Sunday, August 28, 2011

Waiokaraka (Central) School, Thames, New Zealand

One of the many schools that existed in Thames pre 1900 was WAIOKAKARA SCHOOL, situated on the corner of Cochrane and Pollen Street, at the Grahamstown end of town.

The Waiokaraka School was officially opened on the 15 May 1879. (Sometimes written as Waio-Karaka) The first headmaster was Mr George Newell Phillips.  Some other teachers mentioned in 1879 were: Charles Gribble, John L Scott, William Smith, Janet Williams, Anna Horgan, Mary J McIlhone, Jessie J White, Janet E J McNiece, Mary A McDonald, Jessie W Patterson & Rosabel Wolff.

The 1902 CYCLOPEDIA of New Zealand (Auckland Vol 2) has the following information on the school:
The Waiokaraka Public School contains five class rooms, with accommodation for 500 children. There are 430 on the roll, and the average attendance exceeds 400. There is a teaching staff of nine members.

From the middle of the ,1900s the school became known as CENTRAL SCHOOL and continued until 1971, when it closed as schooling in Thames underwent changes - with new schools having opened at Parawai and Moanataiari.

Thames Central aka Waiokaraka School, Thames
(part of photo taken 1947 by aerial photographers V C Browne & Son)

& Below
An earlier postcard showing the school on the right


  1. My great Uncle, John Albert Harms went to this school. Born 24 July 1894, he was admitted to the school on 7 July 1906.

    1. :) Previously at Waiotahi Creek School then left Waiokaraka School 1907 for Netherton School.