Brief History of Cashmere Avenue School

In the late 1930s as Khandallah School continued to grow it was decided a junior school for children on the south side of the railway lines be built. The Education Department bought some land on Cashmere Avenue above Cashmere Park. 

The school known as Cashmere Side School consisted of two classrooms and a staffroom. The school was officially opened on 29 July 1940 with a roll of 47 boys and 36 girls. The school was bright, friendly and everything was new. The red concertina doors are a well-remembered feature.

During a Polio epidemic in late 1947, school was disrupted during 1948 with it having to close its doors for a term and children taking part in correspondence courses. Other memories of those who attended Cashmere in the 1940s were the warm milk bottles and an apple a day as well as playing on Cashmere Park.

On 7 February 1952 the school was closed to mark the death of King George VI. The coronation of Queen Elizabeth was marked in a ceremony on 29 March 1953. 

Mr Bruce Cochran of the Methodist Church used the school as its base for Sunday School until its Community Centre was built across the road from the school in 1952.

After 28 years as Khandallah’s junior school, Cashmere School became its own entity in February 1968. So as not to be confused with Cashmere School in Christchurch the Education Department asked that the name be changed and so it became Cashmere Avenue School. The first Principal was
Mr John Head who stayed for eight years and saw many developments during his time at the school. The official opening of the new school took place on 23 November 1968 with Deputy Prime Minister, Sir John Marshall in attendance.

As the School was now a School in its own right, more classrooms, an administration block and playgrounds were built.

On 14 October 1972 Cashmere Avenue School held a Maraeroa-O- Khandallah Day. The event was the largest of its kind at the school with over 3000 people attending. Workshops were held throughout the day to help the children develop an understanding of different cultures. The efforts of the day helped with fundraising efforts for a multi-racial community centre in Porirua East. The Maraeroa gifted the school their Waharoa (gateway) in the late 1980s as a thank you to the school. The Waharoa is still at the school today and Cashmere Avenue School still has a relationship with the Marae in Porirua East.

In 2001 the Cashmere Community Centre had to be demolished and the school no longer had a school hall. Talks began with the Board as to what to do and Chairperson at the time, Mr Grant Mather met with Tony Warrington from the Methodist Church. After a lot of fundraising efforts from not only the School, but also the Methodist Church and long-term hall users Khandallah Arts Theatre enough money was raised to build the Cochran Hall on the School site. The Cashmere Avenue School and Community – Cochran Hall was opened by local MP, Honourable Peter Dunne on 1 May 2003.

Today, the original two classes are still in place at the top of the school and the shed is now at the bottom of the driveway. The shed has been used for many purposes over the years including as a changing room, bike shed, movie theatre, library and now it is used as a PE shed.