This image shows Miss Clara Hanron and the pupils of Tokorangi outside their new schoolroom, in 1908.
Prior to 1902, the children from Tokorangi went to the two-teacher school at Porewa on the Marton side of the Rangitikei River. They crossed over by the Onepuhi Bridge. However, on 14 June 1902 there was a huge flood and the bridge was damaged beyond repair. The 31 pupils from Tokorangi, from the families of the two marae and several local farmers, were only able to get to school by canoe and this was regarded as too dangerous. Local farmer Mr McCrea offered his barn for a schoolroom, the Board agreed and the headmaster of Porewa School made the trip across each day. It was a dangerous trip for a man not versed in using a paddle and he was swept away and had to swim several times. Subsequently the Board agreed to a school being set up at Tokorangi, in Mr McCrea’s barn. In 1908 the schoolroom was erected on a piece of Native Land donated for the purpose.
Miss Hanron was born in India, the eldest of ten children. Her father Michael, born in Ireland, was an engineer/surveyor in the Indian Army and her mother Alice had been trained as a governess. In 1888 they emigrated to New Zealand, as Alice wanted a better life for her daughters. They bought a farm in Stanleybrook, Nelson, and Alice taught at the Upper Stanleybrook School. When they were old enough and as they could afford it, the girls went to Nelson College for Girls and the boys went to Nelson College. They boarded privately to keep costs down. After matriculating, Clara did her teacher training by correspondence, first teaching with her mother and then at a series of small sole charge schools. She was in her thirties by the time she taught at Tokorangi for a year. There she met Tom Green, a local farmer from Stanway, and they were married three years later. They were both very involved in local affairs, especially at Stanway School and the WDFF. Tom was a County Councilor for nearly 20 years and a member of the Hospital Board.