Memorial acorn unveiled at Lagmhor celebrations

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By Mick Jensen

An impressive memorial sculpture of an acorn was unveiled at Lagmhor School centennial celebrations at the weekend.

The commissioned piece, made from Timaru bluestone by local sculpture Brent Holley, weighs in at 750kg, including its base.

It sits proudly on the front lawn of the school and bears the inscription “From Little Acorns Mighty Oaks Grow” – symbolising the growth of children passing through the school and making a life for themselves as adults.

Two oaks were planted at the front of the school grounds in 1919, a year after the school first opened.

Two more were planted at 50th celebrations and, fittingly, a pair of centennial oaks were also planted on Saturday.

Close to 200 people registered for the reunion gathering, most former pupils, but there were also past teachers and principals.

The oldest attendee was 93-year old Janet Woods and one former pupil came all the way from Ballarat, Australia for the occasion.

Speaking at the school site ceremony, event organiser Jarrod Ross said co-ordinating the reunion had been a big undertaking.

Numbers had trickled in at the beginning, but the word had steadily got out.

He said a history book had been updated from previous anniversary versions by Michelle Michael.

Mr Ross said his children were the fourth generation of the family to attend the school.

Lagmhor School committee chairman Howard Ross said the school was a “a vibrant little school” and “a great place for kids to learn and grow”.

Another speaker was Ashburton Borough School principal Sam Winterbourn, a key driver of his school’s merger with Lagmhor in 2001, which enabled the country school to stay open.

He said “little schools impacted people” and Lagmhor was one of those special schools that had very strong community support.

Current school students were the first to get up close and to touch the new, tactile acorn sculpture at the unveiling ceremony.