ex pupils

Takapuna Grammar School Alumni

Welcome

All past pupils and staff of Takapuna Grammar School are warmly welcomed to register for our Past Pupils network – Takapuna Grammar School Alumni. We will endeavour to maintain close links with you via this website, our regular Grammar Link newsletters, the school newsletter Ad Augusta and the recently created Takapuna Grammar School Alumni Facebook page.

If you have any news about past pupils and teachers, or memories of your time at Takapuna Grammar School please let me know so we can share it with everyone. This is a great opportunity to catch up and find out what you’ve all been up to.

Please help us to stay in touch by entering your contact details here and remember to e-mail, call or text me if you need to update any of your contact details.

Many thanks
Wendy Strain

e-mail: w.strain@takapuna.school.nz

phone: 489 4167

post:
Wendy Strain
Takapuna Grammar School Foundation Trust
P O Box 331558
Takapuna 0740

Past Pupils Association Membership Form

Register Online
or download the form and send to: 
Wendy Strain
Takapuna Grammar School Ex-Pupils
PO Box 331558, Takapuna
Email Ex-Pupils@takapuna.school.nz
Phone: 489 4167

 

Newsletters 2016

Ex Pupils 90th Reunion - Labour Weekend 2017

Ex Pupils 90th Reunion - Labour Weekend 2017 (Friday, 20th, Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd)

Registration will be open later this year...but please mark the date in your diary and spread the word.

Ex-Pupil Liaison w.strain@takapuna.school

Reunion Convenor b.wynn@takapuna.school.nz

We would welcome anyone keen to become involved in the organisation of the event - we need you...contact linda@no9productions.co.nz

 

 PROVISIONAL PROGRAMME FORMAT

 

 

Provisional Programme (TBC)

 

Friday 20th October     

Saturday 21st October

Sunday 22nd October

0900

 

 

Registration Open

Registration Open

1000

 

Powhiri and Official Welcome

 

 

Church Service

1100

1200

Group Photos in Hall

Sports Showcase

1300

 

Takafest and Open School Showcase

 

 

Classrooms in Action

Choirs

Brass Band

Drama

Netball

Hockey

Soccer

Basketball

Rugby

FAREWELL….

1400

1500

Registration Open

1600

1700

1800

 

 

Welcome Function

 

 

Official Dinner

 

1900

2000

2100

2200

 

 

 

 

Annual ANZAC Service

Since 1954 an annual Anzac Service has been held in the Takapuna Grammar School Memorial Library at 5.30pm on Anzac Day. It is held in honour of and to commemorate the 85 ex-pupils killed while on service in World War II and in Korea. It is attended by the next-of-kin of those whose names are recorded on the memorial windows in the library. Ex-pupils who saw service in war time and the families also attend. Representatives of the school, the Board of Trustees, staff, prefects and pupils attend along with local dignitaries.

The format of the service, is always the same with the National Anthem, two hymns, a reading by the Principal, a prayer read by the Head Girl, an item provided by a group of present pupils, and an address by an invited guest. The Roll of Honour is read and two wreaths are laid on behalf of Ex-Pupils and the school. Accompanying music has, for many years been provided by the North Shore Brass Band.  A supper is enjoyed by the guests after the service. It is pleasing to note that the numbers who attend this service have increased over recent years.

Prefects 1969

Ross Chapman Ex Pupil and Caretaker at TGS

 

 

Foundation Pupil Harry Bioletti

It is with profound sadness that we learnt of the passing of Harry Lewis Bioletti.

He was the last surviving foundation pupil of Takapuna Grammar and a great supporter of our school.

In 2012 Harry, then aged 98, shared recollections of his school days at Takapuna Grammar with prefect Andy Strain.  Sadly he passed away in April 2013 aged 99.  Harry was a surf life saver, soldier, builder, rugby referee, school teacher, musician, author and historian, mayor and family patriarch. 

Current Sports Update for TGS

click here

Memories of School Days

Memories of a North Shore Nonagenarian

By Angela Te Wiata

 

On April 16, 1926, when Max Hart was just five months and 18 days old, a significant event occurred in the history of education at Takapuna on Auckland’s sparsely populated North Shore: the Minister of Education James Parr laid the foundation stone for Takapuna Grammar School.

 

It was the same year Scotsman Captain John Algie built another North Shore icon, Merksworth Castle on Hurstmere Road, as a symbol of his undying love for his new Scottish bride.

 

In 1939, 13 years after Mr Parr cemented the school’s foundation stone in place with an ornate trowel with a greenstone handle, Max Hart, was a timid new student as he walked through the gates to begin his secondary education.

 

Now, nearly 80 years later a thoroughly charming Max Hart, his wife Shirley and their son Adrian spent a chilly winter morning recalling for me and Takapuna Grammar archivist, Wendy Strain, some of the highlights of his time at Takapuna Grammar and his life on the North Shore.

 

 

After 90 years Max Hart is still one of the North Shore’s biggest fans.

 

He was born on the North Shore, educated on the North Shore and has lived most of his life on the North Shore, apart from a short spell overseas after World War II.

 

His education began at Takapuna Primary School but it was his secondary education at Takapuna Grammar which shaped Max’s talent and kindled the two passions which were to become an integral part of his life – sculpting and civil engineering.

 

Most of Max Hart’s working life after he left Takapuna Grammar was dominated by his career as a civil engineer with the Ministry of Works. Among his engineering achievements was the Victoria Park overbridge in Auckland.

 

During a four and a half year spell in England shortly after World War II he also worked from an office in the historic area of Holborn he designed many of the London buildings which replaced those brought down in one of the heaviest bombing blitzes in military history.

 

But as a young teenager at Takapuna Grammar another passion was emerging for the talented Max Hart. He enjoyed nothing more in his spare time than sculpting. He began with heads, creating bronze busts of his three children first, Sue, Adrian and Christopher. He was taught sculpture from professional art teacher Lyndon Smith a teacher at Westlake.

 

It was a passion which has lasted a lifetime, and in the mid 1970s when he was about 50 he began teaching sculpting at Westlake High School night classes.

 

Max was born on the North Shore on October 29,1925, and as he nears his 91st birthday he is just as sprightly as I remember him when I was a young girl aged 5 or 6. I spent many an afternoon in the cool basement of his Takapuna home in Minnehaha Ave, having my head sculpted in bronze.

 

His basement was an amazing and cluttered studio with artist’s equipment, and plaster of Paris. I would cross Hurstmere Road from my home on the edge of Lake Pupuke, and run down to the bottom of Minnehaha to the Hart residence and join Max in his studio.

 

I had to sit so still while he studied my face intently, and he would share small

talk with me. I loved those visits and Max Hart and his family are entwined in my childhood. 

 

My grandfather, Logan Nicks, and his brother Rowan Nicks, (both foundation pupils at Takapuna Grammar) also grew up in the sparsely populated North Shore when everybody knew everybody.  It was before the harbour bridge opened in 1959 and those who wanted to drive on the North Shore but lived on the city side of the bridge would take their cars onto the car ferry.

 

My grandparents Logan and Joyce Nicks socialised with many old Takapuna families and I am familiar with their names, including the Craigs from O’Neills Avenue, the Mahons,  the Speedys, the Winstones, Alma O’Neill, the Rees-Georges, and the

Beachmans, to name a few.

 

Max, and I chatted about how lucky and privileged we were to know the North Shore

when we did.

 

Max, began his education at Takapuna Primary School, before attending Takapuna Grammar School from 1939/40 to 1943 when  he left as a sixth former to join the

air force to train as a pilot. The war ended before he could be sent overseas and he left the air force to study engineering at the University of Auckland.

 

At TGS he studied, French, Latin, math, English, chemistry and art and has fond memories of teachers Phoebe Meikle and Harvey Thompson (Baldy). 

 

Max said his memory of another teacher “Shorty” Mr Short, (also known as ‘The Major”) was that he was brilliant at math, but not brilliant at teaching math, it made me chuckle. Shorty also taught Max’s father Bryce Hart at Auckland Grammar”.

 

Bryce Hart was also a well-known Takapuna identity.

 

“He was a lawyer who went to Takapuna Primary and later to Auckland Grammar by ferry.  He also wrote for the New Zealand Herald and did caricature. My sister went to Dio, which I think must have been a status thing,” Max said.

 

 

For our interview I took Bryce’s book Bryce Hart – New Zealand’s

Advocate of Laughter which Max edited with Noel ‘Wig’ Gardiner for Max to sign.

 

A brilliant, quirky book encompassing life and friendships from a bygone era.

 

On page 18 Max wrote of his father’s caricatures of the staff at Auckland

Grammar: “A full page of caricatures of the staff of the school including

the famous ‘Tibbs’, was published in The Bulletin. I was interested to

note that ‘Short and Sweet’, my Dad’s math’s master Mr Short, many years later was my math’s master at Takapuna Grammar. He was then known

as ‘The Major’,” Max said.

 

Max said the man known as ‘Military Matters’ was Ken Dellow, who later became his headmaster.

 

When Max attended Takapuna Grammar Mr Dellow, was headmaster and

lived on the corner of Earnoch Avenue and Hurstmere Road, opposite the old Post Office, now a law office.

 

Max said students who wanted to bring a car to Takapuna Grammar had to first obtain Mr Dellow’s permission and mostly there was only one car parked at the school and it belonged to a student.  Many students came from Bayswater and Belmont.

 

“I mainly travelled by bike,” Max told me. “On occasions my mate Campbell Craig and I even rowed to school, leaving our dinghy at St Leonard’s beach.” 

 

(Another member of the Craig family, Gordon, was also a great mate of my grand father, Logan Nicks. Angela Te Wiata).

 

Max played rugby, as he said “it was the thing to do” and recalls ‘Ratty’ Smallfield (Robbie) and fellow student Bert Sutcliffe, a great rugby fullback and a New Zealand cricketing legend.

 

Sutcliffe was touring with the New Zealand cricket team in South Africa in 1953 when the Wellington to Auckland express plunged into the Whangaehu River at Tangiwai on Christmas Eve, 1953, killing 151 people in New Zealand’s worst rail disaster.

 

The disaster had a great impact on the New Zealand team. The second test against South Africa began the day before Christmas and a few hours later team member Bob Blair heard that his fiancée, Nerissa Love, was one of those killed. Blair was not expected to bat when the test resumed on Boxing Day but when appeared at the crease to join Sutcliffe, the capacity Johannesburg crowd stood in absolute silence. The two added 33 for the last wicket in a test which earned Blair and the New Zealand team world global praise for their courage.

 

It was a disaster which shocked New Zealand and for many decades after the tragedy Christmas was never the same for the loved ones of those who died.

 

For Max and Takapuna Grammar students, the school day began with a show of Royal loyalty when they all sang the British national anthem.

 

“When the school hall was built, it was used for assembly, I would walk up the main gate, and enter the school on the left,” Max said. “We had girls in our class, 5th and 6th  form.  I remember we would sing God save the King. it was always sung back then.”

 

Takapuna Grammar opened officially in 1927 and was the first co-educational school under the auspices of the Auckland Grammar Schools’ Board. It established its own Board of Governors in 1955 but still shares its motto with Auckland Grammar: Per Angusta Ad Augusta(Through endeavour to greatness).

 

Max recalls that during World War II air raid trenches were dug at the school in case New Zealand was attacked by enemy bombers. They were where the Special Education Department is now housed in the old student library by St Leonard’s Road.

 

“We did dummy runs, ducked down in the trenches. As children we just took things as they were, we didn't really appreciate what it was all about at the time, and it was quite fun”.

 

When I asked Max what did he did for fun, the conversation became quite

animated.

 

“I would fish for piper off O’Neills Ave, down by the beach.”

 

When Shirley mentioned my Uncle Rowan Nicks to Max, I told her that he became

passionate about medicine when he rescued an albatross, with a broken wing. Uncle Rowan fixed his wing and fed him piper, which he and Grandpa (Logan Nicks) would catch off Black Rock. He taught the albatross to fly again before it was released back into the wild. 

 

When Max talked about the petrified trees at the bottom of Thornes Bay, and the blow hole on the shores of Brett Ave, it brought back another raft of childhood memories for me.

 

It reminded me that as a young girl my friends and I would put our ears to the ground on our property on the shores of Lake Pupuke and listen to the water gurgling under the ground, We would see eels that would travel from Lake Pupuke to Thornes Bay.

 

Wendy asked about Merksworth Castle, the imposing stone castle built on Hurstmere Road in 1926 by Captain John Algie with tonnes of basalt carted from Smales quarry on the shores of Lake Pupuke.  North Shore people loved Captain Algie’s Castle. It is a heritage building and recently had an extensive makeover to bring it into the 21st century while maintaining its heritage features.

 

I said as a youngster my friends and I, would go to the Giant’s Chair on the beach below the castle and play in the shallows of Algie’s pool. “It was a fairy play land”.

 

Shirley then asked me about Under the Mountain, the children’s book written by New Zealand author Maurice Gee and later made into a movie. ‘Wilberforce house’ which features in the book and the movie, was built on our back lawn on the shores of Lake Pupuke. My younger sister Rachael and I put up a pup tent, and we were allowed to stay in the tent during filming, generally at night with dried ice setting the scene. 

 

Rachel and Theo Matheson, the twins who starred in Under the Mountain, were not much older than us. In the story their mother dies and Rachel and Theo are sent to live with relatives in Auckland, where they come across three alien races.

 

I reflected on Max’s words on growing up in Takapuna: “How lucky we were, so privileged”. 

 

On a wet and wild June morning our conversation and Max’s reflections which stretched back nearly 80 years gave me a great sense of warmth.

 

Just as Max felt privileged to have grown up on the North Shore, I too felt privileged to have shared some very special moments of nostalgia with a very dear and special friend.

 

 

Centry of Memories, turning 100 years in 2016.

Pauline Dale (nee Woodroffe) started in the third form at Takapuna Grammar in 1930- making her one of the school’s earliest students.

Pauline turns 100 this year, and still enjoys fond memories of her school days. Earlier this year she popped back to her old school with her daughter Angela, for a trip down memory lane.

Pauline attended the school until 1934, attaining both University Entrance in 1932 and her Higher Leaving Certificate in 1933. She also received mention in the school magazine for her speed shorthand success in both years.

Pauline enjoyed the active life available on the Shore. She was a keen horsewoman, regularly exercising the local military horses by riding them all the way from Devonport to Milford. After her school accomplishments, Pauline worked in the city as a secretary before leaving to travel and work in the UK and Europe. She returned to New Zealand to teach Commercial English, Accounting and Typing at various schools in the Waikato.

She raised her family of three children in Whitianga with her husband Guy, the proprietor of the Whitianga Hotel. While she enjoyed the glamour of travel, she was also an active sportswoman, accomplished in shooting, golf and fishing. She had involvement in the Mercury Bay Deep Sea Fishing Club and the hosting of many overseas visitors for the fishing season.

Pauline is still active, and enjoys walking each day. Her daughter Angela firmly believes that her values, sense of purpose, and the importance that she places on exercising the body and mind, can be attributed to the education she received. Pauline still smiles and delights in pointing out Takapuna Grammar on her “memory drives” down Lake Road.

 

 Susan Hall (nee Hale) —1954—1958 “My years at Takapuna Grammar School were supremely happy—thinking back, certainly with some nostalgic, I made life-long friends and established a continuing love with English and Music. Agatha Ford was American and an English teacher—she extended our reading levels, introduced us to American classics like “Grapes of Wrath”, was wildly eccentric and a mind-opening teacher. Wilbur Mannins taught me to read a musical score, to love jazz and to really ‘listen’ to music. We had a great choir, although there were no musical productions in those days, learnt to dance in the hall, swam, played basketball, tennis, participated in sports days. Often, however, I could be found sunbathing on the grass in the summer, walking home in groups and chatting up the boys, angling for attendance at the prefects’ ball! Mr Charman was still throwing chalk with varying degrees of success, Mr Mitchell was teaching French and Mr Long was putting me out of the room into the corridor for constantly talking—no wonder I didn’t grasp maths! Of course, over and above the social aspects, we worked hard, we did hours of homework, passed exams, moved up classes and strove to pass University Entrance. There were many TGS marriages amongst my peer groups which established a special bond. Most of us still live on the North Shore although have been away for varying lengths of time. I have lived within walking distance of the school for 23 years. I still look at the main school building, think how magnificent it is, how well it has been maintained and how exciting it is that the prefabs are disappearing and brick buildings are being established in their place.”

A letter from Rosemary Cathcart

I was at TGS between 1957 and 1961 and still regard it as a very valuable time in my life and certainly a formative one. I have so many memories of teachers there - the delightful "Chalky" Charman who lived behind my grandmother and mowed his lawn in the pouring rain, wielding umbrella with one hand and mower with the other, thoroughly absent-minded, but nonetheless got us all imbued with a wealth of Social Studies knowledge; the idiosyncratic Mr Mitchell who delivered French dictation sitting on his chair on top of his desk, his back to us, eating his lunchtime apple, on the grounds that this was a more realistic approach to how people actually speak than standing facing us enunciating beautifully - and even though he left us at the end of Form 4 and was replaced by a lady with an interesting number of empty bottles in her classroom cupboard and a greater passion for pop music than for French, the entire class did well in School Cert French thanks to his tuition; Mr Smallfield, who taught us English, introducing us along the way to the classic Greek and Roman tales, and who, at least as far as I was concerned, made English grammar fascinating; and so many others, but for me particularly Mrs Phoebe Meikle: she had taught my mother in her first year teaching at TGS, and I then had her as my English teacher in her last six months at TGS before she went on to become such a significant figure in NZ literature, acting as editor for Blackwood Paul and being the first to publish Witi Ihimaera and Patricia Grace amongst others. Of all the teachers I had, I came to respect her most of all. From her I first discovered what commitment to the integrity of your work meant. She cared deeply about high standards in writing. She made you care about the quality of what you did. I remember just once making one single spelling mistake - the word was conscientious - and I was so mortified that I remember it to this day. It may seem a little thing, but it was integral to what she taught - the value of each carefully chosen word, somehow reflecting care and thought in a larger sense. She could be grimly fierce when she chose - she had a habit of smiling at you when scolding you which, to say the least, was disconcerting - and she could be very funny: her later accounts of how they'd dealt with wartime practices in case New Zealand was invaded and the school was shelled were hilarious, and her comments on the battle she'd had against male attitudes towards her as she tried to rise in the ranks were comic as well as revealing of social views at the time. Many years later I was to work with her on co-editing the papers of a mutual friend and colleague, Professor George Parkyn, and when she received her OBE and there was a public ceremony at which various people spoke representing various stages of her life, she did me the quite extraordinary honour of asking me to speak about her in relation to TGS - to those who shared those schooldays with me, I am rather sure that nothing could have seemed more unlikely than that!

As for me, one of the perhaps unexpected things that TGS taught me was to think about how teachers taught. In retrospect a somewhat bolshie student given amongst other things to omitting to attend classes if the teacher failed to convince me of the value of his or subject (what a pain I must have been), I was nonetheless passionately of the view that education was the means to achieve social change. I still believe that. I became a secondary school teacher and then later specialised in working with gifted children.

Ron Player – TGS 1945-49

Congratulations on a lovely newsletter. I’m Ron Player PhD, geology, aged 81, now long retired. I was at Takapuna Grammar 1945-49, prefect, cricket and soccer captain. Returned and taught PE for a year in the late 50’s while completing my MSc. Now Australian, but never forget the ‘old school’ and wish you all success and prosperity. My wife is Vivienne (nee Keys) also an ‘old girl’, dux (1956), prefect and we’ve been happily married for 53 years.

Thank you. Memories gain value as time passes.
I can look back now and realise just how scary and uncertain those formative years between about 15 and 20 were. Perhaps the following could be called ‘Finding yourself’. Perhaps it might help some of your current young ones as we all have to do the same self-discovery at some stage.
I had no idea what I wanted to be while I was at Grammar School. I knew I had a bit of a sense for adventure, but so do most boys. I knew New Zealand was very small and a huge world existed ‘out there’. I loved sports, tolerated most taught subjects, and had a bit of a bent for things of the natural world that could be observed, picked up, and pondered about. I remember in the 4th Form a science teacher (‘Bug’ Giles) showed us the Geological Time Scale. It fascinated me at the time and without any real effort I found that I’d memorised it. That in itself was unusual and remarkable for me at that time.
I managed to pass School Certificate, was accredited with Matriculation, but what I was going to do with my life was still a big unknown.  In desperation and because my parents said I was ‘good with kids’ I went to Teachers Training College. I liked teaching, but still had an ‘itch’ for more. I was still searching. I did a subject at University while at  Training College and one day while wandering in the grounds I noticed a building with a heading ‘Geology’. I asked a friend:  “What do you do in Geology?”. “Oh you study about rocks, fossils, minerals and how things work. You have to go overseas.” Rocks? Fossils? Minerals? How things work? Go overseas? I think I was 20 and I remember experiencing a surge of interest that was pretty new to me. I inquired, found that I could take the subject, enrolled, and that was the beginning for me. Everything ‘before’ was in one compartment; everything after was ‘my life’. I was going to be a ‘geologist.’
My message? Young people should never give in when searching for what they can do with their lives. They should never panic. They should learn to let time pass but keep their wits alert, and their ‘mental search channel’ wide open.
Also, quite remarkably, I have always remembered what a teacher wrote in my autograph book so many years ago when I finished primary school----
‘The world is wide in time and tide, so do not hurry,
And God is guide whate’er betide so do not worry.’

Age is no barrier for Wallace by Felicity Rookes

WALLACE OPPERMAN (81) shows off his pole-vaulting style at the North Island Masters track and field championships. Opperman from Murray’s Bay, Northland, may be pushing 82, but that doesn’t stop him from competing in sport. Opperman competed in the pole vault competition at the North Island Masters track and field championships on Saturday. “I started competing in 1940. I have been all over the world in championships for pole vault, the 100 metres and discus throw,” Opperman said. Wearing a New Zealand athletics singlet, he attempted the pole vault at 1.2m, but couldn’t quite make it. “I have more or less competed in everything since I begun in the forties.” Photo: Bradley Ambrose Article in Taranaki Daily News 26/11/2007

News

Gary Daverne ONZM—1952—1956 I was nominated an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for my contribution to Music in the 1996 Queen’s Birthday Honours, the first of the new honours awards. Betty Fletcher (nee Legg) 1945—1948 Letter Received on 22 March 2008. “Thank you for all the work that you are doing for our Ex Pupils. I think a newsletter is a marvellous idea and do wish we had started it years ago. However, right now we are preparing for our move to Australia where our four children have lived for many years. I do hope the reunions go well and particularly if my era get together.” Cecilia Riddell (American AFS Student in 1957) I was wondering how I could find a few classmates, including Elizabeth Hay, Jo Mawson, Russell Smith and Peter Jalfon. Not sure what year they would have finished at TGS, but all were present between June and November 1957. Any ideas? criddell@sprintmail.com Jeanie McCafferty (nee Baxter) 1956-1957 Jeanie would love to catch up with some of her classmates. She was originally from Ireland. If you remem-ber Jeanie and would like to make contact with her please email her at baxterjeanie@hotmail.com Thank you to those who have contributed to the ‘News’ and ‘Memories of School Days’ sections in this newsletter. Keep these stories coming in, this is your newsletter and I would much rather fill it with things that you want. Also send in photos that you may have and newspaper articles. Lesley Brennan

Extract taken from "As Dreams Are Made On" by Harry Bioletti

Sylvia Hayes (nee Billett) worked for the Takapuna Borough Council, which was reluctant to let her leave to join the forces. This because she was taking the place of an employee who had gone off to war. “I was allowed to go in 1943. First of all I was on ack-ack guns doing range-finding work, and direction-finding. We studied elementary optics and some trigonometry. Then after the Japanese raids on Darwin, Australia, the accent was on coastal defence rather than anti-aircraft fire. We learned Morse code and when on duty at Narrow Neck we were in constant communication with the examination vessel stationed off the beacon, Rangitoto Island. A searchlight lit the whole scene at night. There was also a searchlight unit at Bastion Point which lit the harbour when required to. Coastal defence for the port of Auckland included guns on Motutapu Island, Rangitoto, Castor Bay, Whangaparaoa, and at North Head, Devonport. At Narrow Neck we did night duty every third night. In the gleam of the searchlight, we could see the boys out there fishing from the longboat off the beacon. Sometimes we had fried fish at two o’clock in the morning. I was on duty when the Jap plane flew over Auckland. It was at night, and we were notified by voice phone by the Navy who had brought it up on radar.”
We were initiated into army life at Papakura camp. There were 26 of us in our army hut. Instructions were to keep the windows open at night. In the winter it was freezing, five blankets on the straw-filled palliasses were barely enough with the wind blowing through the hut. Some girls slept with balaclavas on. We washed out of tin basins with cold water. Chilblains were endemic. When we filled our palliasses with straw that first morning, we had to keep step with these bulky things slung over our shoulders. We were toughened up no end. And by the way there was no stopping to talk to boys in camp. We could be in deep trouble if that happened.”

Mrs Moira Carew celebrates 100th Birthday

Staff, Ex Pupils and Students were honoured to take part in Mrs Moira Carew's 100th birthday celebrations in May 2014.
 
Mrs Carew was Senior Assistant Mistress at Takapuna Grammar for 15 years from May 1960 to the end of 1975. She taught French and English.  For at least 10 years she was also in charge of debating.  An art form she inspired and enthused pupils in and the school maintained a good winning record under her guidance.
 
She was Senior Assistant Mistress in an era before women’s lib and equality in the workplace. It could be tough being a female leader. There was, however, no doubt about her leadership and authority. This impression was no doubt helped by the academic gown she wore as she swept into assembly each day. When she left she was acknowledged for her leadership of the female staff and her championing of girls’ rights. For which many of us can thank her.
 
As a traditional Grammar school we have the Principals portraits on the school walls. We have started to rectify an oversight as a co-ed school and are putting up the portraits of our women leaders and Mrs Carew’s will be the next to grace our walls.
 
She was presented with a photo as a record of her time at Takapuna Grammar. It comes as an acknowledgement of the contribution she made to Takapuna Grammar and its pupils. 
 

We wish her, from all of us at Takapuna Grammar both past and present, a very Happy Birthday.