Fairlie Schools

Fairlie. 1966. Probably primer 3.

Back row: ?Alan Edmonston, Richard Scarlett, David Reid, Brian Middleton, Roger Hay, Murray Bell, Grant Walker, Jimmy Arps, Stephen Cole
Middle Row: _____Brien?, Kevin Harris, Andrew Norton, Grant Adams, Robert Bray, Neil Woods, Michael Coutts, Ian Swann, David White,
First Row: Ineke Folkets, Jane Washington, Anne Butters, ?E Easton, Olwyn Bray, Denise Macdonald, Meredith Ross, Gaye Dunn, Andree Anderson, Jillian Paton, Merryn Jones.  Sitting: Valerie Stanley, Joy Smith, Roseanne Bray. No school uniforms in the elementary grades.

Fairlie, a service town, at an altitude of 1,099 feet, in South Canterbury, New Zealand, with the school up School Road was first known as Fairlie Creek has served a wonderful farming community for over the last 125 years. William Cuthbert was the first teacher and the first entry admission 6 Oct. 1879 reads Fred Wederell, son of Charles Wederell, Fairlie Creek. Later renamed the Fairlie District High School, then Fairlie High School and now the Mackenzie College. 2005 School Roll: 224. The Fairlie Primary School adjoins the high school campus. The Fairlie Convent School, St. Joseph, a primary school, is located near by on Gall Street. Over the years the school census has stayed steady but the school uniform changed with the times from black gym frocks to kilts. In the 1970s Fairlie High School girls had a Mackenzie tartan kilt and tie with a green cardigan and black blazer for winter. The boys had grey shorts, jersey, shirt and socks with the school colours on the sock cuff - gold and sky blue and around the V - neck of the jersey winter and summer with a grey, unless your were a seventh form pupils then you were allowed to wear woollen grey trousers. In the summer the girls had green summer frocks.

Feb. 2012. Fairlie Primary School's roll peaked at 134 February 2011, but has dropped to just over 100 this year, 2012. Most other schools in the Mackenzie District have reported similar roll sizes to last year, with Twizel Area School steady at about 180, Mackenzie College up about 20 at 214, and St Joseph's Primary in Fairlie steady at 53. We also had a lot of Christchurch families stay in Fairlie after the February earthquakes. Many of those families have now gone back to Christchurch, or moved elsewhere."


That weeping tree has been looking like that for at least the last sixty years. The war memorial to the right.


The gates off School Road leading into the Primary School. War memorial just to the right after you enter and the old classroom below are over to the right.

Std 2 (1964)  1927
This is a school were you and your parents went to school, where every one knows your parents, a country school, where you ride the school bus with your cousins, and the teachers are your neighbours or a former pupil.  It is a school were some of the teachers start out young and end up staying there until they retire. The teachers there seem to stay put for donkey years and their children attend the school and it is not usual for a former pupil to come back and teach there.

The High School grounds with a view of the hills dominated by the Two Thumb Range, with Mt Dobson, Mt Ribbonwood, and Fox Peak (7604ft 2317m). Plenty of space for rugby, cricket, field hockey and soccer and hosting inter-district athletic events. The students here are fit and  keen and have always enjoyed a very wide variety of sports. In 1926 the sports were football, cricket, swimming and basketball. In 1976 the sports were tennis, cross country, softball, archery, swimming and athletics in the summer for the boys and girls, netball and field hockey for the girls in winter. The boys also had cricket in the summer and rugby in the winter. Once in a while ice skating at the local outdoor rink in the Fairlie Domain. In 1997 the choices were cricket, hockey, netball, rugby, skiing, athletics, cross country, volleyball, basketball, swimming, golf, and the Outdoor Pursuits Programme also provided kayaking, orienteering, climbing, tramping, mountain biking and rock climbing.

The majority of the pupils travel by school bus from the surrounding districts - Allandale, Skipton, Sherwood Downs and Ashwick Flat, Albury and Cricklewood to the south, Kimbell, Burkes Pass and as far away as Tekapo to the north. Mr Stuart Walker and Mr Bruce Keys were both teachers and both school bus drivers on the Sherwood  - Ashwick route who leaned early when it snows in Fairlie they better get on the road and deliver the children to Sherwood before the snow gets too deep. Mr Walker drove an old red school bus in the 1960s called the "biscuit tin."  Fairlie was the depot for the Mt Cook bus line and in the 1970s Mr Bruce Keys drove those buses. Three kids to a seat. By the time we got to Fairlie we had about seventy kids on board. You could tell who was the Catholics the district - the Ted and Lois Connell family and their bus stop at the corner of Butler's and Plantation Road with the Butter's. The Vince and Marj. Jones family, had a farm a couple of miles out of Fairlie on the Clayton Road. They would fill up the bus. One morning Mr Keys was early, he made it around fast! Because there wasn't any pupils out at the mail boxes yet! Parents rushed the kids to the Clayton Road to catch the bus heading back to Fairlie.

Miss Meldrum was John Shears first teacher in 1934 in the primers and the last was a Mr Breach for std 5-6 he had not long arrived from Rarotonga where he had been teaching for several years.


The Hermitage - the Mt Cook tourist school buses were used on the Fairlie School runs.

Reference: Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Canterbury edition. Part 4. pages 954-959. Published 1903

The Fairlie Public School, which dates from 1863, has accommodation for 160 children. There are 130 on the roll, and the average attendance is 115. The master's residence is situated near the school, which has a glebe of ten acres. The teacher in charge has two assistants.

WALLACE, JOHN ROBERT. B.A. Headmaster of Fairlie Public School was born in Dunedin in 1872. He was trained in his native city and graduated at the University of Otago.  Mr Wallace was appointed in his present position in 1897. He was married in 1895 to a daughter of the late Mr. J. O'Connor of Dunedin.

ASHWICK FLAT SCHOOL, near Fairlie.  This school was opened in December, 1892.  It consists of one room capable of accommodating sixty children.  There are thirty-nine names on the roll, with an average attendance of thirty.  The school stands on the corner of a fifty-acre section, the whole of which with the exception of about two acres, is reserved for the sole use of the master.  The chief credit for establishing the school is due to Mr. Robert Allan of Ashwick Flat.  Mr. S.N. Ormandy is at present (1903) in charge. 

Timaru Herald, 27 November 1878, Page 2

Fairlie Creek School. — A public meeting of householders was held at Fairlie Creek on Monday, m accordance with a notice from the Board of Education, which appeared m our issue of the 18th. It was proposed by Mr Close, seconded by Mr Annaud, and carried — " That all that district situated within a circle having a radius .of four and a-half miles, and its centre the Clyde Hotel, Fairlie Creek, be suggested as the Fairlie Creek district." The following householders were elected members of the School Committee by ballot : — Messrs Wedderell, Annand, Wilson, Cooper, Close, Welsh, and Goodwin. At a meeting of the Committee held afterwards, Mr Thornhill Cooper was appointed Chairman arid Mr J. E. Goodwin Secretary.

Timaru Herald Friday 29 April 1887 pg3

Fairlie Creek School Committee. The following gentlemen were elected. Messrs Welsh, Gillingham, Gilmour, James Wilson, Pye, Mcleod and Mr J.P. Puttick as secretary.

Wednesday 14 September 1887 pg 2
The Fairlie Creek School Committee met on September 10th. Present -
Messrs J. Wilson (chairman), Puttie, Pye, Welsh, Gilmore, Gillingham, McLeod.
Request from R. Riddle requesting use of the schoolroom for dramatic entertainment.
Miss Ferguson asking for a holiday.
The master's report: Boys 28.7, girls 29.8, total 58.5., highest attendence on any day 68; on rolls boys 36 and girls 40.
Mrs Freame c/o severe chastisement by Miss Ferguson.
Mr Gilmore appointed visitor.

Large stations were split up by the Government for closer settlement in the earlier 1900s and when this occurred land was set aside by the Education Board for a school reserve, usually central and had a school house was built. The Sherwood School, a small one roomed building was built by the Timaru Builders Spavin and Thyne in 1917. Each district formed a school committee elected from the local residents.  Early teachers at Sherwood were Miss Doris Strachan (1917), Miss Helen Annie Beattie (1919), Miss Hamilton (1920), Miss Jessie E.C. Hope (1920), Mr L. Grieve (1922), Miss M.K. Isitt (1923), Leonara B. Lane (1928), Miss Mary E. Rowe (1929), Miss Marion Miles (relieving teacher 1931), Miss Gladys L. Riddle (1931), Miss Majorie Cooper 1935), Mr Cuthbert W. Reid (1936-1939). From January 1940 the pupils from Sherwood were bussed to Fairlie and the reserve was taken over by the hall committee the school served as the venue for the fortnightly interdenominational church services. The Sherwood Hall was built in 1953 with an indoor rifle range. In 1971 the local farmers move  the school closer to the hall and later the two buildings were linked and additional alternation in 1980.

Fairlie School Jubilee Committee, 1979. Fairlie 100 : contributing schools, 1879-1979 / Jones, Marjorie, 1936- (nee Simmers) magazine editor. Card Covers. 32p with illustrations and group shots, a hundred years of education in the Fairlie, South Canterbury district, with lists, in scrapbook style.

Fairlie School Jubilee Committee, Fairlie District High School. 85th Jubilee Souvenir booklet. "The Past Ten Years".  1965 Isitt, Frank

Fairlie District High School. 75th Jubilee Souvenir booklet. Timaru Printed by W. M. Beynon, 1955.  Includes the history of the communities of Ashwick Flat, Sherwood Downs, Allandale, Three Springs and Raincliff. Lists the seventeen pupils who attended Fairlie Creek School when it opened on 6th Oct 1879.  St Joseph's Convent School was opened in 1939.

Headmasters:
1879 - 		William Culbert
1880 - 83	F.R. Gillingham
1884 - 96	J.A. Auld
1897 - 07	J.R. Wallace
1908 - 12	D.   McCaakell
1913 - 15	R.B. Clarke
1916 - 19	F.   Piper
1920 - 29	S.H. Sullivan
1929 - 31	R.G. Watson
1932 - 34	C.D. Gilling
1935 - 40	B.F. Hayman
1941 - 43	E.L. Bench
1944 - 46	A.J.T.  Withers 
1946 - to date 1955 L.E.N. Ward

The School, 1989 St Joseph's School 50th Jubilee, 1939-1989. Fairlie: 52 pp Marge Jones editor.

School Cert. & U.E.

Burkes Pass


This photo was probably at the Fairlie District school 50th Reunion in 1929, with former Burkes Pass pupils. Burkes Pass School opened in 1879, with a one room school, a school house consisting of five rooms and a shed, two teachers and twenty pupils with Mr W. Taylor as the first teacher and Alice Keefe the first entry on the admission register. Alexander Searle Smith is seated far right with cane. He died in 1948 in Fairlie and is buried at Burkes Pass. He was a first decade pupil at Burkes Pass School and later attended Timaru Main School. He was born in 1863. The school closed in 1913 and reopened in March 1920 -5 Sept. 1943. 

Timaru Herald, 23 July 1878, Page 3
A public meeting was held, at Burkes Pass on Thursday 18th inst., to take steps towards establishing a school at Burkes Pass, and to consider other matters of local interest. Mr Smith having been voted to the chair, explained that one object of the meeting was to get a long felt want supplied, viz , a school for the Burke's Pass district, Mr Baker, Chief Surveyor, had been good enough to furnish the meeting with a map of the country at and around Burkes Pass, by which the present meeting would be enabled to propose definite boundary line of the school district, to lay before the South Canterbury Board of Education. Mr Baker had also promised to forward a proper description of the boundary lines, that the present meeting determined upon to suggest. The proposed lines of boundary having been marked off on the map, it was resolved ..The following gentlemen were then appointed as members of the Burkes Pass School District Committee, viz. — Messrs Smith, Spalding, Cowan, Burgess, McDowall, Stock, Allan, Anniss, and Clulee. The meeting then resolved itself into a Burkes Pass school Committee meeting, and it was resolved — " That Mr A. B. Smith be appointed chairman, and Mr Clulee secretary of the Committee." Resolved — " That upon the receipt of thr description of the school district from Mr Baker, the Secretary be empowered to forward the same to the South Canterbury Board of Education, as requested by them." The usual vote of thanks brought the meeting to a close.


SCHOOLS' JUBILEE POPULAR
1 October 2004 Timaru Herald

Registrations are still flowing in for the Fairlie District Schools' 125th jubilee at Labour Weekend, with the deadline for closure extended to October 11. "We were hoping for 600 people and it looks like we'll have that many," registrations secretary Leo Crampton said. The reunion is for students of Fairlie Primary School -- formerly known as Fairlie District High School -- and all former schools in the Fairlie district, including Ashwick Flat, Sherwood Downs, Skipton, Allandale, Burkes Pass, Silverstream-Kimbell and Cricklewood. Numbers were a little under the crowd attracted by the schools' 100th anniversary and Mr Crampton noted the difficulties of tracking down former students whose names and addresses had changed since schooldays. "We've got people coming from as far away as America and about 25 or 30 coming from Australia." The celebrations begin on the night of Friday October 22, with registration from 3pm and a get-together at Fairlie Primary School. There would be very few speeches and photographs would take up most of Saturday after the jubilee's official 10am opening, Mr Crampton said. A boxed lunch will be provided on Saturday as a fundraiser by Fairlie Primary's Home and School Association. A sit-down meal, a fundraising initiative by the Mackenzie College PTA, and a dance will dispose of Saturday night. Timaru band Solid Gold will provide the music. "Some of us here aren't too sure why we're having a dance, but it's to entice some of the younger people."
A 10.30am church service on Sunday will close proceedings, with the option for people to visit the district's old schools.

Jubilee book editor Jennifer Cordes hoped a draft copy of the "celebration of 125 years of education in the Fairlie district" would be ready today. Black and white photographs, a guest editorial by Mackenzie College teacher Bruce Keyes and contributed articles as well as a colour supplement and text by the editor fill the 40-page book. Mrs Cordes said she had enjoyed compiling the book, despite it taking more of her time than anticipated. "It's been a learning curve. I've had help from my son's partner, Emma, who is a teacher at Ellesmere College and puts together their school magazine, so that's been good." A print run of 500 copies has been ordered. By Nellie Husband, Mackenzie Reporter

FAIRLIE SCHOOLS' 125TH GREAT SUCCESS
25 October 2004 Timaru Herald

Fairlie's population boomed over the weekend, as people poured into the town from all over New Zealand, Australia and America for the Fairlie District Schools' 125th jubilee. Event organisers received just over 620 registrations for the event, and with 180 partners also taking part, the event was considered a huge success, with participants complimenting organisers on the weekend's activities. The official photographer was kept busy recording those present from each decade, as well as those from the former schools in the Fairlie district, including Ashwick Flat, Sherwood Downs, Skipton, Allandale, Burkes Pass, Silverstream-Kimbell and Cricklewood. The simplest photo was of the earliest decade represented, with just one attendee, Stella Peters, present for the shot. She started school in 1915. Two others of her era had registered for the event, but weren't able to come. Mrs Peters also had the honour, as the oldest to take part in the jubilee, of cutting the jubilee cake. The celebrations began on Friday night with registration and a get-together, and the jubilee was officially opened at 10am on Saturday, with much of that day taken up with photographs -- the committee's official photograph not able to be taken until about 11pm. The event also included a sit-down meal and a dance on Saturday night, and a church service yesterday closed proceedings, with the option for people to visit the district's old schools.

Otago Witness, 19 August 1887, Page 34

I live at Ashwick, in Canterbury. It is such a nice place, and there are so many pretty trees around the homestead. I go to school at Silverstream — a quiet, nice country township with about 40 or 50 inhabitants, situated very close to the hills. I think it is so nice living near the hills, although mamma says it is much colder than living near the sea. But then you know we are all so healthy in our country township, which perhaps would not be the case if we were living away from our dear hills. We sometimes have a little trouble in getting to school. There is a river running between us and the school, and after very heavy rains , it gets flooded and sweeps our little bridge away. Then papa takes us across on my brother's little pony, which does not mind us climbing on to his back in the least. —
Yours truly, Jane MacIntyre (aged 11 years). Ashwick, July 30.


Albury Primary School Photo courtesy of Gail Woods (nee Rowland). Taken Easter 2000. Albury School about 2006

Otago Witness, 5 September 1889, Page 29
MEMORIES

The old house in the garden
Stood silent in the shade,
And on the gravelled pathway
Mingled light and shadow played.

I saw the schoolroom windows
Wide open to the air,
But the faces of the scholars
I saw no longer there.

The poor little lonely collie
Was sitting by the door,
Looking in vain for his playmates,
Who would return no more.

They walked not in the garden,
They played not in the hall,
But shadow and silence and sadness
Hung darkly over all.

The birds may sing in the bushes
In a sweet familiar tone,
But the voices of the scholars
Will be heard in dreams alone.

Oh! ell, the boy beside me
Could not properly understand
Why closer in mine, still closer,
I pressed his warm, yielding hand!

Where are those scholars so happy ?
And why do the birds in the trees
Sing just as gaily as ever
When I am so ill at ease ?

When our last work here is de,
In heaven we all shall stand,
And the severed brothers and sisters
Shall clasp a loving hand.

But still in this body pent,
Absent from Him I roam ;
Yet nightly pitch my shifting tent,
A day's march nearer home.

—John Mackay. Raincliff , August 10. 1889

Page in progress.
Names database
South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project

Duncan Scott

Timaru Herald, 7 August 1885, Page 2
A Mystery. — It is not often the Board of Education dabble in mysteries, but a genuine one came under their notice yesterday. In the year 1880 the Board granted a sum of £10 to a School Committee for planting purposes, and it was not till their meeting this month that they were aware that it (the planting) had entirely disappeared — there was not, as the Board fondly imagined, a beautiful belt of gigantic tree's around that schoolhouse. This fact was forcibly — and painfully — brought broad to them by the Committee of the school applying yesterday for a sum for "planting purposes." As the saying goes, " This let the cat out of the bag," and earnest wore the enquiries made as to where the £10 granted previously had gone to. Some members were inclined to treat the matter us a good joke, but when one worthy member solemnly declared that there was not a tree of any kind on the school ground that it was one of the most wind-swept, desolate spots in the Board's district, an extremely thoughtful look appeared on members' faces. At last one of them broke the stillness that prevailed by eagerly asking " Does the schoolmaster keep a cow ?" Amid the merriment that ensued the matter dropped, the question and the mystery as to where the £10 had gone being unanswered and unexplained.