School milestone celebrated with cake - and a trip down memory lane


Kaiapoi Borough School on Hilton St celebrated 150 years of continuous operation with a small ceremony last Friday.

Over 90 past pupils and former staff gathered at the school’s hall to renew acquaintances and reminisce about the old days.

Among them were the Regan family — Marie and her sons Brian, Kim and Robin, and her great granddaughter Gemma Glasson, 15.

Mrs Regan, 97, attended the school as a young girl, as did her sons who were there over 60 years ago.

Brian Regan says it was a good school and even though he often got into trouble for playing pranks on people, the brothers had a lot of fun.

Carolyn Vasta was a pupil in the late 1960s and says the school may have changed with new buildings post-earthquake but the spirit is still very strong.

Wendy McGregor of Rangiora says coming back to the 150th celebration meant so much to her as she has so many positive memories of her time at the school.

Kaiapoi Borough School pupil Makayla Krahagen, 13, cuts the 150th celebration cake with Board of...
Kaiapoi Borough School pupil Makayla Krahagen, 13, cuts the 150th celebration cake with Board of Trustees chairperson Christine Wilson-Greatbatch at the school’s 150th anniversary function. PHOTO: JOHN COSGROVE
Ngaire McNicol went to the school in 1937 and remembers the long walk from home each day.

‘‘We later bought bicycles and rode to school, it was a lot of fun as we used to meet up with friends and ride as a big group to and from the school.’’

Barrie Fowler attended from 1950 to 1955 and remembers playing a lot of marbles and rugby during his time at school.

‘‘Mrs Bain was a favourite teacher for many from the 50s and 60s, and she was a fervent golfer too,’’ he says.

Barrie says his grandparents and parents also attended the school back in the 1880s and early 1900s.

Raeleen Moore came to the school as a pupil and then later former principal John Warbuton inspired her to become a teacher. So she returned as the home economics teacher for a few years.

Following the formal welcome and afternoon tea, the visitors were invited to walk through the school with senior students, visit the new classrooms and see the commemorative seat made by the school's caretaker before assembling for the cake-cutting ceremony.