THE HISTORY AND TRADITION BETWEEN D.H.S AND D.P.H.S
“From small beginnings”
Part 4 – Be patient and count from One to Tenth Avenue
One of the school’s longest running sagas which took many frustrating years was Tenth Avenue and its eventual closure. With DPHS surrounded by four roads, it was perhaps inevitable that the need to expand was going to result in problems between the local residents and their traffic requirements, the rules of the Municipality and the Provincial Education and Roads Department. Safety of the school pupils and the need for safe access to the school was paramount.
The small Ninth Avenue field was boarded by a row of L – shaped residential houses. These were bought up by the Provincial Administration with a view to consolidate the whole ground between Ninth and Tenth Avenue, for an additional sports field for the school. In 1973, demolition of the houses began, and the dumping soil was used for levelling the land. The process was a slow one, and in 1975 it was reported at the AGM that, “Progress with the new playing fields has been disappointing. Despite efforts on the part of the Committee to expedite things, the planting of grass, cutting and weeding has proceeded at snails’ pace. The contractor has now handed it over to the Department of Building Service but am unable to ascertain when we can expect to have useful possession.”
At each successive Advisory School Committee meeting this matter was discussed. Matters such as official hand over, fencing and laying of a cricket wicket needed to be dealt with and more importantly be financed. Through parental support these maters were finally dealt with.
Although the field was insight of the main school, the staff and pupils still needed to cross Tenth Avenue to gain access to the field. The final obstacle was the closure of Tenth Avenue.
What now seemed a logical and simple step is best described by series of entries in the school’s Minute Books.
1980: “…. The matter (closure of Tenth Avenue) had reached the City Estates Department and was hoping for successful culmination toward the end of 1980. By October it was reported that the matter should be finalised in 1981.”
1982: On 3rd of February at the Advisory School Committee, “…. formalities required completion ……. It is anticipated that this would be dealt with by the end of March.”
1983: “matter was at a stalemate and the school was awaiting confirmation when the road would be physically closed.”
1984: At the AGM of parents on the 7th March, “it was reported that the closure of Tenth Avenue should be complete by June 1984.”
1985: In January, “the closure was complete …….”
At the AGM in March 1985 it was reported, “after 14 years the road is finally closed.”
(not the words of, but information obtained from ‘From small Beginnings’ by Linda Horning and Tim Whitefield, D.P.H.S – 1910 – 2010)
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