The Parau Camp House in West Auckland near the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park was purchased in 1955, through parents including John Oxspring, Lyn Greater, Feed Tattersall and Jack Forrest, whose fundraising efforts which raised thousands of pounds to buy a beach property at Parau and to build a large brick hostel. Groups of children, teachers and parents spent many a happy weekend here.
In this footage on 26 February 1956, Waikato’ers catch the bus to attend the Parau picnic. Students and their families play on Parau beach, with lollies. At the end, two staff members display their fish catch.
To quote Les Bury, a teacher: “When I started working in 1960, all teachers had to do weekend duty about once every two months, and we often took the children to Parau for these weekends. The buses could arrive about 4pm and children, residential workers and the teacher would pile on the bus with food, bedding, a film projector and film for Saturday night if the kids were good. It was a really good time. It got everybody working together. We went for long walks on the beach and some went swimming. Sometimes we would send kids on a boomer trail. We would blindfold the children and then they would have to make their way along the trail. We did anything we could to wear the kids out, and we wore ourselves out as well!” Source: Celebrating 50 years of Deaf Education in Auckland