One Hundred Sixty Years
Table Of Contents
03 Otahuhu staff of 2018 08
04 Message from the Chairperson, Board of Trustees 24
06 A Principal's Principals perspective - 160 years on 36
History of Otahuhu Primary School A Pictorial History of our School From 2008 the story continues
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
Message from the 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.
Chairperson, Board of Trustees
We have used the letters OPS to stand for:
Outstanding Performance and Service in
All we do All we say All we are
In the ten years since the 150th Jubilee, there have been several changes made in the school.
2008, our Principal Mr Tamati Howard retired.
2009, we appointed our current Principal Mr Jason Swann.
2010, we redesigned the front entrance to the school creating an in – out driveway. 2013, I officially opened the new two storey Senior School building on Thursday 13th October.
In 2014 we introduced PB4L - Positive Learning for Behaviour.
From PB4L we introduced our school values: Honesty - Ngakaupono
Excellence - Panekiretanga
Attitude - Ahua Waiaro
Respect - Whakaute Tolerance - Tuku Marie
Board of Trustees
(L-R) Junior Unasa Sandra Grubb Sheryl Cardwell Emily Willers Jason Swann Manu Tonga Neelam Karan Dre Te Paea Hopkinson
We introduced the Mutukaroa programme which is a home school partnership between parents and the school.
2017, parents, staff and the Board unanimously voted that Otahuhu Primary School should introduce the first school uniform. The students look fabulous!!! The school installed the electronic sign at the Station Rd entrance, displaying school information.
2018, school uniform was established.
Our schools Technology Block closed to outside schools due to most Year7&8 classes having the facilities provided by their own school. An end of an era!
Many thanks to the Jubilee Committee for all their work in making this occasion possible.
I look forward to meeting past pupils and staff during our celebrations.
Chairperson, Board of Trustees
APrincipal's Perspective - 160 years on
Tenā koutou katoa, Talofa lava, Mālo e lelei, Kia orana, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Bula vinaka, Namastē, Ni Hao, Namaste, Assalamu Alykum, Chao, Kumusta and warm Otahuhu Primary School greetings!
Otahuhu Primary School has been through many changes, progressions, and enhancements since 1858, but one thing is fairly consistent and that is our school is still “a meeting place for the children of the world”. This has been the school motto for a number of years and still resonates soundly with how our school looks to incorporate the language, culture and identity of our students, staff and community. Our Board of Trustees represents a wide range of groups in our school community and works extremely hard to support our school and all its endeavours. Our staff are reflective of the many different cultures we have at our school and we are very fortunate to have a vast range of expertise to call on in the form of educational, cultural and community knowledge.
I have had the privilege of being the Principal of Otahuhu Primary School since 2009 and have been blessed to work within such a supportive learning environment. Our school community has always been an integral part of our school programme and this is reflected in the large number of parents and families we have supporting our school, especially on school trips, camps or events.
Our school programme provides a wide range of learning opportunities from the New Zealand Curriculum areas such as Reading, Writing, Mathematics, The Arts and so on through to outdoor opportunities such as sports, camp and a variety of excursions away from school to build our children’s knowledge of the outside world and how it works. Our Year 5 & 6 students compete in the local Mangere and Otahuhu Schools sports tournaments and our boys Hockey team recently placed 1st for the second year in a row!
We currently have a staff of nearly 50 and an increasing student role of 500. We offer a variety of programmes from school curriculum subjects, school choir, sports teams, ukulele group, school culture groups to name a few. We have English medium classes as well as 3 Bilingual units, Te Whanau Tutakitanga (Māori), Tafa o Ata (Samoan) and Lalanga Mo’ui (Tongan) where our students learn whilst engaging in the Māori, Samoan or Tongan languages. We have a focus on providing a wide range of learning opportunities within our school and particularly outside of our school grounds. We focus on building language, understanding and experiences by participating in learning experiences in and outside of school.
Our pastoral care programmes are an important part of our school life. We provide breakfast and lunch for students who need this. Every student receives fruit and milk each day and students brush their teeth each day as part of the normal school programme. We enjoy support from Fruit in Schools, Milk in Schools, Kidscan and The Rotary Club of Otahuhu who enable
us to provide these options. We are also fortunate in having a Social Worker In School and a School Chaplain who support our students. Our students receive a number of books throughout the year as part of our Books in Homes programme and we thank Bell Transport and Kings College as well as the Duffy Books in Homes Foundation for their generous contributions towards the costs of this programme.
We have continued to invest in our children, resources and school property. We have refurbished nearly every classroom in the school and added a 4 classroom, two-storey block to our senior school. We have facilitated the building of a community dental clinic and added a new Junior playground and student murals and artwork throughout the school.
As I reflect on my time here at Otahuhu Primary School I continually realise that it is our children, our staff and our community that makes this school such a wonderful place to be. There continues to be change all around us in our lives and we are all very fortunate to be able to be part of the Otahuhu Primary School whanau/ family.
Jason Swann - Principal, Otahuhu Primary School
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 1858-2018
He wahi tutaki mo nga tamariki o te ao (A meeting place for children of the world)
On the 15th May 1848, the sailing ship Ann arrived at the Waitemata Harbour, with the sixth detachment of the Royal New Zealand Fencibles 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 families were to live in one of the four villages of Otahuhu, Onehunga, Panmure and Howick.
The village of Otahuhu where the fencibles from the Ann were to live, comprised of an area of 400 acres boarded by Fairburn Road, Hutton Street Atkinson Avenue and Luke Street.
As the bigger percentage of these ex-soldiers were labourers of the Irish and English stock, they were set to work by the government doing public works, mainly building roads, for which they were paid in small sum of three shillings
and sixpence. Later this included the construction of the Great South Road and the stone Tamaki Bridge on Otahuhu’s southern boundary.
Two years later, by 1850, there were 96 children under the age of seven in the Fencible community. Because their fathers were duty bound to attend church 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, classes were held at the Anglican Church building, where the Reverend S. WARD fulfilled the dual role of Minister and schoolmaster.
In 1856, the Anglican Church Committee advertised for a schoolmaster, but it was not until 9th August 1858, under the instruction of Mr. I.R. Williams, that official school classes started. The parents were obliged to pay a small sum of money for their 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. During the first 14 years of school existence, from 1862-1865, classes were suspended for a number of reasons: “the terrible muddy condition of the roads and therefore lack of attendance of the students,” and “Mr WILLIAMS being out of pocket
financially” and also “possible invasion of the district during the Waikato Wars.”
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 socks.
The Otahuhu Public Hall
Classes for the OTahuhu School were held here during 1873-1874. Built in 1865. The hall burnt down in 1943
Even with the Education Board’s small contribution, the amount received 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 Otahuhu District School Committee was elected in 1872. The Anglican Church then relinquished it responsibility. Classes were then held in the Otahuhu Public Hall from 1873-1874. The Church Hall was the rented for the following two years at £12 per annum.
Up until 1872, headmasters only stayed for a few months each, partly because of the low pay. The wages were determined by the number of children attending school and if the absenteeism was high, then the headmaster’s financial situation suffered.
The role of headmaster from 1873 to 1880 was filled by Mr WANNUP and in the Inspector of Schools report in 1875 the number of children in attendance 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
teacher recorded the the amount, and by the end of that first year, £6 had been deposited, by the 50 children in the scheme. Being thrifty was an important part of the children’s education.
Messrs T.H. BLANDFORD (1880-1889) and James ARMSTRONG (1889-1894) both contributed to the education of the children at Otahuhu. Mr ARMSTRONG was described as a ‘guiding influence'.
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 Road
started at Otahuhu Primary and gained her Standard VI Proficiency Certificate in 1920. (They married in 1929 in the Otahuhu Methodist Church). Mr CLARK's memory is still exceptionally good and he has fond recall of his days at the Otahuhu School. He is the school's oldest living ex-pupil. Sadly Mrs CLARK died on the 24th July 2008 in her 102nd year.
Mr Harold CLARK still remembers Mr BULLEN's
Cadet Unit, which "wore uniforms consisting of Glengarry
caps with tassels, navy blue jerseys with epaulettes printed
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.
The Otahuhu School Junior Cadets Early 1900s
Stacked inside were the `dummy rifles' the Junior Cadets had used all those years ago. They were resurrected, dusted down and used to 'arm' the Home Guards.
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 until 1921, when Mr A. MURDOCH became headmaster.
When Mr MURDOCH was appointed to Otahuhu, the headmaster's house
The Headmaster's House
Demolished in 1971 to make way for more classrooms
was at the end of the football field, although it was little more than a paddock. Because the previous headmaster, Mr A.J.C. HALL, had lived in Auckland, he had let the school house to the Otahuhu policeman, Constable MOSS, who had stored 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, Mr MURDOCH moved his wife and family to their new home in April 1921. In the meantime he travelled by train from Newmarket to Otahuhu and walked up from the station in time to take Pupil Teacher classes at 8 a.m., before school commenced each day.
The well outside the schoolmaster's house was originally used by the Fencibles
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 timber beams which covered the well, but fortunately managed to hang on until she was rescued. As the well was 40-feet deep, it was decided to cover it over with a concrete slab, before anyone else fell in.
At the end of 1921, the School Committee decided to run a fundraising Queen Carnival. In 1922, five Queens were selected and the Education Board promised to match whatever was raised, with a £ for £ subsidy. They were somewhat surprised when £1,090 was raised. The Queen, who won the carnival by raising the most money, was Miss Norine McGEEHAN.
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 finally completed and the opening ceremony was held on the 10m March 1927. Because of a great increase in pupil numbers, the tenth room was added a year later.
During the next twenty or so years, the class room floors were oiled, the free- milk-in-schools scheme was introduced, cocoa was supplied in the winter, apples were distributed to the pupils (when they were in season), and health nurses made annual visits.
The motto of the school was 'SERVICE', not just to the school, but to the town as well. Pride in one's own achievements and those of the school, was also encouraged. In the early 1900s the Manual Training Block was built. The 'household management' room was added in about 1909. It was here, that Standard 5 and 6 boys
The Infant Department -
the two roof colours show where the additions were made
were taught woodwork and the girls were taught to cook. Other schools from Manurewa, Panmure and Papatoetoe sent their standard 5 and 6 students to the school for half-day lessons. Mr Bill MORTON taught the woodwork classes and Miss PORTER, followed by Mrs HERBISON taught the cooking classes. (This block is now called the Otahuhu Primary Technology Centre, and sewing has been added to the curriculum.) This practice continued even after the introduction of decapitation, which 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 Shield three years running. When Teddy HEDGE, Dave COCHRANE and Dorothy REEVES were star performers in the 1927 Primary School Tennis Association competitions, the school was extremely proud of their success and their photo is
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
of their display cases of butterflies and insects to the school and these were used in classrooms, where cases were changed regularly for variety. In the corridor near the headmaster's study were shelves with glass doors, where science equipment was stored. The senior teachers and the headmaster were able to demonstrate simple experiments for classroom study and participation.
Many ex-students will recall the shelter sheds, the furnace room, the Samuel Luke Memorial, (now in Otahuhu town centre), the cairn at the Station Road gates 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.
One end of the Standard Block with sundial it sandpit in foreground
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Some of the pupils were taken to Mount Richmond for a history lesson and shown where the Maori pa and terraces had once been. Both the Tamaki Estuary and the Manukau Harbour were pointed out and the children were shown where the Tainui Canoe had been dragged, from east to west hundreds of years before. (Some years later, a stone with an inscription to mark the portage of the Tainui Canoe, was erected on the corner of Atkinson Avenue and Portage Road).
A sandpit and sun dial were erected and, during the 1930s depression, men on 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
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
Mr C.R. Petrie (Mayor), Mr
A. Murdoch (Headmaster),
Mr R. Woods (School Committee Chairman) & Mr IL Weir (Caretaker)
involved transferring Standards Five and Six away from the Otahuhu Primary School in order to start the Otahuhu Junior High School on Mangere Road, Otahuhu. (Some time later the junior school became known as Otahuhu Technical High School and then Otahuhu College).
As the town grew, the main street was lined with businesses and several industries, such as the Railway Workshops, Challenge Phosphate and Kempthorne Prosser, were established
close to the Otahuhu Railway Station. Progress meant the Otahuhu residents went from walking or travelling in a horse drawn buggy, to using bicycles, trains and buses. Very few working people owned a car. All these new industries brought more working class families into the district and consequently more children were enrolled in the school.
Otahuhu Primary School was one of the first schools to have school banking, introduced by the Auckland Savings Bank and Bible in Schools by local ministers 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
Princesses were chosen. Claire FULLER was the Primer princess, Peggy McANULTY was Standard 1 princess, Dorothy BEST was Standard 2 princess, Maureen RICKARDS was Standard 3 princess and Enid NEILD Standard 4 princess.
The fund-raising committees for each princess held cake stalls, dance evenings, raffles and household socials and at the end of the fundraising, Maureen RICKARDS became Queen of the Carnival. The parents were mainly responsible for making the costumes and accessories. This event taught the students about the protocols and high-ranking individuals involved, such as an Archbishop, the Knights, the Ladies and High Chancellor.
Rae said, "I was one of the four Peers of the Realm and I presented the Orb at the ceremony."
After World War One, the Memorial Gates were installed at the Station Road 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 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.
Around 1944, a swimming pool was constructed in the north-west corner of 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 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 was dismantled, its parts were carefully numbered and over the following two years, was rebuilt behind the Infant Department by voluntary labour, under the direction of Mr Maurie SEEL. The hall is no longer in existence.
Otahuhu Primary School was one of the first schools to have school banking introduced by the Auckland Savings Bank
Back Row: Donald Currie, Gordon Prime, Jack Capp, Keith King, Valarie Dawson, Trevor Masking, Graham Barrett, Ivan Burgess, Norman Eason;
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
William BROWN William CARSON William CORIN Samuel J. DIXON Walter FROST Bernard FARRELLY Francis GRAHAM Gerald S. HALL Robert HAYWARD Joseph IRVINE Basil KELSEY
Claude LIPPIATT Eric LIPPIATT
James MCANULTY John MUIR
William PATTERSON George SCURRAH
R. SIMMONDS William TRIMBLE Percy WILLS
Burt WHITELEY Roy W. YATES
Roll of Honour
In 1944, towards the end of World War Two, the Otahuhu District & Returned Services Association (RSA) decided to have a Queen Carnival, for which four Queens were selected. Those chosen were Kath BAILEY representing the Armed Forces, Mary EWAN representing the RSA, Vivienne KIRKHAM representing Sports and Sheila MURDOCH representing the schools. It was the combined efforts of teachers, parents and pupils that made the Schools' Queen victorious. This was at a time when war rationing was still being felt, so, when the huge sum of £6,000 was raised for the RSA, it was seen as reflecting a strong school spirit and the intense loyalty of the school community.
Sometime between 1951 and 1954, the 8 majestic phoenix palms that were 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
The School's War Memorial Gates at Station Road, Otahuhu
The Change Over
Mr Murdoch welcomes Mr Kemble to Otahuhu School
Mr L.Podmore (RSA Chairman) Miss Churches (Bugler)
Nan Scott, Sheila Murdoch (School's Queen), Julie Lewis, Rev Cook Dane Nodwell, Heather Murdoch, Elaine McLennan, Dorothy Wootton Marjory Pope, Kathleen Murdoch, Beverley Annabel
said "A teacher could have all the ability and knowledge in the world, but if she or 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 never forgotten that his chief and paramount duly is Education'',
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 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
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 so successfully".
During his time as principal, the education system was undergoing another change, and, where
previously children who failed were held back, this now saw the child moving forward with their age group. Mr KEMBLE said, "Instead of following a rigid pattern, today, we endeavour to have all children working to their fullest capacity. It is our aim to develop fully the potentialities of every
child, intellectually, socially, morally and physically and to give him a feeling of security".
Mr KEMBLE expected a good standard of arithmetic and also placed strong emphasis on cultural subjects. Junior and senior choirs were formed and during the centennial celebrations sang unaccompanied items.
The school always participated in Arbour Day by planting trees in Sturges Park. One such occasion was held in August 1958 at the time of the school's 100th birthday. The children helped plant 300 native trees, including kauri, totara, pohutukawa, kowhai and rimu. The trees had been donated by old pupils and residents and each tree carried a small plaque to commemorate a past pupil of Otahuhu School.
Mr KEMBLE retired in 1961 and the pupils collected money to purchase a television set as a retirement gift. He was followed by Messrs J.J.CASKIE (1962-68), E.H. D'AthWESTON (1968-76) and R.A.GOLDSTONE (1977-80).
In 1974, the Auckland Regional Authority decided to place a sewage pipe right through the school grounds and, in the process of constructing the tunnel, caused irreversible damage to the concrete Standard Block. Five of the ten classrooms were condemned as dangerous. It was not until 1975 that the building was finally demolished. Mr Roger GOLDSTONE arrived when construction of the new school was in progress.
He remembers some of his years at the school.
" In November 1976, I had just been advised by the Auckland Education 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 drive up the Great South Road to view the school and meet the staff.
The entrance from Station Road, through the old gates and the driveway, in the shadow of the lovely old trees. was most welcoming. However, it was what lay beyond this lovely and welcoming facade that took me by surprise.
Despite Otahuhu Primary's 100 years of history, what greeted me was one permanent block of 4 classrooms and approximately 17 prefabricated buildings! The main buildings had been condemned and demolished for safety reasons and had been replaced with these temporary monstrosities!
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 students accommodated in the one remaining historic building, all others were taught in these temporary classrooms. Nevertheless, staff accepted the challenges and made their working environments most attractive .for their young charges and were always professional. The library and resource rooms were also in prefab buildings, while the Dental and Speech Therapy clinics were housed in the best buildings on the site.
The prefab buildings had been placed on the perimeter of the construction site of the proposed new buildings, which, in the ensuing wet winter, became a major challenge, not just for the workmen and heavy machines, but also for the children, teachers and visitors. One lovely
little Scottish teacher, who was only 5- feet-2-inches tall and always immaculately attired, brought her gumboots and umbrella to school, and slushed through the mud and puddles. She retained her sense of humour, as did all the staff.
Despite the challenges, many excellent achievements were made at Otahuhu Primary School during this period. We were one of five pilot schools that worked with Dr Marie CLAY in trialing her Reading Recovery Programme.
During this time, the responsibility for the tuck shop was passed from the principal to a group of parent volunteers. This change to the principal's morning schedule, allowed staff greater access to my time before 9 am, than had previously been the case. Several members of that team moved on to well-earned principal and managerial positions elsewhere.
The challenge of teaching in the midst of a building site eventually paid off when we moved in to the new building. It brought the whole staff together as a very strong supportive body, of professionals. Despite the frustrations, they were always able to laugh at themselves and were a group who had a great deal of .fun. After all, that is what life and education is all about —meeting challenges.
Roger GOLDSTONE. (1977-1980)
At the end of Mr GOLDSTONE's term of office, and for the first time in the school's history, two women took over the position as principals, Mrs Dorothy A. McMILLAN (1981-82), then Miss Wallis J.WALKER (1982-1987). Miss WALKER arrived at the school in 1982 and was the principal at the time of the school's 125th Jubilee in 1983.
She took over the helm, at the time in New Zealand's history, when society was undergoing significant changes to its racial composition. "The role of the school has changed over the years, from being an institution of rote learning and mass instruction, in classes of 50 to 60 pupils, where the aim was to have everyone achieve proficiency and those that didn't, failed. Today, we 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 social, physical, cultural, academic and
emotional spheres that we do not yet
fully appreciate. These children and the
staff are contributing towards the fixture
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 the future".
Miss WALKER left the school in 1987 and her position was taken over by Mr Dave McDONALD (1988-1996).
Mr McDonald with the award
After winning a clean-up campaign, organized to collect rubbish and plant twenty-one trees in five separate locations, a print titled Depicting Land and Sea was awarded to the school.
In 1993, during Mr McDONALD's time as headmaster, the school's new hall was finally completed. It had taken three years of fund-raising, hard work and determination, by students, parents and school committee members, to accumulate $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 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 School Hall was officially opened in June 1993.
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. 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.
During the late 1800s and early 1890s nearly all the Otahuhu School pupils 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 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 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. More recently, immigrants from the Middle East, India, China and Hong Kong chose New Zealand as their adopted country.
Consequently the present day school roll includes children from at least 25 ethnic groups. As a consequence it was felt the school motto needed to reflect that change in cultural mix. Although the school colours of gold and black have remained, the logo is now a Maori greenstone fish-hook.
The new school motto of "He wahi tutaki mo nga
tamariki o to ao" is translated as, "A meeting place for the children of the world" and one has only to visit the playground at playtime to realize just how appropriate the motto is.
A second initiative of Tamati HOWARD involved replacing the old flagpole. The school used to have a flagpole set in a garden, around which Anzac Services were 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 celebrated.
The base of the new flagpole with inscribed plaque.
"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 Standards Block
The early School
Early Photos of Otahuhu
An early scene in Otahuhu
The early gas lights in Otahuhu
Mr. Frank Andrew horse bus running business in 1885, now recognised as one of the foremost heavy transport organisation
Otahuhu Public Hall, built in 1865, came to an abrupt end by fire in 1943
Old railway yard
1917 - Standard III Boys
Back Row: Miss Muir, Huggins, Biddulph, Whitmore, Travena, Knott, Stonemuller, Firth, Jackson
Second Row: Murray Woods, Jones, Austin, Whitmore, Morris, Earn, Roberts Third Row: Aukett, Brennan, _, Thwaites, Morris, Ellery, _, Webber, White, Rouse, Viney
Fourth Row: Beattie, Cameron, Harris, McGavin, Kelly, _, Turnbull
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. D.V. Moore
Ground: D.J.H. Pollock, I.A. Pulman, W.D. Dalton, W. Cammell
Otahuhu District School
Basket Ball Team 1927 - Section Winners
Otahuhu School 1-4-1926
Winners of the Boys Walking Relay Race
Back: A. Greenwood, P. Cochranie Front: W.H. Hughes, T. Orinter
1946 Standard 4
1945 Standard 3
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
1945 Otahuhu Primary
Otahuhu Primary School Centennial 1858-1958
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 Committee
Back Row: Messrs. Rae, Bonner, Sayers, Williams, Brunton.
Front Row: Mrs. Latta, Mr. C. Handisides (Chairman), Mr. L. Laloli, Mrs. Roulston
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 Miller
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. Rowsell.
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. Quiton (Coach)
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 Finals
R. Wiki, P. Selwyn, I. Webster
L. Nicholls, R. Ford, R. Rennie, Miss Muir (Coach) P. Koteka, D. Walker, S. Corner
Absent: T. Stewart, J. Witahera
Life Member, 1953
Mrs. E. Pierce -
Otahuhu Primary School in the News
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
From 2008...the story continues
The school introduced the house groups. The names of the house groups were developed by the students to reflect the local area. The houses are Manukau, Tamaki, Tāhuhu and Te Tō Waka. This included the introduction of House Captains and the School House Shield.
The school introduced the (PB4L) Positive Learning for Behaviour Programme. We introduced the school values of Honesty, Excellence, Attitude, Respect, Tolerance (H.E.A.R.T)
The National Party introduced a policy of National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics for primary-aged students when it became the government in 2008
The Station Road entrance was redeveloped and the new driveway was opened in the front of the school with a U shaped drive so parents can drive in and out of the school grounds safely
Retirement of Mr Tamati Howard end of Term 1 The school appointed Mr Jason Swann as Principal of the school
Sheryl Cardwell opened a new the double storey block. Present Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, on Thursday 13th October 2013. This building was designed so that interconnecting classrooms could be opened up to create a modern learning environment
The school inquiry programme generated student projects on beautification of the school. Children created murals that depict the culture of the school
Otahuhu Primary School became a member of the Community of Schools. Schools who are part of this collaborative group are Mt Richmond Special School, Panama Road School, Otahuhu Intermediate School and Otahuhu College
The Principal, Jason Swann returns after completing his study scholarship at The University of Auckland.
The Labour Government abolished the New Zealand National Standards in Reading, Writing and Mathematics
The school published the first book on the school H.E.A.R.T. values and introduced OTUS the school mascot.
Parents and Staff unanimously voted that Otahuhu Primary School should introduce its first uniform. The school installed the Electronic sign for communication purposes.
The School Bilingual Units continue to cater for the fostering of the children’s home language and culture. Cultural Language weeks for all the ethnic groups in the school are celebrated.
KidsCan support with shoes, gloves, hats, socks for decile one schools.
Eat my Lunch and breakfast in schools continues at Otahuhu Primary School.
The Rotary Club of Otahuhu continues to sponsor all Year four students with a dictionary every year to use at home.
Kings College students and Hayden Bell of Bells transport continue to sponsor books to each student.
The Principal, Jason Swann, was awarded a study scholarship until the end of the year 2017. His place was held by Jasoda
Patel as Acting Principal and Meritiana Auva’a Associate Principal and Belinda Turner as acting Associate Principal.
Otahuhu Primary School has increasingly become a digital school with an increased use of computers, ipads, chrome
books and laptops for the children to learn with.
The new school website was introduced. 37
Otahuhu Primary School
Outstanding Performance & Service
Honesty Excellence Attitude Respect Tolerance
In all we do, all we say, all we are
Aerial view of Otahuhu Primary School
Our Heart Values
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