Woolston school memorial

Detail from memorial Detail from memorial

The Woolston School’s jubilee gates were officially opened at the Ferry Road entrance to the school on the last day of the school’s 67th jubilee celebrations (29 May 1932). They bore this inscription: “Erected by ex-pupils to commemorate the Jubilee Reunion, 1932.”

The gates were relocated to Hopkins Street during the school’s centennial celebrations in 1965. A plaque was erected on one of the pillars: THESE ORIGINAL / JUBILEE GATES 1932 / MOVED FROM FERRY RD / MODERNISED AND / RE-ERECTED BY THE / CANT’Y EDUCATION / BOARD 1965. In this context, ‘modernised’ seems to mean largely replaced, although the new gates did preserve some of the shaped stones from the old.

Possibly around this time a second plaque was placed on one of the other pillars dedicating the gates as a war memorial. This reads: IN MEMORY OF / PAST PUPILS OF / WOOLSTON SCHOOL / WHO MADE THE / SUPREME SACRIFICE / IN THE SERVICE / OF THEIR COUNTRY.

The school also once held a roll of honour. On 20 December 1917 a roll of honour had been unveiled with the names of 252 ex-pupils of the school who had enlisted for overseas service, including 16 men who had died. (The school’s centennial booklet lists a total of 21 names of the fallen: J. Adams, W. Bailey, A. Currie, H. Cleworthy, R. Dixon, W. Dean, C. Duggan, J. Ellis, R. Griffen, S. James, G. Kinvig, J. McKerny, H. Rhind, W. Skelton, J. Snelling, B. Shepard, E. Turner, F. Wotten, T. York, T. Wark and W. Roud.)

The above roll of honour may be the roll of honour mentioned in the minutes of the Linwood-Central Heathcote Community Board for 16 August 2017, which record a proposal that the former Woolston School World War Roll of Honour Board, currently in storage, should be placed in the Woolston Community Library, “once this is built.”

See: ‘Woolston Borough School: Roll of Honour Unveiled’, Star, 21/12/1917, p. 7; ‘Jubilee Gates at the Woolston School’ [photograph], Press, 21/5/1932, p. 17; ‘School Jubilee: Commemorative Gates’, Press, 30/5/1932, p. 6; History of Woolston School, 1865-1985, Christchurch, 1985, pp. 8, 12, 18.

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