Celebrating 70 years of education and community, Rotorua Seventh-day Adventist Primary School in New Zealand recently held a Matariki School Jubilee.
Former students Otis Burt, the current head boy of Matamata College, and Mufaro Mapengo, the current head girl of Rotorua Girls High School, returned to participate in the program hosted at the Maranatha Family Wellness Centre.
Norman King, former student and current manager of Tui Ridge Park, shared his emotional response to the jubilee celebration. “I was surprised, I found some wet tears rolling down watching the performance. I felt so proud. Proud of the students for their show and reminding me of how proud I am that I went to this school.”
Funded by Te Puni Kokiri, the Ministry of Maori Development, the school has invested in new taaniko kapa haka uniforms (traditional Maori performing arts uniforms) and an honours board. According to Rotorua principal Lanea Strickland, “the school has paid forward their previous kapa haka uniforms to the Wellington Seventh-day Adventist School who have an upcoming cultural performance.”
In commemoration of its past, the school is preparing a jubilee booklet that documents its history and lists of past students and staff. This historical document will eventually find its home in the Don Stafford Heritage Collection at the Rotorua Library. Contributions to the jubilee booklet can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.