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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Otago & Southland Provincial Districts]

Secondary Schools

Secondary Schools.

The Waitaki Boys' High School , which is under the control of the Board of Govermors of the Waitaki Boys' and Girls' High Schools, is a handsome two-storey building, erected in Oamaru limestone. The site occupied is a healthy one, and has an area of over thirty acres. It is situated about two miles to the north of Oamaru, and has a sen frontage. The grounds are extensively planted with ornamental trees and shrubs. The foundation stone of the building was laid on the 12th of October, 1881, and the school was opened on the 15th of May, 1883, at a cost of £4500. The first rector was Mr. J. Harkness, M.A., who conducted the school from its opening till his resignation in 1896, when he was succeeded by the present rector, Dr. Don. The Waitaki Boys' High School has nine dormitories, with accommodation for sixty-three boarders, and there are four fine classrooms, the total teaching accommodation being for over 100 pupils. The number in attendance in August, 1903, included forty-one day boys and sixty-three boarders. There are extensive play-grounds in connection with the school, and football and cricket grounds are available for the various teams connected with it. Two fives courts have been built, and there is a well equipped gymnasium, measuring 50 feet, by 25 feet, with all necessary appliances. In 1897 a large swimming bath, 70 feet by 50 feet, was completed. A rifle range, 500 yards in length, is included in the school grounds. The Boys' High School cadet corps numbers fifty members. The science training in connection with the school is a very important feature, and a separate building for the purpose of a laboratory has been fitted up for the study of practical chemistry and physics, while geology and field geology form a part of the regular school course.

Dr. John R. Don, D.Sc., M.A., F.C.S. and F.G.S. (London), M.A.I.M.E., Rector of the Waitaki Boys' High School, was born in 1861 at Gisborne. Victoria, and received his preliminary education in that Colony. Dr. Don came to New Zealand in 1880, and studied at the Otago University, where he graduated B.A. in 1886, and M.A. with first class honours in chemistry in the following year, and B.Sc in 1889, and D.Sc. in 1896. In 1895 Dr. Don became a member of the American Institute of Mining Engineers; he was elected F.C.S. of London in 1898, and F.G.S. of London in 1900. His career in the education list commenced in 1880, when he became an assistant at the South School, Oamaru, whence he was shortly afterwards transferred to the Forbury School, Dunedin, where he was third assistant till 1882. In that year he was transferred to the Normal School as fourth assistant, and in January, 1884, he was promoted to be first assistant in the Macandrew Road School, Dunedin. From 1887 to 1895, Dr. Don was the first assistant at the Normal School, Dunedin, and was vice-principal of the Training College from 1895 to 1897, in which year, on the 1st of January, he entered upon his duties at the Waitaki High School. For some time Dr. Don was honorary assistant and demonstrator to Professor Black, Otago University, and for seven years he taught the chemistry class in connection with the Technical Classes' Association in Dunedin. Since 1893 he has held the position of lecturer on general geology at the Otago University.

Waitaki Boys' High School, Oamaru.

Waitaki Boys' High School, Oamaru.

Mr. George Harry Uttley, M.A. , Third Assistant Master at the Waitaki Boys' High School, was born in 1879 in Dunedin. He was educated at the Union Street school in his native city, and at the Otago Boys' High School, graduated B.A. at the University of Otago in 1992, and took his M.A. degree with honours in Mental Science, in the following year. During his last year at the page 515 University. Mr. Uttley was relieving teacher at the Normal Training College. After a year's service under the Otago Education Board, he was appointed to his present position in Oamaru in 1903. Mr. Uttley is fond of outdoor games and was captain of the Union Football Club in Dunedin, and represented Otago in 1991. He was for four years a member of the Albion Cricket Club.

Mr. Robert Logan Mcllroy , M.A., formerly Second Assistant Master at the Waitaki Boys' High School, was born in 1872 in Christchurch. He received his primary education at the Sydenham public school, and gained a scholarship under the Education Board, entitling him to two years' tuitioa at the Boys' High school. He was then granted a third year's course, and matriculated at the age of fifteen. Mr. McIlroy served as a pupil teacher at the Sydenham school from 1889 to 1891, and in 1892 he studied at the Normal Training Colloge, where he gained a C 4 certificate. He was successively at the Addington and St. Albans public schools, and in October, 1893, he became fifth assistant at Sydenham, and was promoted to be fourth assistant in 1896. Mr. McIlroy was appointed second assstant at the Waitaki Boys' High school, in Oamaru, in May, 1897. During his educational career in Christchurch Mr. McIlroy graduated B.A. at Canterbury College in 1895, and M.A. in the following year, with honours in Latin and English. While a resident of Christchurch he was a member of the Union Rowing Club for three years, and was connected with the Canterbury College Football Club. Mr. Mellroy took an active interest in football at the Waitaki High school, and was one of the instructors in physical exercises at the gymnasium. He left the Waitaki High school in 1900, and is now (1904) First Assistant Master in St. John's Collegiate School, Auckland.

Mr. R. L. McIlroy.

Mr. R. L. McIlroy.

The Waitaki Girls' High School , which was opened in October, 1887, is one of the institutions under the control of the Waitaki High Schools Board of Governors. The school building is situated on a section of two acres and a half, with frontage to Trent and Ouse Streets. It is one storey in height, in Oamaru stone, and has three class rooms, each of which has accommodation for fourteen pupils. Besides a fine assembly room, the room of the lady principal, and a room for the assistant teachers, there is a lavatory and cloak-room. The building is plastered throughout, and the main rooms are sixteen feet high, from floor to ceiling.

Miss Catherine Ferguson , M.A., Lady Principal of the Girls' High School, was appointed to her present position in 1893. She is supported by two assistants, in addition to a drawing mistress and an instructor in drill and deportment.

Miss Violet Maude Greig , M.A., who is First Assistant at the Waitaki Girls' High School, was born in Dunedin. She was educated at the Otago Girls' High School and the University of Otago, where she graduated B.A. in 1898, and took her M.A. degree with honours in Latin and English, in the following year. Miss Grrig was appointed to her present position at the end of the year 1900.