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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]



The Dannevirke High School was established in the year 1903, and for two years was conducted as a secondary department of the Dannevirke South School. In December, 1905, however, it was constituted a separate institution, under its present title, and was conducted in the Presbyterian Sunday School during the erection of the new District High School. There is a roll number of seventy pupils, and the average attendance is sixty. The institution is under the control of nine governors, of whom Mr. J. J. Patterson is chairman, and the Rev. Alexander Grant is secretary.

Mr. James Mackintosh Simmers, M.A., Head-master of the Dannevirke High School, was born in Dunedin in August, 1866. He was educated at public schools, and at twenty-two years of age passed the teachers' entrance examination, and proceeded to the Dunedin Normal School. Two years later he was appointed master of a country school, and in 1893 became head-master of Upper Junction School, near Dunedin, where he remained for ten years. During that time he attended the Otago University, where he graduated B.A. in 1899, and M.A. in the following year. In 1903 Mr. Simmers was appointed to his present position.

The Dannevirke North School is a wooden building containing four large class rooms and a smaller apartment, and has accommodation for about 400 pupils. The average attendance is about 350, and there are two cadet corps in connection with the school. There is a large playground, part of which is asphalted. The staff consists of the head-master, two assistant masters, three assistant mistresses, and three pupil teachers.

Mr. Richard Sounday, Headmaster of the Dannevirke North School, was born in Berkshire, England, and was educated at a training college. He subsequently came to New Zealand, and served successively under the Canterbury Board of Education and the Westland Board of Education, and then removed to Hawke's Bay, where he received his present appointment.

The Dannevirke South School was established in the year 1900, with about 120 names on the roll. In 1902 it was created a district high school, but three years later the secondary portion was removed, and the school returned to its former status. The building has been twice enlarged and has accommodation for about 370 pupils. The playground is two acres and a quarter in extent, and is partly asphalted. There are about 400 scholars on the roll, and the average attendance is 340. Mr. George Harvey is head-master.

The Tepapakuku Public School, situated about two miles east of Dannevirke, was opened on the 16th of July, 1906, and is a handsome wooden building containing two classrooms, with accommodation for about eighty pupils. A porch is attached to the building, and there are the usual outhouses, and a playground two acres in extent. The number of pupils on the roll is about eighty, with an average attendance of sixty.

Mr. Herbert Sydney McGowan Quigley, Head-master of the Tepapakuku Public School, was born in Gisborne, on the 28th of February, 3880, and is the son of a Gisborne architect. After passing successfully through the primary and secondary schools in his native town, he was appointed a pupil teacher, and served an apprenticeship of four years at the Gisborne primary school. Subsequently he became relieving master, and was successively first-assistant master of the Gisborne and Port Ahuriri public schools, and head-master of the Waipawa, Ormondville, and other public schools. Mr. Quigley had charge of the district school at Weber before receiving his present appointment.

The Umutaoroa Public School is situated about five miles north-west from Dannevirke, and was established in January, 1896, with thirty-five scholars on the roll. With the settlement of the surrounding country, however, the number of scholars has risen to eighty, with an average attendance of sixty. The school is a wooden building of one large room, and has accommodation for nearly 100 pupils. The school reserve comprises eight acres, of which page 547 one and a half acres are set apart as a playground. The examination results have been good, and in 1906 the inspector specially commended the head-master on the proficiency of his pupils.

Mr. Richard Hay Ferguson, Head-master of the Umutaoroa Public School, was born in Belfast, Ireland, on the 22nd of September, 1870, and after receiving some primary tuition, came to New Zealand with his parents at the age of ten years. For some time he attended school at Blueskin, under his father—who taught under the Otago Board of Education for many years—and then went to Canterbury College, where he matriculated in 1888. In 1891 Mr. Ferguson was appointed master of a school at Castlecliff, near Wanganui, and afterwards taught for twelve months as an assistant at Warwick House School, Christchurch. He was then appointed head-master of Bradfield School, near Lincoln, and in 1902 received his present appointment. Mr. Ferguson is a warm supporter of prohibition, and for some years has, in conjunction with Mr. McLellan, edited “Liberty,” the local organ of the No License League. He has been a Freemason for many years, and holds office as senior deacon in the Dannevirke Lodge.