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Through Ninety Years

Hukarere School

Hukarere School

The Te Aute School estate during recent years had been so efficiently developed and worked under the control of Rev. S. Williams that by 1874 the trustees had been able from their income to repay the Bishop the monies he had lent them for erecting the Te Aute School. The Bishop was therefore now able to undertake his long cherished plan of restarting his school for Maori girls to replace that which had been destroyed at Waerenga-a-hika in 1865. He gave a site for this near his own house in Napier. After full discussion with Archdeacon and Rev. S. Williams, plans were prepared, and on July 8th, 1874, the Bishop accepted the tender of a contractor, R. Trestrail, to build the school for £1,286. The site was on a sloping hillside, and had first to be excavated and levelled before the building was begun on September 8th. The school was completed at the beginning of July, 1875. Then the necessary furniture was procured. Mr. and Mrs. Ingleton, who had arrived from England the previous year, had been secured as teacher and matron, and they began work at once in their new quarters. Mrs. Ingleton proved a very good teacher.

Miss Maria Williams undertook the supervision, and kept the accounts for the school. She and her sisters for page 296 many years were regular visitors at the school, and frequently took classes of the girls.

Early in January, 1875, the Bishop wrote with reference to the work at Taradale: “A good schoolhouse has been built, and the Church is progressing satisfactorily. The people of the parish have raised £114 for the school, £184 for the Church, for the parsonage £42, and the year's stipend £150, in all £503. This is independent of any outsiders.” This church was later consecrated on June 29th, 1875.

During the first half of this year a severe epidemic of measles and low fever was prevalent in Napier, and the surrounding districts. Several of Archdeacon Williams's family and other young relatives who were living with the Bishop suffered from these ailments, which owing to the severity of some of the attacks caused considerable anxiety to the heads of their two households, and entailed constant nursing attention from the adults of their families. The Archdeacon was for some time thus hindered in carrying on the work he desired to do further afield.

On March 6th, 1875, the Bishop took a voyage to Wairoa in the small steamer Result that he might give the necessary oversight to the work among the natives there, and organise more fully provision for the needs of the English speaking settlers. After working there for a fortnight a heavy sea on the bar at the river entrance prevented his return by sea. The Bishop therefore set out on horseback overland, with a companion, on the 23rd. The heavy rain they met with delayed their progress and compelled them to camp out for the night with only a tent formed of a blanket for shelter. The journey was completed next morning after they had dried their clothes at a fire. This experience was a very trying one for a man of the Bishop's age.