Allora State School 150

PROGRAM Allora State School 150

ALLORA STATE SCHOOL

OPENING OF THE NEW BUILDING

SPEECH BY MR J. D. STORY

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ALLORA, JUNE 22, 1911

At 10am a procession comprised of the local branch of the Oddfellows, Protestant Alliance, St. George, St. Andrew’s and Orange Societies headed by the Hibernian Brass Band and local squadron of the A.L.H. Regiment and concluded by school children, was marshalled by Captain Deacon at the Town Hall and proceeded to St. David’s Church where the Coronation service was conducted by the Rev. S Baggaley. The procession which numbered about 400 persons, was afterwards reformed and marched to the new school grounds, where after cheers for the King, the members disbanded.

1911 New Allora State School in Warwick Street

1911 New Allora State School in Warwick Street

The opening of the new school building took place at noon, the Mayor (Alderman C. Bourne) presiding, and about 1200 persons being present. In calling upon the Under Secretary for Education (Mr J.D. Story) to declare the building open, the chairman alluded to the trouble they had had in obtaining a new school, and expressed congratulations that their object was at last accomplished.

1911 Official Opening of New School in Warwick Street, Allora

1911 Official Opening of New School in Warwick Street, Allora

In declaring the school open, Mr Story apologised for absence of the Minister and also the Treasurer and the Minister for Works (Mr Barnes). He explained that indisposition had caused Mr R.H. Roe M.A. (Inspector-General of Schools) to intimate that he could not be present. He, however, was with them, notwithstanding, but arrangements having been made he had declined to take upon himself the opening of the school. Continuing, Mr Story said that the first Allora School was built in 1867, and ever since it had been looked upon as a leading school. (Applause) It had a splendid roll of head masters. Their first was Mr W. Deacon, still an honoured townsman. (Applause) Then there were Messrs. Biggar. M’Gladrigan, Fox, Exley, and lastly Mr Jackson. (Loud Applause) The Allora School was also memorable in being one of the first, if not the first, to hoist the Union Jack – (applause) – and from its action had sprung a wave of patriotism that had resulted in the school grounds of Queensland being furnished with the flag of the Empire. (Loud applause) The speaker also alluded to the part Allora had taken in the South African war, and expressed a hope that the memorial erected opposite the grounds would inspire the scholars with the enthusiasm of those who had gone before them. Addressing the children more particularly, Mr Story said that they would always remember the day on which their new school was opened as the day on which their King was crowned. They were part of the most magnificent Empire in the world, and he asked them to remember that they belonged to a nation that had produced great writers and statesmen. With the present system of education they had a chance to make the best of those opportunities. In declaring the new school open, on behalf of the Minister, he hoped it would flourish and turn out as good men and women as the old school had done. (Loud applause)

1911 Allora State School Warwick Street opening day

1911 Allora State School Warwick Street opening day

Mr R.H. Roe, M.A. called upon by the Mayor, said he was sorry that a slight indisposition had caused a doubt of his presence there that day, but he was glad that it had given him an opportunity of hearing the excellent address Mr Story had given. The Allora School had supplied many pupils to the Brisbane Grammar School, and through them he had learnt to respect the excellent spirit that pervaded in the Allora School. At the opening of the University the boy at the head of the list of scholars, A.B. Powe, hailed from Allora School. (Applause) Their teachers had taught the children to value their school that they were glad to stay on until the full school work had been passed through. Their head master had made a point of focusing their attention in their school, looked after them it their sports and outside commitments and formed their characters as a good master should. They had celebrated the King’s Coronation in a most appropriate way by opening the new school, and he felt confident that the advantages the present playground gave them would uplift them in character, morals and physique. He and Mr Story had planted two English oak trees on their grounds that day, but the planting of the new school was the most important, and he trusted that under the branches there would grow up a race full of propriety and of patriotism and of peace and good will. (Loud applause)

First Committee, New Allora State School, With Ladies Committee, at the opening celebrations in 1910 Top Row: Mrs. Cordon, A.F. Crichton, Mrs. Winfield, J. Cordon, Mrs. J. McMillan, Miss M. Kenna, H. Stay Middle Row: T. Muir, Mrs. S. Williams, Mrs. R. Jackson, Mrs. J. Flynn, Mrs. Muir, R.L. Jackson. Front Row: J. Moorhead, E. Holmes, G.V. Jenkins, G.R. Tickle

 

Mr F Grayson M.L.A. said that he, on behalf of the school committee and children of Allora had to make the head master, Mr R.L. Jackson, a presentation in commemoration of the opening of the new school. This was a gold chain and a suitably inscribed pendant. Mr Grayson in presenting it said that Mr Jackson fully deserved all the praise that had been given him, both by themselves and the Education Department. He had been their head teacher for 10 years, and was one of the best in Queensland. (Applause)

 

 

Mr Jackson briefly responded, after which a vote of thanks was carried by acclamation to Messrs. Story, Roe and Grayson for their attendance.

Some of the visitors were entertained at lunch at the Commercial Hotel, while on the school grounds an abundance of good cheer was served to all present. A school picnic subsequently took place, at which Coronation medals were given to 400 school children. The supply was limited owing to the committee having been unable to secure more, and about 200 school children have yet to receive a medal.

The Brisbane Courier – Friday 23rdJune 1911

 

ALLORA STATE SCHOOL

INFANTS  C.1928-29

Back Row: Loris Clarke; Cora Wright; Jean Davis; Joyce Reid; Thelma Neale, Mavis Robin, Hazel Ellis, ? Hinkfus; Grace Cunnington; Pearl Cox; ? Wright; Mabel Munzie. Mid Row: Joan Young; Heather Reppel; Hazel Bond; Connie Muller; Mick Shannon; Les Warfield; Lancaster; John McDonald; John Cross; ?; Betty Young; Essie Dougall; Dorothy Deacon; Rae Morris; Viv Ellis; ? Cox; Thelma Cronau; Betty Bradfield; Audrey Reid; Rae Masters; Varerie Bradfield; Front Row: Russell Harris; ? Kelley; Merv Jensen; Eric Erlandson; Eric Cronau.

Back Row: Loris Clarke; Cora Wright; Jean Davis; Joyce Reid; Thelma Neale, Mavis Robin, Hazel Ellis, ? Hinkfus; Grace Cunnington; Pearl Cox; ? Wright; Mabel Munzie.
Mid Row: Joan Young; Heather Reppel; Hazel Bond; Connie Muller; Mick Shannon; Les Warfield; Lancaster; John McDonald; John Cross; ?; Betty Young; Essie Dougall; Dorothy Deacon; Rae Morris; Viv Ellis; ? Cox; Thelma Cronau; Betty Bradfield; Audrey Reid; Rae Masters; Valerie Bradfield;
Front Row: Russell Harris; ? Kelley; Merv Jensen; Eric Erlandson; Eric Cronau.

ALLORA STATE SCHOOL

CLASSES  1930

Back Row (LtoR): Marie McDonnell, Hazel Bond, John McDonald, Jim Bradfield, John Stent-Smith, Ray Kelly, Mick Shannon, Valerie Bradfield, Lois Clark. Second Back Row: Joyce Reid, Josie Stay, Hazel Carlyon, Fay Ellis, Grace Cunnington, Mabel Munsie, Heather Reppel, May Cunnington, Pearl Cox Second Front Row: Thelma Neale, Mavis Robin, May Dickinson, Joyce Perina, Leila Reid, Ruth Erlandson, Thayer Logan, Cora Wright, Rae Masters, Jean Davis. Front Row: Eric Croneau, Bram Tickle, Les Warfield, Reg Perina, Eric Erlandson, George Reid, Jim Deacon, Vince Kelly.

Back Row (LtoR): Marie McDonnell, Hazel Bond, John McDonald, Jim Bradfield, John Stent-Smith, Ray Kelly, Mick Shannon, Valerie Bradfield, Loris Clarke.
Second Back Row: Joyce Reid, Josie Stay, Hazel Carlyon, Fay Ellis, Grace Cunnington, Mabel Munsie, Heather Reppel, May Cunnington, Pearl Cox
Second Front Row: Thelma Neale, Mavis Robin, May Dickinson, Joyce Perina, Leila Reid, Ruth Erlandson, Thayer Logan, Cora Wright, Rae Masters, Jean Davis.
Front Row: Eric Cronau, Bram Tickle, Les Warfield, Reg Perina, Eric Erlandson, George Reid, Jim Deacon, Vince Kelly.

 

ALLORA STATE SCHOOL

GRADES 5-6-7  1934

Back Row (LtoR): John McDonald, Sam Gordon, Ray Kelly, Cecil Shambrook, Russell Harris, Jim Bradfield, Vince Kelly, Mick Shannon, Jim Deacon, John Stent-Smith, George Reid, George Balderson, Les Warfield. Middle Row: Joe Cross, Millicent Shambrook, Pauline Warffield, Maria Condolion, Marie McDonnell, Ruth Erlandson, Mabel Munsie, Hazel Bond, May Cunnington, Josie Stay, Hazel Carlyon, Heather Reppel. Front Row: Eric Erlandson, Grace Cunnington, Pearl Cox, Valerie Bradfield, Cora Wright, Hilda Moore, Jean Davis, Theyer Logan, Rae Masters, Thelma Neale, Joyce Reid, Eric Croneau.

Back Row (LtoR): John McDonald, Sam Gordon, Ray Kelly, Cecil Shambrook, Russell Harris, Jim Bradfield, Vince Kelly, Mick Shannon, Jim Deacon, John Stent-Smith, George Reid, George Balderson, Les Warfield.
Middle Row: Joe Cross, Millicent Shambrook, Pauline Warfield, Maria Condolion, Marie McDonnell, Ruth Erlandson, Mabel Munsie, Hazel Bond, May Cunnington, Josie Stay, Hazel Carlyon, Heather Reppel.
Front Row: Eric Erlandson, Grace Cunnington, Pearl Cox, Valerie Bradfield, Cora Wright, Hilda Moore, Jean Davis, Thayer Logan, Rae Masters, Thelma Neale, Joyce Reid, Eric Cronau.

PREP & GRADE 1 1935

ALLORA STATE SCHOOL PREP & GRADE 1 1935 Back row: Don Ellis, Geoff Slatter, -----------, Eric Edwards, -----------, Ashley Wright, Colin Cronau, Dudley McMillan, ----------, George Ellis. Middle row: Shirley Huxley, Myrtle Cox, ----------, Carrie Erlandson, Dulcie Cronau, Ron Gordon, Edna Grainger, Betty Swenson, Nelson Bradfield, Keith Masters. Front row: Dawn Morris, Jean Neale, Margaret Neale, Beryl Quinlan (with slate), ----------, Anita Kelly, ----------, Murray Robin?

Back row: Don Ellis, Geoff Slatter, ———–, Eric Edwards, ———–, Ashley Wright, Colin Cronau, Dudley McMillan, ———-, George Ellis.
Middle row: Shirley Huxley, Myrtle Cox, ———-, Carrie Erlandson, Dulcie Cronau, Ron Gordon, Edna Grainger, Betty Swenson, Nelson Bradfield, Keith Masters.
Front row: Dawn Morris, Jean Neale, Margaret Neale, Beryl Quinlan (with slate), ———-, Anita Kelly, ———-, Murray Robin?

PREP & GRADE 1 c.1936

Back row: Oriel Ruhle, Jessie Barr, Betty Barr, Dulcie Balderson? -----------, Mavis Kaiser, Dawn Bradfield, Dorothy Gordon, ----------, Elma James, Betty Dougall, June Folkes. Third row: Nancy Reid, Colin Cronau, Keith James, Don Ellis, Alf Ellis, George Ellie, Balderson? Doug Neale? Trevor Harris. Second row: Rodney Neale, Joan Neale, Dawn Morris, Betty Swenson, Shirley Huxley, Beryl Quinlan, Anita Kelly, Clare Edwards, John Reid, Jean Neale, Thora Neale, Margaret Neale, Ailsa Folkes. Front Row: Murray Robin, Dudley McMillan, Doug Neale, Jim Whitton, Eric Edwards, Geoff Gordon, Max Smith?

Back row: Oriel Ruhle, Jessie Barr, Betty Barr, Dulcie Balderson? ———–, Mavis Kaiser, Dawn Bradfield, Dorothy Gordon, ———-, Elma James, Betty Dougall, June Folkes.
Third row: Nancy Reid, Colin Cronau, Keith James, Don Ellis, Alf Ellis, George Ellie, Balderson? Doug Neale? Trevor Harris.
Second row: Rodney Neale, Joan Neale, Dawn Morris, Betty Swenson, Shirley Huxley, Beryl Quinlan, Anita Kelly, Clare Edwards, John Reid, Jean Neale, Thora Neale, Margaret Neale, Ailsa Folkes.
Front Row: Murray Robin, Dudley McMillan, Doug Neale, Jim Whitton, Eric Edwards, Geoff Gordon, Max Smith?

GRADES IV, V, VI, VII C.1938

Back row: ----------, ----------, Jim Quinlan, Webber Budd, ----------, ----------, ----------, Colin Morris, Neil Hinson, Gordon McMillan, Colin Quinlan. Third row: Ailsa Robin, Betty Bradfield, Vivian Ellis? Sheila Harvey, Grace Cunnington, Audrey Reid, Rae Masters, Thelma Cronau, ---------, Hazel Reid, Edna Grainger? Front Row: Keith Masters, ----------, ----------, Nelson Bradfield, Don Ellis (with slate), George Ellis, Henry Jong, Victor Jong.

Back row: ———-, ———-, Jim Quinlan, Webber Budd, ———-, ———-, ———-, Colin Morris, Neil Hinson, Gordon McMillan, Colin Quinlan.
Third row: Ailsa Robin, Betty Bradfield, Vivian Ellis? Sheila Harvey, Grace Cunnington, Audrey Reid, Rae Masters, Thelma Cronau, ———, Hazel Reid, Edna Grainger?
Front Row: Keith Masters, ———-, ———-, Nelson Bradfield, Don Ellis (with slate), George Ellis, Henry Jong, Victor Jong.

GRADE IV C.1941

Back row: Baden Robin, Cliff Edwards, -----------, Lyle Franks, Doug Garvie, ---------, -----------, ----------. Third row: Brian Harvey, Rita Neal, Eleanor Gwynne, Hazel Geck, Betty Barr, Daphne Ellis, -----------, Bobby Gordon. Second row: ----------, Margaret Erhardt, ------------, Joan Pommeroy? Dorothy Gordon, Ainsley Murray, Irene Jong. Front row: ----------, -----------, Brian Gordon? ----------, Malcolm Graham? ----------, ----------, ------------.

Back row: Baden Robin, Cliff Edwards, ———–, Lyle Franks, Doug Garvie, ———, ———–, ———-.
Third row: Brian Harvey, Rita Neal, Eleanor Gwynne, Hazel Geck, Betty Barr, Daphne Ellis, ———–, Bobby Gordon.
Second row: ———-, Margaret Erhardt, ————, Joan Pommeroy? Dorothy Gordon, Ainsley Murray, Irene Jong.
Front row: ———-, ———–, Brian Gordon? ———-, Malcolm Graham? ———-, ———-,
————.

SCHOOL HAPPENINGS IN THE EARLY 1900’s

A series of 13 articles about “Allora – 60 years ago” were published in the Warwick Daily News between September 1965 and January 1966. The author, “Oliver Twist” was the ‘nom de plume’ for Oliver Neale;  the eldest son of Robert Neale who lived about 7km north of the town and walked to school each day. Oliver was one of quite a number of students, both male and female, who won bursaries and scholarships. The Allora School had an enviable reputation in the regard.

These recollections by Oliver provide a rare glimpse into the social fabric of Allora in the early 1900’s and are a significant contribution to our history.

Two of his articles reproduced here relate to the school. Photographs have been added as none were included in the original articles.

Saturday, 18 September 1965

Allora – 60 years ago:

Schoolmaster who left his mark on the town by “Oliver Twist”

Anyone who know Allora in the very early years of this century certainly knew Mr. R.L. Jackson, the school headmaster.

He descended on the town, I would say, about 1900 and from his first day provided plenty of evidence that he was a most colourful personality – a highly educated scholar, a man of the world, a splendid public speaker, an artist with pen and brush and a man who really left his mark on the town – particularly on the younger element.

 

R.L. Jackson Head Teacher 1901-1911

R.L. Jackson Head Teacher 1901-1911

As a headmaster he was the ultimate disciplinarian, a perfectionist whose mission was to instruct and instruct he did.

He knew that a pupil should learn and learn it he must. He accepted no excuses.

But the results that he achieved were outstanding.

In no time he raised the whole standard of the school and the successes he had with scholarship and bursary examinations soon became common talk throughout the State.

Whatever measure of success came in his pupils in after years was to no small extent due to the ground and drilling they received from Mr. Jackson.

The school in those days was a rambling old building, part shingle roofed, opposite the post office in Herbert Street. I vividly remember the first day of Mr. Jackson’s taking over as headmaster.

Previously we had as our head a Mr. Exley, a quiet, good-natured, easy –going type who had ruled with a pretty loose rein. What a shock was in store for the pupils with the coming of the new man!

On the first morning the 9 a.m. bell rang for “fall-in” and in the leisurely manner they were used to the pupils slowly straggled into some sort of line facing the school verandah.

Suddenly on to the verandah pounced R.L. Jackson, eyes flashing, moustache bristling, and in a high-pitched crackling shout that was heard all over Allora he announced “This sort of falling-in won’t suit me” with terrifying emphasis on the “me”.

Thus R.L.J. introduced himself to the astonished pupils and from that day onwards he was the terror and the persecutor of every lazy or lagging student in the school. Hourly he flew from room to room, and his roar of disapproval, when aroused, reverberated around the school ground.

I well recall the Andrews family (They lived near the show grounds). There were several girls whom their parents had named after various virtues – Grace, Peace, Mercy, etc. I remember R.L.J. roaring at one of the girls. “They call you Peace. They should have named you War. You cause enough of it.” Poor Peace just crumbled!

That was R.L. Jackson. No one quite came up to his expectations; always they should have done better.

But he was a grand master and despite all the fear and trembling he inspired in us, we respected him.

And, as the years have gone by, I am sure that any old pupil reading this will agree that to this respect memories have added admiration. R.L. Jackson has long since gone to his reward, but I feel certain his ghost accompanies the present headmaster as he reviews the students on morning parade. It would be hard to imaging otherwise.

Inside senior classroom at Allora State school - 1903

Inside senior classroom at Allora State school – 1903

 

Interior of first school in Allora - R.L. Jackson H.T

Interior of first school in Allora – R.L. Jackson H.T

TheAllora Historical Society holds the original of this chart which was used in the first school in Herbert Street.

The Allora Historical Society holds the original of this chart which was used in the first school in Herbert Street.

Warwick Daily News – Saturday, 25 September 1965

Allora – 60 years ago:

More of the old school by “Oliver Twist”

Last week in these series we told of Mr. R.L. Jackson, the headmaster of the Allora School in the early years of the century, and before we leave the school, perhaps a few lines on those whom we remember there might be of interest.

Grade VI – 1911.  Staff centre: Miss Ada Burge, R. L. Jackson (Head Teacher), O. E. Smith.                                              Photo taken at the School in Herbert Street before move to Warwick Street

 

First of all the teachers. While one does not recall all of them, there are a few who come to mind.

Firstly, Mrs. Harrison. She lived on the Goomburra Road at Harrison’s Pocket and daily road her pony to town.

I recall her well. She rode side-saddle (as did all the ladies in those days) with a great voluminous skirt the fashions of the day decreed. She was a regular and popular vocalist at school concerts and never failed to give the old favorite “White Wings That Never Grow Weary” – and was always encored.

And then there were the Bourne Brothers – Jack and another and their sister Miss Bourne. They came daily from the Talgai area and all were popular among the pupils.

Then we recall Jack Burge, a tall athletic type, son of the local saddler. Later his sister Ada joined the staff.

All of these are remembered for their efforts to instill some germ of learning into a queerly-assorted group of youngsters as we certainly were.

Most of us were farmers children, brought up under the hard conditions of the day.

Many walked long miles to school, usually bare-footed, over the hills and the rough hard roads at the time. The winter morning were cold and the summer days were hot and most of us were ill-clad and not over-nourished by today’s standards.

Surely our education came the hard way early in the century.

But in spite of all this, results were achieved and some brilliant scholars came out of the old Allora School.

Just to recall a few, Blaney Powe, who took ill before him in scholarships at the Brisbane Grammar School, Ernie Smith from Table Top, now with high ecclesiastical honours upon him, Emily Smith of Glengallan, Bert Canavan, Spencer and Eddie Briggs, Ada Burge and the Dean sisters, and many others.

Please forgive the writer if many important names are not here. These are a few that I recall.

And among the most spectacular of the results that were achieved are those of the R.L. Jackson family itself.

We will remember the family – Mrs. Jackson, a tall stately women, serene and self-possessed at all times, queening it over all her family of some three boys and perhaps as many girls.

Of the girls, we recall Kate and Ella and of the boys Alaric, Gilbert and Nigel.

And believe me, if Mr. R.L. Jackson was severe with his everyday pupils, he was no less severe with his own family. He raised them with a rod and iron, but with what result.

Each of the boys took up a …… career and each with comprehensive success.

Today, one son, Nigel, is general manager of the Commercial Bank of Australia and chairman of the Banker’s Association (he is now residing in Melbourne), while his brother Alaric has retired after an outstanding career with the Commonwealth Banking Corporation in which he secured second top position in the Commonwealth.

One can only view these outstanding achievements as a great tribute to the early tuition received from their father and it is felt that all schoolmates of the Jackson boys will join in congratulations to both Nigel and Alaric and will wish them continued felicity.

Pupils on front of Allora State School - Herbert Street - early 1900's

Pupils on front of Allora State School – Herbert Street – early 1900’s

 

70th ANNIVERSARY – ALLORA STATE SCHOOL

PIONEERS OF EDUCATION

In speaking at the celebrations arranged to mark the 70th anniversary of the opening of the Allora State School, the 25th anniversary of the moving into the new building [Warwick Street] and the opening of the new Domestic Science block, Mr. F.A. Cooper (Minister for Public Instruction) said that it was to be regretted that the records of the school could not be found and he was beginning to think that it was time to put a record book into every State School – a record book in which not only the doings of the children should be noted, but where records of functions such as these and other occasions of importance to the district should be noted. “We are all proud of the pioneers” said Mr. Cooper, “but in a hundred years’ time we will be regarded as pioneers too, and records of happenings today will then be of great interest. Here is much to be done in pioneering work and it is our definite duty to do anything we can to help.

Domestic Science Building - opened 1937

Domestic Science Building – opened 1937

In congratulating the committee and the original pupils present Mr. L.D. Edwards (Director of Education) said the Allora school was established before there was an Education Department and before there was free education. The number of the school was three. It was not however, the third school established, but it was early on the list. “I feel I know quite a lot about Allora” said Mr. Edwards, “as I started my teaching career at Spring Creek. I remember many of the old families in the Spring Creek and Allora districts. I think you have reason to rejoice that many of your school masters made valuable contributions to education in this State. Only a few weeks ago I visited the late Mr. Exley on his 70th birthday, and he seemed to have the tenderest memories of Allora. During the thirty years from 1880 to 1910 the school was particularly successful in scholarships. In 1880 Mary. E. Kelly won the first scholarship from this school. In 1883 the second was won by Miss Mary Deacon, daughter of Mr. W. Deacon who opened the school, and we are glad to have her present today”.

Mr. Edwards continued the list of scholarship winners of that period, making particular reference to scholars who had since been particularly successful in all spheres of life, among whom were the late Mr. B. J. McKenna, Miss Blanche Ludgate, Mr. Blaney Powe, Mr. John Burge, and Mr Charles Buxton.

Early in the afternoon all present stood in silence as a mark of respect to the late Mr. Arthur Exley, a former headmaster of the school who passed away on Monday Last. From noon until 4pm the school flag was lowered. Mr. Exley was represented by a daughter (Mrs. Stevenson), and Mr. Edwards had a message compiled by Mr. Exley before his death. In this Mr. Exley made many references to life in Allora as it was during the days of his residence here. Miss Douglas, the supervisor of the Domestic Science section of the Education Department in this direction and said, “We have had new buildings opened from one end of Queensland to the other. The Government has been good to us and we are grateful for the kindness and consideration. We cannot expect the girls to do nice things if their surroundings are not nice, and a building such as this is excellently suited for the work. I want your sympathy and help for the Domestic Science teachers of the district.

Other speakers were Cr. H.S. Warfield, Miss Douglas, (supervisor of the Domestic Science section of the Education Department) Mr. T. Muir (on behalf of the old scholars) . Miss M.E. Deacon, Toowoomba (first child born in the school house), and Mr. Hinson (present headmaster of the school).

Mr. Dudley Duncan, the chairman of the school committee called the roll and explained to the gathering the general purpose of the celebration.

Past Students at 70th Anniversary of Allora State School

Past Students at 70th Anniversary of Allora State School

A beautiful three-tier birthday cake made and decorated by the Domestic Science class was then cut by the oldest resident of the district (Mrs. Cameron). A number of the older girl scholars presented bouquets to the visiting ladies. Mrs. Cooper, received one from Dorothy Deacon, Mrs. R.C. Hamilton from Joan Shale, Mrs. Warfield from Cora Wright, Miss Douglas from Valerie Bradfield, Mrs. Cameron from Ray Morris, Mrs. Deacon from Joy Duncan and Mrs. Gabbatt from Imelda Hymus.

Earlier in the day Mr. Edwards, the director of Education had opened the new tennis court and the official party inspected the decoration for the children’s ball and the old school which is now the office of Deacon and Co.

Deacon & Co, former school building in Herbert Street

 

My School Day – Allora 1934-1943 : Extract from the Memoirs of Betty Wiles

 

Start of Education in Allora -1860-1867

As we prepare to celebrate 150 years of state supported primary education in Allora it is timely for us to reflect on the challenges that faced our forebears a century and a half ago. These challenges were no less daunting than those that we face today from technological disruption and change; contraction of rural communities and the drift of the young to the cities.

Queensland separated from New South Wales on 10 December 1859. The new Colony faced all the challenges of establishing the machinery of Government, a Parliament to represent its citizens, transportation infrastructure and a defence force to protect it from the invasion by foreign powers. They faced these challenges and delivered.

Education was a privilege; one that had to be afforded and paid for. It was not a right as it is perceived today. Allora’s first mayor, Francis Kates, arrived in the Colony in 1859 as a tutor for the Bracker family of Warroo. Frederick Bracker, a respected sheep breeder and a former manager of Rosenthal, was married to Grace Ross one of the daughters of Neil Ross who was Allora’s first resident. Kates was paid £200 per year; part of which was paid with sheep. He soon accumulated a significant flock. After several years at Warroo, Kates moved to the fast growing new town of Allora in 1863 to establish his first business as a store keeper. Kates would play an important role in the future of the town including, in 1863 and later years, petitioning the Government together with a group of other townsmen for the establishment of a National School in the town.

We get our first snapshot of Allora from the first Queensland census conducted on 7th April 1861. It showed a population of 53; 32 males and 23 females. Twenty-two were married, 2 were widowed and 31 were single. Fifteen were born in Australia, 5 in England, 15 in Ireland, 11 in Scotland, and 8 in Germany. Eighteen were Church of England, 14 Presbyterian and 10 Roman Catholic. There were 12 houses; 3 constructed of weatherboards and 9 of inferior type made from slabs and bark. In the group aged over twenty, 31 could read and write, 2 females could read only and only 1 male could neither read nor write. A remarkably well educated bunch. Interestingly for the male children there was only one male aged between 10 and 15 and 5 males under the age of 5 whereas there were 13 females under 15 years including 6 under 5 years. Children under 15 years of age comprised 36% of the population. The demography of the town is quite different today.

Importantly to our story, the census shows that one male was being tutored at home and a female was being tutored at school. While there was no certified teacher recorded on the census, someone was running a school for their own son and someone else’s daughter. This is the earliest reference to formal education in the town, just 12 months after the first land sales were held on 5 March 1860. The identities of the teacher and the pupils are presently unknown.

It would be another 18 months before more formalised schooling came to the children of Allora.

Encouraged by Reverend Glennie of the Church of England, Mr. James Gwynne, a bookkeeper and his wife Agness Gwynne, a teacher arrived in Allora towards the end of 1862. Allora’s Past states that Mrs. Gwynne, “opened a school in a tent. The ‘school house’ was pitched near the corner of present day Raff and Drayton Streets.” This is a most unlikely scenario. Land sales had been underway in Allora for nearly 2 years and nearly all the allotments were sold. The idea of just pitching a tent anywhere and starting a school seems improbable.

Mrs. Gwynne’s obituary has helped piece together what occurred. Glennie’s parishioners in Allora had raised funds and acquired land at what is now 1 Church Street with the intention of building a church. One of the parishioners, Henry Black, owned two allotments of land of 1 acre each in Raff Street which today we know as Nos. 28-34 Raff Street, opposite the present school. It was on these blocks, presumably at the suggestion of Glennie, that the Gwynne’s pitched their tent and shortly afterwards opened a private school. Henry Black soon built the Gwynnes a temporary building of bark and slabs.

In 1863 the Gwynnes moved to a two room cottage built on the site of the present Anglican Church; one room served as a residence for the Gwynne family and the other room served as a school on week-days and a church and sunday school on Sundays. Allora’s ‘second’ private school was up and running. Fees were 1/- per week with a discount for multiple children from the same family. Also in 1863, the mail service commenced between Drayton and Warwick and Mrs. Gwynne’s tender of £12 per year was accepted and she became Allora’s first postmistress, a position she held for nearly 30 years.

The Gwynnes were both from the Isle of Wight in the English Channel but they met and married in America. Sometime after their marriage they returned to England and in 1857 sailed on the ship “Light of the Age” to Sydney where after a few months they were engaged by the Blaxland Brothers at their Newington Estate near Parramatta; Mr. Gwynne as a bookkeeper and Mrs. Gwynne as a teacher.

At the end of their contract term they accepted employment at Western Creek Station, Queensland which was located to the west of present day Millmerran. James Gwynne Jun. in his reminiscences describes the journey “We were all but lost on the voyage [coastal steamer from Sydney to Brisbane] which was exceedingly rough but we encountered further trouble at Ipswich where we were weather bound for three weeks. In those days the coach – if coach it could be called – was the only means of travelling from Ipswich to Drayton… The journey occupied five days and we had to walk, I am quite sure, one third of the way, but we were pulled up the range by bullocks… At Drayton we remained for a week at the Bull’s Head Inn owned by a man named Horton.

From Drayton we made another start on the journey for our new home, and well I remember, though only a little fellow, the good wishes extended to us by everyone for a safe journey. The station spring cart had been sent for us and we were fortunate in having a pair of good horses and a good driver, for the creeks were running bankers at the time. At the end of the first day we arrived at Felton where we stayed the night.. After returning thanks for the hospitality we set forth again. On the way we were bogged and nearly drowned in the creeks but ultimately arrived at North Branch which was an out-station belonging to Yandilla.. As the Condamine River was in flood we remained a few days until it receded. The next halting place was Yandilla where we were received in the same good way as in the other places… We left Yandilla to complete the final stage of our journey, arriving at last at the long-looked-for station, Western Creek.” Today this six week journey takes just a few hours.

After completing their contracts as bookkeeper and teacher at Western Creek for the station owner Captain Vignold, and with a desire to improve their circumstances, they travelled first to Goondiwindi and then via Texas, Bonshaw and Pikedale until they arrived in Warwick near the end of 1862 where they stayed with Reverend Glennie. Glennie suggested the couple move to Dalrymple Creek (Allora) as a lot of people would soon settle in that district and there would be a need for a school. Soon afterwards the Gwynne’s arrived in Allora.

The Queenslander of 16th May 1868 provides an insight into the administration and operation of education in 1867, when the Allora State School was established. The following is summary of that article.

The National System of Education was established in 1860 when just 4 schools were in operation.  At the end of 1867 there were 60 vested [State owned] schools in Queensland with an aggregate attendance of 9000 and average attendance of 4,500.  “There were 116 teachers of all ranks and the value of the school property was £30,000….. With vested schools they are erected partly by local contributions and partly by funds supplied by the Board of Education. The proportion of the building fund granted by the Board is, as a rule, two hundred percent on the amount collected by private subscriptions. The residents in any locality have of course to take the initiative. The buildings in the colony which are the property of the Board are of superior class as regards accommodation and comfort in comparison with those in other colonies.” “…in most towns in Queensland the schools of the board are amongst the most distinct and handsome ornaments”

“Out of the sixty schools in existence under the board at the close of 1867, fourteen are non-vested [schools held in buildings the property generally of religious denominations] and were attended in that year [1867] by an aggregate of 1800 children – one-fifth of the total number of children who received education under the direction of the Board of Education.”

“The pupil teacher system works well; during the past year about thirty of both sexes having been trained in the schools. They get salaries ranging from £14 to £80 per annum. The system is still in its infancy, but is succeeding admirably..” “Most of the schools are under the charge of certificated teachers, who have brought certificates either under the Privy Council system in England and Scotland, the National Board of Education in Ireland, or the Board of Education in New South Wales. All such certificates are recognised here, and, those candidates for appointments under the Board who do not possess one, are subjected to a rigid examination. As a body, the teachers in the employ of the Board are of a superior class.”

As mentioned previously, the townsmen of Allora petitioned the Government in August 1863 to establish primary education in the town but unfortunately the Government postponed debate of this petition and it took another three years of agitation before the Government approved the establishment of a National School in Allora. The delay in establishing the school may have been due to the community having to raise one-third of the building costs of the classroom and head teacher’s residence. It is not mentioned in any accounts relating to the school that the citizens of Allora contributed to its construction costs but according to the Education Board’s policies they clearly did.

William Deacon, the first head teacher of the National (State) School, was born and college educated in England. He travelled with his wife to Brisbane in 1864 where he found employment at the National School, Brisbane as an assistant teacher. After six weeks he was appointed to open the first National School at Goondiwindi. To get there the Deacons “journey by boat to Ipswich and by coach to Toowoomba, where they bought horses and rode to Goondiwindi. Mrs. Deacon who was trained in missionary work assisted her husband to teach school.

In 1867, shortly after their first child, Edith McIntyre Deacon, was born, William Deacon was transferred to Allora to once again open a new National School. The Centenary of the Darling Downs- 1840-1940 describes the Deacon’s journey from Goondiwindi to Allora. “During the three years or so spent in Goondiwindi, the district suffered a severe drought. Transferred to Allora, Mrs. Deacon made the journey in a spring cart, with her husband riding along side, and the six-week old infant carried in a specially arranged sling. When the Goomburra valley came in view and the verdant Allora sighted, Mrs. Deacon with drought-stricken Goondiwindi in memory, said to her husband ‘We’ll stay here!’”, and stay they did. In Allora were born their other children Mary, William Arthur, Herbert Gladstone, and Charles Edwin. William Deacon retired from teaching in 1873, and true to her word, the Deacons remained in Allora for the rest of their lives.

In the mid 1860’s the Government reserved two acres of land in Herbert Street as a School Reserve. Adjoining part of it at the back and facing Raff Street were two acres for the Lockup Reserve which is still occupied by the police today. The School reserve covered all of the land between Herbert Street to Gordon Lane from The Allora Advertiser to the Allora Tyre Service (47-53 Herbert Street). Muir Street which was not built until 1937 was originally part of the School Reserve.

Deacon established a temporary school in the newly built Wesleyan Chapel (opened 25 December 1866) which was located at 34 Herbert Street. Classes commenced on 13 May 1867. An average of 44 pupils attended the school during the first year.

On 28th March 1917, 50 years after commencing the first classes, William Deacon at the presentation of Memorial King Edward VII medals to the dux of the school recalled that when he open the first school it “had been conducted in the old Methodist Church, the use of which had been granted free of charge by the members of that body, the school building not being at the time built.  Some of the first scholars had included the Buxtons, Sergeant Grayson’s sons and daughters, Mrs. W. Burge, the Lambleys, Hardwicks, Erharts, Mr. R. W Gordon, Mr. F.H. Kates and Miss Kates (now Mrs. Alford), Mr. Thos. Muir, and his sisters, the Hegarties, the Roberts, Mr. John Gallagher’s children, the McMillans, Rooneys, Naishes, Mr. E. Gallagher’s family, the Sintons, Neales, Masters, Nemeths, and others.”

Late in 1867, the Government accepted the tender of Dougall and Dodd to build a class room and a head teacher’s residence and ten months to the day after Deacon commenced classes, the National School at Allora was opened. The Warwick Examiner describes the event as follows: “This building was opened on Thursday last [13 March 1868], by B. Macdonnell, Esq., general inspector of National Schools. There was a large attendance of pupils and their parents. Mr. Macdonnell addressed them in suitable terms upon the advantages of education, and was followed by D. M. Sinclair, Esq., P.M. [Police Magistrate], who expatiated at some length on the privileges they enjoyed in having a sound education placed within reach of the young. He said they were indebted to Mr. Kates for his exertions in advocating and urging the establishment of a school at Allora. The proceedings were wound up with three cheers for the inspector and Police Magistrate… We may say that the school children and their parents were regaled in the evening with a sumptuous tea, after which several addresses were given, the whole proceedings passing off very satisfactorily.”

Allora National School photo

Photo of Allora National School taken on opening day- 13 March 1868 (school on right; residence on left)

Additional details were reported in the Brisbane Courier “The building has been erected by Messrs. Dougall and Dodd, from plans by Mr. R G Suter, of Brisbane, [Suter later designed East Talgai Homestead] and is a decided useful ornament to the town. It is constructed of hardwood studding, with pine chamfer boards; the former, being placed on the outside, are painted a dark brown colour, while the boards themselves are of a cream color, the whole having a very nice effect. The school is 30 feet [9m] long, 18 feet [5.5m] wide, 11 feet [3.3m] high to the wall- plate, and 23 feet [7m] to the ridge. The roof inside is open timbered, stained and varnished, the windows, also, are handsomely finished in the same style. The teacher’s residence, alongside, is constructed on a similar plan, and with equal success.

As this is the first building of the sort in this district, we think it well worth a look at, as it reflects no little credit on both architect and builder. The good folks of Allora are to be congratulated on this school, and we are glad to learn that they have already availed themselves to such an extent of the excellent means of instruction afforded by the Board of Education’s representative, Mr. Deacon.”

The school remained in Herbert Street until 1911 when it was transferred to its present site in Warwick Street.

First Post Office AlloraThe school run by Mrs. Gwynne for more than three years at the Church of England closed after the establishment of the National School. The Gwynne’s moved to 29 Drayton Street (corner of Drayton and Forde Streets) where Mrs. Gwynne operated the Post Office under contract until an official post master was appointed in 1896? In 1872 Mr. Gwynne was appointed the Registrar of Birth, Marriages and Deaths in the Allora District

First Post Office Allora

 

Mrs. Rippingale conducted school classes in the Wesleyan Chapel after it was vacated by the National School however, after a short time, this school also closed and its few pupils attended the National School.

The community’s challenge of bringing State primary education to the children of Allora was delivered but the challenges of delivering an effective justice system for the community, access to rail transportation and recognition of the town as a municipality had only just begun.

Trevor Neale

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