Kindy party to mark 100th

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Ranui Kindergarten teachers Carey Corkery (left), Tash Johns and Bevan Simpson are ready to celebrate the kindergarten’s 100th birthday this weekend.

THE oldest kindergarten in Invercargill is celebrating its 100th birthday this weekend.

Ranui Kindergarten head teacher Carey Corkery said all past, present and future whanau who had been involved with the kindergarten were welcome to come along to the open day on Sunday to celebrate.

Although the party had to be put on hold due to Covid-19, Ms Corkery said now was the perfect time to mark the occasion.

Those who attended would be treated to cake, a sausage sizzle, face painting, treasure hunt and could take part in some old-fashioned entertainment including egg and spoon, three-legged and sack racing.

The celebration was fitting for the kindergarten.

Last year Ms Corkery found a committee minutes book which detailed how frequently social gatherings were held between 1926 and 1945.

“They would have a function every fortnight,” she said.

On one occasion, in 1944, the minutes says Invercargill Mayor Abraham Wachner had sent a complaint to the kindergarten committee secretary saying, “alcoholic liquor had, on the evening of a previous Saturday night’s function, been consumed on the premises”.

The committee at the time denied the accusation and the president advocated for an invitation to be extended to Mr Wachner and the Mayoress for them to be guests at the next social meeting.

The kindergarten originally was believed to be housed in a converted house further down the street at 250 Nelson St.

An advertisement which ran in the Evening Starnewspaper in 1927 seeking a new teacher, says the salary would be 120 and would include a furnished bedsit.

The present kindergarten building was purpose-built and opened in 1986.

The Ranui Kindergarten open day would be held on Sunday between 11am and 2pm at its premises at 288 Nelson St.

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