There’s a lot local woman Lorraine Harris remembers about her days as a student at Matamata College – and that’s more than the excitement of being allowed to buy a pie for 9p or, on a really special occasion, a pie and chips for a shilling!
They were the days of extremely strict head mistresses; Miss Bell and Miss Tompkins who, on a regular basis, made the girls kneel to ensure their gyms were of appropriate length. The girls were not allowed to fraternise with the boys under any circumstances and of course, it was encouraged that young women to learn essential skills such as sewing, cooking and typing! “It all sounds pretty old fashioned now” laughs Lorraine, “but honestly, we had a marvellous time during those years. Dances were held on a Wednesday and Saturday night and of course, it was always fun to meet up with everybody at the movies on a Friday night and afterwards, at the Manly Milk Bar for milkshakes! Saturday’s, as they are now, were busy with various sports and, I guess, no one really had much time to get into any trouble! If I remember rightly, the worst thing likely to raise a few eyebrows was when the young men snuck away for a cigarette!”
Having always got along with everyone, Lorraine had a lot of friends at High School – many of which she is still in contact with. “We all grew up together as kids,” she says, “then, as we matured and began courting, attended each other’s weddings, celebrated the arrival of children and for those of us that remained in the district, kept in touch through various sports, clubs and our children. More recently, a group of six of us from all over the North Island took the opportunity of meeting for lunch and had such a great time that we vowed to continue with regular meetings or catch ups.”
With the women scattered as far as Taranaki to Tauranga and Mount Maunganui to Matamata, they have all committed to attending the Matamata College Centenary celebrations early next year and are hoping to meet up with others they have lost contact with over the years. “We are all really looking forward to it” says Lorraine. “When you think we attended the school in the very early 1950s, the years have simply flown by. We’ve all gone in different directions, married or re-married, welcomed grandchildren and sadly, lost a few along the way. It’s events like the reunion that bring everyone back together and remind us that although we’re all a lot older, those years together were, in fact, some of the most special times in our lives.”
1. Oh, them were the days! Pictured with her friends at Matamata College in the early 1950s, Lorraine Harris is looking forward to reunion festivities in 2018.
2. Long time friends Lorraine Harris, Shirley Woodmass (Reid), Heather Radford (Wilson), Lesley Feek (Presland), Lillian Howard (Aroa), Gleniss Keene (Walker) are pictured at their most recent get-together. Absent from the photo was Margaret Paterson (Scott) and Margaret Traverso (Purdy).
Oh, them were the days!
Pictured with her friends at Matamata College in the early 1950s, Lorraine Harris is looking forward to reunion festivities in 2018.
Long time friends
Lorraine Harris, Shirley Woodmass (Reid), Heather Radford (Wilson), Lesley Feek (Presland), Lillian Howard (Aroa), Gleniss Keene (Walker) are pictured at their most recent get together. Absent from the photo was Margaret Paterson (Scott) and Margaret Traverso (Purdy).