a family story

John Roxborogh

Gordon Terrence Robertson

Gordie as he was called was nearly five when the family left Awahuri to spend a year in Taranaki. (He was to return many years later as principal at Tikorangi School.)  In 1910 he was attending Ngarua School a one teacher school with classes to standard six.  After passing the Proficiency Examination he was enrolled at Waikato High School (later Hamilton High School.)  He travelled by train from Waitoa after a three mile ride on horse back, in those days most railway stations had a horse paddock and hitching posts.         After maticulating he became a pupil teacher at Ngarua for a year.  He attended Auckland teachers college, the in Wellesley Street and Auckland University during this period he lived with the McLeans in Balmoral. He was the first of the Achindrean Mckenzie descendants to attend university.
        Robbie excelled in many sports - rugby, tennis, boxing, golf and bowls in particular. He held the boxing championship at Auckland University. Throughout his life he encouraged many young people in their sporting efforts.
    His first teaching position was at Maunatautari No. 2 School. It was while he was in this district that he met Ann Osborne. Ann shared many of Robbie's sporting interests and also a love of gardening and horse racing. She understood the role of the wife of country school-teacher and in this gave Robbie great support throughout his teaching life.
He was a great coach and encourager to his family and grandchildren and with Anne provided a fund of common sense and strong support. He inherited a spectacular gift for gardening which he made good use of in school houses including at Mangataparu out of Morrinsville and then in Hamilton in his retirement.