Everyone at Bungaree Primary School’s 150th birthday celebrations had one thing in common – memories of the school across the many generations of pupils who have passed through its gates.
There were plenty of Triggs, Griggs and Linsdells on the weekend’s roll call representing some of the biggest families from the local community over the past 150 years, each with multiple generations of students having been educated at the small school.
The 28 current pupils conducted school tours for visitors, learning much about the school’s past from those who were there before them.
About 400 people attended throughout the day, with a highlight being the roll call of past and present pupils – the oldest surviving pupils are now 94 and almost 91.
Bungaree Historical Society’s Colin Boyd was school council president and secretary while his children, including son Heath, were at the school in the 1970s and 1980s.
His granddaughter Sophie graduated from the school last year and Holly is in grade five. “It’s always been a great school offering a good education and early groundings,” he said.
Heath, who was a pupil from 1979 to 1986 and is now on school council, said one of his first memories of the school was seeing another boy get the strap.
“It was the last year of corporal punishment and I would have been in prep, but seeing that put me on the straight and narrow and made sure i behaved,” he said.
That strap was on display along with other artefacts from the school’s history and school photos as far back as 1900. Many remarks were made how the fashions and hairstyles had changed over the decades.
Principal Catherine Barnes said strong family ties had been one of the hallmarks of the school, with many of the same surnames showing up in the enrolments generation after generation.
“The focus is on generations of conversations to celebrate past, present and future families,” Ms Barnes said.
David Grigg, 90, is one of the oldest students and remembered how most children walked or rode horses to school.
“There was a pony paddock. Plenty of children rode three to five miles to school, and one brother and sister even had a pony and gig (cart). My four cousins and I walked the mile or so.”