ROTORUA BOYS' HIGH SCHOOL - AN HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION Kevin J. Lyall School Archivist and Historian

 
ROTORUA BOYS' HIGH SCHOOL - AN HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION Kevin J. Lyall School Archivist and Historian
ROTORUA BOYS’ HIGH SCHOOL

AN HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION

          Kevin J. Lyall
  School Archivist and Historian

                1
ROTORUA BOYS' HIGH SCHOOL - AN HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION Kevin J. Lyall School Archivist and Historian
Published by
                                                 Rotorua Boys’ High School
                                                      P.O. Box 10148
                                                       Rotorua 3046
                                                       New Zealand

                                                 Telephone: +64 7 348 6169
                                                E-mail: rotoruabhs@xtra.co.nz
                                                Website: www.rbhs.school.nz

                                                     First published 1994
                                                     Second edition 1995
                                                      Third edition 2009
                                       Fourth edition (first digital-only edition) 2018
                                       Fifth edition (second digital-only edition) 2019
                                        Sixth edition (third digital-only edition) 2020
                                      Seventh edition (fourth digital-only edition) 2021

                                               Copyright © Kevin J. Lyall 2021
                                                     All rights reserved

This publication is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review, as
permitted under the Copyright Act 1994, no part may be reproduced by any process without the permission of the copyright
owner and the above Publisher.

Kevin J. Lyall has asserted his right under the Copyright Act 1994 to be identified as the author of this work.

                                           Written and designed by Kevin J. Lyall

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ROTORUA BOYS' HIGH SCHOOL - AN HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION Kevin J. Lyall School Archivist and Historian
CONTENTS

Foreword…………………………………………….…………….……………5

School Names…………………………………………………………………...6
The New Zealand Flag………………………………………………………......7
The School Shield……………………………………………………………..8-9
School Mottos………………………………………………………………….10
Vision Statement, Principles and Values………….…..................................11-12
The Plume – “Raukura”.…………………………………………………….....13
The 1881 Endowment……………………...………………………………..…14
History of the School……………...…………...………………….………..15-19
Principals……………………………………...……………………………20-25
A Block………………………………………...…………………….…….…..26
The Entrance Hall………………………………...………………….……..27-28
School Buildings…………………………………..…………………...…..29-34

School Traditions
The Head Prefect and Prefects…………………………………………..…35-36
The Houses……………………………………………………………..…..37-42
Annual Athletic and Swimming Sports………………………………..…........43
ANZAC Assembly………………………………….………………..…….…..44
The School Magazine – Raukura Rotorua……………………………….....…45
The Rugby First XV….…………………………………………………….46-48
Prize Giving…………………………………………………………….……...49
School Productions……………………………………………………........50-52
School Colours Awards and Honours…………………...………….….…...….53
Te Ropu Raukura…………………………………………………….………...54
The Year Nine Pōwhiri…………………………………………….…………..55
School Camps…………………………………………………….……………56
Celebration of Success and the Scholar’s Blazer…….………….……………..57

School Memorials
War Memorial Hall……………….……………………….………………..58-59
The Roll of Honour..…………………………………………………………...60
Ryder Memorial Gates………………………………………….……………...61
W. Steele Memorial Tree………….……………………………….…………..62
Mitchell Memorials………………………………………………………...63-64
G.M. Hocking Memorial Tree…………………………………………….…...65
The Harwood Library……….…………………………………………………66
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ROTORUA BOYS' HIGH SCHOOL - AN HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION Kevin J. Lyall School Archivist and Historian
W.H. Evans Memorials……………………………………………….……67-68
T. O’Regan Memorial Tree……………………………………………….…...69
P.W. Hoyle Memorial Tree……………………………………………….…...70

Special Features
The Trees….……………………………………………………..…………71-73
Raukura Sculpture……………………………………………..…..…….…….74
Te Hokinga Sculpture…………………………………………………...……..75
Nesbitt Grandfather Clock…...……………………………………………...…76
Memorial Assemblies……………………………………………………….....77
The Year Frames, Rotorua Young Achievers, Hall of Fame and School Museum............78-79
School Song………………………………………………………...……….....80
School Haka……………………………………………………………...…….81
School Waiata…………………………………………………………..……...82
School Ties……………………………………………………….…………....83
School Medallions……………………………………………….……….……84
Cadet Battalion Honours Board and Trophy Cabinet………..…………...........85
Prominent Staff……………………………………………………………..86-87
The Bullmore Commemoration………………………………………………..88
Te Waharoa “The Gateway”…………………………………………………...89
Tane Raukura…………………………………………………….……….……90

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ROTORUA BOYS' HIGH SCHOOL - AN HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION Kevin J. Lyall School Archivist and Historian
FOREWORD

I vividly recollect that, when I was a new Third Form or Year 8 boy at Rotorua
Boys’ High School, I was surrounded by history.
    The historic A Block with its impressive Doric order columned front entrance,
the Latin School Motto carved in stone above the steps, the arched window and
the flagpole high above them all captured my attention.
    The black granite Foundation Stone next to the steps told me that the building
had been constructed in 1927. Inside the front doors, the wonderful carved and
decorated Māori Entrance Hall inspired me. In the War Memorial Hall, the two
mighty Totara Roll of Honour panels listing the names of the School’s War Dead
and the Honours Boards recording the various sporting and academic deeds of
generations of past pupils, intrigued me. Most memorably of all, however, there
were – and still are – the many magnificent old trees in the grounds.
    As a boy, I wanted to know all about these old and interesting features of my
new school. However, the School’s history had not then been written – this task
would later fall to me after I left school – and there was nothing at all available
to tell me about the School’s past.
    This publication, which is now in its sixth edition since 1994, fills the gap that
I had keenly felt was missing when I was a boy here. It provides you with the
brief introduction to the School’s history, traditions, and its many special and
unique features that I had wanted when I was a boy.
    I very much hope that you will enjoy looking through the pages ahead and
will, like me, learn some interesting things about Rotorua Boys’ High School and
its history.
    It is a place where our boys really do “walk the corridors of history” every
day.

Ad Astra Per Aspera
Whaia Te Iti Kahurangi

Kevin J. Lyall,
SCHOOL ARCHIVIST & HISTORIAN.
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ROTORUA BOYS' HIGH SCHOOL - AN HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION Kevin J. Lyall School Archivist and Historian
SCHOOL NAMES

The School has Rotorua Boys’ High School since 1959. However, this is the fifth
name that it has had since 1914.
    Secondary education in Rotorua originally commenced 106 years ago. This
was when a Secondary Department was, in 1914, added onto the Rotorua Public
School – the first State school to be established in Rotorua in 1886 – and it
officially became the Rotorua District High School. This was the School’s
original name and it had that title from 1914 until the end of 1926.
    In 1927, the Secondary Department of the Rotorua District High School was
given full high school status and was re-named Rotorua High School. It had this
title until the end of 1958.
    The Rotorua High School was also known by one other name from 1927 until
1953, when the “Grammar” part was dropped from the title: Rotorua High and
Grammar School. This unusual title appeared on the school letterhead and its
stationery, was the name inscribed on the oldest of the original sports cups and
trophies, and was also the original sub-title of the school magazine, Raukura
Rotorua – The Magazine of the Rotorua High and Grammar School.
    Also in 1927, an entirely new school was established for Rotorua: the Rotorua
Junior High School. It was opened for the intermediate-aged pupils in Years 7
and 8 of the Rotorua District High School. It was only a short-lived school and
was fully merged with the Rotorua High School at the end of 1933. It became its
Intermediate Department from 1934.
    The Rotorua High School was divided into two separate schools and was
closed at the end of 1958.
    In 1959, the boys formed the new Rotorua Boys’ High School on the site of
the original high school and the girls formed the entirely new Rotorua Girls’ High
School further down Old Taupo Road.

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ROTORUA BOYS' HIGH SCHOOL - AN HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION Kevin J. Lyall School Archivist and Historian
THE NEW ZEALAND FLAG

The New Zealand Flag is flown every day from the flagpole above the main
entrance of A Block. Our nation’s flag, which has been flown daily at the School
since late-1989, is flown for a number reasons.
   It signifies that the School is open for business and, more importantly, it is the
most important symbol of our nation and of the people of New Zealand.
   The flag’s blue background is symbolic of the blue seas and sky surrounding
us. The four stars of the Southern Cross emphasize the country’s location in the
Southern Hemisphere. The Union Flag, which is also known as the “Union Jack”,
in the top right-hand corner of the flag, acknowledges New Zealand’s British
colonial heritage as part of the British Empire.
   The flying of the New Zealand Flag at Rotorua Boys’ High School shows
patriotism, pride in our country, and for the School. It is a symbol of who we are
as New Zealanders, and of our place in the world as a proud and independent
sovereign nation.
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ROTORUA BOYS' HIGH SCHOOL - AN HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION Kevin J. Lyall School Archivist and Historian
THE SCHOOL SHIELD
                                 Est. 1915
                               Modified 1927

A very real symbol of our school is the School Shield. This is present on our
uniform, letterhead, vehicles and buildings. It is the visual representation of our
school, and most who live in Rotorua and the Bay of Plenty recognize it as the
key image that has been associated with our school for over a century.
    Our Shield, however, is not only a visual symbol, it also reflects very clearly
a set of values, beliefs and relationships which we as a school stand for. Our
Shield represents much to do with the philosophy of the School, and our
commitment to the young men of the city since 1914. Our Shield represents our
desire to aim high and reach for the stars. It is compatible with our vision “To
become the outstanding Boys’ High School in New Zealand”.
    The Shield, as it stands today, was fully developed by 1927. This was when
the Māori Head atop the central shield, which was designed in 1915, and the scroll
beneath the central shield with the Latin Motto were the last features to be added
to it in 1927. The central shield, its four symbols, and the Motto Scroll were all
coloured that same year, but the colours for the Māori Head were not finally
determined until 2018. There are six key elements to our Shield as follows:

The Open Book – This refers to learning and education.

The White Rose of York – This is a traditional heraldic symbol and demonstrates
the historical relationship of our school to Great Britain.

The Lion – Again this is a traditional heraldic symbol particularly common to
Grammar Schools, demonstrating the relationship of the School to British
traditions. Furthermore, the Lion stands for strength, courage, honour, and the
determination to never to give up, and to overcome adversity.
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ROTORUA BOYS' HIGH SCHOOL - AN HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION Kevin J. Lyall School Archivist and Historian
The Crown – This demonstrates the relationship of the School to the Sovereign
and the Crown. The Crown is also a symbol of authority and leadership. It is about
setting in place, a pathway for success in life and working towards realizing one’s
ambitions with determination and enthusiasm.

The Māori Head, Tane Raukura – This symbolizes the relationship of the School
with Ngati Whakaue, and acknowledges the 1880 endowment by them of the land
for the establishment of the new Town of Rotorua in 1881. Its position atop the
central shield is indicative of the value given to this relationship. In 2020, this
symbol was given the name Tane Raukura.

The Latin Motto – This Motto was selected by A.R. Ryder (Principal from 1927-
1931) from a public competition held in Rotorua for this purpose in 1927. It has
been translated to represent “To the stars through adversity” or “To the stars
through hard work”. More recently and more appropriately perhaps, given the bi-
cultural makeup of the School today, the Māori equivalent “Whaia Te Iti
Kahurangi” was adopted in 1990. This is now boldly displayed on the front of the
main school building for everyone who arrives at the School to see.

Since 1915, this Shield has been worn with pride and has been our own special
and particular symbol. More than that, it is a statement of what is important to
our school community. Our Shield tells the story of our school and that story is
as appropriate today as it was when it was first designed, and then modified as
the School developed in its early years. The result is the defining symbol of our
school today.
   The School Shield has been officially trademarked since 2008. This means
that it belongs exclusively to us and it cannot be used or reproduced without the
School’s authorization.

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ROTORUA BOYS' HIGH SCHOOL - AN HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION Kevin J. Lyall School Archivist and Historian
SCHOOL MOTTOS
                       Selected 1927 and Adopted 1990

The School has two Mottos: the original Latin Motto, of 1927, and the Māori
Motto “Whaia Te Iti Kahurangi”, which was adopted in 1990. These Mottos
translate as follows:

Ad Astra Per Aspera

Ad – To
Astra – The Stars
Per – Through
Aspera – Roughness (which we translate as ‘Hard Work’)

Whaia Te Iti Kahurangi

This Motto comes from the old Māori proverb Whaia te iti kahurangi. Ke te tuohu
koe me he maunga teitei. This means: “Search for great things” and “if one has
to bow, let it be to a lofty mountain.”

                                      10
VISION STATEMENT

The School’s Vision Statement is: “To be the outstanding Boys’ High School in
New Zealand.”

                                 PRICIPLES

The School’s guiding Principles are: “Rotorua Boys’ High School provides an
environment for boys to mature into outstanding young men to prepare them for
them for the future important role they must play in the community.”

                                   VALUES

The Values, which all boys of Rotorua Boys’ High School are expected to
develop, uphold, model and to display at all times, are:

Pūmau – Be Strong of Character
Being strong of character means you show respect for both yourself and others,
have personal integrity, take responsibility for the consequences of your actions
and be a good citizen. Be a good man.

Whakaatu ngārahuntanga – Demonstrate Leadership
Leadership can be taught and learned. You will have many opportunities to
demonstrate leadership and be a good role model as well as encouraging
appropriate behaviour in others. Be a good leader.

Ūpoko pakaru – Display Commitment
Commitment means never giving up just because something is difficult. It
encompasses a work ethic, time management and sacrifice in achieving your
goals. Be a good worker.

Kapu huanga – Take Opportunities
Taking opportunities is about embracing new challenges. You will be presented
with a myriad of new opportunities in your time at Rotorua Boys’ High School.
Enjoy the challenge.

Hiratanga – Strive for Excellence
Striving for excellence means that you will always do your best, learn from your
mistakes and seek continual improvement. Reach for the stars.

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Whakaute – Show Respect
Show respect to family, school, friends, team mates and especially yourself.

                                       12
THE PLUME – RAUKURA
                          Developed in the early 2000s

A very special, greatly esteemed, and deeply treasured concept and ethos – and
now also an important symbol – long associated with the School is the feather or
plume, the Raukura.
    The Raukura plumes are very proudly displayed around the School. They are
most prominently displayed in the War Memorial Hall at the back of the stage
flanking the School Shield, and on the Raukura Sculpture in the roundabout in
front of A Block. It also appears on the Prefect’s Badge, the School’s website,
various school publications, stationery and garments.
    The association of the Raukura with the School dates back to 1929. This was
when the word was chosen by Mitchell to be the first part of the official name for
the school magazine or year-book, Raukura Rotorua first published at the end of
that year.
    In historical terms Raukura is the name given by Māori to the highly esteemed
black and white-tipped tail feathers of the now extinct Huia bird, Heteralocha
acutirostris. The last official sighting of a Huia bird was in 1907, and it was
officially declared to be extinct in 1909. Its tail feathers were very highly prized
and coveted by Māori and were worn on the head as mark of mana or status.
    When the first Christian missionaries came to Rotorua in the mid-1830s, they
brought with them the ideas, concepts, and practices of the learning, knowledge,
and education of Western Civilization. The local Māori people in Rotorua very
quickly grasped the value of these things, appreciated their importance and came
to regard education as being the “mind’s adornment” or plume.
    The three plumes symbol, which was designed in the early 2000s by Old Boy
and staff member T. Hale, gives emblematic expression to the concept of
“Raukura”. This symbol has been officially trademarked by the School since
2008. This means that it belongs exclusively to us and it cannot be used or
reproduced or used without the School’s authorization.
    When Mitchell chose Raukura Rotorua to be the name for the magazine, he
was literally referring to the Rotorua High School as being the “Raukura of
Rotorua” – the “Pride of Rotorua” – “Rotorua’s Plume”. Today, Rotorua Boys’
High School is Raukura.
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THE 1881 ENDOWMENT

The School’s Endowment of 1881, which is now known as the Ngati Whakaue
Education Endowment, has a long and very complicated history.
    The Endowment itself consists of five blocks of real estate in the Central
Business District of Rotorua. The income generated from these blocks is
disbursed locally for a wide variety of educational purposes from early childhood
through to tertiary education and beyond. Although Ngati Whakaue gave the land
for the Endowment under the terms of Rotorua’s founding document, the “Fenton
Agreement” of 1880, it was actually created by the Government.
    The Endowment was established when the site for the new Town of Rotorua
was first surveyed and then laid out by the Crown Lands Department in May,
1881. Five blocks of land were designated on the Town Plan as “Local College
and Grammar School Endowments”. They were intended to generate income for
a future “College and Grammar School” in Rotorua. The rents from the lease-
holds (Ngati Whakaue retained ownership of the land) on these five blocks were
originally intended to fund only two beneficiaries: a College and a Grammar
School in Rotorua. In the terminology of the 1880s, a ‘College’ implied education
at tertiary-level; a ‘Grammar School’ at secondary-level. From 1881 until June,
1914, there was no secondary school in Rotorua to receive the Endowment’s
income and tertiary education would not be established in the city until 1978.
    From the mid-1880s onward, when the first lease-holds on the Endowment
were granted, the revenue from them was diverted by the Government to the
Auckland Education Board. In the early 1910s, the people of Rotorua started
asking for a high school to be established in the town and they wanted the revenue
returned to Rotorua for its use. Although the School was established in 1914, the
Endowment’s revenue continued to be retained by the Auckland Education
Board. This prompted some inquiries to be made locally about the Endowment’s
legal status and resulted in a very long and complex legal battle to get the (by
then) valuable revenue from the Endowment returned to Rotorua.
    In 1926, the Government agreed to return the Endowment’s revenue to
Rotorua. It also agreed to refund all of the money that had been disbursed by the
Auckland Education Board since the mid-1880s. In November, 1926, the Rotorua
High School Board of Governors was established to control the Endowment and
to govern the School. The accumulated revenue at that time amounted to £11,000
(just over $1 million in modern money) and the bulk of this was used to build the
original part of A Block in 1927.
    In October, 1995, the Endowment’s purpose was changed by the Government
through legislation to “general education purposes”. It was also vested in a new
Endowment Board directly controlled and managed by Ngati Whakaue.
                                       14
HISTORY OF THE SCHOOL

         The Victoria Institute (left) and the Native Land Court, 1918.
Rotorua Boys’ High School was originally established as the Secondary
Department of the Primer 1 to Form 6 (Years 1 to 12) Rotorua District High
School on Monday, 8 June, 1914. It was officially opened on that day by the first
School Chairman, J.R. Reynolds.
    When the School opened, it started its life in one of Rotorua’s most historic
and important – though now long forgotten buildings – the Victoria Institute on
Arawa Street. Pictured above, it stood next to the Native Land Court building and
it existed from 1898 until 1962 on the site of what is now occupied by the Family
Court part of the Rotorua Court House complex. The Victoria Institute housed all
of the town’s original local government offices, the public library and museum.
It also had meeting rooms available for general use. Named the “Victoria
Institute”. it was built in honour of the Queen-Empress Victoria of Great Britain’s
Diamond Jubilee – the Sixtieth Anniversary of her accession to the British Throne
in 1837. It formed Rotorua’s principal commemoration of that event, which was
marked throughout her vast Empire, in 1897.
    The School’s twenty-one Foundation Pupils – 11 boys and 10 girls – and their
sole teacher, F.W. Greenwood, commenced their lessons in one small, back room
at the Victoria Institute just a few weeks before the start of World War I.
    One of the earliest tasks that the pupils were given when the School was
opened was to come up with symbol to identify them with. They came up with
the first part, the central shield, of what is now the School Shield, in 1915.
    By 1923, the School had outgrown its small room. In August, 1924, the School
was re-located to the larger Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA)
building on Pukeroa Hill, which stood next to King George V Hospital on the site
of what is now the Rotorua Public Hospital, and remained there until the end of
                                        15
1926. It then moved into the hospital proper for 1927. The YMCA building was
later brought down from Pukeroa Hill to the Pukuatua Street site where it
continued to be used for classes until it was demolished in 1963.
    At the end of 1926, the Rotorua High School Board of Governors was
established by the Government to control and administer the Endowment and to
govern the School.
    Full High School status was granted to the School in 1927. This was when it
officially became the Rotorua High School (also known as Rotorua High and
Grammar School), and the entirely new Rotorua Junior High School for Forms 1
and 2 (Years 7-8) pupils. Both schools operated under the same Principal but with
separate staffs and started with a combined roll of 209 pupils. For 1927, the staff
and pupils were located in two disused wards of King George V Hospital while
the new school building on Pukuatua Street (A Block) was being built.
    The Foundation Stone for the new Rotorua High School building was laid by
the Minister of Education, the Hon. R.A. Wright, at a public ceremony held on
12 April, 1927. The building was funded from the accumulated revenues of the
Endowment dating back to the mid-1880s. Construction started immediately after
the Foundation Stone was laid. The building was completed that August, but the
internal fit-out carried on until the first few weeks of 1928.
    1927 was a very busy year for the School. Many crucial things happened apart
from the new building that year. A public competition was held in Rotorua early
that year to find a suitable Motto for the School. The winning entry “Ad Astra
Per Aspera” was submitted by Miss C.E. Carter (later Mrs. Gilmore) and it came
from reading her father’s Webster’s dictionary.
    The School Shield was fully completed with the addition of the Latin Motto
in a scroll beneath the central shield and the Māori Head on top of it to create the
most defining and iconic symbol of the School today. The Prefect’s Badge, the
original eight Houses, and the Annual Athletics and Swimming Sports were also
established and first held in 1927. Bronze Sports Medallions bearing the School
Shield were first awarded to mark the setting of sports records, and the School
Colours: red, blue and gold were also officially adopted in 1927. The first of the
impressive silver sports cups and trophies were also presented to the School that
year by prominent people in Rotorua.
    The School was officially re-opened at the Pukuatua Street site by Minister
Wright on 9 February, 1928.
    A few months later, the Rotorua High and Grammar School Old Pupils’
Association, Inc., was founded by a keen group of Old Pupils.
    At the end of 1929, the school magazine, Raukura Rotorua – The Magazine
of the Rotorua High and Grammar School was first published to record all of the

                                        16
various events and happenings. That first edition also recorded some of the events
that had happened back to 1927 and before that to the District High School.
    The 1930s were a period of further growth, consolidation, and new
development for the School. The start of the decade coincided with the Great
Depression of 1930-1935. Fortunately, that did not have too much of an effect on
the School thanks to the extra money it received via he Board of Governors from
the Endowment. The Old Pupils’ Association established Old Boys’ Ruby and
Cricket Clubs and also an Old Girls’ Basketball (Netball) Club in 1931. The
Cricket Club survived until the 1950s, and the Rugby Club until 1997. The Napier
Earthquake struck on 3 February, 1931, and caused a large crack on the front wall
of the original A Block. The major event of the 1930s, apart from the addition of
the second-storey to A Block in 1938 (the 1931 crack was fixed during that work),
and the building of T Block in 1939, was the merging of the Rotorua Junior High
School with the Rotorua High School at the end of 1933 to become its
Intermediate Department in 1934.
    One of the School’s real hopes from 1927 onward had been to establish a
boarding hostel. This would have enabled boys and girls from throughout the Bay
of Plenty to attend the School. Although a broad strip land next to the School on
its eastern boundary was acquired for this purpose in 1934, and some efforts were
made by Mitchell, a hostel was not able to be established until 1994.
    The first half of the 1940s was marked by World War II. Over 500 Old Pupils
served our country in that war, and the School was extremely proud of their
services and contributions. Sixty-two Old Boys and one staff member were killed,
and seventeen Old Boys were decorated. The highest decoration awarded twice
to an Old Boy in World War II was the Distinguished Service Order. In World
War I, the School had lost one staff member and one Old Boy.
    The War Memorial Hall, which was built in 1959, serves as the School’s
memorial to the sixty-six men who have lost their lives in World War I, World
War II and the Vietnam War.
    By the early 1950s, there were 1,250 pupils attending the School – the highest
roll in its history thus far. This was a direct result of the post-war baby boom in
Rotorua and it caused serious accommodation problems. No new buildings were
approved by the Government to accommodate this extra growth so, by 1955, the
School was seriously overcrowded. To address this, the Government decided that
no new classrooms would be built. Instead, groups of pupils would be separated
off form new schools of their own. The first group of pupils to leave were the
Years 7 and 8 boys and girls to form Rotorua Intermediate School in 1957. The
next to go were the girls, who left at the end of 1958 to form Rotorua Girls’ High
School in 1959. Their departure left 582 boys on the Pukuatua Street site to form
Rotorua Boys’ High School, which was also opened in 1959.
                                        17
The 1960s were a decade of rapid social change and “pushing the boundaries”.
The main developments in this decade were the establishment of Form 7 (Year
13) by the Department of Education (secondary education had previously stopped
at Form 6 or Year 12) and the introduction of the “Levels System” at the School.
This very innovative system, which was considered to be quite a bold change at
the time, introduced the groupings of a cross-section of boys drawn from Years 9
through to 13 into House Groups. The main idea behind this development was
that the boys and the teacher in each House Group would remain together
throughout their time at the School. The Levels System also greatly changed the
organization of the School’s timetable and teaching of the curriculum, but these
features of it did not survive the end of the 1960s.
    The 1970s saw the School play the major role in the development of a tertiary
education institute for Rotorua. As the first step towards this, in February, 1972,
a Technical Institute Division (TID) was opened. This brought together all of the
night classes that had been running for adult students at the School since 1939.
The purpose of the TID was to build up the number of post-secondary students in
Rotorua to qualify for the establishment of a fully Government-funded tertiary
education institution. This was achieved on 1 April, 1978, when the former
Waiariki Community College (later re-named Waiariki Polytechnic and then
Waiariki Institute of Technology) was established. It served the Bay of Plenty’s
tertiary education needs until it was merged with the smaller Bay of Plenty
Polytechnic at Tauranga to form Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology on 1 May,
2016. On 1 April, 2020, Toi Ohomai became a subsidiary of Te Pūkenga – New
Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology when all sixteen polytechnics in New
Zealand were merged into the new national polytechnic.
    The 1980s were a much more settled period for the School after the social and
educational developments of the 1960s and 1970s. Most of the buildings were
refurbished for the first time since they were built, and computers were
introduced. The major change for the education system in New Zealand came at
the end of the decade when the “Tomorrow’s Schools” and “Learning for Life”
educational reforms were implemented in 1989. Tomorrow’s Schools would
survive unchanged for the next thirty years until a few changes were made by the
Government in 2019.
    The 1990s were another decade of rapid growth and re-development for the
School. The re-introduction of Years 8 and 9 (Forms 1 and 2) was seriously
considered for a time in the mid-1990s, but it was not proceeded with. Major new
building developments took place at a level not seen since the 1950s, and the first
hostel boarding facility “Raukura House” was opened in early 1994. It was re-
named “Mitchell House” that July and “Tai Mitchell Boarding Hostel” when it
moved to its permanent new buildings at the School in 2005. The School also
                                        18
expanded into the international student market during the 1990s, and a major re-
discovery – and celebration – of the School’s history and heritage occurred. The
establishment of the Hall of Fame Ngā Raukura I Te Ao in 1991, the
refurbishment of School Year Frame photographs in 1992, and the revival of the
word Raukura in the mid-1990s were the most significant celebrations of the
School’s heritage.
     The new millennium began with the opening of the Millennium Centre in
2000. The first major history of the School was published in 2003, and many new
innovations based on the traditional boys’ school model with a particular focus
on lifting achievement for Māori boys and fully embracing new digital
technologies in learning have been the major focuses of the last two decades since
the turn-of-the-century. This has led to Rotorua Boys’ High School being one of
New Zealand’s most innovative and leading boys’ schools in terms of its
academic, sporting and cultural achievements.
    In 2019, the School won the Prime Minister’s Excellence in Leading Award
and also the Prime Minister’s Supreme Education Excellence Award, in part, for
the success of its Tai Mitchell Hostel operation.
    In early 2020, the School was identified as one of the most innovative schools
in the world in terms of its use of technology in the classroom. It became the first
mainstream State high school in New Zealand to be awarded “Apple
Distinguished School” status by the Apple Computing Company in the United
States of America. This three-year accreditation is given to schools recognized
by Apple as being leaders in providing educational excellence in learning with
technology. This award was made in recognition of the School’s continuous
innovation in its learning, teaching, and the school environment.
    In 2020, the “Black Lives Matter” movement provided the School with the
impetus and opportunity to re-name the Houses for the first time in ninety-three
years. Frobisher, Drake, Raleigh and Nelson, which had been the names of the
boys’ Houses since 1927, were “retired” and farewelled at the Junior Prize Giving
Ceremony held on 8 December, 2020. The new names: Te Akitu a Raukura;
Ngongotahā; Utuhina; and Te Rotorua-nui-a-Kahumatamomoe were chosen and
they came into effect from the beginning of 2021.
    Rotorua Boys’ High School is today – as it has always been – “Rotorua’s
Plume”. It is proud of its past and confidently looks ahead “To be the outstanding
Boys’ High School in New Zealand.”

                                        19
PRINCIPALS

 J.M. Warn
1914 – 1915

 F.D. Wood
1915 – 1919

    20
T.B. Tanner
Appointed during F.D. Wood’s absence on war service
                    1916 – 1918

             W. Lewins, B.Sc. (London)
                   1919 – 1925
                        21
G. Barber
           1926

A.R. Ryder, M.A., B.Sc. (N.Z.)
        1927 – 1931
              22
W.G. Harwood, B.A., M.Sc. Hons (N.Z.)
           1932 – 1959

   N.H. Thornton, E.D., M.A. (N.Z.)
            1960 – 1962
                  23
E.F. Hamill, E.D., B.A., M.A. (N.Z.)
                      1963 – 1979

G.R. Cramond, M.A. Hons (Otago), Dip. Ed.St., Dip. Tchg.
                    1980 – 1991
                            24
A.C. Grinter, B.A. Hons. (Victoria), Dip.Tchg.
                    1991 –

                      25
A BLOCK
                                  Built 1927
                            Officially Opened 1928

The historic Main Building of the School, known as A Block, is one of the few
remaining historic – and iconic – buildings in Rotorua.
    Designed by the early Rotorua architect, Edward La Trobe Hill (1887-1966),
it was erected to house the Rotorua High School and the Rotorua Junior High
School. Its Foundation Stone was laid by the Minister of Education, the Hon R.A.
Wright, on 12 April, 1927. Construction started immediately after the stone was
laid and was completed in August that year. The School was officially re-opened
at the Pukuatua Street site on 9 February, 1928.
    Within a year of its completion, the new building was too small. The South
Wing, which originally terminated at classroom A3 in 1927, was extended with
two further classrooms (A4 and A5) in 1929. Another classroom, A6, was added
in 1930, and the rooms beyond that were added in 1952. The most significant
change to the building, however, was the addition of a second-storey in 1938. The
War Memorial Hall was the last major addition made to it in 1959. The buildings
behind A Block were erected in 1994, 1997, and most recently in 2020.
    The building’s distinctive architectural features are its classical entrance
portico with the two Doric order columns and the fanlight window.
    From 2005-2006, the central part of A Block was earthquake strengthened, re-
configured internally, and refurbished at a cost of over $1.5 million.
                                       26
THE ENTRANCE HALL
                 Carved and Decorated between 1927 and 1928

Generations of pupils, staff, and visitors to the School have passed through the
historic Entrance Hall of A Block. It is a very special place at the heart of the
School. It has a wairua (spirit) all of its own and, like the School Shield, it makes
a statement about the School and what it stands for.
    The Entrance Hall is the only interior part of A Block that has survived intact
(only the window above the main doors and the room’s lighting has changed), in
terms of its original decorations, from its construction and fitting out between
mid-1927 and early 1928.
    The Māori carvings and decorations for the Entrance Hall were Mitchell’s
idea. They were commissioned by and paid for by the Te Arawa Māori Trust
Board (now known as the Te Arawa Lakes Trust), of which Mitchell was the first
Board Chairman. He had three main intentions in mind for the decorations: first,
that the Māori pupils of the School should always remember that their tipuna
(ancestors) gave the land for the establishment of new Town of Rotorua in 1880;
second, that it would serve as a permanent tribute to Ngati Whakaue for that
generosity; and third, so that the Māori pupils of the School should always be
reminded of, be proud of and inspired by their own culture and heritage.

             Kowhaiwhai                                  Tukutuku Panel

                                         27
In terms of the Māori decorations in the Entrance Hall, the three elements of
these are the: Kowhaiwhai; Tukutuku; and carvings.
   The Kowhaiwhai patterns (painted patterns on the ceiling rafters) are of the
traditional Mangapore or Hammerhead shark design.
   The woven latticework or Tukutuku around the walls, which are made of dried
kakaho (the steams of toetoe grass) are woven panels and feature the traditional
“roimata toroa” or “tears of the albatross” design.
   The carvings are, in fact, reproductions of very old Māori carvings based on
photographs taken of the original carvings in the early 1900s. These were carved
by Pineamine (Pine) Taiapa and his younger brother Hone (John) Taiapa, M.B.E.,
Wiremu (Piri) Poutapu and Waka Kereama at the national Māori Carving School
(now part of the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, known as Te Puia,
at Whakarewarewa) originally established by the Hon. Sir Apriana Ngata, M.P.
for Eastern Māori and later Minister of Native Affairs, at Ohinemutu, in 1927.
   Hone Taiapa, who went on to become a master carver and was appointed a
Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his services to
traditional carving, later worked on the carvings and the Roll of Honour panels
for the War Memorial Hall in 1959.
   The Kowhaiwhai, Tukutuku panels, and the carvings all formed the very first
commission – and the apprentices’ first practice carvings – for the newly
established national Māori Carving School in 1927, so they are of national
significance.
   The prominent Teko Teko, or head, carving that is at the apex of the southern-
end of the Entrance Hall leading into the foyer, was the inspiration for the
depiction of Tane Raukura that appears on the School Shield.
   In early 1992, the Entrance Hall’s original opaque window above the main
doors was replaced with a clear pane of glass emblazoned with the School Shield
and spot lights were also installed. These are the only significant changes that
have been made to the Entrance Hall since 1927.
   At the beginning of 2018, the decision was made to move Roi Toia’s
contemporary carving called “Tane Raukura” into the Entrance Hall, where he
would be more prominently displayed. He was commissioned from Toia by the
School’s former Parent-Teachers’ Association, and he was their gift to
commemorate the opening of the Millennium Centre in 2000. Tane Raukura
originally stood there in the stairwell.

                                       28
SCHOOL BUILDINGS

                                  Introduction

The School has been located at its Pukuatua Street site since the start of 1928.
Prior to then, it was originally based in the Victoria Institute on Arawa Street. In
August, 1924, it re-located up to the YMCA building Pukeroa Hill and from there
into the adjacent King George V Hospital where it remained until the end of 1927.
   The history of the Pukuatua Street site can be traced back to 1885. This was
when the surveying work for the old railway line that formerly went past the
School and carried on in to the Rotorua Railway Station (located where the
Rotorua Central Mall now is) was being done. The surveyors and builders of the
old railway line used the then bare site of the School as their camp and they
planted the first trees in 1885, most of which are still here today. They are the
Douglas firs along the Pukuatua Street boundary and the one tall fir that stands
directly opposite A Block.
   When the School was officially re-opened at its 25-acre (10.11 hectare)
Pukuatua Street on 9 February, 1928, it was actually then some way out in the
countryside. Across the other side of Old Taupo Road, which was then little more
than a dirt track, there was only farmland and the old Rotorua A&P Show
Grounds. The first houses were not built on the other side of Old Taupo Road
until after World War II.
   The grandstand behind A Block facing Old Taupo Road was built at the end
of 2021 and into early 2021. The first grandstand to be erected on this site was in
1992.
   Since A Block was built in 1927, a large number of buildings have been added
around and behind it. The buildings located on its northern, eastern, and southern-
sides have formed a traditional quadrangle in the north-eastern part of the site.
We shall now visit each of these buildings.

                                        29
THE HARWOOD LIBRARY
                                Est. 1922

                                   Built 1979
            Officially Dedicated to W.G. and E.W.J. Harwood 1992
                                Extended 1996
                                 Modified 2016

The first school library was officially established with just a few books in its
collection at the Victoria Institute in 1922.
   By the mid-1930s, the library had grown to over 500 hundred books. This was
mainly due to the outstanding donations of E. Earl Vaile, D.S.O., O.B.E. (1869-
1956), a wealthy Auckland businessman who owned and developed the 53,000-
acre Broadlands Estate at Reporoa. When the second-storey was added to A
Block in 1938, the largest room in the centre of it (now the staff room) was
originally the library room and Vaile officially opened it. With only a few
exceptions now kept in the School Archives, most of Vaile’s books were
presented by the School to the Rotorua Public Library in 1961.
   In 1979, the original part of the current library building was built on part of
what were some of the best grass tennis courts in Rotorua. It was extended with
two classrooms on its eastern-side in 1996. The main library was modified
internally when the central office area was reduced in size in 2016.
   In 1992, the library was officially named the “Harwood Library” in honour of
the School’s seventh Principal, W.G. Harwood, and his wife, Mrs. E.W.J.
Harwood, M.B.E. Photographs of them were presented to the School by their
children – all Old Pupils – at the time and they are now displayed in the library’s
foyer.
   Behind the Harwood Library is the Golf Driving Range. It was opened on 24
April, 2002, by Sam Hunt, a former Head Prefect and World Secondary Schools’
Golf Champion from 2000-2001.

                             GYMNASIA BLOCK
                                  Built 1952
                            Extended 1970 and 1996
                                Modified 1986

Opposite the Harwood Library is the Gymnasia block. It consists of the original
gymnasium (now the Weights Training Centre), which was also designed by La
Trobe Hill and was built in 1952. The large gymnasium was added onto it in 1970,
the mezzanine built in 1986, and the classroom in front was built in 1996.
                                        30
B BLOCK
                                  Built 1963
                          Re-developed 1994 and 2007

The two-storey, H-shaped “Nelson Block” next to the gymnasia is known as B
Block. It is a multi-purpose classroom block and it was built in 1963.
   On 1 August, 1994, a fire – the only major fire in the School’s history – gutted
the rear part of the south-eastern side of the block facing C Block. Fortunately, a
policeman on his way to work early that morning saw the fire and alerted the Fire
Service. They were able to get to the School very quickly and prevented the fire
from spreading throughout the rest of the block.
   B Block was extended with a new frontage, modernized, and completely
upgraded in 2007.

                                   T BLOCK
                        Built and Officially Opened 1939
                                Extended 1960s
                        Extended and Refurbished 1988
                               Re-developed 2002

The Technical Block, known a T Block, was La Trobe Hill’s second major
building on the site after A Block. Construction commenced on 2 November,
1938, and was completed in February, 1939.
    The building was officially opened by the then Minister of Education (and
later Prime Minister), the Rt. Hon. P. Fraser, on 24 February, 1939. Unlike the
Foundation Stone for A Block, which was laid before its construction started, T
Block’s Foundation Stone was unveiled by the Minister when the building was
officially opened.
    T Block was originally designed and built to accommodate the School’s
engineering, woodwork, home science, and adult student night classes. It was
fitted out with all of the latest technical and engineering equipment imported from
Great Britain, and some of that equipment is still in use there today. The building
originally had two large workshops: one for woodwork and one metalwork for
the boys; and two rooms of equal size for cookery and arts and crafts for the girls.
    The building was extended on both sides in the 1960s. It was completely
refurbished, modernized, and extended again in 1988. That was also when its
original columned entrance portico was removed to create a spray painting booth.
T Block was extensively upgraded and again extended in 2002. At that time, the
original main entrance was again re-opened but the columns were not restored.

                                        31
C BLOCK
                                  Built 1971
                      Extended 1985 and Refurbished 2010

Behind T Block and next to B Block is C Block. Like its “big brother” B Block,
it is a multi-purpose classroom block and it was built in 1971.
    It was originally called the “Half-Nelson Block”, being the slightly more
modern single-storey version of the two-storey Nelson Block. C Block was
extended in 1985, and it was fully refurbished in 2010. The Tuck Shop was built
next to it on the site of a former pottery firing kiln in 2003.

                                  “THE BARN”
                                    Built 1975

Behind C Block there is an interesting building in the School’s and also Rotorua’s
history. To look at it though you would probably wonder why!
    This barn-like building, which now houses the Grounds and Maintenance
Department, was one of three identical such buildings on the site. All three were
the first purpose-built buildings in Rotorua for tertiary education. They were built,
in 1975, to accommodate the TID – the distant forerunner of the local subsidiary
of the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology.
    Two of the three barns served as the TID’s engineering workshops for its
apprentice mechanics and engineers, and the other one (now M Block) was the
carpentry workshop for its apprentice carpenters.
    The two engineering workshops originally stood on what is now the site of the
staff car park on Pukuatua Street. They were transferred to the Mokoia Drive
campus of Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology in 1978.
They are still in use there, as engineering workshops, today.

                                  S BLOCK
                                   Built 1953
                            Officially Opened 1954
                      Refurbished 1984 and Extended 1997

The original Science Block, known as S Block, was designed by La Trobe Hill.
It formed the third side of the quadrangle, and it was built to accommodate the
Science Department. It was officially opened by the Minister of Education, the
Hon. Sir Ronald Algie – the younger brother of the School’s first Deputy
Principal – on 30 April, 1954.

                                         32
S Block was fully upgraded and refurbished in 1984, and two additional
classrooms were added to it in 1997. It will be replaced with a new building to be
erected on the site of the Jubilee Quad in 2021.

                        TE WHARE-O-RAUKURA
                                 Built 1980
                   Re-developed and Officially Opened 1993

In front of the Millennium Centre and opposite the South Wing of A Block and
the Jubilee Quad, is the School’s wharenui “Te Whare-O-Raukura.”
   The second-storey Lockwood part of this building was originally built in 1980.
It was gifted by the former Rotorua High School Old Pupils’ Association, Inc., to
commemorate the Golden Jubilee of the opening of the School’s attained of full
high school status in 1927. It originally served as a cafeteria.
    The Lockwood part of the building was re-developed as Te Whare-O-Raukura
with the new ground-level rooms built beneath it in 1994. The re-developed
complex was officially re-opened on 4 March, 1994. At that occasion, Old Girl
Mrs. M.A. Bird, Q.S.M. (1917-2001), the last surviving child of Mitchell, cut the
ribbon across the threshold.

                       THE MILLENNIUM CENTRE
                       Built and Officially Opened 2000

Behind Te Whare-O-Raukura is the Millennium Centre. The planning for this
major building commenced in the mid-1990s, and most of the funds for its
construction were raised by Old Pupils with additional grants made by the
Ministry of Education and the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust.
   The Millennium Centre was officially opened by the Governor-General of
New Zealand, the Rt. Hon. Sir Michael Hardie Boys, a former Judge of the Court
of Appeal, on 28 October, 2000, to mark the new millennium.
   The building originally contained a number of classrooms, offices, a cricket
projectile hall (now used for other purposes), a self-contained flat, the Colman
Theatre for performances, sports changing and washing facilities, a commercial
kitchen to cater for school and other public functions and also the Tai Mitchell
Boarding Hostels, and a large cafeteria on the western-side with an outdoor deck
opening off it. The cafeteria features floor-to-ceiling windows which give superb
views over the playing fields and the surrounding landscape.
   A special feature of the carpets in the Millennium Centre is the Raukura
symbol woven into its design. The building’s roof was replaced in 2021.

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