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Totara North School A Place To Stand, A Place To Grow He Turangawaewae, Mo Te Matauranga

150 Years 1862 - 2012

Contents Foreword 3 School Timeline


Timeline of Property Development


School Staff Lists


School Photos


School Events - Then & Now


Stories 35 Children’s Writing


Children’s Artwork


Commemorative Works


Credits 80

On the way to school 1898

Miriam Lane ringing the school bell

Walking up the hill to school 2012

Terhysa Davies-Sherwin ringing the school bell 2012.

Foreword Totara North School celebrating 150 years! The school famous for its hills! To get to Totara North School there is a significant walk up the hill from the car park. Even the fittest has to ask for a moment when arriving at the office door! Then there is killer hill. This hill got its status from many students struggling to combat it at our annual Cross country event. Every year the Whangaroa cluster gathers here for the Cross country event. Young and old speak of this hill – as far back as 70 years ago. The hill is on the neighbouring land belonging to Bruce Sanderson who kindly allows us to run through the paddocks and of course up that deadly hill! How many schools still get water from a spring – that’s up another hill! And when cattle stand on the line – someone has to get their gumboots out – and walk up to fix it all up again! It is 2012 and Totara North is 150 years old and there are so many stories to be told…… We delved into the records and voices of the past keep flooding in…. Electronic devices and facebook have made spreading the word much easier than it would have been for those 25 years ago. What a change in communication we’ve had in such a short time! Our children worked hard to investigate how the grounds and buildings changed through the years. It was amazing to see them timeline the development of buildings and learning spaces through the years. The development from a one roomed building to what we have now is clearly the efforts from our whole school community and staff from then and now. Our children were amazed at what they found. Thankfully Gwenyth Frear’s books provided substantial evidence as to why Totara North School even came to exist! The waterslide and flying fox are two significant features all of our students are dreaming of having back. The whare that was built in the 60’s put us all in awe. We would love to have the carvings that were such a significant part of that history to be kept in our foyer. If anyone has an idea where they might have gone – please let us know so we can negotiate! 3

It is incredible that we have in this 150th year 2 descendants of the first ever principal, George Fergusson. Trinity and Kelly Rule are both in our school! Our support staff are pretty special and haven’t left for many years! Between Sheryl, Sharon and Rhonda there is a record of up to 28 years! A sense of love and ownership is strongly felt from all involved. The impact our school has had on so many lives are evident in the pride it is spoken of. Our website and facebook page became a place for reminiscing and the sharing of information of staff and students from the past. We are so grateful for the information and photos so kindly shared by you to help us with our task. We realised that there is a gap of information we need to fill of the past 60 – 70 years. At the 120th reunion – the young ones then - didn’t consider themselves history yet… and didn’t write it down… Avril Manley, Trevor Frear and Gwenyth Frear came to school and told many great stories from the past. If you have a story to tell, please write it down so we can publish another book and keep our stories alive! It is so easy – just send it on an e-mail or from our website! Our children studied their own genealogy and whakapapa and realised the importance of the school and its roots. Our community, families, the harbour and the trees are what it still is much about. The senior class wrote a song to commemorate the development of our school and Grant Goodwin helped us with this as well as designing and building a sculpture that resembles the past, present and future with the whole school! I would like to thank Ms Kristina Lane (Publisher), Katharina Quinlan, Sharon Frear and Sue Frear for the effort they have put into creating this book. It is an honour to be principal of Totara North School and be part of this significant milestone. Totara North School is unique. It provides our students with a fantastic education all in the midst of bush, the hills and all that makes being a country kid very special! Enjoy the festivities and catching up with dear old friends and staff from the past! Bastienne Kruger Principal 2009 -2012


Avril Manley, Gwenyth Frear and Trevor Frear sharing their stories of school at Totara North.

Bruce Sanderson speaking to the children about the history of gum digging in Totara North.

Children find their hand prints on the sculpture while it is still under construction. 5

School Timeline 1840’s

The area now known as Totara North is covered in big Kauri- and Totara trees. With the harbour right in front of them the first settlers recognize the area as a good place for bush felling, pit-sawing and an emerging timber industry. The Kauri Gum is also in demand and quickly more and more people settled in the area, bringing their families, clearing land and requiring services and stores.


One of the settlers, George Fergusson, is concerned about his daughter’s lack of education. As there is no school in the district he decides to take the teaching in his own hands. Several times a week the two of them row across the harbour to the Bell’s house, up Gangway Rd in Totara North. There another girl of similar age is waiting for them and together they start to learn their letters. This is the budding of Totara North School.


Major Lane and William Brown establish their successful shipyard at Totara North and in the following years build 100 vessels, employing up to 60-100 men.

As the population and families grow in the Totara North district, Fergusson’s little group of children grows too. In those days families are large and having 6-10 children is not an exception!


By now Fergusson’s group is well established as a private school under the Umbrella of the Education Board. Attendance is voluntary and he charges 1 penny/week.


The need for a proper school becomes urgent and Fergusson is relieved when the Auckland Education Board converts his private school to a public school. The school house, which still exists now, is built and Mrs Johnson is employed for $80/year teaching 12 pupils.


The first assistant teacher is granted (Miss Brown). The school room is divided into two by a heavy curtain. The roll keeps growing until in…


George T. Fergusson and Family Back - Daughters Margaret and Jane Maria Front - George and his wife Hineka





...the school reaches 3 teacher status and in...


…has over 70 pupils on the roll. Most of them walk to school barefoot or ride their horses, with some unable to attend school when the tide is high.

George Fergusson dies at the age of 82.


The school drops to 2 teacher status.


A secondary school starts in Kaeo


Electricity comes to Totara North!


The horse paddock is turned into the top field to make more room for sport grounds. A small replica whare complete with weaving and carvings is built by the children and teachers.

Several times a week the children mix up milk powder and depending who makes it, the drink is delicious or horrible…


Extensive school building alterations are necessary and a large classroom with library, a staff room and storage spaces are to be built. The toilet block is erected. The children help with end of year clean up of the school and grounds except the group which earns the most points during the year. They are given money and allowed to walk to the store to buy lollies!


By the end of the year lessons begin in the new classroom. Totara North becomes a contributing school to Whangaroa. Losing its Form 1 and 2 together with the traditional bus run means the roll of pupils starts to drop. Families are also getting much smaller.


The school has sole teacher status. A water slide provides lots of fun and the concerts and dress-up parties at the Hall are well remembered.


The roll allows the school to have 2 teacher status again. The swimming pools are built. 9


And once again the roll drops. For 21 pupils only one teacher is needed.


The Preschool is built and established on the school grounds.

A close link exists between the two and so the preschoolers find the transition to school easy…


The roll is growing and to accommodate the teachers appropriately the staff room needs to be enlarged.


The Junior room is built.


Lively kids need an adventure playground. Now they can enjoy being monkeys and monsters climbing and chasing each other up and down the ladders, slides, bars and poles….


It’s time for a complete make-over of the school: the resource room is added and all class rooms repainted and renovated. They look great in their bright happy colours reflecting the schools atmosphere.


More and more administration work is added to the load. A purpose built admin block finally enables Sharon to move out of her dark corner and into her own administration block.


When you live so close to the water it is very important to learn how to swim; the swimming pools are rebuilt and decks and a changing shed added.


These days the children don’t have to walk to school anymore; they own shoes (although a large number of children still prefers to go barefoot) and the horse paddock has not seen a horse for nearly 60 years. These days the children are driven up by bus and cars and so the need for a concrete car park and driveway arises.



Over all those years the playing, running and teaching has worn out the surface in front of the school, so it gets resurfaced.

The children enjoy this space to play sports, practice performances and to sit in the sun eating their lunches; here they play hopscotch and chase, drive their bikes on bike days and welcome visitors.


Building sandcastles, digging caves and getting muddy is still popular amongst the children so they get a brand new sandpit.


The sun is getting hotter and a shade roof is added to the front of the senior room. It shelters everyone from too much sun or rain, both of which Northland seems to have plenty of!

150 years have passed since George Fergusson was concerned about the schooling of his daughter and started Totara North School. Many children, teachers and principals have come and gone and everybody can be proud of keeping this wonderful school going and thriving. Since 150 years nobody needs to be concerned anymore about the schooling of their children thanks to that wonderful school up the hill.

Childrens comparisons of places in our school in 1982 and 2012


Property development Milk shed - New class room - Outside toilet block - Office built on - Preschool added – playground (Bruce gave the land) - Junior class - Office building Refurbishing our classes and outside toilet block - Staff room development – MultiPurpose room space created - Senior room refurbished - Outdoor shelter added. The school in 2010 before the shelter is added.

Concert celebrating the opening of the new block. 12

School remodelling 1986-87

1987 - Official opening of the new building

1984 - Re-roofing 1984 - Making a place for the preschool 13

We love our waterslides!



2010 - Redan Hape enjoys sliding at school camp


1978 - Pool construction

Jan 24th 1979 - Doug Hislop writes: We have had a very long hot summer holiday here at Totara North. The swimming pool has been in constant use with up to 40 swimmers per day, and has been very successful. It has been a tie for me with about 40 minutes attention a day to keep it operational but certainly well worth it.

We still enjoy the pools!


School Staff Lists Principals 1862-1877 G.T. Fergusson -1882 Mrs Johnson -1887 Jane Neil -1892 Charles Gribble -1899 John Campbell -1903 George Wilson -1910 Thomas Read -1913 Norman Harris -1916 Archibald M. Laing -1920 Bruce Forbes -1923 Norman Carr -1924 Thomas Kerr -1930 Mrs Clifford -1933 Miss Raines -1949 H.P. Mitcalfe -1947 J. Lumsden -1948 E. Insley -1949 Garnet Clegg 1950-1952 Ray Black -1957 J. Creamer -1959 J. O’Reilly -1968 Steve Waterman -1968 Ivan Hall (relieving) -1973 Thomas Howard -1975 Ian Dickson -1976 A. Karena -1977 Derek Neill -1978 Andrew Russell -1981 Doug Hislop 1981 Grant Middleton (relieving) 16

1981 Donald MacRae 1982 Andrew Russell (relieving) 1983-1988 Paul Hamlyn 1989 Maurice Shearmen 1990 Gordon Johns 1991-1994 Andrew Russell 1995-1999 Mike Pocklington 2000-2004 Peter Lindsay 2004 John Carr (relieving) 2005-2006 Claire Giesbers 2007-2008 Jose Bell 2009 – now Bastienne Kruger


Teachers 1889-91 1892-1893 1894-1898 1896 1897-99 1900-1903 1902-1903 1904 1905-1909 1910-1911 1913-1923 1919 1924-1925 -1927 1927 1928 -1931 -1933 1934-1936 1937 -1938 -1943 1944-1946 -1948 1950-1951 -1956 1957 1958-1959 1960-1968 -1973 1971 1978-1981 1981 1981 18

Emily Brown M.E. Christman Margaret Lane E.C. Alexandre Bertha Lane Mrs Boden Mary Stewart G. Holder Arabella Parker Effie Douglas Alexandrina Mitchell Una A. Garland Miss Muir Miss Garland Miss Williams Connie Fell Miss Belshaw Miss Lowry Miss Gowans Miss Stichbury E.M. Feeley M.N. Adams L. Atkins E. Brown Noeline Black Ngaire Reynolds Mrs M. Lane; Mrs N. Frear (nee Reynolds) Mrs Myra O’Reilly L. Waterman Mrs Howard Mrs Panaho Mrs P. Hislop Ms Claire Peacock Grant Middleton

1982 1983-1988 1989-2010 1992-1993 1993-1998 1994 1996-2003 2001-2004 2004-2006 2004 -2004 2006-2008 2007 2007-2011 2009 2009-current 2011-2012

TN reverted to sole charge Marilyn Hamlyn Nan Parker Sheree Garton Terry Robson Wendy Currie Vanessa O’Neill Paula Wallis Bonnie Wells Mary Archibald Heather Hackett Beth Rika Wendy Russell Ross Utton Wendy Philpot Kristina Lane Kathleen O’Hare

2012-current Jennifer Williams

Some of the Support Staff through the years Lynne Canty, Sheryl Berghan, Betty Adams, Pauline Sanderson, Karen Giles, Lou Henwood, Tracey Frear, Anita Herbert, Anne Gates, Rachel Wood, Jody Tau, Vervies Barnes, Pam Ansley.

2012 Support Staff Teacher Aides Rhonda Teixeira (Meyer) Hayley Sumner (Frear) Deanna Dixon Office Sharon Frear Cleaning & Grounds Natasha Doig Sheryl Fong


School Photos


School Picnic, 1914


Chic Lane and class, 1943






1979 24


1986 25








2000 28


2012 29

School Events - Then & Now School Steeplechases and Cross Country

The log book of 1969 records that the school steeplechase at a distance of 1400 yards was successfully run by both the boys and girls with the children putting on afternoon tea. It is also noted that this is the time when the teachers meet many of the parents. Today we still hold a yearly cross country event, hosting four other local schools. The event continues to be well supported by our parents some of whom even get their boots on to run it in support of the younger children! Our families are very generous in donating their baking to be sold on the day.

Gala Day & Hangi

1980 Doug Hislop writes that “School finished early to enable parents to set up for Gala day. Pouring with rain and doesn’t look too promising at 1pm. Rain eased by 4pm so adults came up to peel for hangi.” “A vote was taken on a motion that the price of $1 per plate be charged.” “Beautiful day for gala, still but not too hot. Big crowd attended. 9.30am start. Great atmosphere and everyone really enjoyed themselves.” Although we no longer hold a gala day the tradition of a school hangi has continued throughout the years. This year the rain came down but we still managed to pull off a perfectly cooked meal. The cost of plate for those who wanted to take one home - $10.


Cross country 2012

1962 - Hangi coming out of the ground as children watch on

2012 - Wet children line up to be seved their plate of hangi after standing in the rain to see it come out.


School Concert

December 8 1960 School Concert This was a very successful affair. The concert was held in the Saies public hall and there was seating accommodation for 120. Many people were standing. $17 was taken at the door. Four plays were presented as well as Maori action songs, calypso songs carols and verse speaking. The hall was decorated with children’s art and a stage and dressing rooms were built by the committee. I was asked to take the concert to Kaeo but refused. This years school concert was again a success with the children performing a modified version of the Pied Piper that told how the children of Totara North were taken away to start our school! We are again holding our concerts in the community hall. Performing a matinÊe for grandparents and invited guests, serving tea and cakes as well as an evening performance open for all. There is never enough seating for this performance and many still have to stand!

1965 32

Camp Camps are always an exciting and enjoyable time for the children. As we have found this has been the case for many years, and many of the destinations remain the same!

1968 - “School trip to Auckland very well managed and well accepted by all. The week was well spent educationally, the host school was marvellous, and the children’s behaviour was first rate.” 1969 - “A very profitable trip for the little people who visited Waitangi, Paihia, Opua, Russell. Many thanks to assisting parents.”

1988-89 Harbour camp

2011 Wainui bay camp - Wayne Apiata, Alayna Smith, Shanae Sumner, Michael Gregory, Ryan Smith and Nikita Sanders 33

View over school house. C.1962

1982 - Reunion celebrating 120 years 34

Stories The following are contributions from past and present members of the school community. In 1959, driving up from Hawkes Bay to Totara North in our Morris Minor with our two children and two cats we wondered how long the Maui’s fish tail was as we drove on and on into the North until we finally arrived at our new home in the mangroves. In that lovely old house we spent those years, our children starting their school life then so home and school were the same thing, all learning and growing together and only moving on at high school age. We learned some very special lessons there. Totara North has a warm place in our memories. Louise Waterman Past Teacher Fundraising is always a real tiresome chore, very time consuming and extremely hard, however it is a must to fundraise to keep the school ticking over and buy all those necessities that our Government no longer provide. A few years ago we came up with the idea of organizing “the King Of The Coast Fishing Competition. With the help of staff, parents, the Whangaroa Gamefish Club and the wider community, the competitions have all been a great success. We have a trophy and thousands of cash and prizes up for grabs each year. We are continually looking for prizes and other ways to make a dollar. This brings me back to the 1960’s as a child attending Totara North School. We had the most amazing Galas. In those days everyone, the whole community worked hard, donated goods and baked to make our Galas the best. There was always so much fun to be had and always a great bargain to be found, and the food, a real hangi for lunch, cake and sweet stalls to die for, and the smell of fresh baked bread. The games and entertainment all made the day that much more exciting and unforgettable. The whole community coming together as one. Sue Frear Past Pupil and now Parent 35

Twenty Years of Teaching at Totara North School 1987 - 2007 During my time at Totara North School I worked with many principals with their own philosophy of education. Peter Lindsay in the year 2000, stood out as an innovative principal and practitioner. He exposed the school to the driving force of powerful educational thought through Gardiner’s Multiple Intelligences and Art Costa’s Habits of Mind. Teachers were gathered from near and far and placed in positions to enhance the student’s thinking skills as well as develop the artist within. Flexibility and innovation stood centre stage. My best teaching practice was given opportunity to come to the fore at this time. The students produced skilled artwork with me and were given opportunity to play music with Jane Hillier. They made props, acted and sang and danced in whole school drama productions directed by my daughter Kate Parker. It was truly a wonderful time. I look back on my years spent at Totara North School with fondness. It gave me the opportunity to sharpen my ability to teach art and play music and made me realize that it is important in this life to ‘follow your bliss.’ Nan Parker Past Teacher


First Impressions I became a member of the Totara North School family in May 2012. Coming from teaching in schools of 300 plus children to one of 37 children was a real change. My real first impression of Totara North School was the caring, family atmosphere that I felt present. This was shown by the way the older children were playing and taking care of the younger children. The staff and the children gave me a warm welcome and made me feel that I was one of them and that I had been with them for ages. Mrs Jenny Williams Teacher

16 Years ago I enrolled our two daughters at Totara North School. Little did I know that 16 years later I would still be here! As they say the time has flown by. Children that were here back then are now sending their children to school here. Wow I must be old! In this time we have had some wonderful people come up our hill to enrich our children’s hours spent at school. From jugglers, actors, actresses, artists, singers, dancers, musicians, sportsmen & woman and they were just some of the teachers over the years. Who can forget all the student teachers? We have had them from Japan, USA, and of course NZ. Then there are all the children. There have been quite a few over the years. A lot of whom I still see and remember their names. Wow can’t be so old after all!! Wonder how many more years I will be here and how many more names and faces I will meet and remember? Rhonda Teixeira Teacher Aide


Approximately 28 years ago I became involved with the schooling system. Firstly it was to help build the Community building which was specifically built to house a Playgroup and a Community Library. Back then all the families got involved, us included, and built and constructed what is today know as the Totara North Early Childhood Centre. The school and Playgroup were jointly combined for funding and stationery supplies etc, so it was a combination of chores between the School and Playgroup which started my long involvement here. Eventually I became the school Teacher-Aide after a few years of voluntary help. I then was conned into becoming the Teacher-Aide/School Secretary by a charming Mr Russell!! And finally I am just now the School Administrator/Library, Duffy/Bookclub Co-ordinator, Canteen Cooker along with numerous other chores.. The workload has tripled over the years and I do realise why administrators can tend to get a bit grumpy! It’s not just about being the schools answerphone anymore! Over the years my 3 children, nieces, nephews and now grandchildren have been enrolled here. Wow it feels like a timeline with just my own family members! My memories of Totara North School are all the fantastic fun weekly trips away which I got to go on with all the children (including my own), the hikes up to the top of the plateau (almost weekly—great exercise!), getting soaked while fixing broken waterlines up in the yonder hills, the waterslide which even adults could have fun on, the flying fox which was situated between two huge trees in what is now the carpark! The Principals that have come and gone, and come back again! It is not easy training a new Principal each time they come and there has been quite a few in my time here. The Staff who have been great to work with, and the children who I have great affection for and treated like my own. They are the ones to make me smile and get me through my day. Nan and I often laughed and said we would need a winch chairlift system to get us up from the carpark to the school by the time we finished working our years here. Well Nan you have ventured on to exciting places, and yes I can see myself still needing a chairlift in the future!!! One big family is what this school is about and it is something to be proud of !!! Sharon Frear 38

1932-33 - Totara North School basketball team. Peggy Lane, Phyllis Hansen, Mavis Sherman, Viola Fleming, Margaret Conll, Lois Lane, Polly Johanson, Annie Saies, ?

1978 - The puppet show. Candy Speight, Karen Mansfield, Jenny Lyn McIntosh, Emma Hislop, Andrea Mansfield, Debbie Ann Sanderson. 39

Andrew Russell and Nancy Lane 40

Reflections of Sheryl Fong (1985-2012) There on the hill surrounded by trees, where tui, heron and pigeon are often still seen, stands Totara North Primary School. The water slide, flying fox, climbing nets and trampoline provided hours of fun but they are now just a memory. The asphalt replaced by concrete was a sure relief for all those bare feet. Gardens, a sports shed and sandpit have all been added too. Donated farmland was developed into a playground creating much needed space. Then the main building was extended an administration block and third class room built accommodating the burgeoning roll. People come and go, changes take place and thanks to the commitment of staff, families and the wider community our school has evolved what it is today……… A place to stand; a place to grow.

2011 - Sheryl helping Isabella throw a pot.


Some Memories of my time at Totara North School I was principal of Totara North School from the beginning of the 1960’s and stayed for eight years because we were happy and our children Sue and Mark loved growing up there. At this time it was a two teacher school and my wife Louise taught alongside me in the primmer room. It wasn’t long after we arrived before we realised that it was a special place with a strong sense of community and a desire for the residents to keep their own school. The location of the school was ideal and I soon found out how fabulous the fishing was in the harbour in those days. The area was also steeped in history and it was a great jumping off place for school visits to the nearby historic Bay of Islands and the Kerikeri district. Locally there were school walking trips to the rocky outcrops of St Pauls, St Peters, Taratara, exploration of the nearby bush to study flora, sketch, observe and discussing what we had seen and a great opportunity for art and craftwork. It was from this bush that the children were able to take the timber to build the Maori whare in the school grounds and decorate it with the panels and carvings. There were special days of the year set aside for particular activities e.g. Hosting and visiting other schools in the area for sporting activities. Gala days at the end of the year when children and parents participated in competitions, games and skills and where the children displayed their school work and finishing the day with song, dance and items on the asphalt area. In summer there were swimming excursions to nearby Shelley Beach when everyone took their lunch and walked around to the bay and swam and practiced water skills while Louise and I counted heads seeing that everyone was safe. It was nerve racking. Parents were welcome to come and many did. At the end of the year before the Xmas holidays we had a special swim day. A hangi was put down and opened at midday, lots of cake was eaten and soft drinks and tea was on hand. At this time we also held a concert in the Saies Hall and all of the children in the school took part. There were plays, sketches, song and dance routine and plenty of Maori action songs. We took all of the chairs and some of the tables from the school for the audience to sit on and use. The concert was held on a Thursday night and the next day was 42

a holiday. In those days the Education Board allowed one day each term to be taken for shopping etc. to a bigger town because the school was in an isolated area. One year an inspector came on the Friday. We were down at the house getting ready to go on our shopping day outing. He found the school empty of the furniture and nobody around. He came down to the house and knocked on the door. Louise answered, still in her dressing gown. I heard him say, “Where is Mr Waterman?” I went to meet him. “Where are all the children?” he said, “and where is all the furniture?” I explained about the concert. He said in very aggressive tone, “It would have been nice if you had let the department know what your plans were.” I agreed and said, “Would you like a cup of tea?” “That would be nice” he said. We both laughed and he came into the house. Those were the days. Mr Steve Waterman Past Principal

School whare built by the children and community. Colour photos taken in 1962 when it was completed.


I love teaching at Totara North School. Walking up the hill every morning and looking out across the bush is a far cry from the city schools I had taught in before moving back to the area. The children and families here are wonderful. The small school feels more like an extended family and getting to know them has been a pleasure. The culture of the school is refreshing in todays P.C. world. From walking on stilts, to using saws on the woodwork table, and designing pulleys to hoist themselves high into the trees. The children here are allowed to be children and the free play is unlike that of any other school I have worked in. Kristina Lane Teacher


1964 44

Children’s writing Totara North School is the Best

I want to explain why Totara North is my School. There

are lots of reasons for this. The main reason is we have

two pools. The second reason is we are having a concert.

Another reason is we get lunch orders. So now you can see why Totara North School is the best. By Shanae Sumner. Age 7, 2012

Totara North School is Cool!

I want to explain why Totara North School is the best school. There are lots of reasons for this. The main

reason is we are allowed to play. The second reason is

we get to go to bible. Another reason is we get to read with Miss Lane. So now you can see why Totara North School is such a good school. By Nina Quinlan. Age 5, 2012

Juniors Unique Nice Incredible Only little Respectable Smaller

By Jessica Quinlan. Age 6, 2012 45

I like the trees at our school because they make the places all nice. I

also like the playground. I like going down a long waterslide when we go on camp.

By Elizabeth Varney. Age 6, 2012

By Lexus Hayes. Age 6, 2012

In the Classroom We do work

In the classroom

We do good mahi In the classroom

By Terhysa Davies-Sherwin. Age 5, 2012 46

In 2012 there are more than one hundred farmers and in 1900 there were less than forty farmers. By Kayle Hyde Age 8, 2012

In The Classroom

We do maths and take aways In the classroom We learn to read

In the classroom

We learn to move up a group In the classroom

By Anthony Durack-Barnes. Age 6, 2012

In the Classroom

In the classroom

We play study ladder We do reading

In the classroom

We do our writing In the classroom

By Kadin Taylor. Age 6, 2012

INTERVIEWS Trevor Frear-we used to get whipped by a belt. The teacher would say put your hand out and get the whip. He said it hurt real bad. Gwenyth Frear- they used to go for a walk up the hill where big logs were. It was right up the top of the hill. Avril Manning - They used to have to take the children to the top field to hide in holes so the booms couldn’t get them. By Keela Cashmore Age 9, 2012


Letters to convince Mr Fergusson, the first principal of Totara North School in 1862, to buy a computer for the school. Dear Mr Fergusson “I understand you know nothing about new technology, and for that reason I decided to help you get the main idea. I also understand,

to you the typewriter is your so called “new” technology. Just so you know ipads are the new thing now, not typewriters.” Georgia Mills

Age 10, 2012 “A computer is run by power. Power is a sort of electricity that runs in power lines. First you turn on the computer by pressing a button that turns it on and off.” Anneka Hyde. Age 10, 2012 “You can type on it “NOW” you’re probably thinking what is typing?

Well like I said typing is when you for example press h, the hard drive will get the signal and the message will go through a wire and send it to the screen and it also can print on paper in colour and it is good if

you don’t know something it will give you the answer and it will keep you quiet and entertained.” Clara Cathcart Age 10, 2012

“Since you came to the school I was thinking how hard it was for you to understand how we have computers to work on. I live on a farm so I play with dogs and rabbits. The computer has wires that are similar to our brains. Also the hard drive stores information like our brain. In 2012 we have computers and in your time you had quill pens.” Kayle Hyde Age 8, 2012


“Dear Mr. Fergusson, you can use a mouse to click on things and not a mouse that cats eat, it’s a medium circle that can move the arrow around on the screen. And it’s plugged into a key board. To turn it on there’s a button that looks like this turns it on.”

and when you press it

Damian Isherwood Age 10, 2012

Dear Mr. Fergusson I think you should get a computer because they can hold more information than a brain. The computer is easier than writing with a pencil or a quill pen. The computer looks like a box of metal and you click buttons to research for things. If you want a computer and need to know more I can help you, just write back to me. David Frear Age 10, 2012

New look classroom- the senior room 2012

Kelly, Zane and Sam enjoying using the computers 49

“Dear Mr. Fergusson I reckon you should get a computer because you can get Google and you can play games and my favourite gaming site

is moshi monsters and also you can get information if you want to do some research. That’s why you should get a computer. “ Faith Archer

Age 9, 2012

Dear Mr. Fergusson I think that you should get a computer because it will help you find out some things that you don’t know. When you get bored you can play games. There’s maths games, educational games and also you can search for facts and jokes. If you don’t know what the internet is - it is a website that you can search anything that you want. You can also go on word document and you can write stories and that’s why I think that you should get a computer.

Sam Shepherd Age 10, 2012

“Dear Mr Fergusson when you came to our school you didn’t really know anything about computers so I am going to tell you all about them.

I am first going to tell you what games you can play you can play. Math games, science games, language games and much more.” Isabella Nicolay Barnes Age 10, 2012

“Dear Mr Fergusson I know you are confused but I will tell you about computers now in 2012. We use computers to learn because we don’t really like writing. When you push a button it writes whatever you want to write but you have to push the right letter to write something otherwise you can’t search what you wrote.” Jemaykah Davies Age 8, 2012


Dear Mr Fergusson

“I, Joshua Sanders will prove to you that computers are better then quills and ink wells (rubbers too).

1. Computers need nothing but cleaning and electricity (lightning), Warning! Don’t use water or dusty cloths to clean!

2. You’ll be able to back up to mistakes and no evil rubber to use (press the backspace button).

3. Computers are fun things, great things, learning things, amazing things, strange things, things from dreams so an adventure of

amazing and wondrous research and happiness wrapped into a creation of pure genius.”

Joshua Sanders. Age 11, 2012 I think that you should get a computer because it will help you find out some things that you don’t know. When you get bored you can play games there’s maths games, educational games and also you can search facts and jokes. Sam Shepherd . Age 10, 2012 “I will tell a lot of stuff now. There is metal box that stores a lot of information that you may not know about. A microchip is a lump

of metal and you didn’t know that I bet. And when you type on the square letters you spell something on the computer.” Paula Rikona. Age 9, 2012

“Computers were made for researching stuff. My name is Joshua Jeffrey. In the computer there is copper microchips. It’s for stuff to print that is a photo and to see you tube. If it is a short show or movie you can write and print it or send it to people. You can play games and maze games or puzzles, poptropica, studyladder, Cool maths 4 kids and Roblox. To start the computer with a button like this.


computer looks like this.” Joshua Jeffery Age 8, 2012


“I had noticed when you were here you had no idea what a laptop or computer was so I’m going to tell you why you should get a computer. A computer can help with different types of research. Research is what kids like us use to find something that we know nothing about. We now you used to use books we still use books too but not a lot.” Keela Cashmore Age 9, 2012

“I think you should use a computer because instead of writing by hand you can just press a button and if you want to copy anything instead

of copying it all by hand you can just send a message to a thing called a photocopier that copies as many copies as you want. By the way this letter is written on the computer which has a screen, a keyboard and the computer brain.” Oscar Martin

Age 10, 2012

Dear Mr Fergusson I know you had some difficulty learning about the future so I will help you. The metal machine that frightened you is a computer. This letter is from a computer. The computer is like the human brain but stores more information. There is the memory that’s called microchip. The internet is what everyone uses. Computers are our friends and helpful because if you need to write to someone in England you can email them. Email is a thing to send letters like carrier pigeons. The bottom bit with Q, W, E, R, T, Y, U, I, O, P and so on is called a key board. (It has nothing to do with a key)Everyone in 2012 has a computer … Well most of them so you should come back and get one and if you get a computer please don’t bring it to your time or the people will steal it or time will be mixed up. Nikita Sanders Age 9, 2012


Our Teachers

My best teacher is every single one. And my kind

teacher is Mrs. Kruger, Mrs. Williams, Miss Dixon and Ms Lane. My learning teacher is the same teachers in

my last sentence said. And my funniest teacher is Miss Dixon.

Jemaykah Davies Age 8, 2012

Special Memories

I remember when we went on camp out at a big building by Tauranga bay and the hula hoop hit me in the nose. I also remember when Keela, Alayna and I went into the fitness track.

Jemaykah Davies Age 8, 2012

Old history

In the olden school days the principal of Totara north school was Mr.Fergusson He all ways had this really sore leather strap and if your writing is messy or if your naughty you will get the strap.

Isabella Nicolay-Barnes. Age 10, 2012

Things we say

By Anneka Hyde Mrs Kruger: Where is your booklet? Sharon: Who needs to order? Sheryl : Who wants to help with the plants? Rhonda: Don’t get dirty! Miss Lane: Sticker for you! Mrs. Williams: Time for lunch! Edwin: Who wants to play cans?


The naughtiest thing would be when Clara and I unplugged the microphones. We got in trouble big time but it was fun getting in trouble with a friend. Nikita Sanders Age 9, 2012 Special memories - Kayle Hyde

Nearly each year we go for a camp. Last time we went to the beach and we went looking for star fish and

crabs. We found one big fat crab it was nearly the size

of a book. The next rock we looked under it fell on my leg it was sore.

Special memories - Oscar Martin Favourite: Wacky hair day Naughtiest: Sneaking off

Fun: movies with Mr.Utton

Special memories - Rupe Vaikai

I enjoy it every Thursday when Kiwi Can come over to our school to

try and teach us the value of everything. The games and activities are really awesome. There’s one game in particular that I like, it’s called tandem soccer. Most people fell over trying to get a goal. It was real

hard since you play in the hula-hoop that they shared with someone else’s also like to play Lego with Damion and others. Lego is little plastic things you can create buildings, machines, and vehicles. It

comes with little characters. Making the sculpture design with Grant

and the rest of the group has been a great opportunity . Miss Williams and Miss Moss are my favourite teachers.


The world war one was on then the kids started to

come here at Totara North. They had no pencils like

we have and they had a black board but we have white board. They had very strict teachers and if they had messy hand writing or be naughty they would get a

smack on the hand with a strap. I think it would hurt. By Kayle Hyde. Age 8, 2012


Totara North School booklet by Paula Rikona (This has been left as she wrote it.)


Georgia Mills after the talks of: Gwenyth; when I was young we used to walk to school and it was real embarrassing because no one wore

shoes. When we had school photos it was quite funny because there were only about two people wearing

shoes. Can you guess who they were? That’s right -

me and my younger sister . I was never really naughty but I did get the strap for my messy hand writing. It still isn’t that tidy now.

Avril; One of my memories of school is when the world war two was on we had this trench up by where the’

top field is now. When we got there we put the sheep

wool in between our ears and put the cork in between

our teeth. This was our routine so that we got used to protecting our self in case of the real thing.


Kelly Rule. Age 5, 2012

It is important to come to school because we do maths like plus and minus. We can use the potting wheel and we can read. The best things about our school are the woodwork table and the library becasue we can read. By Wayne Apiata. Age 7, 2012


By Heath Wilmott, Age 6

My first day at school - Faith Archer I started school in 2008. To get ready I bought a new school bag, made my lunch and got into my school clothes. I came to school by car. When I got to school I went to find my new classroom. I remember being shy.

It is important to come to school because we learn how to be nice. We learn to count. We learn to use computers. By Hinewai Te Whata, Age 6 59

Haikus by the Senior Class 2012



Children’s Artwork This year the children learnt about the creation of a personal kowhaiwhai that depicts the people that are important to us. Each child made their kowhaiwhai in clay, shaping it to a form they were happy with before transferring it to paper. The designs where then used to create various artworks that tell a story of who we are, where we come from and what is important to us.

The New Zealand brown kiwi represents New Zealand. The kowhaiwhai stands for my special family. Monga mimi is our big hill.

The German flag is for special mum.

We have heaps of beautiful ferns at my house. Jessica Quinlan. (Age 6, 2012)


Puketi forest and Waiare river represents my home. The New Zealand map of Northland shows Northland. The truffle and the English flag

is the country that my dad came from. Taratara rock I can see on my way to school. The southern cross I can sometimes see at night. “BY ISAAC VARNEY!” (Age 7, 2012)

Terhysa Davies-Sherwin, age 5




flag is because Mum

and Shayle lived in Australia.

I am going to England


see my

Poppa for Awhile. I





Anthony Durack-Barnes (Age 6, 2012)


Wayne Apiata, age 7

Taratara rock is near my house. My dad is part Scottish because his mum and

dad are too. My mum is part Irish.

My whole family is Maori. Fairies are my favourite. from New Zealand. The silver fern represents this.



By Trinity Rule (Age 7, 2012)


Alayna Smith, age 8

Josh and Nikita are on my artwork because they are my brother and sister. Taratara rock is near my house. By Bianca Walburn. Age 6, 2012 66

Heath Wilmott, age 6

Jemaykah Davies

Hinewai Te Whata, age 6 67

Ryan Smith


1. I like skating.

2. I go skating with my brother and we

Skate in the car park.

3. I like fishing with my mum and dad

4. I chose purple

because I like purple.

By Zane Ruifrok-Palmer Age 7, 2012

Elizabeth Varney, age 6


Nina Quinlan, age 5

Georgia Mills

Anneka Hyde, age 10 70

The flag representing N.Z. it is the flag of

my country because I

live in N.Z. The horse shows that I want a horse so I can ride

it. My family on the purple shows that I have a family.

By Shanae Sumner Age 7, 2012



Joshua Sanders, age 11

Redan Hape, age 8 73

Isabella, age 10


Kadin Taylor, age 6 75

Max Piesse

Leila Isherwood 76

Nikita Sanders, age 9 77

Commemorative Works Sculpture

Totara North Sculpture Design Before visualising the sulpture design I talked with both students and staff soliciting their views on what symbols the sculpture should contain. What resulted is an evolving co-construction of the ideas of the school community. The three lendrils entwining to the top of the sculpture are the three koru in the school emblem. The handprints are a snapshop in time of we who are present at the school in 2012. The book, clock, and heart were symbols chosen by the senior students expressing their feelings about the school. 78

Totara North School 150th Reunion Song Written By The Senior Class Of 2012 - Tune Setting By Grant Goodwin In 1862 Mr Fergusson started this school He was really smart, He surely was no fool That man knew that the school would last And now 150 years have passed And now in 2012 we celebrate Totara North school where you will find Everybody here so kind We always share, we always care It feels like we belong in a Magic place so strong Our motto is A place to stand a place to grow That is where we love to go Totara North School you’ll never forget Totara North School you’ll never regret At Totara North we greet the sun That’s where we have lots of fun But walking up the hill is hard on our will It’s so hard to climb up But easy to drive up. With kiln and wheel, pots we have made This is the history our school has laid down Refrain: Our memories will never depart Totara North is in our heart And then there’s the musicals we perform That’s where confidence is born Our sculpture design I think you’ll find Has the past the present and the future in mind. Chorus: And our motto is A place to stand a place to grow That is where we love to go Totara North School you’ll never forget Totara North School you’ll never regret 79

Credits We would like to acknowledge the following sources: Gwenyth Frear’s Books - “Totara North: first and second 70 years” and “Nga Kura o Whangaroa”. The Whangaroa museum - for the photos of the school in 1914 and 1946. Sue McMah - for sending and allowing us to use all the photos her father Steve Waterman took during his years at Totara North School.

As part of the celebrations our 150th birthday cake will be cut by our eldest past pupil, Ray Johanson age 92. She will be joined by the youngest current pupil, Kelly Rule age 5 and his sister Trinity age 7. Kelly and Trinity are also direct descendants of our first principal George Fergusson. We have done our best to make this book as accurate as possible from the information we had. We acknowledge that some photos and events had conflicting dates and apologise for any errors or omissions. Thank you to everyone who has contributed in some way.

A place to stand, A place to grow He Turangawaewae, Mo te matauranga

Totara North School 2012

150 Years. Reunion held on 20th October 2012. 80

Totara North School 1862-2012  

150th Reunion book

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