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The 1952 Hamiltonian records the following regarding the siting of the boys' school in its current location.
"Patience has at last been rewarded, for I am pleased to be able to report that construction has now actually commenced on the site in Peachgrove Road."
When H D Tait wrote these words and referred to patience, he was serious. The laying of the foundation stone which is commemorated on the wall near the front reception, followed a thirty one year wait to see a dream become a reality. Tait had served as an Assistant Master under Eben Wilson, working as a horticulture teacher at the old Ward Street site. When Eben Wilson wrote with excitement in the 1921 Hamiltonian about the new boys' school, it must have seemed imminent.
"Word has just been received that the Education Department has sanctioned the transfer of a block of 45 acres, which is part of a secondary school reserve just behind Hamilton East School, to the Board of Governors for the purposes of erecting in due time a separate school for the boys..."
Thirty one years is a long time.
H D Tait, always known as "Grub" because of his love of horticulture, managed four full years on Peachgrove Road before ill-health forced him to hand the reins over to Aubrey Baigent. The official opening of the school happened in 1955, but the junior boys had already attended lessons on a building site for a year before that event. The photograph above is estimated to originate from early 1954 and comes from Aubrey Baigent's private collection.
For Eben Wilson, the boys' school remained a dream. He didn't live to see the first ground broken, but his efforts to establish quality secondary schooling in Hamilton would have been on Tait's mind that day.
In a place where so many souls gather, history will inevitably be made. The ground breaking in learning never ceases and never stops making a difference to the lives of the young men who absorb it.
'Sapiens fortunam fingit sibi' - 'A wise man carves out his own fortune.' And he does. But he also carves a route for those who follow.
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Please note that all Priority 4 enrolment enquiries for new students must go to firstname.lastname@example.org and not come directly to Archives. Old Boys who have registered on our database http://oldboys.hbhs.school.nz/Old-Boys/List and received a password will have their profile sheet there as evidence of attendance. Archives is a part-time department and will be unable to provide photographic or documentary evidence for enrolments due to the sheer volume of requests.
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Photographs: Above right is a photo of the original Hamilton High School situated on Ward Street. It was opened in 1911. Side is a picture of the gardens at Hamilton Boys' High School on Peachgrove Road.