The oldest Old Boy at Waitaki Boys’ High School’s 125th anniversary celebrations Sid Hurst told yesterday’s assembly about school life in the 1930s:
Mr Hurst, who is “just on 90” years of age, recalled travelling each day to school by train, arriving just in time for assembly.
The first week of school was always “barracks week” – which concluded with a mock battle using blank ammunition against St Kevins – when pupils were taught military values and “to keep in step with each other and society”.
“It was only years later that I realised how important that military training was,” he said.
Discipline was paramount. Every teacher and even the head prefect had the right to cane pupils.
In those days, pupils had to swim in the school pool without swimming togs and Dr Hurst said it was plain to see who had been in trouble.
These days Waitaki and St Kevins confine their battles to the sports field and Waitaki won the annual rugby match 16-13 yesterday.