Tauhara Primary School History
Tauhara Primary School opened in February 1959, at the beginning of the new school year
Walter De Bont, a founding teacher of Tauhara Primary School, worked here for 26 years before retiring.
These are his reminiscences of his time at Tauhara.
Work began on building Tauhara in 1958 and the school was opened with the new year 1959. The headmaster was Mr. White. There were 8 teachers including the dental nurse. There were 6 permanent rooms, 2 prefabs and 2 more permanent buildings being built. The school ran from infants to form 2.
The school was rather isolated, surrounded by pine trees. Taharepa Road and Crown Road weren't tar-sealed. On windy days there used to be dust storms.
The playground had poor coverage of grass and there was no play equipment. The library contained few books and old journals.
The area around the school developed quickly. The school roll increased rapidly. At the height of the school roll there were over 700 children and 24 teachers, with Mr. Black as the headmaster. There were on the school grounds 28 buildings. Then in 1970 came the big change when the intermediate opened. The roll dropped dramatically. Many prefab buildings were taken away. A number of teachers went to the Intermediate.
I remember during the early days there was a burn-off. The school was given a day off. The roads around school were tar-sealed. The industrial area developed. Keith Hay had his prefab houses opposite the school. the school baths were built when Mr. White was still headmaster.
Mr. White was the first headmaster, followed by Mr. Black in 1967, Mr. Maxwell in 1971 and from 1972 till 1985, Mr. Chateris. Mr. Nankevil was the last headmaster while I was there and I retired at the end of 1985.
Meanwhile the school grounds and school equipment were well developed.
The school library burnt down in December of 1986.