The oldest former pupils of Enfield School (from left),
93-year-old May Lavender (nee Hellewell), of Oamaru,
92-year-old Audrey Anderson (nee Craig), of Christchurch,
and 97-year-old Bina Mulligan (nee Fallon), of Oamaru, pose
for their 1916-25 decade photo outside the school at a
reunion on Saturday. Photo by David Bruce.
"We are here for a fun weekend, to renew friendships and
tell some stories," former Enfield School pupil and chairman of
its reunion committee Bill Kingan told past pupils and staff on
About 220 registered for the event, which was held not for a
major anniversary but for the community to "just get together
The school, which opened in 1876 and closed in 2003, is still
owned by the Ministry of Education but leased to the
Exclusive Brethren, who operate a year 7 to 13 private
People came from all over New Zealand, the oldest aged 97,
and gathered at the school on Saturday afternoon. The
celebrations started with the ringing of the old school bell,
which had been loaned and shifted to the Totara Estate but
brought back for the weekend to be rung for events.
"With the familiar sound of the bell", Mr Kingan welcomed
everybody back at the opening of the reunion, which was
followed by the cutting of the anniversary cake by the oldest
former pupil, 97-year-old Bina Mulligan (nee Fallon),
assisted by the youngest pupil when the school closed, Zane
Gard (now 14), of Enfield.
One of the attractions on display in the Enfield Hall was the
top tier of a cake from the reunion in 1929, which was
starting to show its age.
The school's main block was opened on Saturday afternoon for
people to visit while waiting for photographs to be taken in
Wellington St with the school in the background.
After that was afternoon tea at the Enfield Hall, followed by
the reunion dinner on Saturday night at the Oamaru Club.
Yesterday, a service at the Enfield Church, starting at
10.30am, was followed by a barbecue at the domain to end the
Originally known as Teaneraki School, the school's name was
changed to Enfield in about 1960.
After it closed, the Ministry of Education retained ownership
in case it was needed in the future because of population
growth through changes in farming and the possible
construction of a cement plant in the Waiareka Valley.