Mt Albert Primary School / Te Pa O Ruarangi turns 150 years old!
On Friday 6 and Saturday 7 November 2020, we invited all past and present: Students | Parents | Family | Staff and anyone connected to our amazing school to come and celebrate at a series of events. It all went off in spectacular fashion and we'd like to share some of the memories we made with you. Huge thanks to our photographers Stephen Tilley and Charles Lynch – you can see photos from all parts of the celebration here.
Friday 6th November 2020: School Open Day
Ex-students, staff and parents were invited to come and see the school ‘in action’ and get a sense of what life is like for a Mt Albert Primary School student today.
Visitors were able to chat to staff, hear from our Principal and also have a tour of the school conducted by some of our students – all followed up with a rolling morning / afternoon tea after the tour.
Friday 6th November: Mix, Mingle and Reminisce
Staff, students, Board members and parents new and old came along and shared memories with their fellow classmates, teachers and parents at our Mix and Mingle evening.
With delicious nibbles, a free drink on arrival and live music performed by staff and ex-students, we had all the ingredients for a fabulous evening of conversation and happy memories.
Saturday 7th November: Official School Community Celebration Day
The bunting was fluttering in the breeze, the marquees were up, the stage was set and the school was looking fabulous – it could only mean one thing... our official school community celebration day was ready to begin!
We started with a Reunion March in decades with representatives from every decade from the 1940s right up to the present day and everything in between. The procession walked past the front of the school on Sainsbury Road and was welcomed back on to our site by a rousing haka from our senior students.
Once everyone was seated, we waited for our very special guest speaker to arrive and a huge cheer went up when Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stepped on to the raised dais to join the Board Chair and Senior Leadership team. The Prime Minister's attendance was such a treat for the school and the community and we are so grateful she chose to take some time out of her day to join us in our celebrations.
One of our former students from the 1940s rang our original school bell to start the formal proceedings. There were speeches from our Board Chair, Jonathan Boow, Principal Marian Caulfield and of course from the Prime Minister. After the speeches, Jacinda and Marian planted a commemorative tree and then our oldest ex-student joined with the school's current youngest student to cut the cake.
With the formal part of the day complete, everyone moved to the field area where there were games, a performance stage and cultural food on sale. Registered guests enjoyed a sumptuous afternoon tea buffet in the VIP area. Special thanks to the PTA and members of our wider community for their hard work in organising the food and field activities.
As the afternoon continued, current students from the school gave cultural performances (Kapa Haka, Pacific dance, Bollywood dance, Chinese Dance) and these were followed by a 'Dance-Through-The -Decades' extravaganza performed by all classes in the school. More than 10 choreographed performances took the audience on a historical tour through the 150 years of the school's existence – even the forecast rain held off to enjoy the show!
All in all it was a spectacular event, attended by well over 1000 people. Many memories were made and there's no doubt that these will be treasured for years to come by all who attended. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the events and to all who attended.