Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Comparing 150 Years at Palmers Island School

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Comparing 150 Years at Palmers Island School

Article excerpt

Byline: Ruby Lyons, Tilly Dawson and Mrs Black

NEXT year, Palmers Island School will celebrate 150 years of education with a colourful and exciting history that has inspired our current day students to learn about the school's past.

Lots of interesting comparisons between now and then have been made with similarities discovered between what children played, what they had for lunch and topics they learnt about.

Students today have found the school's history to be exciting and different especially when they learnt that the school was first set up in a barn on Reverend Garven's property in 1863 with twenty-two children attending from the local area.

Nowadays, there are 60 students from Kinder to year 6 travelling from not only the local suburbs but also from Yamba, Woombah and Maclean, and they certainly do not attend school in a barn!

Throughout the decades the school has changed, expanding from its original building built in 1866 which cost 80 pounds located on the banks of Palmers River, to being moved in 1951 by a D7 tractor to its current location due to the river banks collapsing.

Gradually over the years more classrooms have been added and Eric Lyons, a past student and father to Ruby who is currently in year 6, remembers when all the students were in one room, the same room which is now used as a computer lab today.

Students have found the history of the school interesting especially that in 1868 there was low attendance due to wet weather, bad thoroughfares, sickness and having to work in the fields. The students today are glad that they do not miss school due to working in the cane fields but understand that times were much different than with most kids not wearing shoes to school ever!

Students have enjoyed listening to the stories of the past years and finding out what life was like at Palmers Island School before their time.

One great story teller who visited Year 4/5/6 was Stuey Sonter, who has seen many changes as not only did he attend school at Palmers Island in the late 60s but has been working here for over 25 years. …

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