Arthur Street School pupils Flynn Ellison and Olivia Sefo share some tea in the garden at Olveston House yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Nine pupils of Dunedin's Arthur Street School became the
first Olveston House junior tour guides after a five-week
course learning about the history and structure of the house.
The pupils, ranging in age from 9 to 12, spent an hour every
Friday at the house, formerly owned by the Theomin family,
with their Olveston guide, Joan Miskimmin, fondly known as
As part of the final day, the pupils dressed up in period
costume, shared what they had learnt, and gave tours.
Flynn Ellison (9), who wore an Irish tweed jacket, said he
had learnt there was a heater behind Dorothy Theomin's
Olivia Sefo (10) said she did not normally like wearing
dresses, but she preferred the gloves.
Mrs Miskimmin, formerly a teacher, had worked at Olveston for
18 years and enjoyed taking the course.
''It has been absolutely marvellous. I love working with
Jack Hanan (11) thought the house was like Downton Abbey,
while Lilly Templeton (9) wanted to know where ''Mrs M'' did
her shopping, so she could see her out of the house.
Arthur Street School deputy principal Sam Keen said the
school and Olveston shared Dunedin's early history, as Arthur
Street was the oldest school in Dunedin.
It was the first time the school and the house had run such a
course and it had been ''an adventure through time for the
kids'', he said. Both the school and Olveston were keen to
continue the course.
Olveston House manager Jeremy Smith said it had been an
interesting exercise and other schools interested should
contact Olveston, he said.
- Bridget Rutherford.