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Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1888 - 1963

Kete Horowhenua2020-03-23T16:51:41+00:00
The Manakau School 75th Jubilee took place on the 1st March 1963.This is a copy of the Booklet that was printed at the time for the Jubilee.
Contact email
Type of schoolPrimary
Year range1888 - 1963
Contact phone number06 368 3253

The booklet has had a lot of use and is a bit weather beaten, We trust that it will bring back enjoyable memories for the older pupils, and enlighten the the present day pupils.

a few extra photos have been added to create more interest. Also check out the topic ( pupils at the 1963 reunion ) More photos are being added.

To Old Pupils

What message should we pass to you for the 75th Anni­versary celebrations? Certainly a message of welcome to those who will come from all parts of Now Zealand to renew the friendships of their school days, to pay their respects to the memories of those who attended the Golden and Diamond Jubilees but who have passed on, and to join in our proud cele­brations. Some who will not be present will, however, receive this booklet, and we wish to pass on to you from all your old friends their best wishes for the future and to assure you that you will be affectionately missed.

However, a word of welcome is not a message to those who will gather for this 75th Anniversary of the opening of the Manakau School. Let our message rather be a reminder of those who strove to create a school where once a wooded space existed, of those who toiled to get their pupils through their school work, and of those who worked like the late Mr. George Phillips to make sure there was enough for the "kids" at the picnic or the concert.

Teachers, parents and committee members realize all too well that few changes take place in a school without years of effort, letters and fund-raising, concerts and working bees. This was the spirit that not only built our schools but also developed our farms, formed our roads, constructed our houses and developed our communications and industries. This is the spirit which we must carry on in our new places of residence scattered from one end of New Zealand to the other, even beyond our shores to underdeveloped countries whose need is what ours used to be.

I would like to thank all members of the Booklet Committee for their unremitting work in compiling this booklet and pay tribute to those who published the Diamond Jubilee Booklet— much of the latter has been reprinted for it is still the essential history of the School and the district. The main additions are to "The History of the Manakau School" and to the "Survey of the Settlement of Manakau" both of which have been brought up to date. Additional earlier facts have been inserted in the appropriate articles, and a summary has been made of the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations.

Seventy-five years have brought many changes but friend­ships and memories are high-lighted on an occasion such as a Jubilee. Former Schoolmates will have a hectic week-end telling old tales such as could never be written up in a Booklet, for life is made to be lived to the full, and your organizing committee wish you every happiness at your forthcoming celebrations.


for the Jubilee Booklet Committee.



8.30 p.m. Jubilee Ball at Manakau Hall. SATURDAY, 2nd MARCH:

12 Noon Parade from Post Office to School.

12.30 p.m. Reception Speeches.

1.00 p.m. Roll Call.

3.00 p.m. Afternoon Tea and Group Photographs.

7.30 p.m. Dinner in Memorial Hall, Otaki.


2.00 p.m. Church Parade and Placing of Wreath on Cenotaph.


11.30 a.m. Jubilee Sports and Picnic Lunch.
Jubilee Committees

President: Mr. J. N. Bryant.

Secretary: Mr. R. Bevan. Minute Secretary: Mr. K. J. Prankerd.

Treasurer: Mr. B. Bregmen. Executive: The Chairmen of the Sub-Committees.


Maori Representatives: Mr. R. Ransfield (Chairman), Messrs. W. Gardiner and T. Gray.

Dinner: Messrs. M. Staples (Chairman), L. Barkla, N. Bevan,

A. Barbery, R. Ransfield, I. Robinson, D. Nielsen, I.
Tollan, M. F. Bevan, H. Edhouse, B. Atkins; Mesdames
G. Nees, M. Barbery, I. Bowler, J. Lockyer, C. N. Nielsen,
and Miss A. Miles.

Reception: Messrs. V. Bregmen and Ray. L. Robinson. Transport and Accommodation: Messrs. J. Horn (Chairman), A.

Hazlitt, B. Atkins and Mrs. M. Wallace. Jubilee Sports: The School Committee.

Booklet: Messrs. K. J. Prankerd (Chairman), Ray. L. Robinson, L. Barkla, V. Bregmen and N. Bevan.

Ball: Mesdames P. Bregmen (Chairman), p. Cotter, M. Robinson, P. Bertlesen, J. Prankerd, C. de Simas; Messrs. B. Breg­men, W. Gardiner, J. Bowling, V. Bregmen, L. Staples, H. Phillips, O. Cornelius, I. Robinson, F. Corbett and G. Martin.

Church Service: Messrs. L. Barkla (Chairman), and W. I.

Hazlitt Snr., and Miss Cotter. Fund Raising: Messrs. R. Bevan (Chairman), J. Bowling

Ransfield, M. Bowling, V. Bregmen, N. Bevan, B. 1

B. Bregmen; Mesdames J. Prankerd, P. Hansel
de Simas, P. Bregmen, M. Barbery.

Manakau School 1963


(By G. D. FAIRLEY, Chairman of the School Committee)

As we gather for this Seventy-fifth Jubilee of our school let those who have had the privilege to pass through her doors feel proud that they have upheld the name of their school; as today those doors warmly welcome back familiar faces, a little older, a little wiser.

Our school to-day still stands foremost in our community. To my fellow Committee men and all the residents of Manakau I extend my sincere thanks for their generous assistance both in money donations and voluntary work, so unstintingly given during my term as Chairman.

The School is most fortunate in having one of the best attended Parent-Teachers' Association on the Coast. The mem­bership and the co-operation with the School Committee is warmly appreciated.

In his 60th Jubilee letter, Mr. R. Robinson the then Chair­man appealed for funds to build baths for the school. The generous giving and work which followed his request made it possible for the baths to be installed and it is with pleasure that I write in this 75th Jubilee letter that to a further appeal, followed by a wonderful response, a filtration plant has been installed, thus giving our present pupils the finest conditions for swimming lessons.

The Education Board has recently built another new class­room, new teachers' toilet facilities in the old block, and im­proved children's toilet facilities have also been provided. New equipment for the school has been purchased from time to time and Committees have given considerable thought to the purchase of items which teachers have requested, so that every child can receive every opportunity to gain the knowledge and learning to equip him or her for an adult life ahead.

To the teaching staff today and during the past years we offer our sincere thanks for untiring efforts, both in the class­room and in the field of sport, also for the example of citizen­ship which they have set, and which will send our pupils out well fitted to take their places in the community.

In closing I feel sure that all old pupils who are present will be gratified to see the School and the grounds looking colourful and well-cared-for. Some things have changed, but there will be lots of old familiar corners. I join with my Committee in wishing you a very successful 75th Jubilee.


Roll of Honour

To the Greater Glory of God and in thankful remembrance of the ex-pupils of Manakau School who gave their services for Empire, Commonwealth, Home and Duty.

Bennett, H. Bennett, O. H. Bevan, A. Bevan, E. Bevan, L. Bevan, M. Bevan, P. Bevan, S. Bird, C. Bird, H. Bird, W. Brown, E. Bryant, W. L.* Campion, D. Campion, N.

1914- 18

Campion, H. Campion, T. Carkeek, R. Drake, C. Drake, Roland. Edhouse, H. Fowler, P. Gorrie, Jas. Hapeta, Wm. Horn, J'as. G., M.M. Houghton, H. King, P. Lindsay, E. McLeod, Wm. Mouldey, J.*

Nees, Wm. Nicholson, B. Ransfield, D. Ransfield, J. Ransfield, R. Ransfield, R. S.* Reidy, T. Rickard, J. Scott, J. Silbery, J. Simeon, D. Taylor, A.* Taylor, R.* Thomson, B.


Atkins, S. Atkins, T. Bevan, K. Bevan, L. Bevan, S. Blair, R. Bregmen, V. Bryant, J. H. Bryant, J. N. Clifford, S. Cook, G. C. Cook, W. Cotter, S. Crafar, F. Dalzell, K. Drake, Ray. Duncum, A.

Duncum, C. Duncum, M. Gardiner, H. Gardiner, John. Gardiner, W. George, A. Horn, David Horn, Donald Horn, John Hornig, R. Hughes, V. John, H. Knight, F. Leen, D. Leitch, A. Leitch, D.

Marks, L. Morton, A. Morton, G. Morton, J. Perawiti, G. Perawiti, R. Ransfleld, B. Ransfleld, P. Robinson, I. Robinson, J. Robinson, L. Silbery, John* Scholes, H. Sunley, W. H.* Swainson, R. Wallace, D. Wallace, H.

*They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn;
At the going down of the sun and in the morning.
We will remember them.




The first known references to the Manakau School are short entries in the Wellington Education Board Minute Books for the years 1887 and 1888. "Wednesday 28th September, 1887.

Applications were received for new schools at Manakau and (word not legible). The Board could not in its present state of finance deal with the application." (Well! the last phrase sounds familiar.)

"Wednesday 26th October, 1887.

Manakau. The Board decided that as the school site at Manakau was not yet vested in the Board, no action could be taken on the application of J. Houghton—re clearing the land."

"Wednesday, 25th April, 1888.

The petitions for schools at Haywards and at Manakau were referred to the respective school committees. The Board decided to allow the capitation grant of £3/15/0 to schools, if opened at Te Horo, Manakau, Waikanae and (word not-legible) con­ducted in accordance with the Board's regulations." "Wednesday, July 26th, 1888.

A special grant of £50 was made towards the cost of erection of a school-house at Manakau."

The first entry in the "log book," or diary of the Manakau School, reads as follows:—"July llth, 1888: This School was opened on 21st June in Mr. Whiley's residence at Manakau."

This is the house now occupied by Mr. Cudby Snr. on the North Manakau Road. The first teacher was Mr. Donnelly, about whom not a great deal is known, save that he had a long white beard. His last entry in the log refers to the visit of Mr. Lee, School Inspector, who passed Julia Whiley in S.4, and Elizabeth Whiley and John Rickard in S.2.

The pupils who attended the School in Mr. Whiley's resi­dence were:—Robert Whiley, Fred Whiley, Richard Bevan, William Bevan, John Rickard, Charles Rickard, Fred Rickard, William Rickard, Edward Bevan, John Moses, William King, Peter Blackfern, Tom Currinam, Sam Whiti, Isaac Palliver, Julia Whiley, Eliza Whiley, Edith Bartlett, Georgina Bartlett, Anne Bevan, Mary Corville, Mabel Corville, Margaret Bevan, Ellen Bevan, Matakina Perarnara, Mary Rike, Louisa Pratt and Robert Ransfield.

On 22nd October of 1888, the first permanent teacher com­menced duty. He was the late Mr. Findlay Bethune. His first entry in the log was:—

"The Manakau School was reopened by me today in the building which has just been completed. The attendance was twenty-eight. It was a very disagreeable day."

Those pupils who trudged through the rain and mud were: —William Bartlett, Daisy Houghton, George Houghton, Ernest Saint, Louis Hedley, and in addition twenty-three others from among those whose names appear in the first list.

The next entry of interest states:—Dec. 17th, 1888: "A num­ber of settlers wishing to provide the children with a proper playground has subscribed sufficient money to clear and level about an acre. The work was taken in hand today."


Miss Howan, the first Assistant, Mistress, arrived on 1st April, 1889. I wonder if she ha.d the same tricks played on her as the present pupils still try to perpetrate on April Fool's Day.

As with the first teacher, so with the first committee, for there is no record of who were the members. Nevertheless there was one functioning, for on March 18th, 1889, we read that, with the consent of the committee, the Head Teacher closed the School to enable the children to attend the annual sports at Otaki. On April 24th of that year there was a meeting of householders when the following committee was elected:—

Messrs. C. S. Houghton (chairman), Sherratt, H. Bevan, T. Bevan, Snr., Wilson, Bartlett and Whiley.

The first visit of an inspector in the new School took place on June 13th, 1889, when Mr. Lee passed the following pupils:—

Miss Howan, the first Assistant, Mistress, arrived on 1st April, 1889. I wonder if she ha.d the same tricks played on her as the present pupils still try to perpetrate on April Fool's Day.

As with the first teacher, so with the first committee, for there is no record of who were the members. Nevertheless there was one functioning, for on March 18th, 1889, we read that, with the consent of the committee, the Head Teacher closed the School to enable the children to attend the annual sports at Otaki. On April 24th of that year there was a meeting of householders when the following committee was elected:—

Messrs. C. S. Houghton (chairman), Sherratt, H. Bevan, T. Bevan, Snr., Wilson, Bartlett and Whiley.

The first visit of an inspector in the new School took place on June 13th, 1889, when Mr. Lee passed the following pupils:—

Standard 1.—Edward Bevan, Richard Bevan, Isaac -------,

Peter-----, Ernest Saint, William Jukes, Frederick Rickard,

Charles Rickard, Hannah Ransfield, Sophia Fowler, Elizabeth Akenson, Edith Bartlett, Georgina Bartlett, Clara Tantrum.

Standard 2.—Edward Wilson, Hugh Dunlop, Elizabeth Wilson, Annie Jukes.

Standard 3.—David Dunlop, Elizabeth Whiley.

Standard 4.—Walter Tantrum, Frank Houghton, James Fraser, Mysie Fraser, Susan Tantrum, Mary Houghton, Emma Bartlett.

Standard 5.—George Houghton, Ernest Houghton, Stephen Carkeek, Julia Whiley.

Standard 6.—Annie Dunlop.

Messrs. Houghton, Whiley and Bevan, of the School Committee, were present during the examination. Poor children!

Another "first," probably of interest to oresent-day pupils. was, "Caned William Robinson today—four strokes." I wonder where he got them.

By Sept. 4th of 1889, the roll had reached 70 and Mr. Lee recommended to the Education Board that "an addition to the building is now urgently needed. On Oct. 21st of the same year work was commenced on the new room. While the alterations were being carried out, the pupils were transferred to the meeting house which, by the generosity, and interest of the Maori people, was placed at their disposal.


During the year 1899 when a new room was being built, the School was held at the Pa, since demolished, situated on the property at present being occupied by Mr. Sanders, Market gardener. There were quite a few living around the Pa area and the older Maori women used to wander in and out at will among the pupils. Great interest was taken by those women in one boy who had very prominent buck teeth and they could be seen watching him and talking together. At last curiosity could not be withheld and one old woman came up to him and peering at his teeth from one side and the other put her fingers to her mouth letting the fingers extend out in front and asked thirsting for knowledge "How e kom?" ("How e come?") Just imagine the uproar from all the pupils in the room.


A sad day for Manakau July 1967

A sad day for Manakau July 1967

Local residents, Don Tate, John Bryant, Bridie Bryant, Judith tate and bill Gordon surveying the ruins of The Manakau Hall that burnt
down July 1967.

Te Uawhaki, house of the Ngati-Te Rangi

Te Uawhaki, house of Ngati-Te Rangi

This could have been the one that was used for a temporary school
room in 1899 while a new room was being built at the school.

By Dec. 10 the additions were completed and the pupils and teachers returned to occupy the two new rooms. The first room was that now occupied by Stds. 3-6, while the second was built on the north, though when the present infant room building was erected, it was pulled down. The contractor for the original building and the second room was the late Mr. C. Nees and the fine condition of the oldest part of our School as it is today, is a splendid and fitting tribute to his character and workmanship.

By 1893 the roll had reached 96 and on Sept. 4th "Master" William Bennett was appointed as a pupil teacher. Another interesting entry in the log that year was, "Received notice from Mr. Hurley (chairman of the School Committee) that the com­mittee had resigned in a body owing to the Board having deci­ded that the teacher had control of school grounds." However next month the annual meeting of householders took place and the committee was elected again. An alarming entry on Dec. 13th, 1894, states that the Head Teacher's residence was broken into and the proceeds of the annual School Concert were stolen.

During the next two years the School continued to make steady progress and on Aug. 28th, 1896, Mr. Bethune completed his term as Head Teacher and left on promotion to Johnsonville. Mr. Fleming, Inspector of Schools, pays a fitting tribute to our first Head Teacher in his remarks in the log. "Mr. Bethune has been in charge of this school since its opening. His record has been that of a good teacher, earnest in his work and most at­tentive to his duties. The condition of the School property has improved very much under his charge and everything has been well looked after. On his promotion to Johnsonville he will hand over to his successor a School in good working order."

The foundations laid by Mr. Bethune are a tribute to his sterling character, and his qualities as a teacher. Under trying conditions, which we of today cannot conceive, he built in the hearts of the pupil’s affection for the School, which has borne fruit in the glad reunions of our two Jubilees.

On Nov. 2nd, 1896, the second head teacher, Mr. William Foster, arrived, his assistants at that time being Miss Farmar and Mr. W. Bennett. By this year the roll had dropped to 72, owing to the opening of a school at Ohau. Under Mr. Foster's guidance the School continued to make steady progress and in 1898 he was succeeded by Mr. Everton. During the next few years was fought the Boer War and it is worthwhile quoting the following entries:—

Feb. 28th, 1900.—Today was observed as a holiday in honour of Lord Robert's victory in the Transvaal.

Mar. 2nd.—School was closed for the afternoon to celebrate the Relief of Ladysmith.

May 28th.—Holiday for the Relief of Mafeking.

June 28th. 1901—The children assembled in front of Milne's Store to hear the King's Proclamation read and were dismissed for the rest of the day.

The first scholarship winner whose name is recorded was Reginald Verry, in November, 1900, and Mr. Everton records that he was "first on the Scholarship List for schools."

"On June 18th, 1902, the School flag was unfurled and it was decided to celebrate Peace and the Coronation at the same time; nearly the whole of the residents of the district turned out for it. The flagstaff was the gift of Mr. T. Bevan."

(8 )

By this time the grounds were planted with trees and the playing area had been levelled and grassed, though in the previ­ous year a rimu log in the playground had been cut and split for firewood.

Mr. Everton left at the beginning of 1903 and was succeeded by Mr. McBain who remained as Head Teacher until 1914. This was the longest period that the School has remained under one teacher and with Mr. McBain to guide its destinies, the School made great progress. By 1906 the roll call had reached 114 and there were still only two teachers, Mr. McBain and Miss Felling-ham. The numbers continued to increase and in 1907 a new room was built, Miss Lee being added to the staff. On March 19th of that year Mr. McBain records—"Very poor attendance; over 50 absent. Three causes operating: (1) Levin Races, (2) Besses o' the Barn Band giving performance in Levin, and (3) rough weather."

On 19th July, 1912, in his report of the School's progress, the visiting inspector, Mr. Bakewell, makes the following statement: "The lawn and flower plots in front of the School present a most attractive appearance. Manakau is fortunate in having an ener­getic committee, the members of which have always taken an active interest in the welfare of the School."

In 1913 Guy Fawke's Day occurred a day too soon in Mana­kau School, for Willie Hiwi exploded a detonator during lessons! Old pupils still recount how the marks of poor Willie's fingers lingered on the ceiling for years.

Mr. McBain's last entry on Dec. 17th, 1914, reads: "Before closing my final entry I wish to express my gratitude to my assistants for their loyal help and to my committee for much assistance and steady support."

Mr. Bakewell in his last report of Mr. McBain's activities said this:—"During the twelve years that he has been in charge of the Manakau School, his management has been characterized by great tact, unflagging energy and most successful results. He leaves the School thoroughly efficient in all its departments."

He was succeeded by Mr. W. Murray who came, to quote from the inspector's entry in the log, "with a high reputation as a school manager," and certainly from the examination reports the School was maintained at a high standard. However, Mr. Murray's stay at Manakau was short, and subsequently he lost his life on Mt. Egmont.

At the beginning of 1916, the School was taken over by Mr. P. A. D. Mackle. Attendance during the first term was very poor owing to an outbreak of infantile paralysis, the School being subsequently closed in April and May. It was in Mr. Mickle's first year that hedges were planted and it was due to his energy and interest that so many beautiful trees were planted about the grounds.

The first mention of World War I in the log occurs on 26th July, 1916, when the School "sent down goods for Belgian Chil­dren's Relief Fund, and also £20 17s 6d in cash." A splendid effort! During the remaining years of the war more good work was carried on. The entry on Nov. llth, 1918, reads:—"Peace was officially announced. Flags went up and there was rejoicing generally in all places. The joy is saddened by raging influenza Alarming reports come to hand from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch."


Manakau Fields and Buildings (circa early 1900s

Manakau Fields and Buildings

Manakau School 1892

( 10 )

Mr. Mickle's last entry in 1923 was:—"I regret leaving this School where I have enjoyed the confidence of parents and pupils for seven and a-half years. I regret very much to part with the children." The School owes much to Mr. Mickle’s for the high standard of work which he maintained and for the splen­did improvements he made to the grounds.

The next head teacher was Mr. W. Anderson, who carried on
the high level of work attained by his predecessor. Entries
worthy of mention during Mr. Anderson's term were:____

April, 20th, 1925.—Owing to outbreak of infantile paralysis in January work was not resumed till this morning. Correspond­ence work has been carried on for some weeks.

May 13th, 1925.—"The School will be closed tomorrow on account of the funeral of the late Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. W. F. Massey.

March 3rd, 1927.—A holiday will be observed tomorrow in honour of the visit of the Duke and Duchess of York. Standards 3—6 will proceed to Palmerston North by special train in order to take part in the children's gathering.

Greater interest in singing was featured at this time and a School Choir was formed. The choir gave items at various func­tions and won first place at the Otaki competitions.

Mr. Anderson made his final entry in the log on Dec. 19th, 1930:—"I wish to record my appreciation of loyal assistance re­ceived from the staff, and also kind assistance at all time from the School Committee."

The late Mr. Green, followed Mr. Anderson as head of the School. During Mr. Green's term, great interest was taken in the Calf Club activities and in football. Entries from Manakau gained the championship on several occasions at the final judg­ing in Levin, and for two years the School fifteen remained un­beaten in the Horowhenua Primary Schools' Competition. At the end of the first term in 18-37, Mr. Green resigned and was followed by Mr. C. R. French.

Shortly after Mr. French's appointment preparations were made for the celebration of the Golden Jubilee, a most success­ful function, details of which appear in a later part of this booklet. In the following year work was commenced on the remodeling of the old School buildings, and the erection of a modern open-air infant room. This was followed by the building of a new residence for the head teacher, so that by the time Mr. French departed, Manakau possessed one of the best equipped and most modern schools in the Wellington Education Board. Another notable effort during this period was the large amount of money raised for patriotic purposes by pupils and staff.

When Mr. French, after a most successful and eventful term as head teacher, left on promotion, he was followed in 1944 by Mr. F. H. Mayman, whose term ended with the celebration of the Diamond Jubilee.

I hope that this short account of the history of the School will bring back pleasant memories to those ex-pupils who have gathered together in this month of May, 1948; that they will recall the happy times they spent with their fellows in the "good old days," and will remember, with pride and affection, the part that the School has played in the welfare and promotion of the township.



THE ERA 1948-1963

During Mr. Mayman's period at the School, noteworthy events were:—"May 4th, 1945—Capitulation of German Forces in Italy,—Schools closed by direction of the Minister of Educa­tion."

“ August 15 th -School closed at 11.45. Peace Declared—defeat

Of Japan,”

"August 17th—Committee holiday—local function celebrating Victory."

"May 7th, 1948—School closed for Diamond Jubilee."

Mr. Mayman's final words from the log-book were:—"After four years at Manakau, I have left for Porirua! They have been very pleasant years and I owe much to the Staff and the Com­mittee."

I know that his pupils will remember his quiet determina­tion and understanding and that all those who lived in Mana­kau will remember Mr. and Mrs. Mayman's outstanding flower and vegetable garden at the new school-house which was erec­ted during Mr. French's term as Headmaster.

Mr. Thomas Taylor was relieving headmaster for a term before Mr. J. J. McDonald arrived on the 6th September, 1948. Two well-known school incidents occurred, for on 14th Septem­ber, Mr. Thompson late of Crown Studios arrived to take the School photographs. I wonder how many hundreds of thou­sands of New Zealand School children remember the man who had a limp and who took those photographs at such speed. The other entry in the log is as brief as the event:—

"30th September—Henry Eru bitten by dog." During Mr. McDonald's headmastership the school attained its greatest roll of pupils, which reached 149 on 1st October, 1951, but dropped to under 100 by February, 1952, when the bus commenced carry­ing pupils to the Otaki Convent. At this time a pre-fabricated classroom was built, but this was replaced by a very modern Infant Room in 1962. On 8th February, 1951, Manakau pupils enjoyed their first swim in the new school baths which in 1962 had a filtration plant added, while two distinguished visitors to the school were Mr. R. Verry, who was a pupil at School in 1900 and Mrs. McBain wife of the late Mr. A. McBain—mentioned earlier. Mr. Ray White must have been very popular on the 29th May, 1953, Coronation Day of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II for he donated red, white and blue ice-creams for all pupils.

Mr. McDonald's farewell note reads as follows:—"Good-bye Manakau, a very pleasant and enjoyable five years. I must place on record the wonderful support of the School Committee and Staff, and the pleasant attitude of the Children," and then he asked no doubt with that well-known twinkle in his eye, "Will Waiouru be cold?"

Mr. Patchett's term of office commenced on 7th September, 1953. He was responsible for many additions in school equip­ment and was very keen on sport and athletics. Due to his initiative the Parent-Teachers' Association commenced with the Inaugural Meeting on 15th September, 1955, but less fortunate was the commencement of the teacher shortage which has so adversely affected many New Zealand Schools.


"26th September, 1955—Miss--------------- commenced duties as

relieving teacher today. This is the fifth teacher the primer classes have had this year."

A further name which is repeatedly found in the school log­book is that of Colonel E. R. Winkler.

"April 24th, 1956—School Anzac Service. Mr. L. Barkla and Mr. Robinson (School Committee) were present. The address was given by Colonel E. R. Winkler." Although he is not men­tioned on this occasion, I have no doubt that Mr. C. O'Sullivan also helped with arrangements. School visits and trips, sport­ing fixtures, visits by the Board and Board Officials account for many of the day to day entries.

In 1958 Mr. Patchett was succeeded by Mr. F. Armour who was responsible for a very energetic Hydatids Prevention Com­mittee and who helped finally convince the Education Board that a new classroom was necessary. A noteworthy log entry on, "16th June, 1959. Polio immunisation injections administered by Health Department Team." Thus commenced the attack on poliomyelitis which had closed schools regularly throughout New Zealand and which had caused misery to many young children.

"June 27th (Saturday) we record with profound regret the loss of Miss Adsett, who died following a motor accident on 26th June. She will be remembered for her fine contribution to the life of the School."

"November llth, 1959. Horowhenua Primary Schools' Music Festival held in Regent Theatre, Levin." by September 5th, 1960, the roll had again risen to 125 and the pre-fabricated room having been removed pupils already being taught in the small Church of England Hall, but "July 28th, 1961, Mr. Maberley of Otaki began construction of the fourth classroom."

"August 18th, 1961. This terminates my (Mr. Armour's) stay of three years. I leave for Titahi Bay North following my pre­decessor in Manakau." The coincidence of following Mr. Patchett is even wider than a single instance for the Head­masters of Manakau School ever since 1948 have eventually either gone to or come from Titahi Bay, while associations with Porirua School extend back even further.

Mr. K. J. Prankerd followed Mr. Armour in August, 1961. Manakau's generosity over the years had in no way diminished.

"24th February, 1962. Installation commenced of the new nitration plant. Parents donated £186 in five weeks." Also of interest to ex-pupils and staff, "12th April, 1962. Visit from F. H. Mayman—Inspector of Schools," and finally of course "14th May, 1962. Inaugural meeting of Committee for the 75th Jubilee of the School, called by Mr. Ralph Bevan."

Unfortunately log-books do not contain enough references to children and to children's activities and incidents. Hence they tend to be "the dull stuff of history" but behind the steady material growth of the School, you will have to continually imagine the sounds of high laughter, childish quarrels, excite­ment and noise which abates only with the ringing of the school bell.




1888-1896 F. Bethune 1931-1937 Mr. Green

1896-1898 W. Foster 1937-1944 C. R. French

1898-1903 F. C. Everton 1944-1948 F. H. Mayman

1903-1914 A. McBain 1948-1953 J. J. McDonald

1915-1916 W. Murray 1953-1957 L. E. Patchet

1916-1923 P. A. D. Mickle 1958-1961 F. A. Armour

1923-1930 W. Anderson 1961-------- K. J. Prankerd


Misses Howan, Cundy, Farmar, Banks, Dynan, Rolls, Fell-ingham, Lee, Bevan, Jensen,, Mrs. Balding, Misses Piggott, Simons, Cheek, Greig, Windley, Burnell, Malcolm, Gunn, Dyer, Wadsworth, Grenside, Hearle, Collier, Waller, French, Richell, Green, Stewart, Anderson, Mrs. Shanly, Misses Roy, Witta, Ankar, Maxwell, Smith, Langtry, Black, Denton, Ryder, Lumsden, Mr. Adams, Miss Hooper, Miss L. Barkla, Mrs. Empson, Miss Grice, Miss V. Barkla, Mrs. V. Webster, Mr. I. W. Tollan, Misses B. V Grice, Murray, Beasley, M. McLeod, B. A. Giles, S. Crawford, McAdam, Mr. D. F. Yeates, Miss J. M. Lette, Mr. Thomas Taylor (relieving head teacher) Miss R. Campbell, Miss D. Adsett, Mrs. B. Stanley, Mrs. A. Day, Mr. T. Campbell, Miss Billey, Mrs. E. Theotaold, Mr. R. M. Silver, Miss R. Smith, Miss J. Congalton, Miss J. Burns, Mr. D. Jeffries, Miss B. Cameron, Miss S. Fowke.



My father, Mr. Robert Whiley, took up land at Manakau when it was practically all bush. He and my elder brothers went there and cleared a small portion of the land to build a house. When the building was completed in 1887 the remainder of the family shifted down. The property was about half a mile up the North Manakau Road. There was standing bush on both sides and no metal on the road.

My father began to worry about our education, for there were four of us of school age. My sister, Lizzie, and I had been attending the Longburn School, which was then the nearest school to Manakau. My younger brothers, Fred and Bob, had not started school, so my father got in touch with the Education Department to see what could be done. He offered them one of our front rooms, free of charge, to carry on with until such time as a school could be built.

They accepted his offer and sent up desks, a blackboard and the necessary books. The teacher was Mr. Donnelly, who was quite an old man with a long white beard. In the meantime my father had been round to the few settlers to get them to send their children. He also went to the Maori pahs, there being two of them at that time. The Maori people were very pleased with the suggestion, and I think we soon had more Maori pupils than European. Some of the children walked from the South Mana­kau Road, and the mud was terrible. They had to wend their way between logs and stumps along the side of the road.


When the School was finally built, the grounds were covered with logs and stumps; except for the road and the railway, the standing bush was up to the boundary. We started in the new School with a new teacher, Mr. Bethune, and later on we got an assistant, Miss Howan. After that there was added another room, which was built by Mr. Nees and Mr. Williamson. During the time they were building the second room, we were shifted to the Maori meeting house.

There were no sports such as tennis, basketball, or football in those days, but still I think we all enjoyed our school days. We were very fond of our teachers, and had some lovely picnics and concerts; the latter were held in the Maori meeting house, the whole village turning out. The church services were held at the Railway Station and our minister, the Rev. Raine, rode on horseback from Otaki.

—by the late JULIA WHILEY (Mrs. Winstone)



This short and compact story of the above School and its people of the Maori race is a summary of the greater and wider history of the Horowhenua-Manawatu district.

There were other people or tribes inhabiting these parts long before the present occupiers were known of, or even came (there are still remnants of them to be met round about Levin); they had produced men who played a prominent part in suppressing rebels against the Treaty of Waitangi, signed by the two races, Maori and Pakeha, in the year 1840. Major Keepa Taitoko, for instance, a most noble character, was one -of the great soldiers in the service of the revered Queen Victoria. When he was a very young man, the area under our review became subjugated and fell into the hands of usurpers, the Ngati-Raukawa, these new people now being the principal occupiers of the afore­mentioned districts. Ngati-Raukawa is comprised of several sub-tribes or clans, including Ngati-Wehiwehi, Tukorehe, and Te Rangi, of Manakau-Ohau settlements. The last sub-tribe, being absorbed into the two former, has lost its separate identity today.

When Horowhenua-Manawatu became the possession of the Ngati-Raukawa by right of conquest, they migrated here, leav­ing for good their original home at Maungatautari, near Cam­bridge, Waikato. This great migration is referred to by Mac-Donald in his book, "Te Heke." The whole area was divided up and apportioned out to various sub-tribes, each settling thereon It became a popular proverbial saying later, "Mai o Whitireia ki Miriatekakara ka tawharau Raukawa." Translated into English this would be, "From Porirua to Rangitikei, Raukawa reigns

Manakau School's First Teacher 1888-1896

supreme." Thus Manakau-Ohau became the possession and
home of the Ngati-Wehiwehi and Ngati-Tukorehe, remaining
so to this day, though much of the originally owned greater area become leased or sold to Pakehas.

It is one of the most interesting and absorbing stories, fas­cinating for old and young alike, this unfolding of the history of how the Horowhenua-Manawatu was conquered by Te Rau­paraha and his raiding party. But I proposed earlier, to confine this narrative to principal events which took place before the final settlement of Manakau-Ohau, and of persons and tribes concerned therewith.

Following the death of the mighty Hape, Te Rauparaha known as the Napoleon of the Maori race, succeeded this para­mount chief of the Ngati-Raukawa back in their original home, Maungatautari, Cambridge, Waikato, but was never recognized nor accepted by the whole tribe. However, by sheer force of character, together with prowess in battle, he was able to win and retain the confidence of a great many. Ever spurred by love for adventure and exploration, Te Rauparaha, with a num­ber of his kith and kin, raided these parts and usurped the original inhabitants of the whole of the Horowhenua-Manawatu even unto the Rangitikei River.

But that, of course, is another story!

When the area was divided up among the various sub-tribes, Manakau-Ohau became the possession of the Ngati-Wehiwehi-Tukorehe, and still is to this day.

After years of a wild and turbulent life, Te Rauparaha gradually lost not only his dash in war, but all powers and vir­tues consistent with efficient leadership. So it was he came to resign himself to the inevitable.

On his return from a peaceful trip to Sydney, the then Metropolis of Australasia, whither he had gone to see the Pakeha way of life, he was a changed man. The old look of savagery, that had been the dread of many, disappeared. While in Sydney, he had attended Divine Services at several churches. At one of these, he was prompted to ask his guide, "To what God were the Pakehas worshipping?" "Ihowa (Jehovah)," was the answer. The word so impressed him, it recalled latent memories of "lo," in other words, "lo matua te kore," the God of his ancient fathers often mentioned by his elders back home in Maungatautari, during his boyhood days. He remembered, too, the sacred soil that was brought to this country when the Maori people left their home in the Cook Islands some 500 years before. It had belonged to the site where the ancient altar or shrine stood on the island of "Raiatea," or "Rangiatea" of "lo matua te Kore," "lo the Parentless." He became determined in his heart, to see that that Sacred Heirloom, be deposited some­where in this newly won Horowhenua-Manawatu, and a church built over it, to worship "lo" or "Ihowa" therein.

Arriving back, he found the whole of Ngati-Raukawa, with neighbouring tribes, in full force, awaiting him at Rangiuru, now Tasman Beach, to welcome him. Among them were two sub-tribes of Ngati Wehiwehi and Tukorehe, led by Paora Poho-tiraha and Koroniria. This was just what Te Rauparaha had hoped for, as it enabled him to have discussed the very thing he thought of and desired so much to accomplish.

(17) Teachers at The Manakau School 75th Jubilee

Teachers at The Manakau School 75th Jubilee

Back Row : 1 Lyn Patchett, 2 Ken Prankherd, 3 Frank Mayman,
4 Fred Armour, 5 Ian Tollan.

Front Row :6 Leila Langtry, 7 Leonie Barkla, 8 Maureen Black,
9 Miss Maxwell, 10 Betty Hooper, 11 Nola Ryder,
12 Anne Denton.

After several of the various chiefs had expressed their de­light in seeing their great chief and leader among them again, Te Rauparaha rose to reply. He made brief references to the cordiality of the welcome, the sights and the new way of life he had seen and met with overseas, then he unsheathed a sword he was carrying and thrust it into the ground, beckoning at the same time to the chief Paora Pohotiraha to approach and take away the weapon, with the words that have become household utterance among the Ngati Raukawa today. "Tikina mai te mea nei, kua mutu taku ruri ki te whenua kua ruri ahau ki te rang! hangaia he wharekarakia mo tatou." "Come, take possession of this, I no more seek honour on earth, I seek honour in Heaven. Go to, and build us a Church!"

Te Rauparaha knew full well that they, of all the sub-tribes of Ngati Raukawa, had men expert in the hewing of large trees, and the use of the adze, also master builders of houses. Above all, the Sacred soil, referred to previously, was in their keeping. He had been aware of these things, before the people came to settle in these parts, hence the sword and Paora Pohotiraha.

The directing and supervision of the great undertaking, from the forest to the erection of the Rangiatea Church, was thus placed in their hands with Koroniria as the master-mind, supported by the two early missionaries, the Rev. Octavius Hadfleld and the Rev. Samuel Williams.

The Church was completed in the year 1849, marking the cessation of hostilities for all time, also the seal and sign of the peace between Ngati Raukawa and the neighbouring tribes.

A little later, a school was built on the site where the Maori College stands at Otaki today. It was the first European-built school throughout the Horowhenua-Manawatu area. Thus, with the school and the Church, the Ngati Wehiwehi-Tukprehe were responsible for the erection of these two famous institutions which first developed the minds of the people in the White Man's way of life.

Noted among the present-day Maori settlers, descendants of the Ngati Wehiwehi-Tukorehe today are; the Be vans, Rans-fields, Gardiners, Wallaces, and the Wehipeihanas.



(By the late A. M. ATKINS)

The settlement of Manakau commenced in the year 1885.
Prior to that year the district was in its virgin state, clothed in
heavy bush. The only inhabitants were the Bevan family and
4'the Maori peoole who lived nearer the coast, the beaches of
which were"the main highway of those days.

On the completion of the Manawatu Railway in 1886, the district was quickly opened up and the township of Manakau came into existence. With the sale of land by the Railway Company, bush sections were acquired, both from a speculative


point of view, and for genuine settlement. Previous to the sale, Messrs. Bevan, Atkins and Staples had purchased native and ,which today is still being farmed by descendants of those fami­lies. Other than the above mentioned settler who acquired land at that time, only three other properties remain in possession of the original families who purchased them, namely Carkeek, Bird and Eglinton.

The successful purchases of the 3750 acres of agricultural land were as follows:—W. McLintock, G. Boothby, Anne Whiley, Anne Coleridge, S. Hanson, J. Morris, E. Wilson, T. Robb, R. Coneys, L. A. Abraham, T. Bevan, Jnr., A. Leech, H. Saint, J. Henson, H. Henson, N. A. Anderson, E. Sherratt, A. Carkeek, A. Houghton, G. Powell, J. Rickard, Ah Gee Kin, J. Staples, J. D'Ath, J. S. Bruces, W. H. Bennett, F. Bright.

The forty-two sections realised £9879 16s. 4d. or an average of £2 12s 8d per acre. Those who purchased the town allotments were:— W. Smith, W. McFarlane, J. Morris, W. Bell, R. Coneys, H. Sullivan, F. Meenkin, J. F. Anderson, Palmerston and Scotty, T. Walsh, T. Stratton, J. Meyers, C. Sweeny, H. Freeman and C. Nees.

In all there were thirty-eight sections, ranging in area from a quarter to one acre, the average price being £14 per section.

Of the suuburban sections, there were twelve, varying in area from one and a quarter acres to ten and three-quarter acres, and these sold at an average price of £6 11s 7d an acre. The successful purchasers were:—A. Coleridge, A. Luff, B. A. Greenless, W. Smith, F. Meenkin, J. Plimmer, T. Gilmour, and W. Eglinton.

As previously stated the district in those days was in a primitive state and a tremendous amount of hard work was necessary before the settlers obtained any reward for their labour. Looking back over the years and visualising the district as it was then, and what it is today, one appreciates and pays tribute to those grand old pioneers, who toiled and slaved from early morn till late at night, with little financial reward. What wonderful courage and tenacity they had, and what sacrifices they made to carve out a home for themselves and their famil­ies. The great majority of these grand old folk have crossed the Great Divide, so let us see to it that we pay homage to them by endeavouring to retain those wonderful characteristics they possessed.

With the destruction of the native bush by axe and fire, most of our beautiful native birds have disappeared—pigeons, kakas, tuis, bellbirds, robins, tomtits, fantails, grey warblers, wrens, wekas, moreporks, and white-eyes. To hear these beauti­ful forest choristers when the first faint rosy tint in the east proclaimed the advent of dawn, was to hear a chorus of praise burst as with one accord from thousands of throats, their com­bined song, to the lover of nature, being simply beautiful; the coo of the native pigeon, the scream of the garrulous kaka, the resonant note of the bell-bird, the inimitable gurgling of the tui, the plaintive melody of the little wren, the chirping of the fan-tail and the weird call of the weka in the evening, and with it all the fragrance of the native bush, all of which made a real paradise. And so with settlements has passed from our midst never to return, many of the Creator's most beautiful gifts.

Manakau, like all early settlements, possessed a large mov­ing population—bushmen, sawmillers, flaxmillers and navvies at work on road construction. Today the township has two shops and one hotel, whereas fifty years ago it possessed two hotels, two bootmakers, two billiard saloons, and five shops, including one belonging to a Chinaman. The first shops were owned by the late Messrs. Tompsett and Houghton. The latter's shop still stands on the property now owned by Mr. George Phillips. T\vo stores were situated where Mrs. Rangi Ransfield and Mrs. Dris-coll now live. Other storekeepers were the late Mr. F. W. Bills and Messrs, J. Morris, C. R. Smith and Greenlees. The first butcher's shop, which was owned by the late Mr. Henry Bevan, stood where Mr. G. Scott's bulk store now stands on the main highway. Of the hotels, Tompsitt's Family Hotel occupied the site of the present hotel, and Dwan's Hotel was situated between the Town Hall and Mr. Scott's: bulk store. These two hotels were opened on the same day and the local inhabitants were treated to free beer for the day. The first blacksmith's shop was owned by Mr. Jim Smith and was situated where Mr. Meredith's resi­dence now stands.

As was the case in most early settlements, the Post Office and general store were carried on under the same roof. Later a small office was built on the site of the present post office, and is now being used as a garage for the post-mistress's car.

The first sawmill was owned by the late Mr. N. A. Anderson and stood on the property now owned by Mr. Ken Phillips. Later Messrs. Gardiner and Brown worked a mill on property now owned by Mrs. Leslie Staples on the South Manakau Road. Later still mills operated on Waikawa Beach Road and the North Manakau Road. Of flaxrnills, there were several—one on Mr.

The Bevans of The 1948 Jubilee
The Bevan Family 1948

Back Row : Beryl Bevan, Constance Bevan, Ralph Bevan, Lawence Bevan, Malcom Bevan, George Bevan, Hartland Bull, Norman Bevan.

Third Row: Elaine Miles, Joan Scott, Pamela Scott, Rita Nees, Ruby Bevan,
Elva Bevan, Myra Bevan.

Second Row : Valentine Bevan, Una Bull, Florence Bevan, Maureen Bevan, Lincoln Bevan, Evelyn Bevan, Julia Bevan, Ellen Bevan, Reginald Nees,

Front Row : Hartland Bull ( Jnr), Enid Bevan, Alison Miles, Patricia Bevan,
Beth Miles


Drake's property, and one on what is now Mr. Alex Butler's property. At a much later date Mr. Thomas Bevan, of Levin, worked a large mill on the Main Road by the Waikawa River.

The Flax Mill on the banks of the Waikawa was in 1917 taken over by Mr. W. Dalzell from Rough & Ross, and he was in operation until 1932.

The shrill scream of the stripper was the early morning programme (later succeeded by 2 Z.B.) heard all over the village.

To the early settlers, the singing noise of the circular saw in the sawmills as; it cut its way through a log, and the pleasant sound of the strippers in the flaxrnills, all made sweet music. Even the smell of the bush fires had a fragrance.

Few old scholars will fail to remember the bullock waggon from Bird's Mill on the North Manakau Road pulling into the Railway Station loaded with some of the finest timber ever cut—of quality that would make to-day's builders' eyes bulge, and give the lucky occupier borer-cure immunity for life. "Whip behind" was popular on this vehicle.

The first hall to be built in Manakau was erected by the late Mr. Thomas Bevan. This building was later destroyed by fire, the present hall being rebuilt by Mr. Thomas Bevan, Jnr., over forty years ago.

Of churches there were three—Anglican, Methodist and Brethren. The last-named stood in what is now Mr. Bert Robin­son's paddock. The first services in Manakau were held in an old railway shelter, while the first preacher was the Rev. Raine. Later the place of worship was the School and later still the town hall.

In the early 'nineties Manakau possessed a very fine cricket team, winning outright the J. G. Wilson Shield, which had been presented by Sir James Wilson, Member for the district, and grandfather of Mr. Orrnond Wilson, M.P. for Manawatu. It may be interesting to recall the names of the players of that team:— Finlay Bethiine (captain), Charlie Gardiner, William Bennett, Harry Gowar, Walter Hart, Richard Bevan, Paris Anderson, Hal-stead, C. V. Swabey, Barnard Brown and Smith (2). All of the above have since passed away.

While the settlement possessed a fine cricket eleven in the early 'nineties it also excelled in Rugby, winning the champion­ship on several occasions. There are still a few of the original players alive today—Messrs. Wm. Cootes and Alex Jenkins (both of Otaki), Wm. Greenough, A. M. Carkeek and T. Wehipeihana.

In the 'nineties stock sales were also conducted in the vil­lage. The first yards (temporary) were erected on what is now Mr. Oliver's property. Later more substantial yards were built near the entrance to Mr. Llewellyn Bevan's property. The firm conducting the sale was A. G. Taine and Co., of Wellington.

How many today remember the coming ashore in a westerly gale at night, of the sailing ship "Weathersfield"? She remained fast in the sand for about two years at the mouth of the Wai-kawa Stream and was an object of great interest while she remained there. When eventually she was refloated, she made several trips to England with cargoes of wool.

Much more could be written of the settlement of Manakau, but suffice it to say, it has been one of progress and achieve­ment down through the years. With the land nicely terraced on either side of the main highway, the township lends itself as ideal for closer settlement from a residential point of view.



(By M. F. MILES)

With the settlement of land in and around Manakau, it was obvious that dairying would become an important factor in the District.

There was a Creamery situated on the banks of the Mana­kau Stream, where Mr. Tub Mudgway lives today. This was a branch or receiving depot for the Otaki Dairy Co., the cream going to Otaki for manufacture and Mr. J. Rollo being Manager.

In 1916 several farmers combined, and took over the Creamery operated by the N.Z. Dairy Union, and so the Mana­kau Co-operative Dairy Company came into being, situated on the property, alongside the Methodist Church, now occupied by Mr. Bert. McCown.

This factory developed very quickly, and made both butter and cheese—about 350-400 tons of butter and 150-200 tons of cheese.

The first Manager was Mr. T. D. Bathgate and the last Mr. F. Brown.

About 1920 the first few suppliers started supplying Welling­ton Milk to the Milk Department of the City Council, the Chair­man then being Mr., now Sir Charles Norwood.

Few who supplied then are still alive, but the few who remain, I am sure, could never visualise, from the very small beginning, the thousands of pounds that Wellington Milk would bring to the District annually. In 1935 the Dairy Commission Chairman, Sir Francis Fraser, set about the task of reducing dairy costs, and decided that two factories operating within a couple of miles of each other was uneconomical, and closed up several factories. Among these was Manakau.

He put forward terms of amalgamation satisfactory to both sides, and in 1936 the Kuku-Manakau Dairy Co., was born.

Wellington Winter Milk has grown since then in such huge proportions that to-day some 6,500 gallons of milk, representing about £650 per day comes from Manakau suppliers alone, repre­senting a large sum annually.

Consequently, land values have risen to undreamed of heights, arid rates, of course, in proportion, or a little more.


Much of the development of this District must be credited to the enterprise of Mr. Thos. Bevan, Jr., who in the early 1900's maintained a small village on his property, on the corner of North Manakau Road, employing 40 to 50 men. Reading, haulage, land clearing, a flax mill and carriage building were all under his hand—and a blacksmith and carpenter shop kept the gear in order.

A dozen teams of horses and two traction engines were almost daily to be seen working somewhere about.

It is remarkable how the name of Bevan crops up in connection with early Manakau.

During the influenza epidemic toward the end of 1918, the School was used as a hospital, and for some time was a very busy place. The Matron, Mrs. W. Miles, still lives in Levin, and many families have much to thank her and her band of willing helpers for, among whom the late Mr. Howard Andrew played a big part. His store and cart were available, as well as himself, at all hours, and there were plenty of others be­sides, who stinted nothing in funds, goods and work.

Electricity lines began to appear on most of the main roads in 1923-24, and by the end of 1924 most of the houses in the district were served with light and put an end to the kerosene lamp and candle era. Power was then derived from Mangahao— the dam being built by Pulley, a large Contractor at that time.

The Main Road was sealed in 1926, and was, together with electricity for power and heating, the greatest boon Manakau experienced—long live progress .

Manakau always fielded a good Football Team, and most years were either very near the top, if not the actual cham­pions. The games may not have been up to All Black stand­ards, but the players got a lot of encouragement from surely New Zealand's most enthusiastic and vociferous spectators— Harry O'Donnell and "Squiffy" Mason—which made all the difference. To see "Squiffy" with his well-patched trousers, usually a patch about two feet square across the seat, that may have been pink, brown or grey on original blue, but there were usually so many patches one was hard put to it to know the original colour—tearing up the line yelling and haka-ing, was a sight never seen elsewhere. Couldn't be. We also had a few female barrackers who were not far behind, and you only had a difference of opinion, when you were well away from them, or you felt the weight of "Old Kate's" umbrella.

It is not generally known that Manakau had the first talking Pictures before anywhere else in the world, in fact there were never silent pictures here. The Hall would be crowded, and those Maoris who couldn't read or read fast enough, brought a cobber or one of the kids to read for them, which they proceeded to do from all parts of the Hall. The more exciting the picture, the louder they talked. It had to be heard to be believed, and the pronunciation of some words was incredible. A stranger in the Hall in those days certainly got his money's worth.


St. Andrews Anglican Church Manakau

Opened in 1894, played a big part in the school affairs,

Many grown up ex pupils celibrating their marraiges and family
affairs there.

St Andrews Anglican Church Manakau

A Hand drawn Map of Manakau and District from the Book Horowhenua by
G. Atkin

Manakau and District from Horowhenua

The remarks and warnings shouted to the characters on the screen, and the poor musician, who usually had her boy friend to turn over the music for her, were all little extras thrown in, and I am sure appreciated by her, as all in the evening's fun. Mrs. Doug Robinson of Levin, then Miss Bramley, was the pianiste for a long time.

The pictures were originally run by Mr. Dick Bevan, and later by Mr. Stuckey, Roland Drake, W. Dalzell and Mr. Banks. Later, the buses took the picture public to Levin, and Manakau pictures closed down.

Manakau, in those days, was a self contained little place, where everyone joined in to create their own fun, which is not possible to-day in the more intense way of life.

Passenger trains, of which there were two a day to Welling­ton and Palmerston North, ensured that there was always someone on the station, to get parcels and evening papers, and the station was never the dead place it is now.

The mails were better too, and it didn't take a couple of days to get a letter from Ohau or Otaki as to-day.

There were not ten subscribers on the Telephone Exchange, so that may account for i

The remarks and warnings shouted to the characters on the screen, and the poor musician, who usually had her boy friend to turn over the music for her, were all little extras thrown in, and I am sure appreciated by her, as all in the evening's fun. Mrs. Doug Robinson of Levin, then Miss Bramley, was the pianiste for a long time.

The pictures were originally run by Mr. Dick Bevan, and later by Mr. Stuckey, Roland Drake, W. Dalzell and Mr. Banks. Later, the buses took the picture public to Levin, and Manakau pictures closed down.

Manakau, in those days, was a self contained little place, where everyone joined in to create their own fun, which is not possible to-day in the more intense way of life.

Passenger trains, of which there were two a day to Welling­ton and Palmerston North, ensured that there was always someone on the station, to get parcels and evening papers, and the station was never the dead place it is now.

The mails were better too, and it didn't take a couple of days to get a letter from Ohau or Otaki as to-day.

There were not ten subscribers on the Telephone Exchange, so that may account for i

The remarks and warnings shouted to the characters on the screen, and the poor musician, who usually had her boy friend to turn over the music for her, were all little extras thrown in, and I am sure appreciated by her, as all in the evening's fun. Mrs. Doug Robinson of Levin, then Miss Bramley, was the pianiste for a long time.

The pictures were originally run by Mr. Dick Bevan, and later by Mr. Stuckey, Roland Drake, W. Dalzell and Mr. Banks. Later, the buses took the picture public to Levin, and Manakau pictures closed down.

Manakau, in those days, was a self contained little place, where everyone joined in to create their own fun, which is not possible to-day in the more intense way of life.

Passenger trains, of which there were two a day to Welling­ton and Palmerston North, ensured that there was always someone on the station, to get parcels and evening papers, and the station was never the dead place it is now.

The mails were better too, and it didn't take a couple of days to get a letter from Ohau or Otaki as to-day.

There were not ten subscribers on the Telephone Exchange, so that may account for it

The Ramp over the railway at Waikawa River was com­pleted, and the rattling old bridge was replaced about 1939.

We cannot close this brief survey of Manakau without a thought for those tough old citizens, the old timers, hard workers, hard drinkers, the last of whom disappeared about 1925-30.

Among them the pick and shovel men and station workers, who would come into Manakau once or twice a year, and blow all their wages on clothes and a glorious spree, until the "kitty" was empty, then back again to work for another twelve months. Aimless, yes, but who among us can value the work they did in logging, stumping and fencing, and helping in no small way to make this District the place it is to-day.

Manakau has had its ups and downs, its tragedies and jubilations, but many will look back to their sojourn here, as some of the happiest days of their lives, and Manakau was a happy place—may it long continue to be.


"Where smiling Spring her earliest visit paid, and parting Summers lingering blooms delayed."



Manakau School has been very fortunate in its committees. Too often the parents do not realise the work that their repre­sentatives do, often giving time and labour for the bettering of the School. It had been truly said that the only time there is a large attendance at the biennial election of the committee, is when something is wrong. At one election at this School in past years there was not even a quorum and members of the local Home Guard had to be called in before the election could proceed. The work of a committee member is not a thankless one (though the parents are not always vocative in their appre­ciation), for he has the inward satisfaction of knowing that he is working, not only for his own children, if he has any at school, but for the betterment of the children of our country. To the many committeemen of the past and to our committtee of today, this reunion of past and present pupils owes a deep debt of gratitude.

Unfortunately the list of committeemen of the past is in­complete, but the names of the first committee were recorded in the log by Mr. Bethune. They were:—C. S. Houghton (chair­man), J. Sherratt, H. Bevan, T. Bevan, Snr., E. Wilson, G. Bartlett and R. Whylie (secretary).

Ex-committeemen whose names have been located were:— A. Carkeek, J. Carroll, J. Atkins, W. A. Milne, H. Fraser, H. Saint, D. Nees, G. Smith, J. Bolton, J. George, E. Rainbow, G. Newsom, C. Eden, S. Norrish, A. Winge, J. Cameron, G. Hanlon, J. H. Andrew, T. Reidy, S. Morgan, T. Clifford, A. Hurley, A. M. Atkins, A. Scholes, G. PhilliDs (25 years' service), F. Burnell, R. Bryant, J. Blair, A. Hornig, "R. Eagle, C. P. Cotter, M. B. Anderson, C. R, Cottle, J. Leen, D. W. Robinson, F. M. Marshall, M. F. Miles, R. R. Robinson, R. Evans, W. I. Hazlitt

Manakau's first school house

Manakau school's first pupil ( Miss Julia Whiley) standing in front of the school. This building was and still is situated at North Road, Manakau. Not far up the road from the railway line.

Manakau's first School

Located since the Diamond Jubilee.

Committee Members during the rjeriod 1923-1931 and not included above were:—Mr. Bowling, Mr". Thompson, Mr. C. Evans, Mr. H. O'Donnell, Mr. Latham, Mrs. E. Willis, Mrs, Cowen, Mr. T. D. Bathgate, Mrs. B. Sheargold, Mr. D. Ransfield, Mrs. E B. Clifford, Mr. W. J. Willis, Mr. George.

The following list is of the Committeemen from 1946-1962:— Mr. R. L. Robinson, Snr., Mr. L. Jensen, Mr. L. Barkla, Mr. R. White, Mr. G. Martin, Mr. R. L. Robinson, Jnr., Mr. C. Williams, Mr. H. Piper, Mr. C. N. Nielsen, Mr. V. Bregmen, Mr. R, George, Mr. A. Corbett, Mr. W. H. Swainson, Mr. A. Keeling.

The present Committee consists of:—Mr. G. Fairley, chair­man; Mr. W. Gordon, secretary; Mr. B. Cudby, treasurer, and Messrs. P. Judd, T. Smith, A. Hazlitt and L. Staples.


Two people worthy of much more than passing reference in the affairs of Manakau School are the late Mr. Theo. Clifford and the late Mr. George Phillips—two great workers for the School.

Mr. Clifford was chairman for about 14 years until he died in harness in 1931. During his term many improvements were carried out to the benefit of the School, its pupils and the district. Expense and time did not matter to him if spent on School affairs.

Mr. Phillips was a continuous member of School Commit­tees for about 28 years, and any man who was willing to devote almost half his lifetime for the benefit of school children, surely had his heart in the right place.

Few old timers will fail to remember his constant worries, whether at picnics, socials or school concerts. Did the kids have enough to eat, enough ice cream, lollies, soft drinks? He was always sure there was not enough, to the distraction of his fellow men on the Committee. But old George would be there to hand out plenty, and to see that the billy was boiling on time. Many will remember them with affection.

Mr. & Mrs George Phillips

Mr. & Mrs George Phillips
Served more than 28 Years on Manakau School Committees'
and services to the Manakau community


The following are extracts from the account of the celebra­tions as published in the "Otaki Mail" March 8th, 1939.

Probably never in the history of Manakau has such jubila­tion existed as prevailed on Saturday, when the 50th year of the opening of the school was celebrated. The day broke beautifully fine and there were scholars from far and near in attendance, while Mr. P. A. D. Mickle, a former teacher, made the trip from Australia to attend. The town was gay and at the school grounds bunting was greatly in evidence, while crowds assem-


bled early in the morning to participate in the Jubilee celebra­tions. The pupils of the school divided themselves in decades and the oldest scholars led the procession which started from the post office and marched to the grounds. In the 1888-98 decade (first) there were some 100 old scholars, over fifty in the second decade, 120 in the third, and about 160 in the fourth, followed by a large number of present-day pupils. Each decade was headed by banner-bearers with the year of attendance, and on arrival at the school grounds assembled in front of a dais set apart for teachers of the school and officials. At the gates Natives met the procession and welcomed them.

Mr. Alf. Atkins, Chairman of Committee, extended a very warm welcome to all, making special mention of the past scholars. Among those present he was pleased to see ex-teachers, ex-scholars, and others keenly interested, and he re­garded it as wonderful to be able to meet and renew acquain­tance. Mr. Atkins regretted that there were many unable to attend and made feeling reference to those who had passed » away. However, their memories were ever dear. Mr. Atkins trusted that all who had assembled to take part in the celebra­tions would have a most enjoyable day, and that old friendships would be renewed.

Mr. "Bunny" Carkeek, on behalf of the Natives, congratu­lated those responsible for arranging such a pleasant function, and expressed both appreciation and thankfulness at being given the opportunity to say a few words. It was good, he said, to be able to attend such a gathering, and to celebrate—the occasion would be one never forgotten.

Mr. G. Phillips, on behalf of the School committee and teachers, extended a hearty welcome to all, adding that it was very gratifying to see such a large attendance. In their early school days the playground was one of stumps and logs, round which they as children used to play. Now they had a good school, a spacious play-area, with" a promise from the Minister of Education that a better building was likely to be erected in the near future. Mr. Phillips expressed a wish that many of those present would be spared to take part in the diamond jubilee. (Applause.)

Mr. P. A. D. Mickle, an ex-teacher at the school, stated that he and Mrs. Mickle had spent Ik years of the happiest portion of their lives at the school, and he was pleased to be able to be present to renew acquaintances with his old scholars and old friends.

Mr. Anderson (another ex-teacher) thanked the committee for giving him the privilege of saying a few words. He gave pleasing accounts of happy days spent at the school. Mr. Ander­son paid tribute to the first teacher, the late Mr. Bethune, who he had met in 1896, and who was headmaster to him at Johnsonville. Mr. Bethune, he said, was a real gentleman, and gave splendid service. The late Mr. McBain was another teacher he also knew well. He was a fine fellow, and a good sport, he laying the foundation of Rugby in the Manakau School. Mr. Anderson, amidst laughter, stated that he had hoped to live another 50 years and have a further opportunity of saying a few more words at a future jubilee.

The Manakau Football Team prior to 1892

Manakau School Football Team prior to 1892



In the evening some 350 to 400 peoole sat down to a splendid repast in the Regent Hall, Levin, the hall at Manakau being inadequate for the puraose. Mr. Alf. Atkins presided, while among those present were Mr. L. G. Lowry, M.P., and Mrs. Lowry, and Mr. and Mrs. G. A. Monk.

Mr. Atkins, after welcoming all, and hoping those present would spend a very enjoyable evening, asked that all partici­pate in the toast to "The King."


A church service was held on Sunday afternoon, when the Rev. W. Gatman, of Otaki, delivered a very fine address after which Mr. Lester sounded the "Last Post." Mr. H. B. Edhouse placed a lovely floral tribute on the cenotaph. The attendance at the service was large.


Manakau School Function: Celebrations Conclude

The celebrations in connection with the fiftieth anniversary of the Manakau State School were brought to a fitting conclu­sion on Monday with a grand jubilee ball. The public hall gave accommodation to some 400 ex-pupils, residents and visitors from all parts of the district, and under a canopy of coloured streamers, greenery and magic lanterns they spent a night of pleasing gaiety.

Proceedings opened punctually at 8.30 p.m. with the grand march, led by Mrs. Bethune, wiie of the late Mr. F. Bethune, who was the school's first teacher, and Mr. A. M. Atkins, the popular president of the jubilee committee, and then the orches­tra broke into the strains of the first waltz.

During the evening Mr. Atkins, on behalf of the jubilee committee", thanked all the visitors who had attended the cele­brations and introduced Mr. R, Whiley, of Hokitika, one of the first pupils on the school roll.

Mr. Whiley thanked ex-pupils and residents of the district for the wonderful time given the visitors, who would carry away life-long memories of the very pleasurable functions it had been their privilege to attend.

Everyone would thank the secretary (Mr. Ralph Bevan) and Mrs. Bevan for the work they had done in making the jubilee such a success, proceeded Mr. Whiley. Then there was the president (Mr. Atkins) and his wife, who had been so prominent in the organisation work and who had entertained visitors to afternoon tea on the day of the reception. In conclusion, he said that every visitor would carry away many happy memories and fine impressions of their stay in Manakau.


The fine weather yesterday made the picnic, which was attended by about 500 adults and juveniles, one of the highlights of the celebrations. Waikawa Beach gave every facility for the day's activities. Sports events provided amusement for the children, while bathing was popular with all. Visitors left today for their homes, but the various functions will leave lasting memories.

Early Transport on Manakau Roads

Early Transport on Manakau Roads

Trucks like this old Nash where used on the roads around manakau
in the early 1900s


Two column headlines in the "Chronicle" of Monday, May 10th, 1948 carried the story of the Manakau School Diamond Jubilee.

The following extracts will remind many of the memorable * event.

"Over 400 past pupils of Manakau School were present at the School's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, which began in perfect weather, with a get-together and roll call after the march to the school led by the Otaki Brass Band. The Parade was welcomed at the bedecked entrance to the School by a *- party of Maori women, and then commenced those joyous scenes of re-union as old class-mates met for the first time for many years. Mr. Alf. Atkins who opened the proceedings wel­comed the large gathering of old pupils, teachers and committee men. He was particularly Dleased to welcome Mrs. Bethune, wife of the School's first headmaster.

Mr. "Bunny" Carkeek spoke on behalf of the Maori race, and congratulated the Jubilee Committee for their excellent arrangements, while Mr. French spoke on behalf of ex-teachers, and Mr. R. L. Robinson spoke for the Manakau School Commit­tee. Mrs. Bethune after having been presented with a beauti­ful bouquet of flowers, spoke of the early days, and recalled how they had to use a lantern to walk at nights in the mud and slush that constituted the roads of those days.

Many a loud and clear "present Sir" and "here Miss" pro­vided amusing incidents, as veterans of past days answered their names.

Mr. W. Bennett, first puoil teacher, called the Roll for the first decade pupils, the then headmaster, Mr. F. H. Mayman the second decade; Mrs. Winter the third, Mrs. McLeavey the fourth and Mr. R. French the fifth decade.

The remainder of the afternoon was all too short for _» reminiscing, photographs, viewing the grounds and classrooms, and making final personal arrangements for the dinner to be held that evening.


Saturday, May 8th, 1948, saw the Regent Hall, Levin, filled to capacity for the evening, for the Anniversary Dinner pre­sided over by Mr. Alf. Atkins, with Mr. J. J. Maher, M.P. and Mr. A. M. Colquhoun, Chairman of the Horowhenua County Council as official guests.

The toast list was a full one, as would be expected for such a noteworthy occasion; "Old Settlers" was proposed by Mr. J. Nicholson and responded to by Mr. Ernest Saint; "Past and Present Teachers" Mr. Hector McBain—Mr. W. D. Bennett; "Old Pupils," Mr. R. French—Mr. Philip Milne; "School Committee," Mr. F. H. Mayman—Mr. R, L. Robinson; "Local Bodies," Mr. L. Bs"-k]!a—Mr. R. M. Colquhoun; "Educational Authorities," Mr.


J. J. Maher—Mr. D. K. Guy; "The Ladies" Mr. Jim Horn—Mr. Horace Cottle and "Absent Pupils" proposed by Mr. Carkeek. Mr. J. Nicholson contrasted the hardships of a pioneering life with the "Paradise of 1948," while Mr. Saint recalled many old identities and incidents of by-gone days.

Teachers had a tremendous responsibility in training their pupils in early days, commented Mr. French when speaking to the toast "Old Pupils."

The greatest tribute which could be paid to the School was the huge gathering of old pupils at the celebrations.

Mr. Maher paid tribute to the "Educational Authorities" in his toast, for their provision of amenities in the District, and referred to the work done for education by the early pioneers— in reply Mr. D. K. Guy spoke of the high standard of the Manakau School pupils, the beautiful setting of the grounds and the foresight and patience of the teaching staffs.

He appealed to all present to get behind the school com­mittees and give them their full backing.

A well remembered feature of the evening was the enter­tainment provided by Weno Tahiwi, Deana Johnson and Adelaide Gray with poi dances, to the accompaniment of Henrietta Gray, and with vocal support by Dan. Rikihana. "Bunny" Carkeek was another entertainer, and many still recall his spirited action song, while Miss Weno Tahiwi's troupe sang a selection of Maori songs, followed by three of the Bevan girls.

A special feature of the evening was the large iced Jubilee cake, made by Mrs. R. Guthrie of Feilding. This caused much favourable comment, and was cut jointly by Mrs. Winstone and Mrs. Bethune.


(Extracts from "The Chronicle," Tuesday, May llth, 1948.)

On Sunday May 9th the Thanksgiving Service was held in the Manakau Hall being opened by the National Anthem, after which those officiating, Canon H. E. Fry, and Rev. Temuera and Rev. R. Grice were introduced by the President of the Jubilee Committee Mr. A. M. Atkins. Following the hymn "All People That On Earth Do Dwell" Canon Fry read the text and Rev. Grice led in orayer. In his address Rev. Temuera referred to the very evident fact that while the jubilee celebrations were a tribute to the pioneers of education in the area, the greatest memorial of all time stood in their very midst, namely the beautiful Rangiatea Maori Church. It was a tribute to the Christian faith which the people of our early days stood for, and a lasting monument to peace and goodwill. The Rev. Temuera then extended his congratulations to the people of Manakau on their celebration of the school's 60th anniversary.

Two hymns "O God of Jacob" and "O God Our Help in Ages Past" were sung following which the congregation was led by the Otaki Brass Band to the Cenotaph for the placing of wreaths, the calling of the Roll of Honour and for a very moving rendition of the "Last Post."



The Manakau School's Diamond Jubilee celebrations were brought to a close on Monday when the Jubilee Ball was held. Bad weather prevented the holding of the picnic as planned but children enjoyed the social which supplied items and com­munity singing in the school.

During the evening Mr. Alf. Atkins thanked all those who had come to the celebrations, especially those teachers and ex-pupils who had come from as far as Okaihau in the North and from as far as Invercargill in the South. He thanked Mr. and Mrs. Mayman for their wonderful help and organising ability and Mr. Ralph Sevan, the Secretary, for whom no praise was too great for the splendid task which he had accomplished. Mr. French replied for those present and congratulated all members of the Jubilee Committee for three very enjoyable days and such fine celebrations. He was thankful that the Manakau School had such an enthusiastic body of men and women who were so willing to put all their time and energies into a task of such magnitude.

An excellent supper was served and dancing continued till a late hour to the music of a professional orchestra from Palmerston North.

® The Jubilee Committee wishes to thank our advertisers for assisting us in the publication of this booklet.

Page 32

Aerial View of Manakau Circa 1950s

Aerial View of Manakau

Representatives of the first european settlers in the area

Representatives of the first european settlers in the area

Mrs Thomas Bevan,( seated) From Left, Mrs. Charles Nees, ( Margaret) ,
Mrs. Walter Bull,( Annie), Mrs Grey Phillips ( Lincoln).

Manakau School Jubilee 1963 In the school grounds

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963

Manakau School Jubilee 1963, At The School Grounds

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 b

Manakau School Jubilee 1963, At The School Grounds

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 a

Philip Milne, Morton Tuck, Eric Lindsay, Reg Verry

Manakau School Jubilee 1963, At The School Grounds

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 c

George Hanlon, Mrs Hanlon Eric Lindsay

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 at The School Grounds

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 d

1 Thelma Barbery, 2 Beth Barbery , 3 Vera Barbery, 4 Marg Barberry

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 at The School grounds

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 h
1 ........................ 2 Mrs Cottle, 3 Ewart Bevan

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 h at The School Grounds

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 f

1 Dot Cotter 2 Mrs Burke

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 at the School grounds

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 i

Mrs george Phillips Mrs Frank Phillips Mrs Bert McCown

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 at the School grounds

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 j

1 Rachel Carkeek 2 Molly Phillips 3 Julia Bevan

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 at the School grounds

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 k

1 Mrs Alan McCready 2 Mr Alan McCready ( MP) 3 Dot Cotter

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 at the School grounds

 Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 at the School grounds l

1 Ralph Bevan 2 Johnny Bryant 3 .................

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 at the School grounds

 Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 at the School grounds m

1 Reg Verry 2 Tumeke Wehipeihana

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 at the School grounds

 Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 at the School grounds n

1 Mason Johnston, 2 Harry Wallace, 3 Margaret clifford, 4 Henry Rodgers, 5 John Jockey, 6 Whetu Taha, 7 Rodrick Gray.

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 at the School grounds

 Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 at the School grounds o

1 Mrs Scholes, 2 Edna Monk, 3 Nola Bryant

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 at the School grounds

 Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 at the School grounds p

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 at the School grounds

 Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 at the School grounds q l

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 at the School grounds

 Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 at the School grounds r

Manakau School 75th Jubilee at the school grounds

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 s

Manakau School 7th Jubilee at the school grounds

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 t

1 Beth Anderson, 2 Marg Barbery, 3 Miss Betty Hooper, 4 Maureen Black

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 u at The School Grounds

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 u

1 H. Dysart Julia Whiley 2

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 v at the School Grounds

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 v

1 ......., 2 ........, 3 Mrs J. De Simas, 4 Joe De Simas, 5 ............

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 w at the School Grounds

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 w

1 Penny Bregman, 2 Janice Bryant, 3 Ngia Bryant, 4 ....., 5 Mary Bennell

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 w at the School Grounds

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 w Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 z Alan Mcready mp

Robert Whiley Mr Alan McCready MP

The march from the Post Office to the School Srounds

Manakau School 75th Jubilee 1963 y