In 1863 Arrowtown School opened its doors for the first time,
in a wooden building on the former Royal Oak hotel site.
One hundred and fifty years on, almost 500 pupils attend the
school, now on Centennial Ave, and at the sesquicentennial
celebrations this Labour Weekend fundraising will be
undertaken to help future-proof the only remaining primary
school in the town.
Principal Robin Harris said the school was nearing capacity,
with plans under way to construct a $1.25 million
two-storeyed building to house six additional classrooms,
taking the total number of classrooms to 27.
Outline plans for that development had been prepared and,
pending building consent, construction was likely to begin
before the end of the year, with the new facility operational
by term two next year.
If the project cost more than the Ministry of Education had
budgeted, the school would have to raise the difference, Mr
Sesquicentennial organiser Julie Hughes said money raised
during the October celebrations would be used to help fund
any shortfall and also to invest in technology for the
While it was the Arrowtown School's 150th anniversary, the
reunion was also for the Arrowtown community and for past
pupils and staff of other schools in the area which had since
They included the Crown Terrace School, the Lower Shotover
School and the Macetown School.
''It's a celebration for all of the schools and for the
''The school is the heart of Arrowtown - it's been there the
''People who have been in Arrowtown a long time have either
been to the school or their kids have been to the school.
''The celebrations are a reunion, but also for the Saturday
night [evening function] what we're wanting to do is get
people from the community to come and be part of the
The weekend would begin with an opportunity for people to see
the school in action from 11am to 3pm on October 25, guided
by senior pupils.
That night a mix and mingle would be held in the school hall,
which would include registration information and the cutting
of the 150th anniversary cake.
On October 26 a community gala day would be held at the
school, including stalls from every class at Arrowtown
School, community groups, jewellers and arts and crafts, with
entertainment from Arrowtown groups as well as visiting jazz
Photos would be taken by decades, as well as a large
panoramic group photograph, replicating one taken at the
100th anniversary in 1963.
The celebrations would conclude that night with a continuous
supper and entertainment in the school hall.
Mrs Hughes said during that function there would be a small
auction of artworks, along with an opportunity to purchase a
bottle of limited edition pinot noir, made specifically for
the Arrowtown School 150th.
The Gibbston Special Reserve pinot noir had been created by
blending pinot noir from 10 wineries, overseen by Sean
Brennan, of Brennan Wines.
Three hundred bottles would be produced, only available
during the 150th celebrations, she said.
Additionally, pupils from Arrowtown School were designing
wine labels. Four would be selected to grace the bottles and
the original artwork of the winning designs would be framed
and auctioned off with a bottle bearing that label.
Friday, October 25
11am-3pm: Guided tours of Arrowtown School in
6.30pm-8.30pm: Mix and mingle at the Arrowtown School
Hall, $15 per person, includes a drink on arrival and
Saturday, October 26
10.30am-4pm: Community Gala Day including art and craft
stalls and school photographs.
6pm: Evening function at the Arrowtown School Hall
includes a continuous buffet, auction and entertainment, $45
To register visit www.arrowtownschool150.blogspot.co.nz;
email firstname.lastname@example.org; or phone (03) 442-0809 or