Hundreds of people have registered for the Solway College centennial weekend next month that will feature a bazaar market day to which the public are welcome, says event organiser Judy Siers.

Mrs Siers said registrations had closed in October for the celebrations, which run over Waitangi weekend from Friday, February 5, to Monday, February 8, and more than 300 people had registered for the bulk of the events on offer during the centenary

"Some of the events you can't register for now but the Solway College Centennial Bazaar is a public affair on the Saturday afternoon and it really will be one of the jewels in the crown of the weekend."

Mrs Siers said old girl reunions, complete with a bazaar, had started soon after the establishment of the school and participants would stay at the college, when numbers were small, and hold a weekend of activities, which were held in earlier years in October.


"The old girls' reunions and the bazaar have been held at the school since about 1930, so there is a very long tradition involved. It was always a major feature and the centenary weekend will carry on that tradition."

Mrs Siers said the Saturday event will be modernised this year with the addition of a market day "with a bazaar twist" and stalls offering a variety of refreshments, from lemonade and coffee to high tea and berries and cream.

There will be about 25 stalls at the bazaar, she said, which will also offer a range of merchandise and produce including Solway College memorabilia and a children's book, Allis the Little Tractor, written by her daughter, Sophie Siers.

The book, which was illustrated by Helen Kerridge, is about an Allis Chalmers tractor that will also tie in, Mrs Siers said, with a Wairarapa Vintage Machinery Club fleet of vintage tractors that will form an honour guard at the centenary event.

Mrs Siers is herself an author who published a history of the college titled We Built a School: Solway College, a pictorial history, 1916-1991.

The Solway College Centennial Bazaar will run from 1pm to 5pm on Saturday, February 6.

Veteran singer-songwriter Andrew London is the headline entertainer during the weekend and alongside his band, The London Derrieres, will entertain at the Solway College Centennial Dinner and Dance on the Saturday night.

Other centenary events will include a re-enactment, based on a surviving photograph, of the opening ceremony of Solway College, which was in 1916.