Plans take shape for school’s 150th

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Graduates... Brent Perkins, Ben Perkins (12), Kate Perkins (14), Aron Perkins and Rose Perkins (16) are the most recent of several generations of Perkins to have attend Tuturau school. PHOTO: FIONA ELLIS

It is probable there was some excitement amid the very first Tuturau Primary School pupils as they stepped into their new classroom in the summer of 1871.

Nearly 150 years later, the school community is excited to be planning an anniversary celebration.

Organising committee member Lisa Perkins said she felt connected to the school, despite never attending herself.

Among these early children were her family forebears.

“My husband and his family go back to the original pupils, several generations back,” Mrs Perkins said.

“Coincidentally, my great-great-grandmother was also one of the early pupils as well.

Her own children also attended the school.

“My last one finished last year.”

The anniversary celebration would be held next year on the weekend of the of March 26 and 27.

On the 26th, people would have the chance to swap stories at a meet-and-greet and light supper.

Different historical displays would be on show.

“There will be memorabilia from the past. Some of the original roll books are still around, which is cool.”

There would also be a range of photos and “basically anything we can get hold of”.

She encouraged former pupils to come forward to share memories and memorabilia.

“We’re putting the feelers out in the community.”

Former pupils living in Australia and the United States would get involved by sending video recordings of their memories to be played during the event.

The next day, there would be a bus tour of the district.

This would be a tour focusing not only on the school’s history but also the history of the community.

The organising committee was working hard to co-ordinate the event, which they hoped would be well attended, she said.

“There’s about 12 of us. It’s quite a big group. There’s a real mix and everyone’s got a wee part to play in getting this organised.

“Anyone that was or has been involved in the school or in the district should come along.

“There’s a lot of local interest.

“There’s a pre-registration available now.”

Mrs Perkins’ brother-in-law Brent Perkins would be there for the anniversary celebrations of the school, which he attended in the 1970s.

“All my children have gone to school here as well.”

In some ways the school was still very similar to how it appeared when he was a pupil.

“The classrooms haven’t changed too much.”