Celebrating 150 years


Registrations for the Palmerston District Schools 150th reunion are starting to trickle in and several hundred former pupils are expected to attend the festivities.
The reunion, for former and current staff, pupils and board of trustees members of East Otago High, Palmerston Primary, Flag Swamp, Shag Point, Goodwood and Inch Valley schools, takes place at Labour Weekend, on October 21-23.
Event secretary Heather McGregor confirmed a small number of registrations of interest had been received so far, but she expected them to grow steadily as the event drew nearer.
“They are going pretty well. I would say we have about 30 or 40, but it could be a lot more. There has been quite a bit of interest,” she said.
“They are coming from overseas and all around the country. It’s pretty widespread; the Philippines, Australia _ there’s quite a few.”She believed numbers could hit 1000.
“I would like to think 700; it is the 150th. The last one, the 140th, had 700, so we are hoping for the same. But it could go up to 1000.”While the whole programme had not been finalised, Mrs McGregor said registrations and a meet and greet, in the form of a supper, would take place on the Friday, while on Saturday there would be photographs from 11am, a lunch and an official opening from 2pm.
School buildings would be open to tour from 10.30am on Sunday.
Mrs McGregor said the Palmerston Lions Club had brought forward the popular Kelly’s Canter a week to coincide with the reunion.
Kelly’s Canter is a run or walk up the 393m Puketapu hill organised by the Lions club, and usually pupils from East Otago High, Palmerston Primary, Flag Swamp and Waikouaiti schools compete with a large number of adults in the long-standing event.
She said organisers of Paddy’s market, also to be held on the Sunday, were seeking stallholders for the event.
Of the schools that are part of the reunion, only East Otago, Palmerston Primary and Flag Swamp remain open.
Another Waitaki school is preparing for the same celebration. Papakaio School will hold its 150th jubilee at Easter 2017.
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