School projects celebrate Taieri heritage

Heritage celebration . . . Hope and Sons funeral director Jodie Hope (left) and Mosgiel Library manager Linda Roxburgh display East Taieri School pupils' drawings of historic buildings, as part of the Taieri Heritage in Schools project. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

The first of a series of school projects celebrating heritage on the Taieri is on display.

Hope and Sons funeral director and Taieri Heritage in Schools project co-ordinator Jodie Hope said the heritage project followed on from the restoration project of the grave of Mosgiel’s founder, Arthur Burns, in the Southern Cemetery.

The restoration project was led by Emeritus Prof Martin Ferguson and Hope and Sons gave money towards it.

For the heritage project, Prof Ferguson and Hope and Sons engaged five Taieri primary schools – East Taieri, Elmgrove, Outram, Silverstream and St Mary’s.

Silverstream School and East Taieri School completed projects last year.

A group of 11 Silverstream School pupils wrote a play about the life of Arthur Burns and performed it at a school assembly in October, Miss Hope said.

The play was filmed and a DVD of it would be available to view in the library in the new year.

A group of East Taieri School pupils drew 32 pictures of historic structures across the Taieri.

The pictures were on display in Mosgiel Library.

The other schools would start projects this year and had floated potential project ideas, she said.

Elm Grove School had an idea involving geocaching, a recreational activity where participants would use a global positioning system device to find containers hidden at Taieri landmarks such as Mosgiel Woollen Mill, Burns Lodge and Saddle Hill.

Outram School had floated the idea of interviewing grandparents to reveal what life on the Taieri was like when they were being raised.

After a project was complete, Hope and Sons gave pupils a certificate and the school got a $50 bookstore voucher.

The heritage project resonated with Hope and Sons because the company had a long history of working with clients on the Taieri, Miss Hope said.

“As funeral directors, our job is to help families tell stories to celebrate the life of those that have gone before them.”

Mosgiel Library manager Linda Roxburgh said the work of the children would be displayed in the library.

The project is supported by the Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board.