Created By: Auckland Council
Opened in February 1922 to relieve pressure on Auckland Grammar School, Mount Albert Grammar School was constructed for £44,300. Guthrie Wilson described the original block as “the grey stone prison that is Mount Albert Grammar”, but if anything, the initial conditions were even worse than that: a lavatory block was only added in September. The students migrating from Auckland Grammar were met with “a half-finished school dropped in the middle of a wilderness of gorse, builders’ rubble, timber and concrete mixers”. A 30-acre school farm on the southern side enabled the boys to study an agriculture course from 1932 onwards.
The students made the best of a bad situation, though. Once, in the early 1960s, some boys lifted a master’s car up onto the dais in the assembly hall. The headmaster went through the morning assembly as normal before drily informing them that they had until 10:30 to put it back.
The traditional grammar school aesthetic gave way to modernity in the 1990s with the abolition of corporal punishment, the deliberate attraction of Pacific students, and the decision to go co-ed in 2000. Before this, there were no state schools for girls in Mount Albert. Some of the best-known students who called Mount Albert their alma mater were Prime Minister Robert Muldoon, Communist trade union leader Jock Barnes, Woolf Fisher of Fisher & Paykel, writers such as C. K. Stead and Keith Sinclair, and dozens of athletes like Peter Snell, Les Mills, and Sonny Bill Williams.
Turn right and continue to the end of Alberton Avenue. Then turn left and continue along Mount Albert Road. At Kerr Taylor Avenue, turn left and continue down the road for a short distance.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Mount Albert History Walk