Celebration rekindles Wellsford kindy memories

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Memories of Wellsford Kindergarten’s early years were shared at a celebration last week, which marked the centre’s 50th year. Pictured are long-time kindergarten supporters, from left, Sue Crockett, Wendy Palmer and Delwyn Cramond, with current students Harper and Carlin Wright (left) and Zac Smith.

Fifty years of caring for young children was marked at a special birthday event at Wellsford Kindergarten, in Hazelmere Street, on April 10.

The anniversary was celebrated with a powhiri, guest speakers and a cake cutting ceremony.

Head teacher Donna Railey welcomed official guests including Auckland Kindergarten Association Board chair Robin Houlker, deputy chair Bruce McLachlan and chief executive officer Pauline Winter.

She also extended a warm welcome to the many former staff, parents and children who attended.

Ms Houlker acknowledged the inter- generational nature of kindergarten, where often people were first enrolled as children, and then became parents and grandparents of kindergarten children.

Preschool education in Wellsford dates from 1953 when it was run by a volunteer committee in rented accommodation.

The present kindergarten was the result of years of advocacy to government and support from the community-at-large, and was officially opened by Member of Parliament W.J. Scott on April 19, 1969.

The first head teacher was Miss P. Snelling, assisted by Miss J. Aiken.

It was the first kindergarten in New Zealand to cater for children with special needs, under the direction of Marie Flavell, along with Joan Kearney and Sue Parkinson.

The kindy currently has 46 children on its roll, and employs four qualified teachers and three support staff.

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