Marlborough Express Photographs From August 1957
Closed For Want Of Pupils

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Record 75/223
Copyright The Marlborough Express Newspaper Co. Ltd
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Collection Marlborough Express Negatives
Description Image from Negative number 118, referenced to scrapbook 1 - No.1 to 641, 23.7.57 to 28.8.57 - and published in The Marlborough Express Tuesday October 1, 1957, page 11. See also negative 117 MEX0.900.0067 for the Dillon's Point School photograph.

"Lonely, cheerless, deserted - The Dillon's Point School (top) and Omaka School which are closed for want of pupils."

Rare in these days of demands for space and building for education are two schools near Blenheim-Dillon's Point and Omaka - which are closed because of insufficient pupils. The Dillon's Point School closed at the end of 1955 and is being maintained by the Wellington Education Board with its full complement of equipment until such time as the young population of the area increases to an extent which warrants its reopening. The Omaka School, on the other hand, closed about 10 years ago finally been relinquished by the Board to revert to the Crown. At end of 1955 the Dillon's Point School boasted a roll of 11 pupils but, with senior children progressing to secondary school and no young ones starting school, the prospective roll of 1956 was only seven or eight - not sufficient to justify the retention of a qualified teacher. The school could have continued with an unqualified teacher but the settlers and the Board agreed that it should close - a step which they recognised would be inevitable sooner or later, anyway. The chances of its reopening within the next few years at present seem remote. Residents regret the passing of their school. It had been a point of pride that since it was built in 1915 it was regarded as one of the best country schools in Marlborough. Well equipped, it had a projector and radio when it closed and memorials to the various school committees which were notable for their keen interest and hard work. Today the school is occasionally used by settlers for meetings and social functions. The main service the Omaka School is yielding to the community is as a meeting place for the Omaka Social Club. It is used regularly for indoor bowling. Built before the turn of the century, the school building is almost as much a part of the district as the farms themselves. It is the intention of the settlers to apply to the Lands Department for the building to be vested in the district as a community hall. Both schools are looked after by residents who as occasion requires organise working bees to tidy up the grounds and carry out necessary work.
Year Range from 1957
Object ID MEX0.900.0068
Object Name Negative, Photographic
Place Marlborough
Studio The Marlborough Express Newspaper Co. Ltd
Title Closed For Want Of Pupils
When using this image please quote "Images courtesy of The Marlborough Express Newspaper Co. Ltd".

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Last modified on: April 12, 2013