Stoke School’s youngest students, Isabella Motino-Wilton (left) and Sadie Loper (right) are with principal Sarah Davies (centre) holding some early artifacts and photos from the school. Photo: Kate Russell.

No small anniversary: Stoke School turns 175


A quartoseptcentennial anniversary is no ordinary milestone.

That’s why Stoke School want to go big for their 175th birthday in September and would like the public to help them piece together its history ahead of the celebration.

“Some of the school’s history is unknown and we want to understand how it has changed over time,” says principal Sarah Davies.

“We’d love any past pupils living in our region to reach out.”

What they do know is that the school originally opened in 1845 on Waimea Rd, when Stoke was known as Brook Green.

Around five years later it moved to the site of the present St. Barnabas’ Church, before eventually settling at its current site on Main Rd Stoke where the well-known hoop pine tree stands.

Behind Wakefield School, it is the second oldest, still-running state primary school in the country.

Sarah says many unnamed photos and interesting artifacts have surfaced over the years, including a pot used for filling inkwells, found by contractors while undertaking a building project.

“We’d love to know more. The big thing for us is getting people together to share stories and memories with our tamariki.”

For the anniversary, the school is planning a series of events from September 23 to 26 and registrations are now open for anyone who wants to attend.

“Some of the activities we have planned are an open day through the school to see children’s work, the lifting of the time capsule that was put down 25 years ago, a luncheon, dinner, and a photo/ memorabilia display,” says organiser Lucy Jackson.

The school is also putting on a production, which will tell the story through the years and will be themed around the 175th celebrations.

“We’re seeking any support we can get from the community to help celebrate this massive milestone for the school.”

For more information on the event, go to the ‘Stoke School 175th Anniversary’ Facebook page.

If you would like to share any photos or memories, you can email [email protected] com or call 547 7582.