On November 14 staff and students from Sherwood School welcomed students, teachers and parents from Kereru School to the inaugural Sherwood/Kereru sports and cultural exchange.
For the first time, students were competing for the Mooney Memorial Cup.
Gerry Mooney was the principal of Sherwood School for 25 years from 1963 to 1988. He, his wife Moyra and their six children lived in the schoolhouse on-site.
Gerry was a teaching principal and he was also the bus driver and caretaker for the school. Moyra was the school secretary and teacher-aide.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Sherwood School principal Christine Morrison says it was very special to have three generations of Mooneys attending the event; three of Gerry's children, Paul, Mark and Maria, grandchild Korine Bennett and three great grandchildren; William, Georgia and Zara, who now attend Kereru School.
Christine says she was thrilled to host the event. "It is so valuable for the students to interact with peers from other schools and have events filled with healthy competitiveness and camaraderie."
Maria Kittow (nee Mooney) of Tikokino says the visit brought back many happy memories of her childhood, her parents and growing up at Sherwood School.
"It was such a wonderful, carefree place to grow up. These students have so many advantages being educated in a small rural school and we feel honoured that Dad and Mum have been remembered so fondly and we have been invited to be a part of this annual event."
After three sporting challenges the schools were tied, so a short, hard fast game of Capture the Flag was called for. Kereru School principal Mr Pratt was about to blow the final whistle when Sherwood scored and hence received the Mooney Memorial Cup for 2018.
The students then had a shared lunch and a swim followed by an afternoon making beeswax wraps as a sustainability activity. The cotton for the wraps was donated by Betty Mooney of Curtis Fabrics, Mr Mooney's daughter-in-law.
The day was filled with sunshine, enthusiasm and good sportsmanship and both schools say they are looking forward to the next challenge in 2019, to be hosted by Kereru School.