Christoph Vogel meets an archivist compiling these snipp' />

If the walls at Glendowie College could talk, they'd never run out of stories. Christoph Vogel meets an archivist compiling these snippets of history in a jubilee book.

As we arrive at Glendowie College, the whole place seems to be under construction. Instead of students, builders surge around.

Margaret Playle meets us in a contractor's shed. "Yes, it's the reception." She smiles and leads us to the gym, the temporary staff room.

Since it opened in February 1961, the college has been in a constant state of change. Mrs Playle, a staff member for almost four decades, has witnessed most of it. For the past 10 years she's been archivist at the school, which celebrates its 50th jubilee next year.

Advertisement

She is compiling its history: "It's a documentary of significant events of the college, such as changes of uniforms, education, arts or development."

Mrs Playle started sorting information two years ago, a task that benefits from her experience co-editing the school's 25th jubilee book.

"We've been lucky at Glendowie, because the first deputy principal knew somebody who was a great photographer and he took photos of the college grounds before it was even built. It's wonderful documentation."

Over the years, the complex grew, and so did the number of students. The college opened with less than 500 children - today there are 1050. Some may find their parents in the book. "We have a large number who are second-generation students of the college.

"I've had people who brought in some bits and pieces and I've had some communication with various ex-students."

During her research, she has profited from the close relationships between these former students and the school.

"We had a very interesting visit at the beginning of this year from the recipient of the very first American Field Scholarship who came to Glendowie from America. She has written a little piece about returning to the college."

Conserving the history is relevant for the culture of the college, says principal Louise Moore. She's the fifth principal, and has led the school since 2002.

Advertisement

"Many of the values and principles that we're guided by today have been established and become tradition of the school.

"So it's very important for current students to know where these traditions came from."

Are you an ex-student?

Glendowie College 50th jubilee celebrations: April 1-3, 2011. Former students, staff, friends and families interested in joining the festivities are urged to register at:

Do you have memories to share?

Email Margaret Playle:

.

school.nz