close this bookTeenagers at Woodlands in the 1930s and 1940s
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentLocality
View the documentHomelife
View the documentEducation
View the documentEntertainment and Socialising
View the documentEmployment
View the documentAwareness of Issues
View the documentAdditional Notes


Did their primary schooling at Gordonton Primary.

Jack went to Hamilton Technical College, their sister went into school on the bus in the first year it ran (1937), prior to that it was hard for country children to get into town to go to secondary school, many left the area to board near a high school, by the time Jack went to high school there were high school students coming from Paeroa, Cambridge, Huntly.

Jack took a rural course, commercial and engineering course were available.

Jack: "We used to go over to Ruakura farm as it was in those days"

Mr Green was the Dairy Science teacher, went to Ruakura once every 2 weeks, also took Maths, English, Geography, History,

Jack: "They were good times"

Margaret and her sister both took the domestic course, sewing. Young sister took commercial,

Margaret: "I would have liked to have done commercial"

her parents did not envisage a career for her because of her health, their parents did not place much emphasis on education. Not many people from the country went on to higher education. Margaret wanted to be a teacher but was unable to because of her health. Science course, matriculation, mostly town children, many who did the science course went on to University, cousin Heather did science.

Father wanted Jack to be interested in sheep farming, because of his education Jack was more interested in dairy farming.

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Jack felt he learnt more when he left school and joined the Young Farmers Club,

Jack: "I felt I grew up in a wonderful time when Ruakura was set up as an instruction enterprise"

appreciated the new technology Ruakura made available, milk fever, grass staggers, milk techniques, non-stripping.

Margaret discusses the rapid progress of technology following the war. Margaret played basketball at high school, had gym classes in Gordonton after high school years.

Jack found it difficult to play sports for the school as they could not make it in to town on Saturdays. Began playing tennis at Gordonton and played rugby when teams were set up in Gordonton.

Margaret feels sport did not have as much emphasis as today. Margaret went to High School with a friend from Gordonton who was Salvation Army, went to church with her occasionally but does not recall other activities they did together.

Jack made a lot of friends at school,

"They were happy days, no doubt about it"

Margaret mentions that Jack was able to keep in contact with his teenage friends as he remained living in Gordonton whereas Margaret moved around after marriage.

Margaret doesn't feel that World War II effected her education.

Their father was eager for Jack to finish school and work on the farm as there was a labour shortage during the war, he didn't finish his 2 years at high school, left a few weeks early to help put on the farm. Their family was supplying cream before the war, during the war they were asked to switch over to whole milk and to deliver the milk to the local cheese factory, Jack heavily involved in the change over on the farm, first took the milk to the factory by horse and wagon, then go a 15 CWT. Ford V8 1938. After the campaign in Greece and Crete New Zealand's stock had to be replenished and the V8 was claimed by the army,

Jack: "I can always remember having to drive it into town and deliver it to the Claudelands Show Grounds"

Every year at tech they had military training at Rugby Park, Jack remembers one of his teachers, Mr Day being farewelled before he went to war. Jack remembers putting tape on the windows. Jack's home guard company was allocated the area near Woodlands on the Whitikahu Road Bridge, had trenches they had to lay in, had a huge log that was set up beside the bridge ready to roll on to it if the Japanese had invaded.