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Nelson Historical Society Journal, Volume 3, Issue 3, September 1977

Waimea West Schools 1846–1938

Waimea West Schools 1846–1938

On the first of January 1846, the fourth branch school of the Nelson School Society was opened at Waimea West, when about forty pupils, the teacher and friends of the school were addressed by the Hon. C. A. Dillon. The exact site of the school building, which was erected at a cost of ten pounds three shillings ($20.30c) has not been definitely established, but it is believed to have been in the paddock opposite Mr Ken Palmer's front gate. Some of the older residents have recollections of a Sunday School at this spot which they believe may originally have been the old school.

At a meeting of householders in the district summoned by the superintendent on June 9th, 1846, in the old Nelson School Society Schoolroom, a Committee was elected to look after the affairs of the Waimea West Village School. At its first meeting on 23rd July this committee selected as its first teacher Mr William Moore, who was the teacher at the Nelson School Society School. He was engaged for six months from July 1st at a salary of seventy pounds per annum. (S140)

In 1856 tenders were called for two schools (one at Appleby, one at Waimea West). As Mr Wootten's price was too high, both were built to the same design for two hundred and twenty pounds ($440). This building was sited between the present hall and Mrs O'Connor's. It contained the Post Office, the schoolroom and teacher's quarters.

After a period of time there was a new school erected, this being the present day Waimea West Hall, and until it was demolished, the old school was wholly taken over by the teacher as his residence. Mrs O'Connor's home was later built as the schoolhouse.

Because of low numbers the school was closed in 1938, and the children conveyed to Brightwater.

page 29
  • 1897—Wages Headmaster 12 pounds 10 shillings per month ($25)
  • Teacher 2 pounds 10 shillings per month ($5)
  • Cleaning 12 shillings and 6 pence per month ($1.25)
  • Outhouse Cleaning 5 shilling per month (50 cents)
  • One day's work 6 shillings (60 cents)


Allan. Ruth M. Nelson, a History of Early Settlement

St. Michaels Centennial Booklet

St. Pauls Centennial Booklet

Appleby School Centennial Booklet

Broad, Lowther. Jubilee History of Nelson

Cyclopaedia of N.Z. Vol. 5 1906

Votes and Proceedings Nelson Provincial Council 1857

For Editorial notes Allan. Ruth M. Nelson

Wright-St Clair: Thoroughly a Man of the World