Ex-principal harks back to Beatlemania

By Merania Karauria

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David Dale had plenty of stories to tell at Rutherford Intermediate's 50th reunion - especially those witches' britches that ended up being banned. PHOTO/BEVAN CONLEY 251013WCBRCRUT01
David Dale had plenty of stories to tell at Rutherford Intermediate's 50th reunion - especially those witches' britches that ended up being banned. PHOTO/BEVAN CONLEY 251013WCBRCRUT01

Yesterday it was past principal David Dale's turn to return to his old school Rutherford Intermediate (now Rutherford Junior High) where he gave the present-day students a powerful mihi and regaled them with anecdotes about his former students.

The 86-year-old was principal from 1969 to 1986 and is attending the school's 50th reunion over the weekend.

Mr Dale said when he walked through the door back in 1969, he thought he was "king of the castle", only to discover he was the "prince".

There were stories about "witches' britches" of all colours which were eventually banned, and how the girls wore their girdles - a cotton tie that looped through their pleated gym frocks. At Rutherford, and other schools, the girls wore them around their hips.

Mr Dale's years were when the Beatles were the height of popularity, prompting much female swooning, and the boys grew their hair to be like the Liverpudlian lads.

But the boys were sent home - long hair was also banned.

Teachers would let a student use a "ballpoint pen" if their work was neat, but cellphones were a thing of the future.

Teachers who also spoke at yesterday's reunion were proud to return to a school which has undergone many changes, including its name. During the assembly, the students' male band Multi Pulse played for the past and present teachers.

Last night, past classmates and teachers mixed and mingled at the school and return today for a barbecue lunch, memorabilia displays, decade photos and cutting of the cake.

Tonight, a dinner will be held in the Eulogy Lounge at the racecourse where it is expected former student Governor-General Sir Jerry Mataparae will be guest speaker.

Tomorrow from 10.30am the final reunion event will be the unveiling of the jubilee plaque.

Follow Rutherford's reunion weekend in Monday's Chronicle.

- WANGANUI CHRONICLE

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