Topic: Pre-1933

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The following images relate to Mount Maunganui Primary School for the period prior to 1933

Looking wrong? Archvied version here. 

Click this link for a list & further details of the photos

The first recorded school  at Mt. Maunganui  was at Whareroa Marae, opening  during 1872 with  Mr Oldfield  as the teacher,  receiving  a salary of  100  pounds.

By 1906 there were still only four  buildings at the  Mount,  the two  Pilot  Houses,  a  bach  belonging  to Colonel  G.  Ward and  Mr. Adam's summer cottage (which  is still standing today).  There were  no roads, no fences, just scrub,  fern and miles of sand.

Later a settlement grew up around the Public Works  Department near the  present day wharf. It was  near this area that the first official  school was  built and opened  in  February 1913. 

Pilot Bay from Mauao c 1915


On  October 2nd  1912 J.  Farrell,  architect for Auckland  Education  Board,  advertised  in  the  Bay of Plenty Times for tenders for a new school to  be  built at Mt.  Maunganui.

On  31st January  1913 the members of Auckland  Education  Board travelled  on  the  ‘Jersey  Lily’ to  inspect the new school  buildings at the  Mount.  It had  cost  145  pounds to build  and  consisted of one classroom with porch,  together with  shelter shed and toilets. The school opened for the first time  in  February of that year.  Mr. George  F Stephenson  was  appointed  the  sole teacher on  February 6th  1913 —  it was a temporary appointment.

The Tauranga District High School  Committee administered the school.  This arrangement lasted  until  25 April  1917 when a new school district for Mt Maunganui was created. 

Mount Primary original school building - image taken 1963

It  cost the  Education  Board  15  shillings  to  cart the  furniture  from  the  steamer  to  the  school  in  1913.  By June the outside fences still  hadn’t been completed  and the  playground  needed  levelling.  By August a caretaker still  hadn’t been found so Mr.Stephenson and the children were doing the cleaning. There were 43  pupils on the  roll, with 23 of these being primers.

Being practically a Public Works school,  over its first year the roll fluctuated from  12 — 50. 

Mount Primary Teacher Mr Stephenson 1913


Lance-Corporal  G F Stephenson, killed in action on July 1914. Elder son of Mrs M Stephenson of Ramarama. He went with the Main Body to Gallipoli and afterwards to France. Prior to enlisting he was the teacher of the Mount Maunganui School, Tauranga.


Mount Maunganui Primary School register first day pupils 1913


Centenary Booklet: 

This page archived at Perma CC in March of 2017:

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