Takapuna Grammar School Alumni
All past pupils and staff of Takapuna Grammar School are warmly welcomed to register for our Past Pupils network – Takapuna Grammar School Alumni. We will endeavour to maintain close links with you via this website, our regular Grammar Link newsletters, the school newsletter Ad Augusta and the recently created Takapuna Grammar School Alumni Facebook page.
If you have any news about past pupils and teachers, or memories of your time at Takapuna Grammar School please let me know so we can share it with everyone. This is a great opportunity to catch up and find out what you’ve all been up to.
Please help us to stay in touch by entering your contact details here and remember to e-mail, call or text me if you need to update any of your contact details.
phone: 489 4167
Takapuna Grammar School Foundation Trust
P O Box 331558
Ex Pupils Reunion Friday 24 May 2013
1960-69 and 1980-89 eras
Venue Takapuna Grammar School, Peter Blake Building
Time 5.30pm to 8.00pm
Tour 5.00pm around outside of school by Prefects
Parking Main Entrance & Winscombe Road entrance
Cost $25.00 including finger food. Cash Bar
1. Register online and pay cash on the night
2. By cheque made out to: Takapuna Grammar School Foundation Trust.
Post to P.O. Box 331096, Takapuna, Auckland 0740.
Please include on back of cheque: FULL NAME, EMAIL ADDRESS, PHONE NO., YEARS AT TGS
3. Online Banking to bank account 02 1244 0068372 000
Account name: Takapuna Grammar School Foundation Trust
Please include your name in the reference and email firstname.lastname@example.org your registration details: FULL NAME, EMAIL ADDRESS, PHONE NO., YEARS AT TGS
We look forward to seeing you there.
If you know of anyone who was at school with you during these years and who has not received a newsletter please get them to sign up via the Takapuna Grammar website.
Foundation Pupil Harry Bioletti
It is with profound sadness that we learnt of the passing of Harry Lewis Bioletti.
He was the last surviving foundation pupil of Takapuna Grammar and a great supporter of our school.
In 2012 Harry, then aged 98, shared recollections of his school days at Takapuna Grammar with prefect Andy Strain. Sadly he passed away in April 2013 aged 99. Harry was a surf life saver, soldier, builder, rugby referee, school teacher, musician, author and historian, mayor and family patriarch.
Coffee Hour Catch-Up
Date to be advised for Term 2 Call by for coffee and cake from 10am to 11am
No booking necessary. Just turn up.
Each Term we will change the venue in the school so you have the experience of being somewhere different within the school. In addition there will be a ‘mystery’ staff member who will enlighten you on their role within the school i.e. Groundsman, Career Advisor, School Counsellor or Dean.
Current Sports Update for TGS
Past Pupils Association Membership Form
or download the form and send to:
Takapuna Grammar School Ex-Pupils
PO Box 331558, Takapuna
Phone: 489 4167
Memories of School Days
Susan Hall (nee Hale) —1954—1958
“My years at Takapuna Grammar School were supremely happy—thinking back, certainly with some nostalgic, I made life-long friends and established a continuing love with English and Music. Agatha Ford was American and an English teacher—she extended our reading levels, introduced us to American classics like “Grapes of Wrath”, was wildly eccentric and a mind-opening teacher. Wilbur Mannins taught me to read a musical score, to love jazz and to really ‘listen’ to music. We had a great choir, although there were no musical productions in those days, learnt to dance in the hall, swam, played basketball, tennis, participated in sports days. Often, however, I could be found sunbathing on the grass in the summer, walking home in groups and chatting up the boys, angling for attendance at the prefects’ ball! Mr Charman was still throwing chalk with varying degrees of success, Mr Mitchell was teaching French and Mr Long was putting me out of the room into the corridor for constantly talking—no wonder I didn’t grasp maths!
Of course, over and above the social aspects, we worked hard, we did hours of homework, passed exams, moved up classes and strove to pass University Entrance.
There were many TGS marriages amongst my peer groups which established a special bond. Most of us still live on the North Shore although have been away for varying lengths of time. I have lived within walking distance of the school for 23 years. I still look at the main school building, think how magnificent it is, how well it has been maintained and how exciting it is that the prefabs are disappearing and brick buildings are being established in their place.”
Age is no barrier for Wallace by Felicity Rookes
WALLACE OPPERMAN (81) shows off his pole-vaulting style at the North Island Masters track and field championships.
Opperman from Murray’s Bay, Northland, may be pushing 82, but that doesn’t stop him from competing in sport.
Opperman competed in the pole vault competition at the North Island Masters track and field championships on Saturday.
“I started competing in 1940. I have been all over the world in championships for pole vault, the 100 metres and discus throw,” Opperman said.
Wearing a New Zealand athletics singlet, he attempted the pole vault at 1.2m, but couldn’t quite make it.
“I have more or less competed in everything since I begun in the forties.”
Photo: Bradley Ambrose
Article in Taranaki Daily News 26/11/2007
Gary Daverne ONZM—1952—1956
I was nominated an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for my contribution to Music in the 1996 Queen’s Birthday Honours, the first of the new honours awards.
Betty Fletcher (nee Legg) 1945—1948
Letter Received on 22 March 2008.
“Thank you for all the work that you are doing for our Ex Pupils. I think a newsletter is a marvellous idea and do wish we had started it years ago.
However, right now we are preparing for our move to Australia where our four children have lived for many years.
I do hope the reunions go well and particularly if my era get together.”
Cecilia Riddell (American AFS Student in 1957)
I was wondering how I could find a few classmates, including Elizabeth Hay, Jo Mawson, Russell Smith and Peter Jalfon. Not sure what year they would have finished at TGS, but all were present between June and November 1957. Any ideas? email@example.com
Jeanie McCafferty (nee Baxter) 1956-1957
Jeanie would love to catch up with some of her classmates. She was originally from Ireland. If you remem-ber Jeanie and would like to make contact with her please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to those who have contributed to the ‘News’ and ‘Memories of School Days’ sections in this newsletter. Keep these stories coming in, this is your newsletter and I would much rather fill it with things that you want. Also send in photos that you may have and newspaper articles.
Extract taken from "As Dreams Are Made On" by Harry Bioletti
Sylvia Hayes (nee Billett) worked for the Takapuna Borough Council, which was reluctant to let her leave to join the forces. This because she was taking the place of an employee who had gone off to war. “I was allowed to go in 1943. First of all I was on ack-ack guns doing range-finding work, and direction-finding. We studied elementary optics and some trigonometry. Then after the Japanese raids on Darwin, Australia, the accent was on coastal defence rather than anti-aircraft fire. We learned Morse code and when on duty at Narrow Neck we were in constant communication with the examination vessel stationed off the beacon, Rangitoto Island. A searchlight lit the whole scene at night. There was also a searchlight unit at Bastion Point which lit the harbour when required to. Coastal defence for the port of Auckland included guns on Motutapu Island, Rangitoto, Castor Bay, Whangaparaoa, and at North Head, Devonport. At Narrow Neck we did night duty every third night. In the gleam of the searchlight, we could see the boys out there fishing from the longboat off the beacon. Sometimes we had fried fish at two o’clock in the morning. I was on duty when the Jap plane flew over Auckland. It was at night, and we were notified by voice phone by the Navy who had brought it up on radar.”
We were initiated into army life at Papakura camp. There were 26 of us in our army hut. Instructions were to keep the windows open at night. In the winter it was freezing, five blankets on the straw-filled palliasses were barely enough with the wind blowing through the hut. Some girls slept with balaclavas on. We washed out of tin basins with cold water. Chilblains were endemic. When we filled our palliasses with straw that first morning, we had to keep step with these bulky things slung over our shoulders. We were toughened up no end. And by the way there was no stopping to talk to boys in camp. We could be in deep trouble if that happened.”
Annual ANZAC Service
Since 1954 an annual Anzac Service has been held in the Takapuna Grammar School Memorial Library at 5.30pm on Anzac Day. It is held in honour of and to commemorate the 85 ex-pupils killed while on service in World War II and in Korea. It is attended by the next-of-kin of those whose names are recorded on the memorial windows in the library. Ex-pupils who saw service in war time and the families also attend. Representatives of the school, the Board of Trustees, staff, prefects and pupils attend along with local dignitaries.
The format of the service, is always the same with the National Anthem, two hymns, a reading by the Principal, a prayer read by the Head Girl, an item provided by a group of present pupils, and an address by an invited guest. The Roll of Honour is read and two wreaths are laid on behalf of Ex-Pupils and the school. Accompanying music has, for many years been provided by the North Shore Brass Band. This year a very well-received and thoughtful address was given by retired Lieutenant Colonel Chris Mullane M.B.E. A supper is enjoyed by the guests in the staffroom after the service. It is pleasing to note that the numbers who attend this service have increased over recent years.