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Linwood North School
Linwood North Centennial Book
1908 - 2008
Compiled by Tim Baker
Throughout this centennial book a lot of information has been sourced
from the 25th, 50th and the 75th Jubilee books.
978-0-473-14155-4 COPYRIGHT 2008
FRONT COVER IMAGES
Top Photograph: Whole School, Centennial Day,
4th August 2008
Small Photographs - Left to Right:
1. Linwood Cadets 1913
2. Dental Clinic 1940s
3. Linwood North Football 1940
4. Class in the 1920s
5. First Year Pupils Standards 3 & 4 - 1908
221 Woodham Road - Christchurch 8062
p: (03) 389 8112 - f: (03) 3898222
A WARM WELCOME TO
LINWOOD NORTH SCHOOL...
This wonderful record of the history of Linwood North School has been collated by our
local historian Tim Baker, as part of the memorabilia and events planned to celebrate the
school’s centennial during Labour Weekend.
We know you will enjoy reading about the events and the people that have contributed to
shape the success, traditions, innovation and excellence together with the joys and the
sorrows of a school which has had the privilege of educating many generations of children
living in the North Linwood area of Christchurch.
I am proud to be the current Principal of Linwood North School. Since 2003 it has been my
privilege to be the leader of a caring, loyal school staff and friendly, motivated student
learners. Together we join with ex-pupils, parents, staff and the community to celebrate this
momentous occasion of our school’s centenary year.
Throughout the last one hundred years there has been a partnership of outstanding leadership and dedicated loyal staff committed to providing an excellent education for the children
of the North Linwood community. With the support of the wider community, we can be
proud that today Linwood North School maintains its excellent tradition of serving the educational needs of our diverse multicultural community in this part of Christchurch.
We can look back to the past with appreciation where the spirit of the school was embodied
in ‘enterprise’ and Linwood North was a school ‘providing quality education where
children come first’. We can look forward to the future in the knowledge that our school is
already recognised nationally as a school of enterprise and innovation. With the wonderful
anticipation and challenge of building all new school classrooms and administration areas
for our future generations of learners during 2009, we will continue to strive to offer an education in which all our teaching and learning provides opportunities for all learners to be
‘Learning to take us places…”
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, Centennial Committee and the school community both
past and present, I wish to sincerely thank Mr Tim Baker, our historian. It has been an
enormous task to research through the school archives to write such a full and interesting
account of our school. We acknowledge our huge gratitude to Tim and also to the former
historians who collated the records of the previous 25th, 50th and 75th jubilees. Our special
thanks go also to the previous Principal Basil Shead, for his foresight in collating the 19081999 history book update for the millennium.
Happy reading and reminiscing everyone.
Chairperson, Centennial Committee
Principal, August 2008
A WELCOME FROM THE PRINCIPAL
Back Row: Allan Campbell, Michelle Lewis, Janice Munro, Roger Munro, Rodney Allfrey, Shirley Hall,
Daphne Brunton, Debbie Allfrey
Front Row: Janet Cowan, Sherran Tritt, Helen Singleton, Sandra Peter (Chairperson), Liz Campbell,
Carol Greene, Tim Baker
Board of Trustees
Back Row: Sherran Tritt, Nicola Cosgrove (Staff Rep), Lusila Tahaafe (Pasifika Rep), Sarah Aspinwall (Finance)
Front Row: Rose Seinafo (Chairperson), Sandra Peter (Principal)
Absent: Marama Brown (Maori Rep)
Linwood North School Centennial 1908 - 2008
Welcome from the Principal
Centennial Committee and B.O.T.
‘Forward’ from 1933
1908 - 1919
1920 - 1929
1930 - 1939
1940 - 1949
1950 - 1959
1960 - 1969
1970 - 1979
1980 - 1989
1990 - 1999
2000 - 2008
Past, Present and the Future
Eldest and Newest Pupils
Monday 4th August 2008
School Centennial Birthday
Christchurch Star Newspaper
THE NAME OF THE SCHOOL
When the school opened on 3rd August 1908, the school was named North Linwood School. In 1914 it was
officially altered to Linwood School to avoid confusion with Linwood Avenue School, but then in 1935 the
name officially reverted back to North Linwood School. It appears in 1938 photographs that the school had
been again renamed as Linwood North School.
Throughout this publication the school is mainly referred to as North Linwood School to help avoid confusion.
Linwood North School Centennial 1908 - 2008
A BRIEF LOOK INTO THE EARLY
HISTORY OF LINWOOD ‘NORTH’
The following is from the ‘project/book’ by Jessie Snowdon called
‘To the Brink and Back - the decline and recovery of Linwood House’
LINWOOD - THE BEGINNING
The ‘William Hyde’ set sail from England in October 1851 with a shipload of settlers, embarking on a voyage
to join the Canterbury Pilgrims in far off New Zealand.
In the middle-class section of the ship, probably with a cluttered but comfortable cabin were emigrants Joseph
and Sophia Brittan and Josephs three sons Joe, Arthur and Francis (Frank) aged fifteen, eight and four
respectively and his daughter Mary. Somewhere else on board was Josephs livestock; ducks, geese, pheasants,
rabbits and a Devon cow.
Some little girls would have enjoyed the excitement of the sea voyage and the little cabin, but for Mary, aged
six, this was probably not the case. In her later life, Mary travelled as little as possible and was known to be
violently sea-sick. If this sickness existed during her childhood, then the four month journey cannot have been
much fun. Mary’s father was a well off Englishman and following in his younger brothers footsteps by
migrating to New Zealand. His brother, William Guise Brittan had come to Canterbury with the pilgrims in
1850, and was an important member of the Canterbury Association. Fortunately for Mary’s father, William
had secured them a house in Hereford Street. If no house had awaited them the Brittans may have had to live in
rough shacks or crowded barracks until one could be built.
It is difficult to know how little Mary Brittan would have felt about the move to New Zealand. Coming from a
middle class family in England she may have been used to little luxuries that had to be forgone in the colony.
She had no sisters but a number of girl cousins amongst Williams’ children and it is quite possible they were
her only playmates.
Soon after arriving in Canterbury, Joseph bought fifty acres of land in Avonside. The sale is recorded in the
Canterbury Association record books under ‘Conveyances, Rural Sections 1851- 51. The boundaries of the
land were triangular with one point touching the Avon River road and one boundary line going down Canal
Reserve (now Linwood Avenue). Many sources talk about him owning or renting rural section 301 as well as
300. the record book states that section 301was bought by John Lynthcote Applewhaite and so Brittan most
likely leased it from this man and may well have later purchased the property. At the top of his section, near
the River Avon, Joseph set aside ten acres for a house, gardens and orchard and the rest of the one hundred
acres he used as farmland.
For the five years while Joseph developed the section he and his family lived in Hereford Street. During this
time Joseph became very involved in the community about him. He sent his sons to Christ's Collage, no doubt
to get a proper ‘English education’, and in 1854 he was part owner and editor of the ‘Canterbury Standard’, a
weekly newspaper. In 1885 he was elected to the Canterbury Provincial Council, a
position he held until
1857, and again from 1861-62. Thus, Mary grew up with politics and developed a keen interest in politics and
the way politics worked.
By 1857, Joseph’s house at Avonside
was ready to be lived in. It was a fine
brick mansion, no doubt one of the most
impressive in Canterbury at the time. It
was Georgian in style and had a carriage
drive which led all the way to the river.
April 26th 1872
Joseph named the house and farm after
Linwood in Hampshire, England.
In 1857, Linwood was not part of Christchurch. It was considered a rural section and this is understandable. In
many ways living at Linwood the Brittans were quite isolated. The swamps and marshlands surrounding
Christchurch made it a difficult journey to the city. During the winter the trip was virtually impossible due to
the conditions of the roads. Linwood and other ’rural’ areas were practically cut off from Christchurch.
The journey from Linwood to the city was so great that Mary, who attended a young ladies school in Oxford
Terrace, had to board at the school and communicate with her family through letters rather than visits.
Mary did not stay at school, perhaps because she was needed so much at home. Early Christchurch was poorly
drained and had no sewage system in place until the late 1880s. Human waste was often buried in back yards
or collected and dumped in the sandhills. For this reason, the health of many early settlers was appalling.
Linwood North School Centennial 1908 - 2008
The Brittans were no different from other settlers and they too suffered ill health. Mary frequently suffered
from colds, sore throats and boils and her father was prone to terrible headaches and gout. Worse off however
was Sophia. Sophia was constantly ill and as a result could do little about the house. Most of the organisation
of the house fell upon Mary, the only other female. From the age of ten Mary would play hostess when her
father entertained friends, or, more often, political acquaintances. Even from school, she wrote letters ordering
things on behalf of Sophia.
Despite all her household duties, Mary was heavily involved in the Anglican Church. The original Holy Trinity
of Avonside was built about the same time as Linwood House, not far from the gates. Mary’s uncle William
contributed greatly to the funds to build the church and was later a Churchwarden. Mary’s family were regular
church goers and Mary sang in the choir and often organised church outings and Sunday School lessons. She
didn’t often accept views she didn’t agree with. Rosamond Rolleston tells of a time when Mary threatened to
withdraw the entire women’s section of the choir because she didn’t like the style of hymns being sung!
While the household duties fell on Mary the farm duties definitely fell on Arthur, her older brother. Arthur had
attended Christs Collage and been ranked sixth on the school list. He had an interest in cricket but his main
interest lay not in sport but in the farm. It appears Joseph leant heavily on Arthur to run the farm while he
battled ill health, politics and financial troubles. The eldest son Joe (Joseph) was an unusual character. There is
little information on him, and it seems he may have been a little socially backward. He had a brilliant school
career but the promise faded as he did nothing with his life. Although the eldest, it seems he had no
responsibilities like his brothers did. He lived at home and then with his brother Frank for his entire life.
Frank, unlike Arthur, appears to have little interest in the farm but was very sports orientated. The Brittan
family enjoyed horse racing and bred horses for this reason. They often attended horse races at Hagley Park
and Christchurch’s first steeple-chase was run over Linwood farm. Early Christchurch folk seemed to all enjoy
sports and as well as horse racing, Hagley Park was used for other sports such as cricket. There were always
large crowds for sports events and Frank was no different in this way from many young men. He preferred
hunting with his cousins to working on the farm and would often go on hunting trips to Banks Peninsular,
sometimes staying away for several nights. Frank was always Sophia’s favourite and he may have used this to
get out of choirs. When Mary was at boarding school it was his job to deliver messages to her but only when
he felt inclined to do so which he often didn’t.
Despite his lack of interest, the responsibilities of the farm were forced upon him in an unexpected and tragic
way. Early on New Years morning 1862, Arthur, who was not a strong swimmer, was drowned in the River
Avon. Frank and Arthur were bathing together when Arthur lost his footing and was swept away. Frank and
his father tried desperately to save him but they did not succeed. His body was recovered more than three quarters of an hour later. The loss of his very capable and much loved son devastated Joseph. Three months after
the accident, Linwood was offered for sale.
Nothing came of the offer however and the Brittans continued to live there. Josephs life seemed to go down
hill from there. He lost his seat in the Canterbury Provincial Council for a second time in 1862. In 1863 he
succeeded John Hall as resident magistrate for Christchurch and Kaiapoi but even this was short lived. He was
forced to retire owing to ill health in 1864 and was never politically active again. Although he had been an
excellent politician Joseph was not a popular man. He has been described as having a sarcastic biting manner
and his ill health often made him irritable. Because of this, and because Sophia was so often bed-bound, Mary
may well have been the social backbone of the family. She attracted attention and respect from a number of
men. She could provide serious opposition in a game of backgammon or whist and could hold long political
discussions. Like most girls of her class, she also attended balls and parties and was said to be quite striking. It
was rumoured in the early 1860s that Samuel Butler hinted at marriage and may have even proposed to her
through a third person. Nothing came of the proposal but Butler continued to admire Mary as a friend. He was
not alone in his admiration and two years later, William Rolleston aged thirty three proposed marriage to Mary
aged nineteen while strolling in the sand hills near Linwood. To William’s delight, and Sophia’s and Joseph’s
horror, Mary accepted. Perhaps the age difference made Sophia and Joseph object to the marriage or maybe
the fact that Sophia relied so much on Mary to run the house. Mary was sent to stay with some cousins in the
country so she could think it over but she did not change her mind. William was very politically active and in
1865 he was offered the position of Under Secretary for Native Affairs. They married on the 25th May 1865
and after a brief honeymoon in Sumner, moved to Wellington so William could take up the position.
Still at Linwood were Sophia and Joseph, both of ill health, Joe of unknown mental state and poor Frank who
probably would much rather be out hunting than looking after ninety acres of farm land. An advertisement
appeared in the ‘Press’ newspaper in November 1865 requesting ‘A single man to live in the house; he must be
a good milker and willing to assist generally in the farm and gardening’.
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