Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Memories from the 1940s; How the Second World War Impacted on High and Intermediate School Students

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Memories from the 1940s; How the Second World War Impacted on High and Intermediate School Students

Article excerpt

Byline: Part two of chapter four of Warwick State High School, A History 1912-2012.

INTER-house sport gave everybody an opportunity to participate. We competed in Houses Co Barnes, Leslie and Cunningham in the high school; and in the intermediate school the houses were Hamilton, Thomas and McKenna, however the intermediate school joined in with the high school for athletics and swimming carnivals.

In 1940 the high and intermediate swimming carnivals were combined for the first time at the baths.

Many of us wondered when the proposed new pool on our school block would be ready for our use.

Inter-house rivalry was intense for the Reason Cup for interhouse champions in swimming and the Matron Thrupp trophy for athletics.

Around the first week in September each year the school conducted its annual sports day in Cunningham Park. The grounds were always in fine order and, as in all school sporting events, many parents and friends came along to support us.

Records were often broken. Who could forget the 1941 carnival for its exceptionally high standard of athleticism? Eight school records were broken while two others were equalled.

In the girls' section, Joyce Brown showed her prowess in setting new records in the 75 yards and 100 yards sprints; while Betty Brunckhorst in the open hurdles and Beryl Gillam in the junior hurdles were record-breakers.

In the boys' events, Les Batten won the senior championship, creating three new records, each time smashing the previous ones. We were truly amazed when he broke the 880 yards record of Gordon Affleck by 10 seconds and the open mile by five seconds.

During the interval of the carnival, afternoon tea was served at the school.

We always looked forward to the old boys' hundred yards race at the close of the carnival.

Unfortunately, during the war years, the race had to be abandoned owing to the absence of a large number of old boys who had joined the military forces. We were glad to see in 1946 there were 11 starters.

Richard Stabler won the race in which two of our teachers, Mr Anstey and Mr Garland, competed. They got the loudest cheer.

Tennis was always a keenly contested interhouse sport and the game took on extra interest in 1944 when mixed matches were played for the first time.

I remember well the steady stream of past students in khaki or air force blue visiting our school to say au revoir as the threat of invasion to our country became quite real. It wrung our hearts to contemplate their self-sacrifice.

Many volunteered for active service and dropped in to say their farewells to the principal and staff. In particular, I remember 1942, for it was the year Japan entered the war. While some Queensland schools remained closed, those in Warwick opened on the appointed date. …

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