Home-100 years of Grey Lynn School

Our School Taonga: Homework!


In 1970-1971 a teacher called Joan McMenamin set her Standard Three class a task to find out from their parents what their lives were like when they were 9 years old. We found many original responses the parents wrote in our school archives.

(Trolley racing Derby at Grey Lynn School 1970s)

Here are a couple I picked out:

"In Rarotonga the house(s) are made of timber and the roof(s) are made of coconut leaves. We lived by the seaside with lovely white sand and a beautiful blue lagoon. There is two picture theatres and a big dance hall. People wear the same as people here in New Zealand." (Writer unknown)


"Milk was delivered into a 'billy' as it was carried in bulk/large cans. I also went to Grey Lynn School and in my day we had free milk and occasionally apples. I also owned a horse which I grazed on the paddocks beside my home and over behind the market gardens. On the weekends I would ride my horse Silver, around Western Springs which was then all bush. For our entertainment we used to make trolleys out of old pieces of wood and apple boxes and we raced down Chinaman's Hill". (Written by Mr David James Howse)


There were many more pieces of writing. Some parents came from Samoa and England and wrote about their childhoods, which were very interesting to read. But many parents grew up in New Zealand. By Faye

(The "Homework" file is available for people to view in the School Archives. Copies of the original pages have been made, and the list of the children in Mrs McMenamin's classes for 1970 and 1970 is also there. One letter described vividly Anzac Day in Te Aroha in 1931 and another about being evacuated from London during the Blitz and spending the rest of the war in a village on the Welsh Border. Editor.)

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