Tripp School (1895-1974), South Canterbury, N.Z.

 Tripp was called Orari Gorge until 1933.

The Orari Gorge School opened 1895 when a building presented to the South Canterbury Education Board by Mr C. G. Tripp of Orari Gorge Station was moved to a site of two acres granted by the Mount Peel Road Board. The building was added to. The first teacher was Miss Amy E. Fifield. The school was known as Tripp from 1933. AJHR 1895 Vol. II E pg85

The South Canterbury Branch of the NZSG have many admission records for many local schools including Tripp Settlement from 1895 to 1950. Indexes for most schools are at the SC museum. For records, contact Include a copy of DoD from the BDM website

Timaru Herald 7 June 1895 Page 2
A laugh was had at the Education Board yesterday, it being reported that the Orari Gorge school site had been fenced in without a gateway of any kind being left. The architect explained that the fence line was not laid out when he was there, and it was expected that a gateway in the original fence would come into the school site, but the survey took the line to the middle of the gate.

Press 20 May 1933 Page 7 MONTHLY MEETING.
The Canterbury Education Board met yesterday, the chairman, Mr H. J. Bignell, presiding over the following:— Messrs W. A. Banks, R. Wild, J. Preen, C. S. Thompson, G. Benstead, S. R. Evison, S. Baird, J. Hurley, S. Smith, W. P. Spencer, and G. W. Armitage. The chairman of the Orari Gorge School Committee wrote asking the board to approve of the school's changing its name from Orari Gorge to Tripp Settlement, since confusion continually arose between Orari Gorge and Orari Bridge. Mr Thompson expressed the opinion that no change of name should be approved unless it was known that a majority of residents desired it and the chairman said a letter had already been written to the Orari Gorge Committee asking if householders had expressed such a desire.

Orari Gorge School 
1899          Teacher salary  92 Elizabeth Cormack E4 	Average attendence: 17
1900 Grade    Teacher salary  84 Elizabeth Cormack E4 	Average attendence: 19
1903 Grade 2  Teacher salary  76 Elizabeth Cormack D3 	Average attendence: 17
1905 Grade 1. Average salary  80 James Scott, M.A. B1 	Attendence for the year: 9 
1908 Grade 0. Average salary  72 Charlotte E. Orr. E4 	Attendence for the year: 12
1910 Grade    Average salary 114 John Wilson 		Attendence for the year: 25
1913 Grade 3  Average salary 139 Andrew Thompson 	Attendence for the year: 26
1915 Grade 3  Average salary 157 Andrew Thompson 	Attendence for the year: 27
1918 Grade 2. Average salary 180 Edith M. Thompson 	Attendence for the year: 19
1919 Grade 1. Average salary 260 Joseph W. Shaw 	Average attendence: 15
1920 Grade 1. Average salary 220 Edith M. Townsend 	Average attendence: 16
1922 Grade 1. Average salary 235 Euphemia Gellatly 	Average attendence: 18  [Euphemia Gellatly married Norman Thompson JAMES in 1933]

The schoolmaster's house still stands.

Tripp  Settlement (26,887 acres), 27 sections on renewable lease, 8 March 1910.

Auckland Star, 23 April 1909, Page 1
The Government has purchased from Mr. Tripp 8000 acres of freehold and 17,000 acres of leasehold at the Orari Gorge.   

Ashburton Guardian, 16 March 1910, Page 2 ORARI GORGE SALE
The sale of stock from the Orari Gorge station, part of which has just been allotted to selectors as the Tripp Settlement, was begun at the homestead on Tuesday in fine weather. There was a large attendance, estimated at 1200, and the drafting yards presented an animated appearance. The station grounds looked their best and the successful applicants for the Tripp Settlement sections saw their property under ideal conditions. The auctioneers, Messrs Guinness and Le Cren, and Dalgety and Company, made rapid progress with the various lots on the catalogue, which comprised all the sheep (25,000) and a number of cattle. The prices realised were very satisfactory, and at times the bidding was particularly brisk. Only one runholder amongst the successful applicants was a buyer. Most of the buyers hailed from South Canterbury, and the bulk of the stock was sold to local farmers. The following is a list of sales: A line of 560 fat lambs at 14s 8d... 

Christchurch Library Digital Maps Orari River to the right.

Ashburton Guardian, 12 March 1910, Page 3 THE TRIPP SETTLEMENT  map
THE BALLOT. TIMARU, March 12. The ballot for sections in the Tripp Settlement took place to-day. The following are the successful applicants:
Section I.  Michael Lyons, Christchurch.
Section 2. Helen Yates, Albury
Section 3. Henry Stephen Smith, Belfield
Section 4. James Burt, Cust.
Section 5. Clara Thomas, Shirley, Christchurch. Fourteen applicants
Section 6. Michael Martin Leonard, Waimate
Section 7. Jessie A. Smith, Temuka
Section 8. Sydney Herbert Lapthorne, Cave
Section 9. James Dunbar, Blenheim. Eight applicants
Section 11. John Mitchell Lyons, Akaroa
Section 12. John Joseph Stack, St. Andrews
Section 13. Isabel M. Gray, Washdyke
Section 14. Alfred Sydney Crowe, West Oxford
Section 15. James Walsh, Gleniti, Timaru
Section 16. Maurice Leonard, Kerrytown
Section 17. Hugh McDonnell, Rakaia
Section 18. F. George Theodore Richards, Geraldine
Section 19. George Ginny Webb, Hanmer Springs
Section 20. James R. Toshack, Medbury
Section 23. William Alexander Hewson, Geraldine
Section 24. Margaret Elsie Priest, Timaru
Section 30 and 25. Isabella Titheradge, Orari Bridge
Section 26. Paul Studholme Barker, Woodbury
Section 27. Albert George Cappill, Pleasant Point. Sixteen applicants.
Two hundred and thirty-two applicants were examined at Temuka, and 85 at Christchurch. Thirty-seven applications were rejected, and six withdrawn.

Timaru Herald 14 August 1912 Page 5
Joseph Cordy was charged by the truant officer with failing to send his twelve-year-old daughter to school at Orari Gorge the requisite number of times in June last, and was also charged with failing to send his eight-year-old son to school during the same month as required by law. E. T. Chapman, truant officer, deposed that neither of the children had passed a standard. Their attendance had been very irregular, and they were backward. The Orari Gorge school was not two miles from defendant's residence. The defendant said the school was throe miles away. Woodbury was only half that distance, but they could no get across the river to go direct, while to go round was as far as to the Gorge. His reason for not sending the children to school was that the bridge between their house and the school had been washed away, and it was not safe. Mrs Cordy deposed that she was anxious for the children to go to school, but they were not strong. Many times she went half a mile to see them safely over the creek, and often the children had to wait until she went for them. Many a morning she had dressed the boy for school and he fainted and could not go. They were stopped by the weather in June, and the teacher had told her not to send them when it was wet. By the truant officer: Theirs were the only children from that side of the river attending the school. They were awkwardly placed, for they had the river on one side and a creek on the other. The Bench dismissed both cases, at the same time remarking that the truant officer was thoroughly justified in laying the information, and advising the defandant to send the children to school whenever it was possible, or there would probably be another charge brought.

Press 22 December 1932 Page 8 ORARI GORGE.
At the breaking-up ceremony of the Orari Gorge School the children gave a short programme of songs, recitations, and country dancing. The prizes were presented by Miss Tripp as follows:—
Infants, Evelyn Adamson, Charlie Tripp
Standard 1., Graham Fawdray, Alan Galbraith
Standard II Gwen McEvey, Ronald Taylor, Iris McNichol
Standard 111., Kevin Lysaght, Harold Waller, Bruce Fawdray, Brian Fawdray, Maud Galbraith, June Gillespie
Standard IV., Duncan Gillespie, Douglas Galbraith
Standard V., Leslie Waller, Dora Gillespie
Standard VI., Doris McEvey, Alice Yates
Miss Tripp's special, Dora Gillespie:
Miss Stopford's special, Kevin Lysaght
Mrs Fraser's special, Doris McEvey
Mr J. B. Lack's special, Leslie Waller.

This building is the same design as the Sherwood Downs School! The first room by the doorway would have been the cloakroom. The main room had a fireplace.  The Tripp School was used for meetings, political talks, farewells, euchre parties, social evenings and dances.

Did you go to a country school? Yes. Nothing as small as Tripp.

Tripp School as I remember it …maybe not so for others. 
Margaret GRAY 1946 - 53

I had three teachers - Mr Arthur COATES for my first year then a reliever, Mr DAVIDSON, and for the following six years Mr William DOVE. I did like my teachers them and feel fortunate to have received the education I did from the small country school. There are only 16 in the 1953 photo. There was one classroom…...primmer 1 to standard 6 (Form 2) all in together. I spent eight years at the school before going by bus to Geraldine District High School at the start of Form 3. We walked two miles to school. It was freezing in winter and Mum heated a small piece of brick on the coal range and I carried it in an old sock to keep my hands warm. Some kids rode ponies and they were put in the horse paddock. I loved getting a ride part the way home on the back of a horse. It saved my legs. Later on we swapped bikes for horses and swapped back when we reached the corner where we went our separate ways. There was a basketball court for us to play on, later years became a tennis court. A swimming pool was built after I left. I remember the school kids all going swimming in the Orari River which wasn’t far away. We traipsed over paddocks to get there and sure needed that swim on a hot day. We did sport too, running and jumping. I remember the high jump and I enjoyed that. We landed on a sawdust heap! We played hopscotch at playtimes, marbles (made out of clay) and knucklebones (sheep knuckles dried and dyed with cochineal) or read books.  I loved reading and couldn’t wait for the National Library Service truck to bring us a new selection of books. I’m not sure how often that was…not often I think, as it seemed like ages to wait after we had read the ones we had! Mr DOVE was very fussy about writing and printing. We recited the times table from large newsprint hangings on the door…a different one every day. Spelling was the same …sounding out the words to his satisfaction. We recited poetry. I can still remember the one about a train ride by R L Stevenson:
Faster than fairies,
Faster than witches
Bridges and houses
Hedges and ditches
….etc; etc;
    The toilet was a ‘long drop’ on it’s own away from other buildings as no septic tanks then. After the war we often got boxes of apples that couldn’t be exported. They were wrapped in tissue papers. The papers were kept and put on a pin to be used as toilet paper.
    There was a ‘shelter shed’ for us on wet days with seating around the walls. I think the wood shed was there too as the open fire went all day to keep us warm, and
the black kettle on the hook steamed away to make our cocoa at breaks. Uhhh, I never drank cocoa after that. The bike shed was at the back of the shelter shed.
I wore a schoolbag at first to carry my lunch and books. Suitcases came later and were carried on a bike carrier. Lunches were yummy...egg and lettuce, cold meat and tomato relish, and jam sandwiches to name a few.  Our lunch boxes and food was wrapped in greaseproof paper. Mum baked lovely cakes so we were never hungry....our healthy country living wasn’t appreciated back then. It is now! My Dad was on the school committee with other fathers. I presume they cut wood, sorted the toilet, mowed the grass etc; and chin wagged at their monthly meetings. Once a year there was a hare drive for funds. The mothers prepared lunch and I remember saveloys heating and the men shot the hares. I can still see the dead hares lined up for the count.
    Mrs DOVE took us for music and sewing at the school house. She was a nice lady. We had to sew our cooking apron and cap for Manual Training as it was called then. We went by bus to Geraldine once a week when in standard 5 (Form 1) to learn cooking and the boys learned woodwork.
  The school inspector visited randomly…things looked up that day and we all were on our best behaviour. I remember the big clock on the school wall with Roman numerals…I wonder how many times I looked at that over the years !! We were encouraged to help keep the gardens tidy. We won the Hurdley Shield a few times so we must have done ok. The school gardens in the area were judged once a year. We had huge bluegum trees near the school and the smell in summer I remember to this day…heavenly. Pet’s days were fun too...they were hosted at different local schools each year. I brushed my pet lamb. Sometimes I dressed her up to be judged. We had concerts and the parents came to watch.  Prizes were given out and I still have books to cherish. Supper was great with cream cakes and other goodies. I did notice that mothers never used other mother’s christian names..they always referred to each other as ‘Mrs.’ The Tripp families were close and supportive of each other. We had a happy, uncomplicated, productive school life and I feel very lucky to have spent those years at Tripp School with a school teacher who took an interest in his pupils, and put us on the road to facing the world and becoming good citizens. 30 August 2016.

Information and photos courtesy of Margaret. Aug. 2016.
Head Teachers
1895-1897 Miss A.E. Fifield
1898-1902 Miss E. Cormack
1902-1904 Miss N. Williamson
1904-1905 Miss Barr
1905-1906 Mr J. Scott
1906-1907 Miss C. Orr
1908-1911 Miss F. Barnard
1911-1912 Mr J. Wilson
1912-1913 Mr A. Thompson
1914-1919 Mr J. W. Shaw
1920-1922 Miss E. Gellatly
1923-1925 Miss D. Methven
1926-1927 Miss V. Scott
1927-1929 Miss A. McElrea
1929-1932 Mrs D.C. Fraser
1932-1938 Mr J.R. Don
1938-1940 Mr E.T. Keys
1940- (Rel) Mr D. Stewart
1941-1942 Miss M. O'Brian
1943-1945 Miss M. Lyons
1946-1946 Mr A.W. Coates
1948-1961 Mr W.S. Dove (later of Harrisville)
1961 (Rel) Mrs B. Quigley (later of Geraldine)
1961 (Rel) Mr J.W. Rogers
1962-1964 Mr B. Rhodes (later of Timaru)
1965-1967 Mr C. Floyd
1967 (Rel) Mrs Thompson
1967 Mr B. O. Brien - 

School Roll

Tripp School roll 1953 photo
Back Row (from L): Nola GRAY, David GRAY, Margaret GRAY, Catherine LYSAGHT, Maureen LYSAGHT, Gary SCOTT, Ruth GUMBRELL
Front Row (from L) : Brian WALLER, Rosalie NEUTZE, Susan DOVE, Janice GRAY, Janet SCOTT, Lorraine LYSAGHT, Juliet PRATT, Vivienne PITTS, Graham PITTS 

ORARI GORGE SCHOOL Years open: 1895 - 1974
South Canterbury Branch NZSG: Rolls held: 1895 - 1955+  and publication: Geraldine District Schools compilation, including Tripp (Orari Gorge) DH86
Archives New Zealand, Christchurch Regional Office: Tripp School Record of Surveys 1945 - 1954

South Canterbury NZSG Branch have admission records for many local schools and the indexes are at the South Canterbury Museum. For records, contact us at or fill in one of the forms available in the museum archives room. As a branch of the NZSG they are restricted from publishing information about living persons, and so require confirmation of death of any person who entered school after 1920 (strictly speaking, 95 years before the date of the request). A copy of the death entry on the BDM website is sufficient.  

Mr. & Mrs. DOVE
The nicest people and they stayed at Tripp Settlement for all those years 1948 -1961.

Born 24 November 1920 William Sounness DOVE married Matilda Constance Beatson in 1945. Matilda was born 16 April 1920 and she died in 2005.
Death Notice. DOVE, William (Bill) Sounness.  Passed away peacefully at Middlemore, March 17, 2013, aged 92. Dearly loved husband of the late Matty and father of Sue and Alan, and Jane and Rick. Loved brother of Jim (deceased), Blanche and Harry, Gordon and Pat. Teacher, mentor and friend of many. Burial at Tuakau Cemetery. Taranaki Daily News Mar. 19, 2013

Tripp School roll 1954 photo
Back Row (from L): W.S. DOVE (Teacher), David GRAY, Catherine LYSAGHT, Maureen LYSAGHT, Nola GRAY, Reginald MULLEN, Ruth GUMBRELL
Centre row  (from L): Brenda LYSAGHT, Susan DOVE, John STEWART, Graham PITTS, John MULLEN, Leonard TRIPP, Juliet PRATT, Janice GRAY, Vivian PITTS,
Front Row (from L) : Kenneth PRATT,  Brian WALLER, Lorraine LYSAGHT, Ann GRAY, Yvonne LYSAGHT, Joan LYSAGHT, Jillian ADAMSON, Lloyd PRATT.

Tripp School roll 1957 photo
Back Row (from L): Jillian ADAMSON, Brenda LYSAGHT, Janice GRAY, W.S. DOVE (Headmaster), Ruth GUMBRELL, John MULLEN.
Centre row (from L):  Susan DOVE,  Brian WALLER,  Kenneth PRATT, June WHITE,  Lorraine LYSAGHT, Juliet PRATT, David HUGHES, Joan LYSAGHT.
Front Row (from L): Lloyd PRATT, Lynley THOMPSON, Yvonne LYSAGHT, Fay ADAMSON, Janelle WALLER, Elizabeth HUGHES, Janice THOMAS, Leslie QUINN.

Tripp School 75th Jubilee 1970

Back Row (from L): Brian WALLER, Margaret GRAY, Robert GUMBRELL, Leonard TRIPP, David GRAY, Janice Gray.
Front Row (from L): Ann GRAY, Rosalie NEUTZE, Ruth GRUMBRELL, Joan LYSAUGHT, Brenda LYSAUGHT, Lorraine LYSAUGHT, Nola GRAY.

Tripp Settlement Road is long…it goes from upper Orari Bridge to Orari Gorge Station. The school is still there but the land, school and house belong to the Naturists club so high fences and shrubbery block it out now. Who ever thought nudists would be wandering around my school grounds??? 10kms from Geraldine.

                    Cooking Teacher: Now, Mary how do you make a sausage roll?
Mary: Give it a push, miss.

South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project