Deborah Martin: 7th February 2006

I went to school in Ahuroa from 1955 and then Mahurangi College.  I lived up Martins Access Road by the Cemetery.  My mother and father were involved in the local School Committee when Des and Lois Scott were School Teachers, the local show (flowers and horse jumping etc).  My mother was involved in the drama club putting on plays and Dad was very involved in Federated Farmers being the local President, President of Auckland Province, the Meat and Wool Section and then latterly was on the New Zealand Meat Board.  In the early days Dad was involved in the commencement of Hydatid dosing for dogs in New Zealand and also in the first shearing schools in New Zealand run by Godfrey Bowen in the shearing shed on the Alach farm at Kakanui. 
They moved to Mangawhai Heads.  Unfortunately Dad is now in Ranfurly Resthome in Auckland.

Ros : 6th April 2009

Memories of Ahuroa School 1974-1975

Catching the school bus.

The whole school (was then just 2 classrooms) would play bullrush on the field.  I later became a very good sprinter at athletics at schools in Auckland.  I think getting through the older country kids was good training for me!

Enjoying doing artwork and painting in the classroom.

Playing on the swing ropes from the tall pine trees at the back of the field.

Wearing waterwings in the newly built swimming pool.

The one and only time I’ve ever seen a big centipede was when one was spotted making it’s way across the pavement and the whole school grouping around outside to inspect it.

I remember I had a friend called Paula Lemon and I missed her and country small community friendliness once I started at a big city Auckland school in Onehunga.  Also the name Sally Davie-Martin I recall and the surname Braven or my Dad referring to the Bravenboys family.

My fluro orange schoolbag hanging in the cloak hook area  and wasps flying all around it (they seemed to know I had honey sandwiches in my bag).

One day my lunch was taken from my schoolbag and I remember suspecting the older Brooke brothers (Zinzan and Robin) doing it as a prank.  Years later it’s became a funny joke my Dad would bring up about how his wonderful healthy lunches made great All Blacks!

I also remember one morning not feeling well but my Dad not listening and saying I was fine.  Very short time later at morning assembly outside I vomited everywhere and was so embarrassed.  I also remember the kindness of the teacher who took me home and sat with me for ages outside in the garden until my Dad returned home, he’d gone into ‘town’ (Warkworth) that morning and we couldn’t contact him so just had to wait.

Other Ahuroa Memories

Wooden cases of the beautiful Keri Keri oranges.  I think I remember these coming by rail, as the railway station was just at the end of our property.

The old bright blue/green VW car that took us back and forth to Auckland and passing the Makarau bridge would mean we were halfway there. 

I also remember feeling a little nervous travelling over an old wooden bridge further north of the school that went on to more of a main road, the words of a song of the time, “all those burning bridges that were burning after me” gave me a fear of wooden bridges.

Trips to Helensville and special treat trips to Parakai Hot Pools.

The House and Property Where I Lived - I'm not sure what number Ahuroa Rd it was, (see photo) although I do remember we lived opposite the “Barrys” general store which was right near a creek running through and the railway station and tracks were just beside us. 

The outdoor dunny, I was always worried about needing to go to the toilet in the night in the dark and that song around at the time “a redback on the toilet seat when I was there last night”.

The old coal range used to cook on.  The back verandah porch was my favourite part of the house and looked pretty, I enjoyed playing there.  A mouse scuttling across the floor and under a tallboy chest of drawers in my bedroom.  I then refused to sleep in that room until all the furniture was moved around.  Also the blue plastic swing that was set in the doorway of my bedroom for me which I loved.  Bright pumpkin orange coloured mat or carpet in our lounge.  Sitting by a radiant heater wearing a nylon nightie and it catching on fire in seconds, my panic and my Dad’s quick reaction to save me from any burns.

Chokos, (lime green prickly pear like) vines of them growing over the old outhouse dwelling and shed opposite the house and how I hated eating them and we seemed to have a never ending supply of them.

Remember sitting watching tv and there was a broadcast of great hype and importance.  It was either an additional tv channel (going from 1 to 2) or the introduction of colour tv.   

My Dad shooting a pheasant and me feeling revolted having to carry it by the beak through the paddocks.

Putting my teddy bear in a bird’s nest and my Dad telling me off that all the little birds would die and not to ever do it again.

My Dad using a flame torch to rid gorse bush in one of our outer paddocks and it nearly setting fire (or maybe it did) to the railway bridge.  He got into some sort of trouble about it.  He always told me the reason we left his ‘paradise valley’ Ahuroa was because of my future health, he couldn’t accept the aerial spraying of 245T and his concern of it’s effects.  I really hope there wasn’t birth defects or cancer in all the lovely families of that era.