Old school stu­dents are head­ing back to Wilby

Wangaratta Chronicle - - What's On This Weekend -

THE ru­ral town­ship of Wilby is ex­pect­ing a pop­u­la­tion surge this Sun­day as it hosts an event mark­ing 50 years since its state school closed.

The tiny out­post lo­cated 45 kilo­me­tres north-west of Wan­garatta will be flooded with peo­ple keen to re­mem­ber the days of the old school yard.

Or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee mem­ber He­len White said up to 100 peo­ple are ex­pected to make the jour­ney, in­clud­ing past stu­dents, res­i­dents and even a for­mer teacher.

She said once a com­mit­tee was formed, it didn’t take long for ev­ery­one to get the mes­sage out to the many peo­ple they’d kept in con­tact with in one way or an­other over the years.

“It’s cer­tainly cre­ated a fair bit of in­ter­est,” she said.

“The school had be­tween 30 and 40 chil­dren en­rolled for quite a few years and it seems they’re keen to join in and are look­ing for­ward to catch­ing up.”

The one-teacher school opened in 1880 and pro­vided an ed­u­ca­tion to gen­er­a­tions of chil­dren from the district, right up un­til 1967 when it closed due to dwin­dling num­bers.

Sun­day’s “Back To Wilby School” event will be a re­union for some and an op­por­tu­nity to share mem­o­ries for oth­ers, in­clud­ing the way chil­dren would gather for assem­bly on Mon­day morn­ing to re­cite a pledge and sing “God Save The Queen”.

Ms White said the tra­di­tional start to the school week will be re-en­acted for the event, with many school go­ers still eas­ily able to re­cite the words, even after decades have passed.

The event will be­gin at 11am at the Wilby Hall and those at­tend­ing are en­cour­aged to bring copies of pho­tos, book­work or other items of in­ter­est they would like to share, be­fore a trip to the school site fol­lowed by a bar­be­cue lunch and af­ter­noon tea back at the hall.

For more in­for­ma­tion or to RSVP con­tact Faye Cox on 5744 1810 or He­len White via email at flindgem@west­net.com.au.

DAYS GONE BY: The Wilby State School (as it was in the 1890s) pro­vided ed­u­ca­tion to hun­dreds of chil­dren from lo­cal fam­i­lies over the decades.

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