Mystery at Maheno School

Seeking information on the mystery tray recently sent to Maheno School are pupils (back, from...
Seeking information on the mystery tray recently sent to Maheno School are pupils (back, from left) Nathan Kennedy, Maddison Robb, Cassie McKay, Max Irwin, Lucan Robb, Hayley Brown, Sharni Webb, Lilly Atwill, Lillie Silcock, (front, from left) Denley Read, Danielle Ballantyne, Brooke Purvis, Hayley Hamilton, Jackson Silcock, Gemma Ludemann, Hamish Stanger and Riccardo Palmer. Photo: Kiri Ballantyne
Maheno School has a mystery to solve.

Last week, the school received a parcel containing a tray engraved with the Maheno School’s name and dated March 30, 1893.

Maheno School principal Ryan Fraser said he received a call earlier this month from someone at the Salvation Army Family Store in Caterton, in the Wairarapa, that the tray had been dropped in to the store.

The tray is engraved: “to Miss Webster, with the best wishes of the scholars, Maheno School”.

Mr Fraser said, at this stage, that was all the information the school had.

He was thrilled those at the Salvation Army store in Carterton had taken the time to investigate the find and send it down.

The tray is engraved: “to Miss Webster, with the best wishes of the scholars, Maheno School”.
The tray is engraved: “to Miss Webster, with the best wishes of the scholars, Maheno School”.
Maheno School’s Tui Room, made up of year 6 to 8 pupils, has been enlisted to find out as much as possible about the tray.

The pupils intended to start by searching old newspapers for anything to do with Maheno School, or Miss Webster, from about 1893.

They also have access to the school’s jubilee and centenary books which they hoped might provide some clues.

Other questions centred around the tray itself. Several pupils wondered what it had been made for and where it had been since 1893.

If they managed to find out who Miss Webster was, one pupil suggested they return the tray to her, though they thought it was unlikely she was still alive.

Failing that, they hoped to contact any living relations, “or her ghost”.

Mr Fraser asked anyone with information on the tray, or Miss Webster, to contact Maheno School on (03)439-5707 or at office@maheno.school.nz.

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