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Avondale Historical Journal 67

Avondale Historical Journal 67

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Published by Lisa Truttman
Journal of the Avondale-Waterview Historical Society, Auckland, New Zealand
Journal of the Avondale-Waterview Historical Society, Auckland, New Zealand

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Lisa Truttman on Sep 11, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The AvondaleHistorical Journal
September—October 2012
Volume 12 Issue 67
Official Publication of the Avondale-Waterview Historical  Society Incorporated 
Next meeting of theAvondale-WaterviewHistorical Society:Saturday, 6 October 2012,2.30 pmSt Ninian’s Church
St Georges Road, Avondale(opp. Hollywood Cinema)
“Ailsa Piesse at work in the clothing class at the Avondale Intermediate School. At present she is particularly busy and stays behind after the classes are dismissed to sew for the school’s sportsday.” From the
Auckland Star
 , 27 October 1945.
More memories of Avondale Intermediate
There has been some interest in the article on the development of the Avondale Intermediate which appeared in the last issue.First, this response from Don Gwilliam, in Kamo.
Bet there is a host of reminiscences springing from the piece onAvondale Intermediate. Here are some for the file.My sister Doris was one of those transferred from AvondalePrimary as a foundation pupil. I started there in 1949 in Form1A with Miss/Mrs Hogan. There are fond memories of theplace as a fine school staffed by inspiring teachers andseemingly guided by forward thinking senior staff who to my
The Avondale Historical Journal 
Volume 12 Issue 67
 Page 2
experience, engendered a cohesive feeling of warmthand safety in the place. Intermediates were establishedto take advantage of the receptive state of a developingchild's mind at the form one and two age levels and forme that certainly happened. Not that it would have beenoutwardly evident for I certainly wasn't the best of kidsright then.
Miss Hogan did her best to teach me poetry. Withoutsuccess, or was more sticking than I admitted then?There has just been a telephone call reminder of aregular poetry meeting I am to attend this week. Per-chance was Miss Hogan, Helen Hogan; the compiler of the book of NZ poetry
 Nowhere Far From The Sea
?The lady was a hard worker. All kinds of lessonmaterial rolled off punched Gestetner type stencils orBanda carbons direct into our books via a big inkedhand pressed pad. That must have been state of the artthen. No sign of the school being impoverished.Twenty five years later the school I taught at provided just that same equipment for my use.
The manual classes were separate from the intermediateside of the school complex in nice rooms adjoining theCollege along the western side of the flagpole andgardens fronting the assembly hall and main doors.Here we boys were introduced to Woodwork, Metal-work and even Technical Drawing. Little did I knowthen that I would end thirty years of teaching all of those subjects in 2002!
The girls did cooking and I suppose sewing. I remem-ber them complaining about having to drink thecabbage water because their teacher said it was goodfor them. We had art and craft in specialist rooms alsoon that side of the school. And is my mind playingtricks or was there really a swimming pool planned, if not started for the Intermediate, sited in the same areanear the manual rooms?
Then there was the superb assembly hall. JamesTurkington murals on the upper walls. American fold-ing stacking chairs which had to be collected from theback of the hall, punched on the correct board to openthem. There the old Bell and Howell clattered its waythrough the Tennessee Valley Authority Dust Bowldocumentaries. Messages relevant even for today andfor me an insight into the absorbing history of the Farm
Auckland Star
 , 2 February 1945. Workmen’s ladders are still in the picture as last-minute touches were added to what becamethe main entrance to Avondale College — but the Intermediate side can be seen on the right. The double doors in the centreopened to the lobby leading to the main hall. The hall was largely destroyed in the April 1990 fire.
The Avondale Historical Journal 
Volume 12 Issue 67
 Page 3
the envy of all other schools. In 1950 it was unmarkedand pristine, all polished paneling and with a viewingbalcony around three sides. No apparent shortage of equipment, although mostly we did not have access tothe changing rooms and changed in the long corridorright at the Intermediate end. The said corridor was ashow piece of the whole complex, always pointed outto visitors. Longer than The Queen Elizabeth and run-ning straight as a die for more than 300 metres throughthe entire Intermediate; dividing the hall from the gym-nasium; stretching right through the College; beyondthe off-shoot to the cafeteria and ending at the far endof the commercial block. And where almost every oneof the dozens of the extra wide and viewing paneledclassroom doors proclaimed this place had been ahospital where beds had to be wheeled about.
The seemingly always sunny library opened onto thesmall quadrangle. Cramped, but reasonably stocked.There I copied out the formula for gun-powder, butmust have learned a few other things too.
1950 had me rewarded for not meeting expectations bybeing 'dropped' into Mr Boswells Form 2B. The publicface of a First Assistant has to be sterner than his pri-vate one. Two B soon discovered they had a gem of ateacher. He had me figured out and quietly went aboutdrawing a better response.
Our farewell end of year trip to Rangitoto Island, justour class if I've got it right, crowned a great year.
Avondale Intermediate had done just what the systemhad been planned to do. Never mind dry official docu-ments, it is results which need recording.
 Don Gwilliam, July 2012
 Security Administration and the coming of age of American record photography and, in time, Steinbeck's
Grapes of Wrath
. Add in another film,
Salmon Run
which still sticks regardless of everything Attenboroughcan dish up. All rooted in an American building whichwas oh so different from any other school hall of thetimes. There too we took part in Mr Gair's spellingcompetition; performed in the annual school concert;heard a recital by a girl from the High School who sangthe
Green Hills of Somerset 
and set me, and a fewothers I suspect, close to tears. And of course the after-noon when Senior Assistant Mr Boswell gave the boysonly a special blasting for “Not standing up close andfor pissing on the floor!” The girls, who had beencarted off somewhere else, would not say what theywere told.Other assemblies were held in the larger of the twoquadrangles. Ah that word. We really were moving upin the educational world. Very Public School soundingand carrying the air of English boys’ school stories andthose seats of higher learning, universities. It fell nicelyoff the tongue. The Quad.
And the school held an annual flower show.
The Headmaster might have had problems with spaceand room allocation within his school, but it wasn't tooevident. Mind you, I can recall arithmetic in a passagecloakroom. No, there wasn't a dental clinic. We had toenroll with a local dentist. Trees were a few scrawnyspecimens which gave only limited shelter in our firstfew days at the school. Once friendships were madesuch things went un-noticed and by then stacks of quitelush grass seemed to flourish on the playing fields. Forthe small group of which I was a member a favouriteplay spot came to be near the boiler house on a longline of soil dumpings overgrown with tall wild grass.We wandered about there with eyes closed, loving theadventure of stepping off a ridge into space and all thefalls and blunders that went with it.
Bike racks? There were two long properly built bicyclesheds. Sited along the rough formed boundary road nearthe Holly Street back alleyway. Almost daily a mateand I would stroll past theserried rows eying and admiringwhat we someday soon hoped toget. Plenty of old grids and, rarenow, a fixie or two, but the jewels in the crown were theWisemans' specials, some nodoubt with Sturmey-Archerthree speed gears.
Boys and girls were segregatedfor Phys Ed and sometimes weused the amazing gymnasium, abuilding which must have been
 And from
 Patricia Norton
I was there 1954-55 and so remember sharing theAvondale College Hall. No prefabs of what I rememberin that time. I remember the Sewing-Woodwork-Cooking block as away from the main Intermedi-ate school. The flat/unit at the end of the manual block was for learning to make a bed, wash clothes, ironing[this needs to be clarified]. Cookery was interesting wewore white hats and aprons with our names in red onthem.
My teacher for both the years was Mr Amos Ringer andwhen I went onto Auckland Girls I had his wife asmy language teacher. Mrs Garner was sewing teacher.Peter Lester took physical education and used to use thehall/gym for this sometimes.
Along with these, there are others that I rememberclearly----
 Avondale Intermediateschool badge—Patricia Norton.

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