Growing up in Broad Bay

Growing up in Broad Bay

I’m Layla. I am 11 years old and going to tell you about my life growing up in Broad Bay. I live on a cul-de-sac on King George Street in a two-bedroom cottage which was built around 1910. I live with my parents, three younger siblings and my cat, Massimo. We have lovely kind neighbours (too many to name everyone) who are the sort of people who look after each other in the street and you can always call on them if you need them. I have lived in Broad Bay my whole life and have loved it!

When I was around two I went to Portobello Kindergarten because, sadly, Broad Bay has no kindergarten. Sue, the head teacher has taught my sisters Vera and Audrey and soon will teach my little brother Raymond. After three wonderful years of kindy, I started at Broad Bay School in year one. At the time, the school had about 45 kids, which is a lot more than now. I was really happy and thought it was the coolest school ever. When I started, there were three classrooms with years 1, 2 and 3 in room 3, years 4, 5 and 6 in room 2, and years 7 and 8 in room 1. Very confusing! 

My first teacher Mrs Cross was very nice and now works for the Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group. After Mrs Cross’s time, Tabitha came to teach. Tabitha was funny and got me reading The Railway Children and The Secret Garden when I was seven! Ms Bisset taught together with Tabitha. She loved doing art and creative projects which I enjoyed. For the last two years, Greg (who used to be the Principal) and Joy have taught me. They are great teachers!

I enjoy all the events put on at the Broad Bay Community Hall. The hall hosts New Year’s Eve parties, garage sales, dance parties and fundraisers, and also Broad Bay School’s end-of-year celebration. Most years the Broad Bay School community plans for a book sale, a Matariki party, and thanks to Grace and many amazing gardeners and helpers, a huge plant sale. Last year we sold 3000 plants and earned a huge amount for the school. The book sales are also a great successes and fill the whole of room 4 up (room 4 is now an extra room). For a while now, the Broad Bay area has been improving. For example, we have a new walkway and road, pretty boat sheds, a beautiful community garden, awesome-looking bus shelters, a boat club rebuild, and now even the school is getting some new improvements.

Broad Bay Beach is one of our treasured places.  Although it looks small, the beach is a great place to swim and play. Every Friday from late Spring to mid-autumn, the teachers at Broad Bay School take the students down for ‘sea safety lessons’. The students put on wetsuits and learn how to be safe in the water and how to rescue others. There have also been learn-to-sail programmes through the Broad Bay Boat Club and amazing local volunteers. It can be a very busy, vibrant place, and also deserted! It is always beautiful. I love watching the boats out on the harbour.

Another one of Broad Bay’s awesome places is the slip site or as my Oma calls it ‘memory seat’. There are natives, winding bush trails, bridges, and apple trees. You are allowed to pick the apples, as long as you acknowledge that other people might want some also. 

My favourite walk around Broad Bay is up Camp Road to Larnach Castle because I like the part of the walk when there are three big pine trees (a.k.a The Fairy Trees) and a snake hedge.   

For the last 11 years, I have loved living in Broad Bay so much and I hope my family lives here for as long as possible. Broad Bay is awesome!   

By Layla Wainwright

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