Town gears up to mark milestone

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Despite Otepopo School’s closure a few years ago, the Herbert community are full steam ahead in celebrating 150 years.

Otepopo School will be celebrating the anniversary in March and anyone with an association with the school is invited to come along.

The celebrations will include a guest speaker, lunch, a roll call, cutting of the celebration cake and more.

Auckland-based political columnist and former pupil Chris Trotter will be speaking at the celebrations of the school he attended between 1961 and 1965.

“I’m looking forward to returning to my childhood haunts and recalling the richness and texture of an earlier, less complicated New Zealand,” Mr Trotter said.

The quaint town of Herbert is very much like what he imagined Hobbiton to be, he said.

“Like Hobbiton, Herbert possessed a formidable collection of long-established families.

“It may not have been able to boast Bagginses, Brandybucks or Tooks, but its McMillans, McKenzies, Beckingsales and Wilkies were no less stalwart guardians of their village’s history and traditions.”

One of the organisers of the event, Jan Kennedy, said she was looking forward to having Mr Trotter as the special guest speaker.

“As the school closed a few years ago, we are treating this day as a fun, social occasion for the wider community.”

Anyone who has a connection or interest in the school is invited to attend the Otepopo 150 celebrations on Saturday, March 15 at Camp Iona.

Registrations are required and forms can be collected from the Herbert Garage, the Oamaru i-SITE or can be downloaded from Otepopo School Founders’ Day 150 Facebook page.

Registrations close on February 15.

For further information, email otepopo150@gmail.com or phone Jan Kennedy on 027 267 2450 or Winsome Gibson on 03 439 5662.