Friday, October 15, 2010

Sepia Saturday: More School Stuff..

Do you remember my Sepia Saturday post about
the harbour launch the AWHITU?
(Awhitu is pronounced  Afeetu )

Above is a photo of a school trip on the AWHITU, before 1949.
I cannot believe how many children and adults have crowded
on board for a trip on the little launch.
No lifejackets in sight.
I wonder where they were going.
By their dress I would say maybe to town, over to Onehunga or somewhere.
They don't look dressed for a beach picnic do they.

Nowadays there would be a risk analysis done during planning for a school trip.
Each child would have a lifejacket.
There would be a specific number of students/adults to suit the size of the boat.
It may well be deemed too risky.

However, I bet they had a wonderful trip
and all obviously survived or it would have been a disaster story much told.
Are we overly protective these days?

Here is another form of school transport.
This is Mr Gus Hartner's school bus.
This bus was still in use when I was at school.
Hot and airless in the summer.
Behind is one of the six little schools that were dotted around the peninsula.

The photos are from 'Heads, Harbour and Hills'
Awhitu History Book Society Inc. 1999
We who lived on the peninsula are forever grateful to
Betsy Robinson, Rachel Hawken, Wayne Aspin and Lloyd Walker,
who gathered and edited  the stories 
for this wonderful record of our history.

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  1. Wonderful photos, you are so right about the safety regulations now, but what fun these people would have had. Your bus sounds very much like the one we had and dusty in the summer and very cold and damp in the winter!

  2. I can only imagine what a great time these children had. We, too, have so many safety regulations and requirements these days. Times have changed, indeed. Thank you, Joan, for taking us to school in these pictures.

  3. It's a whole different world now...there seems to be an over-abundance of fear of the worst happening. My mother would always warn us like, "Don't run with that stick! You'll poke your eye out!" or "Get down off there! You'll fall and break your neck!" So we were encouraged to explore and climb and do things that nowadays would be totally considered dangerous. But no one really thinks about the dangers of the constant sitting around children do, watching tv, playing video games...surely there are many dangers in that as well.

    I love these glimpses into times gone past. Beautiful post, Joan.

  4. Two great photographs, Joan. You make a good point about health and safety. How did we ever make it this far?

    Of course, we shouldn't take risks with the safety of our children, but I do think some of the rules are OTT.

  5. The world has gone bananas, trying to eliminate risk! Loved the photo of a happy day out when life was more trusting!

  6. Your Right. "Risk" can be positive sometimes.They Look to be enjoying the journey!

  7. Like the others who commented here, I agree that our modern way of ceaseless Risk Assessment has robbed children of some of the fun to be had! These are amazing photos and the post is most interesting. Thank you!

  8. Wonderful photos! I think the endless 'risk assessments' of today have become absurd. Many children seem to live in 'virtual reality' instead of the actual reality of scraped knees and muddy hands and windblown hair.

  9. Love stories about old ways of doing things. We are overly protected but unsafe things seem to happen any way. So what does that say? Everyone is litigation obsessed I think. I loved the previous post with all of your art. Great stuff.

  10. That boat is very crowded. It looks like they're wearing coats so it was probably too cold for a beach day.

    Others above were talking about risks and taking/not taking them with children. Because children spend so much time inside with electronic gadgets these days, I wonder whether they are missing some education about evaluating situations to decide how great or small the risk (of doing any particular thing) is. Are they missing learning about that essential aspect of adulthood that helps us assess risk? I hadn't thought about that till I read your post and the comments.

    This was a very interesting post about your childhood there in New Zealand. Thanks for sharing. (And while I like the looks of the bus, I'll take your word for it that it was not comfortable.)

  11. Oh my, if I had been the teacher of the children, I would have had nightmares about that trip. I worried with one adult for every three children and everyone holding hands.

  12. Hi Joan, different times then. Wonderful photos, there was always somebody there to take photos for memoirs. Yes, now some of the children are called Helicopter kids because everybody hovers over them for their safety. We were taught common sense and had much more freedom. The schoolbus had practical no windows sure it must have been hot in summer.
    That is how it was not that much mollycoddling!

  13. Let's hope it was a perfect sailing day with no swells lest someone fall over because there was little room to maneuver. And the wonderful bus looks almost like a modern motorhome.

  14. Love your photos! What a different era it was. I don't know how it is in NZ but here in the States more and more places are removing swings (too dangerous) and so on. God forbid a kid shows up at school with a scraped knee from falling from a bike...or some such minor stuff. It's all over the top now. I think we're raising kids who'll be afraid of their own shadows.

  15. Love the picture and I agree with you about the over-protectiveness. I blame it on the lawyers and the litigious nature of our society -- everyone's afraid of getting sued.