Seatoun School Centenary 2021
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We invite all who have had involvement with the school to be part of these celebrations. At this early stage we are yet to confirm when in 2021 we will have our celebrations.
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Do you have a photo from 1918 when the school building was used as a hospital or perhaps a story someone shared with you?
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A little bit of history
First School at Worser Bay:
With population growing, the first school in the district was opened in 1897 in the Church Hall in Beach Road, with a roll of sixteen under Miss A.L Banks, later Mrs Brown. A school room was then built on the present Worser Bay School site, with Mr W.W. Rowntree as head teacher from 1903 to 1920. Further growth led to the opening on 12 September 1916, of a side school at Seatoun in a room rented from the Presbyterian Church, with Mrs W. Rowntree in charge. On the present site a two-roomed school was erected and occupied on 9 September 1918. These two rooms are the front rooms of the present school.
Seatoun School: In 1921 the school was separated from Worser Bay. Increasing numbers of children created accommodation difficulties over the years, the Presbyterian and Anglican churches frequently making their halls available as classrooms. Much correspondence passed between Department, Board and Committee in settling the problems. Heartburnings arose as schools were opened at Miramar South and Strathmore Park and pupils were “directed” away from Seatoun School to ease the overcrowding when a peak roll of 480 was reached in 1948. The opening of an intermediate department at Rongotai College and in 1964 the Evans Bay Intermediate School lowered the roll and made Seatoun a contributing school with standard four as its top class. In 1971 there were 249 pupils under the control of Mr M. W. Hoy and a staff of 10.
Today we currently have an enrolment scheme that ensures our end of year roll is around 440 students, Mr John Western is the Principal and a staff of 39.
Opening few paragraphs from 50th Jubilee Booklet
The opening paragraph of the 50th Jubilee booklet, written by Reg Luxford, states:
“In June 1969, at a meeting at the Seatoun School, a committee was set up to organise a golden jubilee. Twenty-three months later, on a Friday afternoon, after many willing workers had spent countless hours on the multitudinous tasks associated with such a project, this committee waited with anticipation to measure the result of their efforts. They were not disappointed. Within short time hundreds of former pupils, teachers and visitors were milling around, talking, laughing, reminiscing, looking at old photos and meeting friends of former times.”
The forward from the 75th Jubilee (October 1996) booklet, written by Board Chair of the day, Chris Baker, makes interesting reading. It includes:
“The school has gone through many changes in recent years but there would be few more auspicious times to have a Jubilee celebration than at present. Because of the popularity of the school, and of Seatoun community, as I write this forward we are awaiting confirmation from the Ministry of Education that the community’s wish has been granted to have the existing school replaced by a larger school located at Fort Dorset”
She goes on to write “Tomorrows Schools have changed the way schools are run and how the education of our children is delivered. Some of the positive aspects of these changes relate to the community’s ability to influence how the school is run and few communities would have taken more advantage of this than the Seatoun community.”