WHS History

Whanganui High School Crest

Whanganui High School Crest (2018)

The Whanganui High School Crest features:

  • The torch of life
  • An open book representing learning and purpose
  • Laurel leaves of achievement
  • Stars of the Southern Cross

Whanganui High School Motto

'That we might have life'

Our school motto is from the New Testament, from the Book of John, Chapter 10, Verse 10 'I am come that they might have life, and they might have it more abundantly".

The interpretation of our motto is that through academic, cultural, sporting and socialisation opportunities the school provides, the individual will have the opportunity to live life to the full.

Whanganui High School History

In February 1958 a group of 148 Third Formers gathered for the first Assembly in the present D1. There was a staff of nine.

1958 Staff

By 1969 the roll had risen to 1100. The first Principal, Mr A.T. Gibson, emphasised 'manners, character, scholarship and human relations'.  He stressed that the School was not an 'it' - the 'family' life of the school was vital. These emphases have remained.

The school developed a tradition of 'self-help' and through much fundraising has built up some very good facilities for the use of the students and staff. Facilities such as; the Swimming Pool (1962), the Gymnasium (1968), the Centre Court, the extensions to the Cafeteria and Theatrette (1980's), the Shelters (1990's), The Department/Ministry of Education has added the Library (1970), The Music Block (1972), Te Atawhai (1996), Music and Drama renovations (1999), Te Arahi (1999), Science Block and Dean's House (2002), and new Gymnasium facilities (2006).

The Principals of Whanganui High School have been:

  • A.T. Gibson           1958 - 1967
  • M.D. Fountain      1968 - 1978
  • P.G. Canham        1979 - 1985
  • L.I. Power               1985 - 1993
  • W.J. Maguire          1994 - 2009
  • N.G. Hanton          2010 - 2012
  • G. Olver                   2012 - 2016

In 2008 the school celebrated its 50th Reunion.

(*) Last Reviewed: April 2, 2019

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