Gala promises wheels, deals and nostalgia

By Liz Wylie

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Marton School principal Brya Dixon with memorabilia from the 1991 reunion and souviners produced for the 2016 celebration. Photo Stuart Munro.
Marton School principal Brya Dixon with memorabilia from the 1991 reunion and souviners produced for the 2016 celebration. Photo Stuart Munro.

Marton School founders would be mystified by some of the items to be auctioned at the 150th reunion celebration next Saturday.

A guitar from American rockers Bon Jovi, a microphone used by Britney Spears and items donated by Taylor Swift are just some of the pieces up for grabs.

The reunion gala will feature a huge vehicle display featuring vintage machinery, WWII aircraft as well as vintage, hotrod and classic cars.

There will be cafe in the school hall, craft stalls, live entertainment, fairground and pony rides as well as some "quirky crowd rovers on stilts."

Marton School principal Brya Dixon said there will be displays depicting the school's 150 year history and a newly-painted timeline mural will be unveiled.

The school has been through many changes since it started as a single classroom with one teacher/headmaster in 1866 and the new mural depicts the changes that have seen the school serve as a primary, secondary, intermediate and military academy over the decades.

Marton School pupils assembled in 1900.
Marton School pupils assembled in 1900.


The original school was in Pukepapa Rd and as the single building became too small for the growing roll, a new school was built at the current site in Hereford St at a cost of £4058.

The school, which opened in 1913 was built of brick with an assembly hall and room to accommodate primary and secondary pupils.

Although the building was expected to last forever, it was damaged in the 1931 Napier earthquake and was eventually condemned in 1954.

When the school celebrated the 90th Jubilee in 1956, the school had a roll of 850 and there were 32 staff.

In 1991, when the Marton School 125th anniversary was celebrated, principal John Templer wrote "We are technologically up to date. We have a computer in almost every classroom."

Marton School pupils assembled in September 2016
Marton School pupils assembled in September 2016

It has been quite a challenge for mural artist Julie Oliver and her team of students and volunteer parents to depict the most significant events in the schools long history.
Rain has hindered their progress during recent weeks but they plan to have it ready for the big reveal on Saturday.

The gala will be on from 10am until 3pm and information can be obtained by calling 027 871 9844 or send an email to reunion@marton.school.nz

- Wanganui Chronicle

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