Over a hundred years ago in 1913 the school had a homework competition which encouraged all of the students to draft a motto that would best fit the vision that the school community had for itself. A fourteen year old student named Carrie Conaghan submitted the winning motto ‘Not Unto Ourselves Alone’.
In submitting her entry Carrie suggested that people should contribute to the general greater good of humanity, and not just look after their own self-interest. Everyone agreed that the motto resonated well with the aims that the community had for our school; Whangarei School was to be built upon a firm belief in citizenship and service to others.
In 1914 the new school motto ‘Not Unto Ourselves Alone’ was moulded onto the concrete wall of the old infant classrooms when it was built. Some years later the Maori translation of the motto was added in recognition of the multi-cultural society that we all live in. Our school motto became that which it is today –
Although Carrie Conaghan suggested our school motto well over a century ago, it still remains at the heart our community today; Whangarei Primary School’s focus is on developing young people who are keen and willing to put others before their own self-interest.