Feilding Herald : January 8th 2015
16 THURSDAY, JANUARY 8, 2015 FEATURE Old school: The Waller house. Its living room was the first schoolroom in 1913. Photos:FROMTHE BAINESSE SCHOOL 100TH JUBILEE BOOK. At the beginning: Early pupils with the teacher in their classroom. Foundation educator: Flora McKenzie, first junior mistress at Bainesse School. ‘Slice of heaven’ for a century A small school with a big heart has turned 100, writes Tina White. Bainesse School stands atop a small hill in the Manawatu countryside, on Highway 56, about 20 minutes from Palmerston North. Not so long ago, it narrowly escaped being shut down like other nearby country schools. Today, it has passed its 100th year and is reinvented as a 21st-century learning hub. The 100th jubilee was celebrated in April 2013, but a few weeks ago the school’s centennial book was launched. It’s an impressive 176-page memento detailing the fun, the ups and downs, the changing times and most of all, the community spirit that has kept this indomitable rural school running. Book editor Gill Absolon says in the foreword to Bainesse: Celebrating 100 Years of Rural Community and Primary Education: ‘‘Bainesse, community and school, is the core of our universe . . . our school is the centre of our com- munity, and by the same token, our community is the strength of our school.’’ Former and current teachers and principals have contributed memories; school committees, trustees and supporters are included, with photos and a century timeline of local, national and international news. The school opened in 1913 in the living room of a Bainesse-area farmhouse, with Miss Flora McKenzie as the first junior mistress. Her nephew, Bruce McKenzie, has added his own childhood memoir about Helen Flora McKenzie and the art nouveau book she gave him, spurring his adult love of books and design. Miss McKenzie died in Palmerston North in 1964. The restrictions placed on teachers 100 years ago were stringent, according to the 1915 ‘‘rules for teachers’’ supplied by Bruce McKenzie for the centennial book. For women: ‘‘You will not marry LIFESTYLE Property Brokers Manawatu Limited Licensed REAA 2008 Great Summer living 120 Fergusson Street FEILDING Office 06 323 5544 $539,000 WEB ID FL39981 MT BIGGS 359 Mt Biggs Road What a great summer home, this is a property that makes the most of those long warm evenings. Take advantage of both the panoramic views and the ever important outdoor flow. The park like setting offers not only a wonderful outlook but options for family and pets. Crank up the BBQ, get out the cricket set, or just relax and watch the children. If you have green fingers you will enjoy the self-sufficiency of this property with your own veggie garden and orchard plus space to further develop more paddocks if you wish. The current owners have developed a gorgeous scenic dam and walk way perfect for a casual stroll. VIEW Sunday 11 Jan 2.30 - 3.00pm Lianne Masters OPEN HOME Wanting an easy care lifestyle SANSON 2207 State Highway 3 This country home was built in 2008 and offers great space being 221m2 in size and has the luxury of a triple internal access garage. Well positioned and easy commuting to Palmerston North, Ohakea, Feilding or Rangitikei. A sought after location that is quickly being developed into a upmarket lifestyle area. The property offers two good sized paddocks plus a large lawn area that could be converted into extra paddocks if you require. Set well off the road, surrounded by farmland, offering rural outlook and privacy from the road behind mature plantings, it is a good looking home that you will appreciate as you approach the property. VIEW Sunday 11 Jan 11.45 - 12.15pm Lianne Masters OPEN HOME www.propertybrokers.co.nz email@example.com Office 06 323 1520 Mobile 027 288 1801 3 3 4 firstname.lastname@example.org Office 06 323 1520 Mobile 027 288 1801 2 2 4 $519,000 WEB ID FL40846 during the term of your contract; you are not to keep company with men; you must be home between the hours of 8pm and 6am unless attending a school function; and you may not leave the city limits without the permission of the chairman of the board. Male teachers ‘‘may take one evening per week for courting purposes, or two evenings a week if they go to church regularly; any teacher who uses liquor in any form, frequents pool or public halls or gets shaved in a barber’s shop will give good reason to suspect his worth, intention, integrity and honesty.’’ After five years of faithful and faultless service, the male teacher got a pay rise of two shillings and sixpence a week. Sampling of centennial book memoirs: ❚ Eddie Millard recalls the tough years of World War II. Several pupils travelled to school on horseback, ‘‘so our front lawn was the horse paddock during school hours’’. ❚ In 1990, new arrival Phil Pirie was asked to join the school’s board of trustees. It was the era of Tomorrow’s Schools, with policywriting, school management, and easing into work previously handled by paid Ministry of Education staff. However, ‘‘we had a very strong board of trustees and school community that was determined the school would not close under any circumstances. This strong community spirit was shown, particu- larly with school events like calf club, sports days, school camps, sleepovers, picnics, parents’ evenings, use of the school pool and community events.’’ ❚ Former teacher Penny Yanko recalls ‘‘amazing fun – we did things that only could or would be done at a rural school. Driving the school bus; eating ostrich and emu eggs; the trolley derby; resident wetas and fantails in the juniors’ room. . .’’ ❚ Hiroko Croft came to the school to teach Japanese for six months – and ended up with firm friends and a Kiwi husband. ❚ Danielle Harris attended Bainesse School in 1979-1981 after her family returned to their ancestral land at Puketotara, Rangiotu. ‘‘I think we only had a roll of about 28 at the time and I was the only student in form 2. My grandmother Barbara Devonshire also went to Bainesse School along with many of my uncles and aunties.’’ ❚ During Arthur Roache’s term as principal (1991-2001) with his wife Glennys as junior teacher, the school students won Rongotea Lions’ Top School competition many times, ‘‘possibly because teamwork was emphasised in all aspects of school life . . . one year Bainesse School won six of the eight local cross-country events.’’ Later, ‘‘it became more difficult to keep the rural schools in the area going. We saw two nearby schools close, which was very concerning indeed. These were tough times for Bainesse. Members of a new board of trustees at this time developed skills they never knew they had. It was their experience, dedication, fortitude and support of the community that got us over this rocky road. The staff, pupils and district cannot thank them too much. Current school principal Andrea Harnett sums it all up: ‘‘Bainesse School is a little slice of heaven on a hill that brings people together and inspires young minds.’’ Generations: Nine decades separate Bainesse School’s youngest and oldest pupils. Dorothy Gimblett, 95, started at the school in 1918, with newest entrant McKenzie Ambler, 5.
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