Old school students are heading back to Wilby
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.