The Avondale Historical Journal
Volume 8 Issue 43
I have an inbuilt ability and liking for woodwork so Iquite enjoyed my time in the class and was perhaps abit of a “Teachers Pet”.
There was a rumour that at certain times boys wouldgain access to the ceiling and crawl along over thegirl’s area and ogle them through a hole in the ceiling. Inever witnessed it but so it was said?
My wife Margaret née Peacock attended there fromBlockhouse Bay School in 1944 so that’s the source of Mrs. White’s nick-name.
I guess the unit was transferred with the opening of Avondale Intermediate in 1945. I know that a unit wasestablished about then at Henderson School later to betransferred on the opening of Bruce McClaren Interme-diate School.
Murray Becroft July 2008
Re Don Gwilliam's letter on the manual block.
If I remember correctly, the Manual Block was origi-nally run by a Mr. Burgess who lived in Canal Road just down from my Parents. He was the woodwork Teacher. The shrubbery Don mentioned was in fact agrove of N.Z. native trees planted by Mr Burgess.
Regards Jean Miller (Thompson)
The Avondale Manual Training Block
Just a few more recollections about attending this unitin the 1940’s to add to Don Gwilliam’s comments.
Thinking about it, a more in depth study is justified buttime at present is not available to me. Maybe this mightencourage someone to have a go.
I attended there with my class from Henderson PrimarySchool as did other contributing schools in the area in1942/3. Ours going by train on a Friday morning if mymemory serves me right, also was it only during thewinter term? There was about twenty of us boys andprobably about the same number of girls who attendedMrs. “Wash, Wash, Scrub, Scrub, Dry, Clean” White’snée Potts’ Cooking Class or was it called Domestic Sci-ence? next door.
Our class was added to at that time by members of aSpecial Class from Avondale School and that in anoblique way added to our education. I used to greetsome of them about Avondale years afterwards.
Our teacher was affectionately known as “Spit andDribble Burgess” and his favorite phrase was “You’re abit Sawney Sonny” as I am certain many of my contem-poraries will remember. (Is sawney a word, is that theway it is spelt and was that a phrase, a question, or astatement?)
Mr.Burgess’ son attended Mt Albert Grammar at thesame time as I did.
Reaction to last issue’s article on theAvondale Manual Training Block
Don Gwilliam’s article in the last issue on the Avondale Manual Training Block has sparked off response fromreaders of the Journal. Here are two of the emailsreceived. — Editor In 1987 when I was teach-ing at Whangarei Boys’ High School the schoolbell system was replaced by small sirens in thecorridors. I was not impressed. Nor was the Headmaster when I wrote and read the following to the School at a formal assembly. At least the rest of the staff warmly applauded.
Sound has the power when experienced by the senses at just the right moment, to draw back the past. Sound,some particularly evocative sound, can transport ourinner selves to another day; another place; and eveninto a vividly clear long ago that we thought we hadforgotten. So it was when the irritating and stupidlyineffective screaming device which constantlymalfunctions in the corridors here struck into my sensesthe other day. My thoughts unbidden darted back to thesound of another and better bell which once measuredmy days, which did it for exactly the same reason, butwhich did it with honesty and a ring of truth.
On the old Avondale Primary the bell tower straddledthe gable high over room two. The steel wire bell rope
The Ring of Truth