Front Row: Noeleen Fox-Matamua, Ianeta Sini, Susana Nofo’akifolau, Jasoda Patel (Associate Principal), Jason Swann (Principal), Meritiana MacShane (Associate
Principal), Belinda Turner, Anne Govender, Phillipa Todd
2nd Row: Azreen Khan, Ngaire Jefferies, Shama Khan, Tania Slueva, Phyllis Ralmona, Devi Balbharan, Amina Ali, Majda Cassiem
3rd Row: Mohammed Khan, Jane Williamson, Rowena Pearson, James Vercoe, Adam Powell, Molavia Pulupuna, Malini Sione , Georgina Sionetuato, Sandra Grubb
4th Row: Malia Ika, Adriana Maroc, Asha Singh, Semo Letufuga, Maria Cecil, Rangikahiwi Panapa, Alapasita Lavaka, Lima Naea
Back Row: Suran Chandra, Nadra Sewnarain, Fatima Dollie, Melissa Bond, Sandra D’Lima, Fay Nelisi
Absent: Sina Faasisila , Mata Henry, Nisha Shahid
One Hundred Sixty Years
Table Of Contents 8
Board of Trustee Statement 18
Address from the Chairperson Sheryl Cardwell 54
Our Principals 84
Principals Statement Mr Jason Swann 104
History of our School 122
2018: A milestone achieved -
Our Heart Values
Otahuhu Primary School
Outstanding Performance & Service
Honesty Excellence Attitude Respect Tolerance
In all we do, all we say, all we are
An aerial view of our school in 1951
Table Of Contents 8
The Genesis 18
Our Principals 54
1953 - 1963: A steadfast foundation is set 84
1963 - 1973: Music, theatre, f ine arts - The gifts shine through 104
1973 - 1983: Trailblazers on the playing field 122
1983 - 1993: Reaching out in love and service 140
1993 - 2003: A milestone achieved - Celebrating Gold
2003 - 2013: A renewed commitment to God and humanity
SR. M. CELINE A.C. Our Journey
1953 – 1954
SR. MARIA ROSA A.C.
(Deceased) 1968 – 1977
(Retired. Residing at Carmel
Convent, New Delhi)
SR. M.ASTRID A.C.
1977 – 1982
SR. M. AIMEE A.C.
1954 – 1968
SR. M. CLARIBELLE A.C.
1982 – 1993
(Retired. Residing at Rosa Mystica
Convent, Aldona, Goa)
SR. MURIEL RITA A.C.
1995 – 2006
(Retired. Residing at Mount Carmel
Convent, Dhantoli, Nagpur)
SR. M. THEODOMIRA A.C. 9
1993 – 1995
(Currently Manager, Apostolic
Carmel High School and Junior
SR. M. PEARL-ANNE A.C.
2006 to date
Message from the Chairperson,
Board of Trustees
Sheryl Cardwell G reetings,
Chairperson, Board of Trustees It is a privilege and honour to be serving Otahuhu Primary School at this special time in its
history. There are not many schools in New Zealand that can celebrate being 160 years old.
Our school motto was changed in the late 1980’s from “Service” to, “He wahi tutaki mo nga tamariki o te ao”,
meaning, “A meeting place for the children of the world”. This is very appropriate as we have a very multi-
cultural community within the school - staff, teachers and students. We are one big whanau, where we look
after each other Otahuhu Primary has been known for many years as OPS.
We have used the letters OPS to stand for:
Outstanding Performance and Service in
Al l we do
Al l we say
Al l we are
In the ten years since the 150th Jubilee, there have been several changes made in We introduced the Mutukaroa programme which is a home school partnership
the school. between parents and the school.
2008, our Principal Mr Tamati Howard retired. 2017, parents, staff and the Board unanimously voted that Otahuhu Primary
2009, we appointed our current Principal Mr Jason Swann. School should introduce the first school uniform. The students look fabulous!!!
2010, we redesigned the front entrance to the school creating an in – out driveway. The school installed the electronic sign at the Station Rd entrance, displaying
2013, I officially opened the new two storey Senior School building on Thursday school information.
13th October. 2018, school uniform was established.
In 2014 we introduced PB4L - Positive Learning for Behaviour. Our schools Technology Block closed to outside schools due to most Year7&8
From PB4L we introduced our school values: classes having the facilities provided by their own school. An end of an era!
Honesty - Ngakaupono Many thanks to the Jubilee Committee for all their work in making this occasion
Excellence - Panekiretanga possible.
Attitude - Ahua Waiaro I look forward to meeting past pupils and staff during our celebrations.
Respect - Whakaute
Tolerance - Tuku Marie Sheryl Cardwell
Chairperson, Board of Trustees
Board of Trustees
Dre Te Paea Hopkinson
arl of the ocean waves, Message from the Principal,
u canst thy lover save, Jason Swann
a brave heart,
hall thou part, Dummy oCopy Otahuhu very appropriate as we have a very multi-cultural community within the school -
is shining above. Primary School at this special time staff, teachers and students. We are one big whanau, where we look after each other
air maiden never fear, in its history. Otahuhu Primary has been known for many years as OPS. We have used the letters
ill always stay near, OPS to stand for:
There are not many schools
to my heart, in New Zealand that can celebrate Outstanding Performance and Service
hall not part, being 160 years old. In
is shining above. All we do
Our school motto was All we say
12 changed in the late 1980’s from All we are
“Service” to, “He wahi tutaki mo
nga tamariki o te ao”, meaning, In the ten years since the 150th Jubilee, there have been several changes
made in the school.
“A meeting place for the
children of the world”. This is 2008, our Principal Mr Tamati Howard retired.
(L-R) Adrianna Maroc, Ianeta Sini, Meritiana MacShane, Tania Siueva, Sheryl Cardwell, Jason Swann, Jasoda Patel, Georgina Sionetuato, Nadira Sewnarain,
Mania Cecil, Fatima Dollie, Rangikahiwi Panapa
History of Otahuhu Primary School
Te Kura Tuatahi O Otahuhu
He wahi tutaki mo nga tamariki o te ao
(A meeting place for children of the world)
O n the 15th May 1848, the sailing ship Ann arrived at the Waitemata and sixpence. Later this included the construction of the Great South Road and the
Harbour, with the sixth detachment of the Royal New Zealand Fencibles stone Tamaki Bridge on Otahuhu’s southern boundary.
and their families on board. The Fencibles came to New Zealand to provide a
defence force against possible invasion by southern Maori. The Fencibles and their Two years later, by 1850, there were 96 children under the age of seven in
families were to live in one of the four villages of Otahuhu, Onehunga, Panmure the Fencible community. Because their fathers were duty bound to attend church
and Howick. parades, which their children also attended, the Anglican Church authority felt
that a school was necessary to cater for the education of these youngsters. By 1851,
The village of Otahuhu where the fencibles from the Ann were to live, classes were held at the Anglican Church building, where the Reverend S. WARD
comprised of an area of 400 acres boarded by Fairburn Road, Hutton Street fulfilled the dual role of Minister and schoolmaster.
Atkinson Avenue and Luke Street.
In 1856, the Anglican Church Committee advertised for a schoolmaster, but it
As the bigger percentage of these ex-soldiers were labourers of the Irish was not until 9th August 1858, under the instruction of Mr. I.R. Williams, that official
and English stock, they were set to work by the government doing public works, school classes started. The parents were obliged to pay a small sum of money for their
mainly building roads, for which they were paid in small sum of three shillings child’s education and in order for the school to be subsidised by the Education Board,
the curriculum had to include, English Grammar, Geography, History and Spelling. Even with the Education Board’s small contribution, the amount received
During the first 14 years of school existence, from 1862-1865, classes were was not really enough to support a teacher. Still under the administration of the
Church Committee this situation continued for about fourteen years, until the
suspended for a number of reasons: “the terrible muddy condition of the roads and Otahuhu District School Committee was elected in 1872. The Anglican Church then
therefore lack of attendance of the students,” and “Mr WILLIAMS being out of pocket relinquished it responsibility. Classes were then held in the Otahuhu Public Hall
financially” and also “possible invasion of the district during the Waikato Wars.” from 1873-1874. The Church Hall was the rented for the following two years at £12
Mr BURNS took over when school resumed in 1865 and although he did not
stay for long, he became the second of several headmasters to oversee the education
of hundreds of children. The first Otahuhu District
School was sited on the corner of the Great South
Road and Station Road.
Those early years provided no luxuries, with
bare floors, large classrooms and many students
in a room and a teacher with a hickory stick for
misdemeanors. The younger girls wore ‘mother
hubbard’ aprons over their outdoor clothes, boots
on their feet, their hair often in plaits or tied up
with a ribbon. The boys often wore caps, some were
barefooted, while others wore boots and knee high
socks, with pants reaching down to the top of their
The Otahuhu Public Hall
Classes for the OTahuhu School were held here
during 1873-1874. Built in 1865. The hall burnt
down in 1943
Up until 1872, headmasters only stayed for a few months each, partly because teacher recorded the the amount, and by the end of that first year, £6 had been
of the low pay. The wages were determined by the number of children attending deposited, by the 50 children in the scheme. Being thrifty was an important part of
school and if the absenteeism was high, then the headmaster’s financial situation the children’s education.
Messrs T.H. BLANDFORD (1880-1889) and James ARMSTRONG
The role of headmaster from 1873 to 1880 was filled by Mr WANNUP and (1889-1894) both contributed to the education of the children at Otahuhu. Mr
in the Inspector of Schools report in 1875 the number of children in attendance ARMSTRONG was described as a ‘guiding influence'.
had risen to 109. In 1878 a ‘penny saving bank’ was established at the school. The
children brought along their money and Miss GOULD the assistant Mr Tom WILSON accepted the position in 1894. He was keenly interested
in horticulture and the Junior Cadet Movement. At the
beginning of 1902, this new discipline was implemented
into schools for Standard 5 and 6 boys. Known as the
New Zealand Junior Cadets, the boys took this activity
very seriously and the younger boys were eager to
follow in their footsteps. Otahuhu Primary School had
such a unit under the command of Mr BULLEN.
One of Mr WILSON's pupils was Harold CLARK
who began school in 1907. Mr Harold CLARK, (now
in his 106th year), passed his Standard VI Proficiency
Certificate in 1915. In 1919 Dulcie NICHOLLS,
The Otahuhu District Primary School
Sited on the corner of the Great South Road & Station
started at Otahuhu Primary and gained her Standard VI The Otahuhu School Junior Cadets
Proficiency Certificate in 1920. (They married in 1929 in the Early 1900s
Otahuhu Methodist Church). Mr CLARK's memory is still
exceptionally good and he has fond recall of his days at the Stacked inside were the `dummy rifles' the Junior Cadets had used all those years
Otahuhu School. He is the school's oldest living ex-pupil. ago. They were resurrected, dusted down and used to 'arm' the Home Guards.
Sadly Mrs CLARK died on the 24th July 2008 in her 102nd
year. Mr WILSON left in 1916 and was succeeded by Mr A.J.C.HALL, who was an
"earnest advocate in the promotion of education". He served for a term of five years
Mr Harold CLARK still remembers Mr BULLEN's until 1921, when Mr A. MURDOCH became headmaster.
Cadet Unit, which "wore uniforms consisting of Glengarry
caps with tassels, navy blue jerseys with epaulettes printed When Mr MURDOCH was appointed to Otahuhu, the headmaster's house
with New Zealand Junior Cadets, navy blue shorts, black
stockings with double red bands and black boots. A colour
sergeant wearing a red-fringed sash was in charge and a
bugler completed the unit. Dummy rifles were used in
training and when not in use, were placed neatly in a rack
in the old school's main corridor. A live musketry competition for
Auckland schools was held annually and Otahuhu Primary always did very well,
much to the pleasure of Mr BULLEN." With the advent of World War One in 1914,
the then government decided to disband the cadet units, to the disappointment of
the boy pupils and Mr CLARK.
Twenty-five years later, when World War Two commenced in 1939, the Home
Guard was formed and the volunteers used to gather on the football field to practice
marching when school was closed for the weekend. At the swimming pool end of
the football ground was a wooden shelter-shed with a small locked room attached.
TDheemHoleisahdedmians1t9e7r1'stoHmoaukseeway for more classrooms and a second one was sited near the Infant Department. The headmaster's wife,
Mrs Ivy MURDOCH, had a lucky escape one night. She fell through the rotting
was at the end of the football field, although it was little more than a paddock. timber beams which covered the well, but fortunately managed to hang on until
Because the previous headmaster, Mr A.J.C. HALL, had lived in Auckland, he had she was rescued. As the well was 40-feet deep, it was decided to cover it over with a
let the school house to the Otahuhu policeman, Constable MOSS, who had stored concrete slab, before anyone else fell in.
equipment and chaff in one room of the house while the police horses and a house
cow shared the paddock. After the Education Board had sorted out the problem, At the end of 1921, the School Committee decided to run a fundraising Queen
Mr MURDOCH moved his wife and family to their new home in April 1921. In the Carnival. In 1922, five Queens were selected and the Education Board promised to
meantime he travelled by train from Newmarket to Otahuhu and walked up from match whatever was raised, with a £ for £ subsidy. They were somewhat surprised
the station in time to take Pupil Teacher classes at 8 a.m., before school commenced when £1,090 was raised. The Queen, who won the carnival by raising the most
each day. money, was Miss Norine McGEEHAN.
The well outside the schoolmaster's house was originally used by the Fencibles The Education Board proposed to build a new school of ten rooms, but by the
time the new school opened in 1925, only three rooms had been finished. Although
the old school was advertised for auction, it's possible there was few or no bidders,
because it was eventually demolished. The original site on the Great South Road
was divided into 14 sections and sold by auction in 1927.
The Infant Department, which was sited on the left of the stone gates on the
Great South Road, was then moved on skids to the western edge of the property.
Although six of the proposed ten rooms were to be built at the same time as the Infant
Department extensions, the latter was completed first. Two rooms were added and
the official opening ceremony for the Infant Department and the Memorial Gates
was performed on 17th October 1925. (Although the Infant Block is still in use, the
roof has been replaced. It is now a multifunctional building, featuring a classroom;
an information centre, including library, computer suite; a teacher resource centre;
and Resource Teacher offices).
Towards the end of 1926, the brick additions to the Standard Block were The Infant Department -
finally completed and the opening ceremony was held on the 10m March 1927. the two roof colours show where the additions were
Because of a great increase in pupil numbers, the tenth room was added a year later. made
During the next twenty or so years, the class room floors were oiled, the free- were taught woodwork and the girls were taught to cook.
milk-in-schools scheme was introduced, cocoa was supplied in the winter, apples Other schools from Manurewa, Panmure and Papatoetoe
were distributed to the pupils (when they were in season), and health nurses made sent their standard 5 and 6 students to the school for
annual visits. half-day lessons. Mr Bill MORTON taught the woodwork
classes and Miss PORTER, followed by Mrs HERBISON
The motto of the school was 'SERVICE', not just to the school, but to the town as taught the cooking classes. (This block is now called the
well. Pride in one's own achievements and those of the school, was also encouraged. Otahuhu Primary Technology Centre, and sewing has
been added to the curriculum.) This practice continued
In the early 1900s the Manual Training Block was built. The 'household even after the introduction of decapitation, which
management' room was added in about 1909. It was here, that Standard 5 and 6 boys meant that Otahuhu Standard 5 and 6 students were no
longer taught at the primary school.
Three tennis courts were laid, and a playing field levelled and grassed.
This was used for rugby in the winter and cricket during the summer months.
The students enjoyed taking part in various sports, which included swimming,
athletics and physical education. Some ex-pupils can still remember doing
exercises out on the football field and marching into school to 'Colonel Bogey's
March' played on the gramophone.
Sport always played an integral part in school activities and learning to
play fairly and accept the wins and losses was considered an important part of
sportsmanship and competitive integrity. Over the years, the Otahuhu School
pupils were particularly successful at basketball and rugby. They also won the
Back Row: Nola FUNNELL, Hazel JOHNSON
Centre Row: Shirley BATES, Audrey STATHAM, Dorothy ARNOLD
Front with mascot: Colleen HOTHAM
Primary Schools' Athletic of their display cases of butterflies and insects to the school and these were used
Shield three years running. in classrooms, where cases were changed regularly for variety. In the corridor near
When Teddy HEDGE, Dave the headmaster's study were shelves with glass doors, where science equipment
COCHRANE and Dorothy was stored. The senior teachers and the headmaster were able to demonstrate
simple experiments for classroom study and participation.
REEVES were star performers
in the 1927 Primary Many ex-students will recall the shelter sheds, the furnace room, the Samuel
School Tennis Association Luke Memorial, (now in Otahuhu town centre), the cairn at the Station Road gates
competitions, the school was and of course the Dental Clinic, or 'murder house', built in 1929. No doubt Nurses
TOLLERTON followed by Nurse WAIN would not have appreciated the description.
extremely proud of their
success and their photo is One end of the Standard Block with sundial it sandpit in foreground
still hanging in the school.
In 1936, six Otahuhu
students won the Junior
Relay Championship at
the Auckland Primary Schools Amateur
Athletic Association meeting. Another great coup for the school!
There were also school Sports Houses - Arawa (Blue), Aotea (Green), Tainui
(Yellow) and Takitimu (Red) - named after four of the Maori canoes and illustrated
on a chart on Miss KIDD's Standard 4 room wall.
The Auckland War Memorial Museum was always a source of information
for all ages and visits were arranged for the pupils. The museum also loaned some
sandpit kept the primer children occupied in the lunchtime breaks.
The aviary was stocked with budgerigars, canaries, zebra finches, java
sparrows, African Love birds and Rosella parrots. A propagating house was also
built, and the plants grown were used for the school gardens. The fernery was
constructed of rocks, and both of these buildings were used in a teaching capacity.
During the 1920s, pupil absences were quite significant, partly due to
contagious diseases such as diphtheria, typhoid and impetigo. To help reduce
the spread of germs from pupils drinking from communal school taps, bubble
fountains were constructed by the caretaker, Mr WEIR and the headmaster, Bert
In 1930, the Education Board decided to introduce ‘decapitation', which
To put caption To put caption To put caption To put
To put caption To put caption on n To put caption To put
Some of the pupils were taken to Mount Richmond for a history lesson and Mr C.R. Petrie
shown where the Maori pa and terraces had once been. Both the Tamaki Estuary (Mayor), Mr
and the Manukau Harbour were pointed out and the children were shown where A. Murdoch
the Tainui Canoe had been dragged, from east to west hundreds of years before. (Headmaster),
(Some years later, a stone with an inscription to mark the portage of the Tainui Mr R. Woods
Canoe, was erected on the corner of Atkinson Avenue and Portage Road). (School Committee
Chairman) & Mr IL
A sandpit and sun dial were erected and, during the 1930s depression, men on Weir (Caretaker)
the No.13 Relief Scheme built a concrete relief map of New Zealand and Australia,
in front of the aviary.
This work was under the jurisdiction of the caretaker Mr Harry WEIR. The
Otahuhu School map provided the opportunity for some geography lessons and the
Otahuhu Primary involved transferring Standards Five and Six Princesses were chosen. Claire FULLER was the Primer princess, Peggy McANULTY
School was one of away from the Otahuhu Primary School in was Standard 1 princess, Dorothy BEST was Standard 2 princess, Maureen
the first schools to order to start the Otahuhu Junior High School RICKARDS was Standard 3 princess and Enid NEILD Standard 4 princess.
have school banking on Mangere Road, Otahuhu. (Some time later
introduced by the the junior school became known as Otahuhu The fund-raising committees for each princess held cake stalls, dance
Technical High School and then Otahuhu evenings, raffles and household socials and at the end of the fundraising, Maureen
Auckland Savings College). RICKARDS became Queen of the Carnival. The parents were mainly responsible
Bank for making the costumes and accessories. This event taught the students about
As the town grew, the main street was lined the protocols and high-ranking individuals involved, such as an Archbishop, the
with businesses and several industries, such as Knights, the Ladies and High Chancellor.
the Railway Workshops, Challenge Phosphate Rae said, "I was one of the four Peers of the Realm and I presented the Orb
at the ceremony."
and Kempthorne Prosser, were established
After World War One, the Memorial Gates were installed at the Station Road
close to the Otahuhu Railway Station. Progress meant the Otahuhu residents went entrance to the school. These consisted of two stone pillars with a bronze plaque
on each, suitably inscribed to commemorate the Otahuhu School ex-pupils, who
from walking or travelling in a horse drawn buggy, to using bicycles, trains and gave their lives during the 1914-1918 war. The pillars were originally covered in a
climbing fig, until they were moved further apart in later years.
buses. Very few working people owned a car. All these new industries brought
Around 1944, a swimming pool was constructed in the north-west corner of
more working class families into the district and consequently more children were the playing field by Mr HANCOCK. Swimming lessons proved very popular with
the children and gave them confidence in the water. When the American Military
enrolled in the school. Base at Mangere was closed after World War Two ended, the School Committee
had the opportunity to purchase a building, suitable for use as a hall. As the hall
Otahuhu Primary School was one of the first schools to have school banking, was dismantled, its parts were carefully numbered and over the following two
years, was rebuilt behind the Infant Department by voluntary labour, under the
introduced by the Auckland Savings Bank and Bible in Schools by local ministers direction of Mr Maurie SEEL. The hall is no longer in existence.
was also held.
Ex-pupil, Mr Rae RANKIN, remembers that in 1935, at the end of the Great
Depression, the Chairman of the School Committee was Mr Charles PETRIE and
opportunities were being sought to improve the school grounds.
Then in 1936, in anticipation of the coronation of King Edward VIII, it
was decided that Otahuhu School would hold its own Coronation, for which five
Back Row: Donald Currie, Gordon Prime, Jack Capp, Keith King, Valarie Dawson, Trevor Masking, Graham Barrett, Ivan Burgess, 23
Third Row: Zane Stone, Douglas Mattson, Elva Trenwith, Clare Porter, Colleen Hotham, Vaureen Rickards, Dawn Carter, June
Ryan, Ava Foster, Trevor Cornelius
Second Row: Dorothy Best, Enid Nield, Vivienne Kirkham, Peggy McAnulty, Clare Fuller
Front Row: Ken Tucker, Fred Porter, Ron Piper, Rae Rankin
planted to mark the occasion of Jean BATTEN, a New Zealand aviatrix, who made
the first direct solo flight from England to New Zealand in 1936.
Bert MURDOCH served as headmaster for 25 years, from 1921-1946. He has
been the longest serving headmaster at the Otahuhu School. He had a vision. It
involved devotion to education and the well-being and health of children. He was a
great believer in the education of all children, no matter what colour, race or creed.
He once said, "It should always be remembered that the nation of tomorrow is
dependent on the children of today". His viewpoint is still relevant today. He also
The School's War Memorial Gates at Station Road, Otahuhu Roll of Honour
In 1944, towards the end of World War Two, the Otahuhu District & Returned William BROWN Claude LIPPIATT
Services Association (RSA) decided to have a Queen Carnival, for which four Queens William CARSON Eric LIPPIATT
were selected. Those chosen were Kath BAILEY representing the Armed Forces, William CORIN James MCANULTY
Mary EWAN representing the RSA, Vivienne KIRKHAM representing Sports Samuel J. DIXON John MUIR
and Sheila MURDOCH representing the schools. It was the combined efforts of Walter FROST William PATTERSON
teachers, parents and pupils that made the Schools' Queen victorious. This was at a Bernard FARRELLY George SCURRAH
time when war rationing was still being felt, so, when the huge sum of £6,000 was Francis GRAHAM R. SIMMONDS
raised for the RSA, it was seen as reflecting a strong school spirit and the intense Gerald S. HALL William TRIMBLE
loyalty of the school community. Robert HAYWARD Percy WILLS
Joseph IRVINE Burt WHITELEY
Sometime between 1951 and 1954, the 8 majestic phoenix palms that were Basil KELSEY Roy W. YATES
lining the driveway, were moved and replaced with pohutukawa trees, which 55
years later are a rare feature of a 21st century primary school. Some of the other
native trees have since died or been removed. One was a rimu tree, which had been
A.E. KEMBLE took over as headmaster.
Mr KEMBLE and his family lived in the schoolhouse for the next fifteen years
until he retired. At the time of the school's centenary in 1958, he congratulated
the members of the Parent Teacher's Association and School Committees on their
outstanding efforts, "In providing additional educational aids and improving the
environment of the school and the grounds". This gratitude also extended to "The
fine body of parents, who for the last ten years operated the School Lunch Scheme
During his time as principal, the education system was undergoing another
change, and, where
who failed were held
Mr L.Podmore (RSA Chairman) Miss Churches (Bugler) back, this now saw the
Nan Scott, Sheila Murdoch (School's Queen), Julie Lewis, Rev Cook
Dane Nodwell, Heather Murdoch, Elaine McLennan, Dorothy Wootton child moving forward
Marjory Pope, Kathleen Murdoch, Beverley Annabel with their age group.
said "A teacher could have all the ability and knowledge in the world, but if she or Mr KEMBLE said,
he could not impart that knowledge to a pupil, so they could understand it, then
they should not be teaching". One observer, in 1938, wrote "Mr MURDOCH has "Instead of following
never forgotten that his chief and paramount duly is Education'',
a rigid pattern, today,
He was instrumental in the beautification of the grounds, from rat's tail grass
to neatly kept lawns and gardens. He believed in the integrity of the individual. By we endeavour to have
the time he retired, the children of former pupils were being taught at the school.
His influence spanned the generations, Mr MURDOCH retired in May 1946 and Mr all children working
to their fullest The Change Over
capacity. It is our aim Mr Murdoch welcomes Mr Kemble
to develop fully the
potentialities of every to Otahuhu School
child, intellectually, socially, morally and physically and to give him a " In November 1976, I had just been advised by the Auckland Education
feeling of security". Board of my appointment to the principal's position at the Otahuhu Primary
School, so made an excited phone call to the retiring principal and book a
Mr KEMBLE expected a good standard of arithmetic and also placed drive up the Great South Road to view the school and meet the staff.
strong emphasis on cultural subjects. Junior and senior choirs were formed The entrance from Station Road, through the old gates and the
and during the centennial celebrations sang unaccompanied items. driveway, in the shadow of the lovely old trees. was most welcoming.
However, it was what lay beyond this lovely and welcoming facade that
The school always participated in Arbour Day by planting trees in took me by surprise.
Sturges Park. One such occasion was held in August 1958 at the time of Despite Otahuhu Primary's 100 years of history, what greeted me was
the school's 100th birthday. The children helped plant 300 native trees, one permanent block of 4 classrooms and approximately 17 prefabricated
including kauri, totara, pohutukawa, kowhai and rimu. The trees had been buildings! The main buildings had been condemned and demolished for
donated by old pupils and residents and each tree carried a small plaque to safety reasons and had been replaced with these temporary monstrosities!
commemorate a past pupil of Otahuhu School. The school office and principal's den were in one half of a double
prefab, with the staff room in the other half. Apart from those teachers and
Mr KEMBLE retired in 1961 and the pupils collected money students accommodated in the one remaining historic building, all others
to purchase a television set as a retirement gift. He was followed by were taught in these temporary classrooms. Nevertheless, staff accepted the
Messrs J.J.CASKIE (1962-68), E.H. D'AthWESTON (1968-76) and challenges and made their working environments most attractive .for their
R.A.GOLDSTONE (1977-80). young charges and were always professional. The library and resource
rooms were also in prefab buildings, while the Dental and Speech Therapy
In 1974, the Auckland Regional Authority decided to place a sewage clinics were housed in the best buildings on the site.
pipe right through the school grounds and, in the process of constructing The prefab buildings had been placed on the perimeter of the
the tunnel, caused irreversible damage to the concrete Standard Block. Five construction site of the proposed new buildings, which, in the ensuing wet
of the ten classrooms were condemned as dangerous. It was not until 1975 winter, became a major challenge, not just for the workmen and heavy
that the building was finally demolished. Mr Roger GOLDSTONE arrived machines, but also for the children, teachers and visitors. One lovely
when construction of the new school was in progress.
He remembers some of his years at the school.
little Scottish teacher, who was only 5- feet-2-inches tall At the end of Mr GOLDSTONE's term of office, and for the first time in the school's history,
and always immaculately attired, brought her gumboots
and umbrella to school, and slushed through the mud and two women took over the position as principals, Mrs Dorothy A. McMILLAN (1981-82), then
puddles. She retained her sense of humour, as did all the
staff. Miss Wallis J.WALKER (1982-1987). Miss WALKER arrived at the school in 1982 and was the
Despite the challenges, many excellent achievements principal at the time of the school's 125th Jubilee in 1983.
were made at Otahuhu Primary School during this period.
We were one of five pilot schools that worked with Dr Marie She took over the helm, at the time in New Zealand's history, when society was undergoing
CLAY in trialing her Reading Recovery Programme.
significant changes to its racial composition. "The role of the school has changed over the years,
During this time, the responsibility for the tuck
shop was passed from the principal to a group of parent from being an institution of rote learning and mass instruction, in classes of 50 to 60 pupils,
volunteers. This change to the principal's morning schedule,
allowed staff greater access to my time before 9 am, than where the aim was to have everyone achieve proficiency and those that didn't, failed. Today, we
had previously been the case. Several members of that
team moved on to well-earned principal and managerial have children from every continent of the world at our school, many whose cultural heritage
is different from ours and some whose first language is not English. They have abilities in
The challenge of teaching in the midst of a building site
eventually paid off when we moved in to the new building. It social, physical, cultural, academic and
brought the whole staff together as a very strong supportive
body, of professionals. Despite the frustrations, they were emotional spheres that we do not yet
always able to laugh at themselves and were a group who
had a great deal of .fun. After all, that is what life and fully appreciate. These children and the
education is all about —meeting challenges.
staff are contributing towards the fixture
Roger GOLDSTONE. (1977-1980)
of our school and society.
I pay tribute to the thousands
of people who have influenced the
development of this school. To those
who are continuing to do so at present,
and, to those among us who will be
leading Otahuhu Primary School into
Miss WALKER left the school in
1987 and her position was taken over by Mr McDonald with the award
Mr Dave McDONALD (1988-1996).
After winning a clean-up campaign, organized to collect rubbish and plant Consequently the present day school roll includes children from at least
twenty-one trees in five separate locations, a print titled Depicting Land and Sea
was awarded to the school. 25 ethnic groups. As a consequence it was felt the school motto needed to reflect
In 1993, during Mr McDONALD's time as headmaster, the school's new hall that change in cultural mix. Although the school colours of gold and black have
was finally completed. It had taken three years of fund-raising, hard work and
determination, by students, parents and school committee members, to accumulate remained, the logo is now a Maori greenstone fish-
$100,000 towards its construction. The Lottery Grants Board contributed $50,000
and the ASB Trusts gave $30,000. The hall was four years in the making and the hook.
result of all their efforts provided a building, which has proved to be an enormous
asset for the school. A Maori blessing was performed and the Otahuhu Primary The new school motto of "He wahi tutaki mo
School Hall was officially opened in June 1993.
nga tamariki o to ao" is translated as, "A meeting
The present principal is Mr Tamati HOWARD, who took over in 1997. Tamati
HOWARD is the 22nd principal to serve Otahuhu Primary during its 150 years. place for the children of the world" and one has
One of the changes initiated by Tamati HOWARD was to change the school motto
to make it more in keeping with the cultural changes in the school. only to visit the playground at playtime to realize
During the late 1800s and early 1890s nearly all the Otahuhu School pupils just how appropriate the motto is.
had been born of Irish or English parents although a few Maori and Chinese
children were also enrolled. In the 1940s children from Poland and England arrived A second initiative of Tamati HOWARD
to escape the terror of war. After World War Two they were followed by Dutch
immigrants. New Zealand in the 1970s had full employment and its immigration involved replacing the old flagpole. The school used to
policies opened up for the Pacific Island people. Again in the 1980s and 1990s
because of their military coups, Fijian families also emigrated to New Zealand. have a flagpole set in a garden, around which Anzac Services were
More recently, immigrants from the Middle East, India, China and Hong Kong
chose New Zealand as their adopted country. held and the flag also flew on other important occasions. In more recent years,
it was deemed necessary to extend the present school buildings and the flagpole
disappeared. When the 140th Otahuhu Primary School Jubilee was held, a new
flagpole was erected near the entrance to the present Office Buildings with a
suitably inscribed plaque.
Also during Mr TAMATI's tenure, greater emphasis has been given to
catering for the special needs of individual children. In the early days of education,
little consideration was given to meeting the needs of disabled children within
the mainstream system. Teachers did not always understand and were certainly
not qualified. Fortunately, the school now provides such tuition and resources are
available to cater for their needs.
Otahuhu Primary School has seen many changes in its 150-year history. From slates, chalk and blackboards, to whiteboards and marker pens; from roughly hewn
benches to bulky dual desks to modern multi-functional work-stations; from lessons via radio broadcast, to overhead projectors and now personal computers. One good
idea from the past was reintroduced more recently. Fruit such as apples and kiwifruit are back on the menu.
One hundred and fifty years ago there were barely enough fee-paying pupils to afford one teacher's salary. At this present time, in 2008, the staff numbers 55 and
the roll fluctuates around 500 students. One cannot help but wonder what changes will have evolved by the time the next anniversary of the Otahuhu Primary School is
The base of the new flagpole with
"He wahi tutaki mo nga tamariki o to ac"
A meeting place for the children of the world".
9th August 1858 to 9th August 1958
This plaque was unveiled at a ceremony on the
28th November 1998
A Pictorial History of our School
The early School
The Standards Block
Early photos of Otahuhu
Otahuhu Public Hall, built in 1865, came to an abrupt end by fire in 1943 An early scene in Otahuhu
Old railway yard Mr. Frank Andrew horse bus running business in 1885, now recognised as one of
32 the foremost heavy transport organisation
The early gas lights in Otahuhu
1917 - Standard III Boys
Back Row: Miss Muir, Huggins, Biddulph, Whitmore, Travena,
Knott, Stonemuller, Firth, Jackson
Second Row: Murray Woods, Jones, Austin, Whitmore, Morris,
Third Row: Aukett, Brennan, _, Thwaites, Morris, Ellery, _,
Webber, White, Rouse, Viney
Fourth Row: Beattie, Cameron, Harris, McGavin, Kelly, _,
Otahuhu School 1-4-1926
Winners of the Boys Walking Relay Race
Back: A. Greenwood, P. Cochranie
Front: W.H. Hughes, T. Orinter
Otahuhu District School
Football team 1927
Back Row: O. Neal, J. Ogilvie, S. Burman, C. Stewart, Mr. E.W.
Caddy, G. Greenwood, C. Docherty, S. Hieat, D. Cochranie
Front Row: A. Greenwood, M. Stacey, S. Brewer, C. Shaw, L.
Trevena (Captain), D. Reid, J. Greenhalgh, G. Patrick, R. Bennett
Otahuhu District School
Basket Ball Team 1927 - Section Winners
Otahuhu Primary Juniors –
Champion of Champions 1946
Standing: I. Craig, R. G. Wells, D.H. Flay, M.J. Orpin, D.L.
Meiklejohn, D.L. Page, B. Fallen, R.C. Adams
Sitting: R.M. King, W.J.Booth, P.J. O’hara (Vice Captain),
S.G.Dvett (Captain), A.R. Sanderson, B.R. Whittle, Mr.
Ground: D.J.H. Pollock, I.A. Pulman, W.D. Dalton, W.
1945 Standard 3
1945 Otahuhu Primary
1946 Standard 4
Otahuhu Primary School Centennial 1858-1958
Brunton. LLa. tLtaal,oMli,rM. Cr.sH. Raonudlisstiodnes
Front Row: Mrs.
Otahuhu Primary School Staff
Back Row: J. Slane, D. Thorne, Mrs. Hardy, Mrs. Masters, Mrs. Stead, Mrs. Boothboyd, Nurse Levick, Miss Russell, Mrs. Hunt, M. Thompson
Middle Row: P Ridgeway, Miss Pilkington, Miss Williams, Mrs. Carpinter, Mrs. Stirling, Mrs. Werner, L. Werner, D. Banner
Front Row: J. Carr, Mrs. Williams, A.E. Kemble (Headmaster), Mrs. Hammond, B. Wilson
Otahuhu Primary School – Midget Rugby Team
Winners of Otahuhu District Competition, Auckland Primary School Championshipand Auckland Field Day
Back Row: Tony Jefferies,
Brian Hill, Roy Redfern,
Kenneth Baker, Alan
Mathers, Brian Mafi
Middle Row: Bruce Skelton,
George Collins, Geoffrey
Farquhar, Nuikino Dean,
Grant Allen,Mark Wilcox,
Mr. J. Burton
Front Row: Graeme
Snookes, Karl Sweetman,
Graham Rogers (Captain),
William Killin, Wayne
Games Played 15, Won 15.
Points: For 144, Against 6
Otahuhu Primary School – Auckland Champions 1960
A. Melrose, G. Paul, S. Panckhurst,
S. Steel, K. Toms, P. Dower.
L. Foster, L. Gordon, R. Sutcliffe,
C. Pitkethley, R. Smith, W.Kahi
Mr.B.M. Wilson, R. Wilson, J.
Herdman, S. Brown (Captain),
D. Sorensen (Vice Captain), M.
Otahuhu Primary School – ‘A’ Basketball Team – 1967
Winners of Otahuhu District Competition and Auckland Primary Schools Championship
BACK ROW: Tansy Hicks, Mrs J.
Hearne (Coach), Carol Gadsby, Mrs
K. Hook (Coach), Gertie Harris, Mr A.
FRONT ROW: Niru Manga, Ema Ford,
Susan Heke, Fa’ave Perese (Captain),
Mabel Swann, Pamela Manga
ABSENT: Patricia McCowatt
Games Played 12, Won 12
Points: For 141, Against 51
Otahuhu Primary School – Netball Team – Auckland
R. WIKI, P. SELWYN, I. WEBSTER
L. NICHOLLS, R. FORD, R. RENNIE, MISS MUIR
P. KOTEKA, D. WALKER, S. CORNER
Absent: T. STEWART, J. WITAHERA
Staff - 1999
Back Row: M. Ikiua, M. John, C. Ouwejan, C. Morrissey, M. Thompson, L. Chapman, A. Govender, T. Padayachee, J. Burns, P. Ikiua
4th Row: V. Patel, H. Colenso, M. Wilson, A. Galuvao, T. Haimona, I. Sini, R. Glennie, O. Colenso, N. Sahid, A. Halbert, P. Morgan, G. McElhinney, M. Lafu
3rd Row: D. Nicol, T. Lenden, L. Eti, W. Koopu, M. Connell, A. Ross, J. Lutchman, M. Atkinson, R. Mountney, P. Cowper, R. Ngawhau
2nd Row: W. Pou, P. Hamill, F. Rodricks, D. Balbharan, S. Patel, A. Ali, P. Patel, M. Henry, H. Hiko, F. Green, M. Taratu
Front Row: T. Newton, L. Moger, G. Kaur, J. Patel, W. Shepherd, T. Howard, J. Moloney, C. Emmens, M. Goudie, R. Joyce, K. Naicker
Absent: J. Williamson, N. Sewnarain