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