Waiau Pa History
WAIAU PA SCHOOL HISTORY
In the late 1880's, by which time some farming had spread over the virgin land, it was felt by the early pioneering settlers of the Waiau Pa district that a building should be available for the education of their children. On 7th February 1889, a letter was sent to the Auckland Education Board by the settlers, offering to build a school and obtain a teacher, if assistance by way of a capitation grant be given.
It was pointed out that the nearest schools were Patumahoe and Karaka, about 16km away and seperated from Waiau Pa by a muddy tidal creek.
The Board's Inspector visited the district and reported favorably on the matter. Messrs Joseph and Issac Clark constructed an unlined shed measuring just 6M by 3.6M, each contributing £10 to the cost. This was situated in a clearing on a scrub covered rise, 1.6km down Seagrove Road and adjacent to the site where the creamery was later built.
On 7th October 1890, the Waiau Pa School was officially opened, ten pupils were enrolled and the first teacher apoointed was Miss Brown. After 10 years, the building proved inadequate and schooling was desured at a more central spot.
After the Clark's shed had outlived its usefullness in this respect, it was removed to their property and used on the farm.
In the year 1901, the Education Board obtained a site of 5 acres on the Waiau Pa - Kingseat Road, where the larger classroom of 7.6M by 4.2M, and a porch, were erected for £132, and opened in April of that year. Unfortunately this position did not suit all residents and some children were taken across the Waiau Pa tidal estuary to Pollok School. However, those who did attend came from as far away as Kingseat and in some cases, tracks had to be cut through the bush for them. The only means of transport was on foot or horseback. The district also held church services and social activities at this center.
By 1915, more families had settled in the Wharf and Beach Road areas, and in that year a petition was signed by the residents requesting the Education Board to obtain a new five acre block (which was considered central for all), and the removal of the school to the precent position was agreed upon.
The land was given by the Hattaway Family in exchange for the old site, which was later bought by Father Malloy who intended to build a church. However, this did not eventuate and the property was finally purchased by Mr Volz for farming. Transportation of the school was a community effort. After jacking and attaching the building to skids, it was hauled up the road by Alf Waller's traction engine, and set on its new foundation.
After World War 1, five oak trees were planted in a secluded and peaceful spot of the grounds as a memorial to the local boys who gave their lives for their country. These continue to grow today, giving the children shade and shelter.
The growth of the population through the advent of better roads was soon reflected in the progress of the district. By February 1926, it was necessary to remodel the school and add an additional classroom. This work was completed by Curlett & Cross Building Contractors for £314.
With quite modern classrooms, much was desired in the development and layout of the grounds, most of which were covered in gorse, fern and blackberry abd infested with rabbits. As in the past, the community spirited and conscientious committee men with a love for labour were required.
We the arrival of Mr Selby as head teacher, the need was felt for a residence, but no assistnace could be made available. Not to be outdone, he camped on the job, erecting a tent with sod walls and fireplace, amongst the bracken. Reminiscence recalls this outpost being burgled one evening. Mr Selby met the intruder face to face in the only exit, with a club. Alas! Farley's old sow decided to take off through the back wall. This man was indeed a genuine lover of trees. He was responsible for the planting of many gums and macrocarpas which for the shelter belts we have today.
THE SCALLOP - Waiau Pa School Magazine - First Edition - Dated December 1933
A month or so ago our Head Master made a rash purchase of a 'quick print duplicator'. After playing with his new toy for awhile, and finding that it seemed to work satisfactorily, in an uninspired moment, he conceived the idea of issuing a little magazine. Well, here it is. One of our aims in issuing this paper is to show our pupils that many of their efforts at literacy composition are worthy of a better end that the teacher's rubbish box.
Choosing the articles has been a difficult proposition. In most cases, items of local interest or bearing have been given first choice. To those contributors who are disappointed at the non-appearance of their articles, we would suggest a happy smile and a wish for better luck next time.
"A Merry Christmas and a happy holiday to you all".
- The Editor
Joseph Clark & Emelia Brander
Joseph Clark and Emelia Brander were married 17 December 1841 in Elgin, Scotland. He was the son of a farmer and she was the daughter of a baker and confectioner.
They came to New Zealand as Wakefield settlers via the boat the Olympus, departing 16 June 1842, and arriving in Nelson on 25 October 1842, a voyage of four months.
Because of the economic conditions and the Wairau Massacre, the couple did not stay, but went to Tasmania, where their two daughters Jane and Isabella were born.
The conditions of the penal colony also did not attract them and in 1846 they returned to New Zealand. This time to Auckland where Emelia's sister Barbra, who was married to John Goldie, was living.
It was here the rest of their family; five sons, John, James, Joseph, Issac and Robert were born. The couple owned land in Auckland and in the electoral roll for five years 1855/56/57/58, Joseph Clark is listed as farmer: Rose Valley: freeholder.
They bought the property 'Seagrove' at Waiau Pa, in July 1858. from a Mr Laing, who had recieved it as a Crown Grant. Mr and Mrs Clark were the first European family to settle permanently in the district. They remained at Waiau Pa for the rest of their lives and became well known in the district.
The Māori living here when the Clark family arrived were on the whole friendly towards the Pakeha and when the Māori Wars were looming up, came and warned the Clarks that it would be btter for them if they moved away for awhile.
When they returned they found their home had been raided and their crops taken by marauding tribes. In 1865 Joseph Clark received £182.8.1 as compensation for damage done during the Māori Wars. The claim was heard before Thomas Beckham Esq. and had been for £316.9.6, but the full amount had not been granted.
The sons, Robert, Issac and Joseph each had a farm before the turn of the centuary, on Seagrove Point. These are now actively farmed by their descendants. Messers Joseph Clark and Issac Clark contributed to the first school at Waiau Pa. They constructed an unlined shed measuring 20ft by 12ft, each contributing £10 to the coast. This was situated in a clearing on a scrub coverd rise, one mile down Seagrove Road and adjacent to the site where the creamery was later built.