Hazel Boon oldest former student

by Laurie Willetts

Running a country fete is not an easy task for organisers. Nevertheless, when it comes to a small farming community getting behind their local school to mark its 150th-year, this one worked out brilliantly, says Springston School principal, Dianne Prendergast.

The fete, held at the school last Saturday, attracted 1,600 for what Dianne Prendergast described as a truly memorable event.

“It was a true country occasion with families, staff, students past and present all rallying around to celebrate our 150th-year.”

Ms Prendergast said the fete was full of special moments for the large crowd.

“One of those was, of course, the official opening by our oldest former student Hazel Boon, aged 95,” she said. “Then there was the cutting of the cake by Neville Benny with his grandson, Stirling — marking the intergenerational mix, which is such a large and vibrant part of our school. Ms Prendergast said the school currently has 250 students, but that was just the tip of a very large iceberg for her.

“A school like Springston is more of an extended community.

“The support for the school from parents and caregivers, local businesses and former students is wonderful.

“It was a great pleasure to seeing them all there on Saturday, enjoying fine weather and reliving all the memories that kept flooding in.”

Springston School was established in 1868, with 14 pupils. At the time, it was one of only 20 schools
in Canterbury.

Ms Prendergast said all the proceeds from fete would go forward to a major landscaping programme planned for the school grounds.

Neville Benny with his grandson