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CENTENARY 2009

This traditional secondary school, with its proud history, began its life in 1909, on the present Stanley Road site as a co-educational school, and became established as a separate boys' school in 1956.

At Easter weekend 2009, over 1000 people from all walks of life, from different parts of the Gisborne region, from all over New Zealand and from as far way as the UK, the Americas, Canada, China and Australia, converged on the school as it celebrated 100 years. Over those years there has been a vast number of academic, cultural and sporting successes as old students have been awarded knighthoods and honours, been nominated as Rhodes Scholars, have been leading academics, captains of industry, leaders in the judiciary and the sporting world. Like their fellows, they were there to reminisce, catch up with old classmates, team-mates and teachers and to reflect on the proud history and achievements of the school.

Good Friday, about 250 people were at the Tairawhiti Polytechnic's art gallery to view a collection of works, spanning 60 years, by those who, in some cases, has used the school's art department as a springboard into other areas of creative work. A feature of the evening was the presence of a number of former and current art teachers.

Saturday morning the formal commencement of the celebrations began with an opening ceremony by the Education Minister, Anne Tolley where the audience in the crowded assembly hall sat spellbound at the powhiri by combined Turanga Tane Turanga Wahine club and the singing of the school choir, before the cutting of the centenary cake by the oldest old-pupil and the youngest present student.

Saturday afternoon many attended a game between the current 1st XV and Napier Boys' High School's 1st XV. This was followed by a reunion of ex-1st XV players and coaches.

Saturday evening over 800 met in the school grounds, to rekindle memories and swap stories at the "decades barbecue". An ecumenical commemoration service was held in the school hall the following morning.

Sunday evening saw the culmination of the weekend with the gala dinner in the Showgrounds Convention Hall, opulently bedecked in the school's colours, where over 600 met in an atmosphere of warmth and camaraderie.

The Centenary weekend was a marvelous success and a memorable milestone for those who attended. All those present were left in no doubt that their old school, with its background, traditions and facilities and -above-all else its students, staff and community, would reach positively into the future.

R.W. (Dick) Glover
Pupil GHS and GBHS 1952-56
Staff member 1962-65 and 1970-99

 

 
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