Half century for playcentre

Te Kopuru Playcentre founding committee members reminisce over old photo albums — from left: secretary Clara Tito, president Mary Kidd, supervisor Marylyn Wordsworth and treasurer Joy Wedgwood

The founding committee members of Te Kopuru playcentre were ‘filled with pride’ as they helped celebrate its 50th anniversary with past and current members and the children.

“We were pioneers in childcare,” said first supervisor, Marylyn Wordsworth.

First president, Mary Kidd, said the first hurdle was finding a suitable building and made do with hiring the Coronation Hall for 90 cents a session — the centre officially opened on April 2, 1968. “It’s absolutely wonderful that the children have got all of this now. We strived to get these things, and it was really hard work, but we got there. We had marvellous community support.

“It got all of us [the founding committee] together. We wouldn’t have known each other otherwise.” The playcentre is still in the original building despite having a few changes along the way and suffering a fire in 2003. The first secretary, Clara Tito, said the committee had dreamt about creating a playcentre that would stand the test of time.

“We had all the support from Te Kopuru School. If it hadn’t been for Mr Cavill —  the principal at the time of Te Kopuru School — we wouldn’t have been able to do this,” said Mary.

Current president, Delicia Gillatt, said she had originally only planned a small gathering, but the guest list soon grew. 

“It was great to see past members come back and have a yarn,” she said. ¢


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