Horsham Downs marks a century

Add a comment
Dawn Gage-Brown.
Dawn Gage-Brown.

Horsham Downs Primary
These days Dawn Gage-Brown spends much of her time knitting at the Matamata Country Lodge, but the 85-year-old intends to attend everything that's on offer at Horsham Downs Primary School celebrations later this month.

"I'll be going the whole weekend probably, staying with my daughter (Rae Corin). Whatever's happening, it will be really good. It's a shame my dad's not there to join in as well."

Her father, Lionel Anthony, became principal/head teacher at the small school in 1938.

"He was strict but kind, nobody disliked him. I know he was my father, but he was a really good teacher and taught me nearly the whole way through."

Dawn says she was very happy at Horsham Downs, and the family lived in the house by the school.

She can still remember many of the pupils' names.

"There wasn't a hang of a lot of them back then. It's grown now."

The school was built during World War One as a single classroom, sole charge rural primary school and lessons began on March 6, 1916. Back in Dawn's time, many of the pupils rode a horse to school - there was a horse paddock between the school and house.

"One of the pupils - I'm not going to mention any names - he fell off and landed with his face in horse muck. I might remind him when I see him."

Dawn's daughter Rae is still connected with the school as a grandparent and lives on Horsham Downs Rd. Her granddaughter Hannah, eight, attends there now, and her youngest grandchild, Alisha, will start in April.

Rae says her grandfather, Lionel Anthony, was a real old-fashioned teacher.

"Everything had to be proper.

"Once he left the school he always remembered all the pupils he had taught long after he'd retired, and loved keeping in touch."

Dawn's advice to today's young students is to join in.

"If they've got good teachers, they'll do real well. Make the most of it while you're at school."

Dawn married a dairy farmer and eventually moved to Matamata. She also has a word of advice to live to a good age.

"Be happy, get on with it, and help as many people as you can as you go."

Number 8 Network is a community website for rural areas north-east of Hamilton.

- Hamilton News

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

© Copyright 2018, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 19 Jan 2018 19:38:54 Processing Time: 848ms