VIDEO: Mahana School turns 100


Being able to celebrate 100 years is an achievement to be proud of and one Mahana School has just experienced.

Their centenary celebrations began last Friday and came to an end on Sunday, the official day the school started exactly 100 years ago.

Over the weekend ex pupils returned to their little country school in Mahana to remember their primary and intermediate years, see the changes to the school and reunite with old school friends.

“It was a lovely school to go to, really cool school, really country. [We had] pet days and sports days, we weren’t scholars, we were outdoor people, and the Oak tree, I have very fond memories of sitting under there reading,” say sisters Pauline Schwass, 1961-69 and Lynette Eden, 1956-63.

“It was just an enjoyable experience, we had lots of fun. [It was a] small community, you knew everyone. I just live next door and the school started off in my parents shed and my grandmother donated the land for the school house so our orchard surrounded the school,” says Lila Kemp, 1955-63.

Over 300 people attended the centenary celebrations, including some of the schools ex principals.

“It was marvelous, we were really, really pleased, the whole event went better than expected, even better than it could have,” says current principal Justin Neal.

For Justin there were two highlights from the three day event, the first being the Friday when the current pupils gave the ex students a tour of the school, along with the mystery bus ride on Sunday. “That was fun because people had relaxed and got to know each other again. They had the microphone and they were stopping off and talking about things from their childhood, events that had happened, places they used to go, they were funny stories,” says Justin.

While there were so many people to thank for the success of the schools centenary, Justin would like to mention Katie Denley for coordinating the event, Freshmax for their sponsorship, Woollaston Estate for the generous use of their venue and Moutere Hills Community Centre for the generous use of their hall.