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Spark Your Imagination

Built in 1913, this brick building replaced an older wooden structure from 1866. In the beginning both high school and primary students attended classes in this building

The school was a focal point for the community hosting dances, boxing matches and flower shows. A war memorial was built on the grounds in 1922 making the school a key stop for visiting dignitaries such as Lord Bledisloe and Governor-General Sir Charles Fergusson. The memorial was relocated to Pah St in 1955/56.

In 1943 the classroom partitions were removed and the school as turned into an assembly hall but was re-divided into classrooms once again when primary school registers began to climb in the 1950s.

By this time the building was deteriorating. There was no central heating, no security, and worst of all, no toilet facilities. It was increasingly overgrown with ivy, causing damage and leakage, and fast becoming a target of vandalism. The building was finally closed in 1969 after being declared an earthquake risk.

The following year, the Education Department gave the old school building to the Motueka Borough Council on the condition that it be turned into a museum.

In 1982 the building was registered as a Category II historic building on the New Zealand Heritage Trust’s Register. A steering committee was finally formed in the following year, marking the start of fundraising and the long over due restoration of the site.

The Museum finally opened its doors to the public in November of 1987.

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