Pupils present leaving principal Elizabeth Rogerson with a korowai which will be passed on to future principals. PHOTO/EMMA BROWN

Tears flowed as Solway College farewelled their beloved principal of 20 years Elizabeth Rogerson on Friday.

The hall was packed with parents, pupils and teachers, past and present.

Rogerson was presented with a pounamu, flowers and a blanket made by the pupils, which was said to have “every stitch, knitted with love”.

A korowai [cloak] was made and presented to Rogerson which was gifted back to the school to give to future principals.

The pupils surprised her with a whole school kapa haka performance written by te reo teacher Aroha Pirere.

Rogerson said: “How strong those girls are and how warm the farewell was.”

She urged the girls to continue the idea “together we are stronger”.

Her departing message was a motto, “loyalty, labour, love and laughter”.

When asked what her plans were, she said: “I am going to have a nice break – do what I want to do and not what I have to do.”