Two major industrial projects, The Marsden Point Oil Refinery and The Marsden Power Station, contributed to roll growth in the 1960s in both the primary and secondary departments. The secondary roll had grown from 108 in 1960, to 189 in 1969, and, as a result, the School Committee had started lobbying the Education Board to provide a separate Form 1 – 6 school in Waipu. The totally unexpected outcome in 1971, was the decision to build what was to become Bream Bay College in Ruakaka.
Facilities and buildings continued to be added to Waipu District High School over the 1960s. In 1964, a new Home Science building was provided on the Argyle St site. Also in 1964, the first prefab arrived to cater for growing numbers. By the end of the decade there were six prefabs on site, and another three arrived the following year.
1962 saw the appointment of three teachers who were in the future to provide the core of experience at both Waipu District High School and Bream Bay College. They were Kit Singleton (1962-1990), Warwick Aston (1962-1989), and Brian Vercoe (1962-1990).
Academic results continued to excel. High pass rates in School Certificate were maintained throughout the 1960s, continuing with the good results from the previous decade. With more senior students staying at school to Form 6, the University Entrance exam became the highest qualification available to students. Just as in School Certificate, students from Waipu District High School achieved results above the national average, and at a comparable level to schools in the main centres.
With improved transport links, sporting exchanges became more common with other Lower North schools: Mahurangi College, Rodney College, Otamatea High School, and Ruawai College. Starting with rugby and netball, they expanded out to include a variety of other winter and summer sports.
September 1962 marked the death of Dr McBirney. He had been the local doctor for the previous six years, and was greatly respected by the community. A measure of that respect was evident when 2000 people lined the route of the funeral procession. A collection was taken up by the community to pay off the mortgage on the McBirney house, and the balance was given to Waipu District High School to provide a memorial prize acknowledging a senior student of all round ability. The McBirney Award is still presented at Bream Bay College, and is regarded as the school’s premier award.
Waipu District High School Staff 1961
Back: P Couper, A Fenwick, K Hahn, I Wright Middle: L Hughes, J Main, L Helliwell, P Pickens, A Challenger, D McNichol, Mrs Hopkins,T McPherson,
H Hipkins Front: L Grant, J Brown, G Broome, S McNichol (headmaster), J McPherson, H Gordon, J McKenzie
Waipu District High School Staff – 1969
Back Row: Mr Stern, Mr Maung, Mr Nixon, Mr Wright, Mr Vogt, Mr McNichol, Mr Davies, Mr Lock
Middle Row: Mrs Bartulovich, Mrs Aston, Mrs Vogt, Miss Crick, Mrs Boyle, Mrs Tafa, Mrs Evans, Mrs Riddler
Front Row: Mrs Brown, Mrs Potts, Mr Boyle, Mr Baxter(headmaster), Mr Aston, Mrs Challenger, Mr Singleton, Mr Vercoe