50th jubilee celebrated

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JOHN.COSGROVE@nullcluthaleader.co.nz

Fifty years of playcentre operations and child care were marked at Clutha Valley Playcentre on Friday.

More than 100 parents, children, past attendees, past committee members and teachers came along for the morning tea and celebrations.

Lead Educator Cathy McArthur said everything, happily, had gone to plan.

She said she was impressed when a large contingent of Clutha Valley Primary School pupils, who themselves had all been former attendees of the playcentre, came and joined them for the celebrations.

Among the large crowd there were also multiple generations of families from the valley district who had mothers or grandmothers who had served on the centres’ various committees over the years, had taught there, or had gone to the playcentre themselves and now had their own children attending the centre three times a week.

The 50th jubilee cake was cut by life member of the Clutha Valley Playcentre Janice Anderson, whose mother-in-law, Lorna Anderson, had started the centre 50 years ago in 1969.

With her at the cake cutting was her son, Matt Anderson, who went to the centre as a child 30 years ago, and his daughter, Reeva, who will next year be the fourth generation of the Anderson family connected with the playcentre.

While the children were entertained by a singing fairy outside, Mrs Janice Anderson thanked the committee, parents and former attendees for coming along and remembering times when the centre had to share its rooms with the nearby primary school.

Camille McAtamney then read out a 25-year-old poem which detailed the commitment to the playcentre Mrs Janice Anderson had undertaken. Later, Mrs Anderson, again helped by her son and granddaughter, planted a commemorative rose in the centre’s grounds.