First classes held in a tent

100-year his­tory of Baralaba State School

Central Telegraph - - ADVERTISING FEATURE | BARALABA CENTENARY - Baralaba State School

IN 1917, the near­est school main­tained by the State gov­ern­ment was 23 miles away by road.

Be­cause of the un­set­tled state of the coal mines at that time, the De­part­ment of Pub­lic In­struc­tion (the state Ed­u­ca­tion De­part­ment of the time) could not grant ap­proval for the es­tab­lish­ment of a state school.

The De­part­ment of Pub­lic In­struc­tion was will­ing to open a Pro­vi­sional School so long as par­ents could pro­vide a room or a tent in which to hold classes.

On Septem­ber 25, 1917 a pub­lic meet­ing was held at the home of Michael Scully to form a School Com­mit­tee. Michael Scully, Fred­er­ick O. Holm, Jack Warry, Syd­ney Wal­ter and Ge­orge Jack­son were elected to pro­mote the es­tab­lish­ment of a Pro­vi­sional School at Baralaba.

The num­ber of chil­dren aged be­tween five and 15 likely to at­tend this pro­posed school was 18.

A tent was erected and Baralaba Pro­vi­sional School (the tent school) of­fi­cially opened on Au­gust 19, 1918.

Eleven stu­dents were en­rolled for the Septem­ber quar­ter of 1918 and Mr Ed­ward C. As­mus was ap­pointed the first head­teacher.

From these hum­ble be­gin­nings, Baralaba Pro­vi­sional School be­came Baralaba State School in 1922 and a Se­condary De­part­ment was of­fi­cially opened in 1965.

Baralaba State School has ex­pe­ri­enced many sig­nif­i­cant events over the past 100 years in­clud­ing the flood of 1928 and the ad­di­tion and re­moval of build­ings as stu­dent num­bers fluc­tu­ated.

To­day, Baralaba State School (P-10) is a well­re­sourced school with well-main­tained fa­cil­i­ties with 99 stu­dents and a team of a prin­ci­pal, a guid­ance of­fi­cer, a head of cur­ricu­lum, 11 teach­ers, seven teacheraides and six aux­il­iary staff.

To cel­e­brate and com­mem­o­rate 100 years of this fine school, a range of mem­o­ra­bilia is be­ing made in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Baralaba His­tory Group and the Baralaba Art Group.

Many his­tor­i­cal arte­facts will also be on dis­play in the school on the Cen­te­nary Cel­e­bra­tion week­end as part of the Doors Through the Decades dis­play.

An ex­tract of the school's his­tory.

PHO­TOS: CON­TRIB­UTED

ROUGH CLASS­ROOMS: Baralaba Pro­vi­sional School be­gan in a tent, 1918.

The front en­trance to the Baralaba State School as it stands in 2018.

Baralaba State School, be­lieved to be around 1926. The build­ing was moved from Mt Chalmers in 1924.

Baralaba State School in 1965.

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