In 1901, a young boy from Castlecliff named Fred Davis turned 5.

He started at Castlecliff School, which was then less than 10 years old.

Quarter of a century later, Fred's daughter, Esther, also started at Castlecliff School. All subsequent generations of the Davis family have attended the same school - the latest being Fred's great-great-great granddaughter, 6-year-old Chloe Peck-Waitokia.

Fred's grandson, Don Davis, is the oldest family member still living who went to Castlecliff School.


"I actually started school at Mosston, then moved to Castlecliff in about 1949," Don said.

He sent his daughter, Juanita Davis, to Castlecliff. Juanita said her family home was closer to Aranui School than Castlecliff School - but her father was adamant Juanita and her siblings would go to Castlecliff.

"All the neighbourhood kids would be going one way to school, and we went in the other direction," she recalled.

"But now I realise why Dad sent us here. It's a good school."

in turn she sent her son Hayze to the same school. When it came time for Chloe to start school, Hayze didn't hesitate.

"Yeah, it was important to me that she came to Castlecliff," he said.

The Davis family connection to the school goes even deeper than these four generations, however. Juanita's brother Anthony, who also attended Castlecliff, sent his children to the school - and now his grandchildren go there too.

The family has seen principals come and go at Castlecliff School, and they approve of the current principal, Katherine Ellery.

"There was talk of the school shutting down, but she's turned it around," Juanita said.

Don's greatest wish is to live to see the next generation start at the school.

"That would be five living generations - that would be pretty special," he said.