A long time ago, when I was young [er] I started the task of researching all the rural schools of the Wairarapa with the aim of writing a book. However 3,206 pages and 1,505,824 words, finished, I decided to publish as NOTES all my research on the web for anyone to peruse. These are full notes allowing the user to use and edit how they wish.
I spent all 40 years of my Teaching career in the Wellington area (Except for 1 year at Denniston) and until Tomorrow’s Schools came along for the Wellington Education Board. 35 of those years as Principal.
I taught at Te Horo, Featherston, Denniston, Marima, Horoeka, South Featherston and Cornwall Street. So 38 years in the Wairarapa Bush area.
I have used the Wairarapa Archives extensively and give special thanks to Gareth, Neil and Jenny and later Mark for their superb support, help and patience. I have used Papers Past web site and Google for extra in depth research. Finally I used National Archives in Wellington regularly, to use Wellington Education Board material stored there. Though I haven’t done this for later research. I visited Auckland Archives as well where the service was brilliant for information on the Maori Schools in the Wairarapa.
When I finished the Wairarapa Country Schools I decided to do the town schools of the Wairarapa including Eketahuna. This consolidated into a complete review of all Wellington Education Board schools in the Wairarapa.
Following that I decided I would enjoy researching the Marlborough Schools as I had visited the sounds often and stayed in the Grove Arm for most our Christmas Holidays post war. In 1915 the Wellington Education Board took over the Marlborough schools as Canterbury and Nelson Boards refused to do so. This was a marathon job as there were many small schools to research and interesting to see where all the little isolated communities were. That finished I looked for another project.
Then I started to do all the schools int the Forty Mile Bush areas of the Wellington Education Board where I had taught and played rugby for Bush and worked my way through all the schools of the Wellington Education Board in that area.
Since finishing that I have completed all the schools in the Upper Hutt and all the schools in the Lower Hutt area where I went to school at Muritai and Hutt Valley High School.
At the time writing of this piece I am starting on doing the schools in the Horowhenua where I taught for one year and hope to have the basic research done before I stop wanting to do the research. It is amazing how different each school, each district and each set of teachers are different.
Thanks to Elaine, my late wife and my daughters Lynne and Jill who have fully supported me in the hours of effort and long absences as I worked on a rewarding and enjoyable experience for my own satisfaction.