VICTORIOUS: The 1971 First IV that broke a 10 run by beating Rotorua Boys High School were, back row G Allerby, N Sisam, J Wana, E Waititi, K Walker; Centre M Godfrey, L Towsey, S Austin, D O’Leary, R Revington and M Potae; Front, G Finlay, C Olsen, P Tocker (Captain), D Burr (Coach) B Tekiri, J Grant and H Goldsmith.

AS Whakatane High School’s centenary in April approaches, the Eastern Bay Life continues to look into the school’s history. This week we cover the decade from 1970 to 1979.


A YEAR of jubilee. It has been 50 years since secondary education began in Whakatane. Peter McLay is the new principal, .

Cricket, rowing, girls hockey, netball and table tennis all have good seasons but the jubilee reunion and a jubilee concert in which more than 100 students perform are the highlights.

The most professional item in the concert is George Bernard Shaw’s Passion, Poison and Petrification (subtitled The Fatal Gazogene) in which Michael Wilson, television star of the 1980s, played the bumbling Adolphus Bustable superbly. Helen Briggs, cast as Lady Magnesia Fitztollemache her maid, Elizabeth Nicholson, N Hales as the villian and Ina Landlady Calder, all come across exceptionally well.

ATHLETICS DAY: Whakatane High School’s athletics sports day, 1970.


THE girls senior hockey team play their way into history with an undefeated record and the rugby first IV break a 10-year barrier by defeating Rotorua Boys High School.

The volleyball team enters the big time when the girls are runners up in the New Zealand B -grade championships and Prudence Town gains selection in the New Zealand Volleyball Team. R Coppell is Dux, also earning distinction by winning a university scholarship. Brian Roderick wins the Whakatane senior golf championship.

A home help scheme has all the students working in the community for a day and the $5000 collected goes toward the purchase of modern teaching aids.


FOR the first time in 30 years there is no school magazine. Without it, so much history remains isolated in personal memories rarely shared with the many. There have been only three years without a magazine –1942 and 1943, the war years, and 1972.


THIS could be called the year of clubs with five new ones formed – music, film, drama, catering and flying. The cultural event of the year was Michael Warbrick’s production, Hatu Patu, a musical dance performance based on Maori legend. About 200 students participate as dancers, warriors, stage crew, band members, choir and Maori club. Tom Bayliss writes the music and Joan Osborne is the choreographer.

Trident High School opens. After 52 years there are now two secondary schools in Whakatane.


CHECK THE HAIR: Prefects of 1974.

THIS could be called the women’s year as all the champion teams and art dux, Francey Youard are girls. The junior girls volleyball win the New Zealand junior championships, the girls hockey team are undefeated, the netball team coached by Nita Shannon wins all their games and Debbie Karl becomes Miss Bay of Plenty.

The canteen is completed. It is built by Mr D Green and the technical students in co-operation with the Lockwood company.


THE school library is opened and named after the school principal Mr McLay.

A production of Rangi and Papa is performed using slides back projected on to a translucent screen and a sound track recorded on tape at Radio 1XX.


THE audio visual room, the cultural and craft workshop and draughting rooms are all built this year. Graham Spencer becomes the new deputy principal.

The orchestra and show band grow, both in size and quality of performance. Both groups win competitions.


MODESTY year. Never has so little been recorded about the activities of so many. We have two head boys – J Buys and R Carlson; two head girls – Julie Whittaker and Julie Rimmer; two dux – C McKevitt (arts) and P Wightman (science).


THE girls soccer team raise $1250 for Telethon. The volleyballers gain major placings at nationals, the gymnasts have success. We gain two university scholarships by Catherine Blackshaw and S Rutherford.

The senior common room is opened on the first floor of N block.
Gary Reid wins the New Zealand secondary schools single sculls.


A YEAR of achievement. Mr McLay is awarded a Woolf Fisher Fellowship to study overseas the following year; head boy Brian Coulter is nominated for the Moscow Olympic Swimming Squad; John Manus Hanley (later to play for the Bay of Plenty) plays in the New Zealand Secondary School rugby team; J Jobe plays in a New Zealand invitational senior volleyball team; P Barr plays for the Bay of Plenty senior cricket team. The girls and boys volleyballers are second at nationals. Girls hockey wins the North Island secondary school tournament, The gymnasts win provincial titles as do the badminton players; head girl Janette McCormick is selected for the New Zealand volleyball squad and Dux G Finucane wins a university scholarship.

Go Moses Go is an original musical production devised by Roger Harris, and Mr Bayliss was the musical director.

Brian Coulter our swimming champion holds eight out of a possible 10 intermediate and senior swimming records. He wins four golds at the New Zealand age group champs, a silver medal and a bronze at the New Zealand open champs. He is named Bay of Plenty swimmer of the year. After school Brian would go on to join the New Zealand Royal Air Force.


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