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Berhampore: Stories of a School and Suburb

Berhampore: Stories of a School and Suburb

This year Berhampore School turns 100 and to mark this event, a book about the school and suburb has been published in time for Labour weekend centenary events.

Berhampore: Stories of a School and Suburb tells of the area’s development from pre-history to the present, the foundation and growth of Berhampore School, and the suburb’s orphanages and social housing. It visits the shops and industries that have waxed and waned, explores the sports fields and town belt, profiles the creative people who have called Berhampore home, and charts its demographic history. Berhampore’s history is replete with many firsts: it is home to the Centennial Flats, the first multi-unit social housing development in New Zealand, the country’s first public golf course, and Cook Islands early childhood education language nest. Berhampore School had the nation’s first school road patrol in 1936 and, when the current buildings opened in 1975, Wellington’s first open-plan school.

The book is rich in images, from historic photos taken in the 1880s and early 1900s, to social documentary photographs by renowned photographer Peter Black, and family snaps taken by Berhampore locals over the decades. Many have never been published before.

Co-editors Kerryn Pollock and Sadie Coe say ‘Berhampore is a fascinating suburb. Although it is small, tucked away between the town belt and its sports field, and often portrayed as part of Newtown or merely the quickest way to get to Island Bay, it has a rich and varied history. It has been a home from home for orphans, refugees and new migrants. It has been visited by Queen Elizabeth II, Pope John Paul II, and famous singers and bands like Rod Stewart, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac and AC/DC, all of whom were hosted at the suburb’s Athletic Park. It was the site of major Springbok Tour protests in 1981. It even had a plague hospital in the early 1900s. All these stories and more are recounted in the book.’

Berhampore: Stories of a School and Suburb will be available for purchase for $40 from the Berhampore School office or by emailing berhampore100@gmail.com


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