The Tauranga Girls and Tauranga Boys Colleges will this long weekend celebrate 60 years since becoming single-sex schools.
Tauranga College was formed in 1946 before splitting into single-sex schools in 1958: Tauranga Boys College on the original site, and Tauranga Girls College on a newly built campus.
The two schools will celebrate their diamond jubilees with reunions over Labour Weekend from October 19-22.
Tauranga Boys College principal Robert Mangan said the jubilee was an opportunity for past and present students to reconnect, with a specific focus on the past decade.
"It is a chance to showcase the progress the college has made over the last 60 years," he said.
The school's roll had grown significantly over the decades, from 543 when it opened to 2000 today. Ten years ago the roll was 1650.
Mangan said the school was proud to have played a part in developing great brothers, husbands, uncles, fathers and grandfathers.
"We are all about growing great men," he said. "Our reputation has remained strong."
One of Mangan's most memorable moments was travelling with 34 of his students on the school's Tama Tū trip to retrace the footsteps of the Māori Battalion.
He recalled the emotional photograph taken of himself and 2018 head prefect Anaru Palmer standing at the grave site of a fallen old boy in Crete.
"That was a rewarding experience to share," he said.
Anaru Palmer felt privileged to be the head prefect as the school celebrated its 60th anniversary. "It is a great opportunity to respect the past," he said.
The 18-year-old's most memorable day was becoming head prefect of the college.
"It was such a humbling opportunity. I believe Tauranga Boys College empowers the boys. There is a real sense of brotherhood."
New Tauranga Girls College principal Tara Kanji was looking forward to marking the milestone by welcoming past, present and future students to reminisce.
Event manager Ewan McLeod said the organising committee wanted to celebrate women's achievements, especially in the year of Suffrage 125.
He said the college would celebrate its reunion tomorrow night in the school hall instead of in the originally planned two-day event.
"We are excited to be hosting just under 200 people for our celebration night. The diverse range of activities over three hours will be sure to provide something for everyone," he said.
"We believe that we can now provide a better experience for our alumni and community by ensuring a wonderful showcase of past and present talent of Tauranga Girls College to be celebrated."
Head students Katie Oliver and Emily Kneale will be the MCs for the evening and will acknowledge the achievements of notable alumni including Gemma McCaw, Amy Robinson, Ria Hall and Annabelle White.
Head girl Leah Owens said students will play a key part in the celebrations.
"I'm excited about another opportunity that this school gives us to show leadership," she said.
"I'd like to warmly invite members of the community to be part of our diamond jubilee celebrations and see first-hand how our school empowers young women."
Tauranga Boys College 60th jubilee:
10.30am: Registration in the Graham Young Youth Theatre
12.30pm: Golf Tournament
6.30pm: Beers and Cheers at Tauranga Racecourse
10.30am: Powhiri/official welcome
1pm: Cricket and picnic
6.30pm: Gala dinner in school gym, celebrating old boys of the decade Kane Williamson and Peter Burling
10.30am: Arts expose in the Graham Young Youth Theatre
Tauranga Girls College 60th jubilee:
October 19 Celebration night
- Hear from speakers, including lifelong feminist and Auckland's National Council of Women president Carol Beaumont
- Mix and mingle with past and present staff, alumni members and the community
- Celebratory cake
- Commemoration of the Jubilee Rose Garden
- Tour of the library and historical rooms and one of the latest additions on the school campus – the Environmental Classroom
- Complimentary drink and nibbles.