the area as 1,032 sq. ft. with accommodation for 103 pupils. Evidently overcrowding was encouraged in those days!

The Headmaster was expected to provide his own house. Many letters were written before the Education Board met this need. A new house, built by Mr W. Mullins for approx. £850, was occupied by 1922.

The Murchison earthquake of 1927 severely wrenched the brick school, necessitating strengthening with steel crampions and cross bolts.

A great many changes have taken place since the early days of our school. Traction engine teams and threshing mill workers have given place to motor transport and associated occupations. The advent of sawmills and a further development of the N.Z. Electricity Department sub-station in the 1930's caused increasing population. School attendances have fluctuated with the years, but they have not increased to any great extent until recent years.

In 1920 there were three teachers for a time in cramped accommodation. In the following 30 years the staff varied between two and three.
The shelter shed built in 1938 was converted to a class room by the School Committee in 1950. This helped relieve the cramped conditions until money was available in 1952 for the Education Board to build the new infant room, dental clinic and staff room. Another classroom was added to this block in 1963, when Te Pirita School was amalgamated with Hororata. The old shelter shed now serves as a library.
There are now four teachers on the staff and 123 pupils on the roll.

In a scattered country district with children coming from outlying farms, transport has naturally been a major problem. From earliest times there had to be a horse paddock, with an assortment of hacks and ponies, harness, gigs and the well known governess cart. It was quite usual to see six or eight horses there at once. One family used to drive six miles to school. In cold or damp weather they would nestle under a big rug, knowing they could trust the horse to take them safely to their own gate.
Later horses were replaced by bicycles. A cycle shed, built in 1932 to hold 20, soon proved too small.

The first regular motor transport was carried on for a time in 1944 by Mrs J. Muirhead of the "Lighthouse". In 1947 there were a number of small children at Selwyn Sawmills. The manager, Mr A. W. Halliday, decided to run a car for these children, with Miss Ivy Hockridge (now Mrs A. Green) as driver.

It is recorded that a householders meeting in April 1946 asked the Education Board for a school bus. Nothing eventuated, as in June 1949, further discussion took place about the possibility of getting a school bus contractor. By this time there were 15 school children at the sawmill, too many for the old "Overland" car. Mr Halliday bought one of the old Hinds school buses, which seated 35 children. He asked Mrs T. John Oakley to drive it. Mr and Mrs Oakley finally bought the bus and Mrs Oakley made her first trip on 2nd August, 1949, with a daily route of 53.5 miles. When they left the district in October 1954, the load had built up to 42 children on the sawmill trip and 20 children on the Downs Road trip.

In 1955, with a bigger bus, Mr T. Scott of Coalgate continued the work until October 1957, when Mr G. Williams took over. In June 1958, Mr L. R. Skinner of Glentunnel became the new owner-driver. Now with a bigger bus still, Mr Skinner has a much extended route and includes the Te Pirita area. A teacher-driven Education Board bus does the Downs Road and Ardlui Road trip, connecting with the High School bus to Darfield. At present, the mileage travelled by the two buses is 80.8 miles and 40 miles per day. As many as 95 pupils travel by bus.


For many years school treats were held locally. Sir John Hall used to come down with a wagon and horses to take the children to his estate for picnics. His old orchard was very popular. The food for these occasions was apparently all provided. In 1890 the following goods were ordered from the baker, Mr Batstone of Kirwee:
40 Ib. currant cake ............ 9d. per Ib. ...... £1 10 0
12 Ib. seed cake ............ 9d. per Ib. ...... 9 0
12 Ib. sponge cake ............ 9d. per Ib. ...... 9 0
14 jam sandwiches ...... ...... 9d. each ...... ...... 10 6
14 doz. small assorted cakes ...... 9d. per doz. ...... 10 6
20 doz. tarts .................. 9d. per doz. ...... 15 0
15 doz. sausage rolls ...... ...... I/- per doz. ...... 15 0
20 doz. buns ...... ...... ...... 9d. per doz. ...... 15 0
6 Ibs. Swiss rolls ............ I/- per Ib. ...... 6 0
£600 The Committee also ordered from Mr Cox:
12 doz. bottles lemonade
12 doz. bottles ginger ale
10 gallons, in cask, ginger beer.

A highlight is recorded in 1899, when the children were taken by train from Coalgate and by special trams from Addington station to Sumner for the day. In later years with more cars and school buses available, the school picnic has taken everyone further afield. Beaches are still the most popular place.


Enthusiastic loyalty to Crown and Country has always been a feature of this district. Pupils of the old school remember a brass tablet over the fireplace, erected in 1902 in memory of Queen Victoria. Though this was destroyed in the fire, some words from it are still recalled:

". . . God gave her peace, Her land repose;
A thousand claims to reverence,
Close in her, as Mother, Wife and Queen . . ."                                                                                                                                                                                           

In each war many former pupils have risen to the occasion and gone overseas to fight for their country, some making the supreme sacrifice. The women, too, eagerly did their part at home by sending parcels, Red Cross work and Patriotic fund raising.

The school was always ready to help. During World War II the children collected brass and copper, bottles and 23 bales of waste paper for pulp. Funds were collected for a field ambulance and soldiers' parcels.

An Army training camp was established at the race course and Hartnells Ford. This brought changes to our community. The Army commandeered the Hall, so some meetings were held in the school. The baths were used by the Army at set times. The proximity of the camp made it necessary to have an air raid shelter. This was built by the Education Board in November 1942 and dismantled in June 1944, having been used only for practices. The children found it exciting to see soldiers everywhere.

The activities of the Junior Red Cross and Dr. Barnado's League in the school have helped to give the children a sense of civic responsibility to those in need. In 1962 the Junior Red Cross won the Gladys Hardy Cup for competition in N.Z. for the best Friendship Album to be sent overseas.


The inaugural meeting of the Association was held on 6th May, 1948. This has proved a very valuable organisation as parents and teachers meet together to discuss their mutual problems and learn more of each others points of view. Parents become conversant with the new methods of teaching, especially in the primer classes. They learn of what they can do to assist in education, and benefit from talks on varied subjects by informed speakers. Considerable sums of money have been raised to assist the School Committee in providing school equipment. The P.T.A. was able to assist with the initial cost of the recently installed staff room telephone, which has been a great convenience for teachers and parents.


The club activities in 1930's were confined to home garden projects. On 20 July, 1943, a meeting was held at Glentunnel to re-constitute the group; thereafter known as the South Malvern Group Boys' and Girls' Agricultural Club, with Hororata, Glentunnel, South Malvern, Glenroy and Homebush schools participating. Windwhistle and Lake Coleridge joined later.

The first Stock Parade was held at Coalgate Saleyards in 1943, but since 1946, parades have been held at Hororata. The calf, lamb, pig and chicken rearing projects offer variety and foster a lively interest in agriculture. Other pets, both large and small, are exhibited, too. For a number of years pupils from various Christchurch schools have been entertained, and we hope, learnt more about farm animals and their care.

The group's Horticultural Show, which started in 1944, has been an annual autumn event at Glentunnel. The children have exhibited fine quality produce. Interest has been stimulated and many children have competed in the Hororata Horticultural Society's Show.
The high standard of work attained by the children in the Club's activities would not have been possible without the enthusiastic support of the teachers and interested parents.


A school set in a pleasing environment has been the aim of teachers past and present. Under the teacher' supervision, the children play a major part in the care and maintenance of the school grounds. These grounds have improved greatly over the years and are a credit to the school committees, teachers and pupils alike.
The McFarlane Shield, for nature study, agricultural science, and school grounds in Canterbury Schools, was won by Hororata in 1947 and again in 1963. In several other years, high points have been gained.


The value of tree planting in Canterbury has been kept before the children for many years. Many lovely trees, planted on Arbor Days, are growing well in the school grounds. In 1960 the Selwyn County Council granted the school a section of land fronting Hawkins Road, for tree planting. Here, a tree planting ceremony is held each year. The Form II pupils, after giving particulars to the assembled gathering, plant their tree, and are encouraged to take an interest in its future care and growth.


Sir John Hall bequeathed a sum of money in 1907 for school baths. An attempt to obtain Government subsidy in commemoration of the Coronation of King George V in 1911 was not successful. In the 1920's further efforts were made and the funds raised. The school baths were built and officially opened with a Carnival on 20 December 1924. The ladies wore their new regulation neck-to-knee costumes. Thereafter bathing was segregated with special hours and days for ladies and gentlemen. No record has been kept of when these rules were relaxed!

The water for filling the baths was obtained from a Council water race. The filters did not remove all the foreign matter hidden in the cloudy water. In November 1955, after using the services of local water diviners, a well was dug in the old horse paddock. Many hours of voluntary hard labour were needed before the underground stream was reached at 30 feet. Now we can bathe in sparkling clear water.


Prior to 1920 there was very little sport played against other schools. Mr W. Pratt, while head teacher, was one of the prime movers in getting the interest of the Malvern Rugby Sub-Union, who presented a banner for school Rugby. Hororata won this on quite a number of occasions. Since that time we have been very fortunate in that all our masters have been very keen in coaching sports. Strong hockey teams have been fielded and in recent years the basketball teams have frequently distinguished themselves. The standard of tennis has improved since the School Committee laid an asphalt court in April 1952. While we have not produced any All Blacks, quite a number of former pupils have played representative cricket, Rugby, hockey and tennis.

A proposal to form a Combined School Sports Athletic meeting in Malvern, Tawera, and part of Selwyn Counties, was made in 1944. This annual athletic meeting has grown in size until now over 1200 pupils take part. In recent years Malvern Swimming Sports have been held, with the best from each school competing. In both these events Hororata pupils have performed creditably.
Over the past three years, Mr I. R. Smith has coached the senior pupils in life saving. The high number of certificates gained has resulted in the School winning the Walter Johnson Shield, for Life Saving in Canterbury Primary Schools, in 1963 and 1964.


The study of the Maori was undertaken in 1962. With keen interest the pupils learnt of the daily lives of the Maori and mastered many of their arts and crafts. This culminated in a Maori Day when parents and visitors partook of the deliciously cooked food from the hungi. On the marae, a welcome was given, hakas and poi dances performed, flax work and carving demonstrated. This was recorded on film by the Education Board and is now in the National Film Library. The interest in Maori crafts has been maintained in the succeeding years under the supervision of Miss C. Brown, Maori Arts and Crafts Specialist.


For the first time in the history of the school, we were honoured by the Vice-Regal visit on 3rd June, 1964, of the Governor-General, Sir Bernard Fergusson, and Lady Fergusson. Pupils from Glenroy, Windwhistle and Lake Coleridge schools joined us in welcoming their Excellencies. After being met by the Committee Chairman and Head teacher, their Excellencies addressed the assembled schools, and then many children and parents had the honour of speaking to the Vice-Regal couple as they moved amongst them. On our behalf, a senior pupil, James Scott, spoke a word of farewell.


To all those who have in any way helped in the preparation of this booklet we give you our special thanks.
Many pupils have passed through the two schools and have carried with them into all walks of life, the high ideals of truth, self sacrifice, honesty and loyalty. Many have won fame and honour at home and overseas.
We live in a day of new inventions, new ideas and new methods. The importance of the local school has never been greater.
"If we work upon marble it will perish; If we work upon brass time will efface it If we rear temples they will crumble. But if we work upon the minds of children; If we endue them with principles; With the just fear of God and love of fellowmen, We engrave on tablets that will brighten to all eternity."
-DANIEL Webster.

It is only because of memories that we are gathered here today. We meet again on the school grounds to renew friendships-to meet again teachers and classmates. We think too, of those who for various reasons are not able to be with us to-day. May it be a time of happy memories and laughter for us all.
"Some ships drive East, And some drive West, The self-same wind that blows; It's the set of the sail And not the gale That decided the way they go. Like the waves of the sea, Are the winds of God, As we journey along through life; It's the set of the soul That decided the goal, And not the calm or the strife."

Source: Hororata School 1870-1965 Jubilee Clelebrations, Record Press, Darfield.


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