The Pre-School commenced in 1990 as an extension of the Little Lambs Under-2’s Church group run by Esther Ferguson and Barbara Rose Dimmock. Unfortunately, shortly before the Pre-School was due to start, Barbara passed away and Esther decided to name the new group in memory of her.
It began as a small, informal group held in the Quiet Room at the front of the Church, every Wednesday afternoon. The group comprised of 12 children and 4 helpers.
Although the Pre-School has evolved significantly from the original group which started at St. Paul’s, the underlying links with the Church and its community have never been lost nor diminished.
Why are our groups called Hamsters and Haffertees?
The names were inspired from a book originally read to the children. Esther Ferguson one of the founder members of Barbara Rose Pre-School recalls in her own words the origins of our group names:
‘When our first leavers were ready to move onto school, I wanted a fun book with a Christian message to give the children. Kathleen Jones and I went to Keith Jones Christian book shop in town. I liked the slightly different approach of the Haffertee Hamster books.”
Haffertee is a soft-toy hamster. Ma Diamond made him for her little girl, Yolanda ( Diamond Yo), when her real pet hamster died. Diamond Yo took Haffertee to school with her on her first day, as she was unsure of the new experience. The charm of the story lies in the funny, lovable character of Haffertee himself, and in the special place God has in the affections of Diamond Yo and her family.
Then the other books continued the adventures of Diamond Yo with Haffertee.
If you would like more information about the stories they are a Lion paper back by Janet Perkins, John Perkins.