A freezing cold swimming pool, an old pirate ship, and the odd smack on the backside were some of the things former students of Taitoko School remembered as the school celebrated its 50th reunion at the weekend.

More than 150 former students gathered from an area of Levin that sprouted up in the 1960s and 70s as the town went through a growth spurt. The south-east was home to many young families at the time and those bonds formed are still strong today.

Many students from Levin's youngest primary school were also some of the first to go through Levin Intermediate School and Waiopehu College, which were built around the same time.

Taitoko School had a history of producing top sportspeople, including rugby players, softballers, touch football players, netballers and runners.


Horowhenua Mayor Bernie Wanden was a guest at the reunion and officially unveiled a memorial seat.

Mayor Wanden said the school was originally to be called Highlands Primary School, and that many of the street names in the area - Heather, Skye, Solway, Braemar, Kinross, Strathmore, Cargill - were Scottish in origin.

Wanden said it was fitting that sense prevailed and the school was christened Taitoko, a name with more relevance as it was the original name of the area given by Māori.

One of the oldest students, John McIvor, cut the memorial cake with one of the youngest, Noah Pritchard.

The reunion was organised by a committee headed by Wendy Morgan and Maria Putu. Former staff that attended were David Lewis, Zona May, Gloy Deadman, Sue Kyle, Ann Goodwin, Ann Garvey, Donna Price, Paula Westerby, Paula Sasa-Masters and Wendy Morgan.

The reunion was two years in the planning.