Hampden School to celebrate 150 years

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This Labour Weekend marks a special occasion for Hampden School.

The small rural school is celebrating its 150th jubilee, with former pupils from all over the country returning to be part of the occasion.

Hampden School opened in 1864 with 60 pupils; now there are about 36 pupils and principal John Laing said numbers keep fluctuating.

Mr Laing said it would be good to catch up with former pupils.

“I have been here 14 years, so I am hoping some former pupils who have families now may attend.”

Hampden School Board of Trustees chairperson Leona Trimble said things were all in place for the weekend.

“We will have one more meeting tomorrow to catch up and go over some last-minute things, but it’s about ready to go.”

Registrations for the dinner closed at the end of September, which sold out, while they were still being accepted for the speeches and afternoon tea.

“The events being held at the hall we are still taking registrations for, but the dinner in Moeraki is full.”

Mrs Trimble said 135 people had been confirmed for the reunion.

“Hopefully everyone attending will be delighted to see the school retain the characteristics of the past, but with the modern touches of education of today. There hopefully will be many happy memories of schooling at Hampden discussed by those attending, and friendships rekindled as the years have passed.”

The day starts with registrations at 12:30pm, before people head along to the Hampden Hall where the afternoon’s proceedings begin at 2pm, before the official welcoming at 3pm, before they head for dinner at 7pm.

On the Sunday, there will be a gala held at the school from 10am to 2pm.

Friday night there is a quiz night being held at the Moeraki Boulders Cafe and Bar.

By BRAYDEN LINDSAY

PHOTO: FILE

PUPILS: A Recent photo of Hampden School pupils.