Bar­al­aba cel­e­brates its story

Cen­te­nary cel­e­bra­tions for school

Central Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - PHOTO: MACKENZIE COLAHAN

PART OF HIS­TORY: Mem­bers of the Kul­go­odah Dancers group, in­clud­ing both cur­rent and for­mer Bar­al­aba State School stu­dents, en­ter­tained the hun­dreds of towns­folk and vis­i­tors cel­e­brat­ing the school’s cen­te­nary last week­end.

HUN­DREDS de­scended on Bar­al­aba last week­end to mark a ma­jor mile­stone for the lit­tle min­ing town.

Cars lined the streets as al­most 1000 stu­dents, past and present, re­turned to cel­e­brate 100 years of Bar­al­aba State School.

Speak­ers re­galed their for­mer class­mates with tales of the school’s hum­ble be­gin­nings.

In 1918, a di­lap­i­dated tent and four old desks was all the school had to ac­com­mo­date its 15 stu­dents.

Friends from the grad­u­at­ing class of 1931, Mavis Lewis and Dei­dre Byrne, still re­side in Bar­al­aba and were there to cut the cen­te­nary cake.

The pair re­called fond mem­o­ries of their own.

Mrs Byrne said her school­ing ex­pe­ri­ence was vastly dif­fer­ent from the cur­rent gen­er­a­tion’s.

“I re­mem­ber we used to ride horses to school,” she said.

“I don’t think they even know what a horse pad­dock is now.

“The teach­ers were very nice and we had ev­ery­thing we needed here.

“It’s spe­cial to be in­vited back to be a part of the mile­stone.”

A cen­tury on, no­table alumni in­clude a knight, Sir Charles Holm; re­spected clin­i­cian and head of the Univer­sity of Queens­land’s school of medicine, Pro­fes­sor Dar­rell Craw­ford; and rugby league leg­ends Ja­son Hether­ing­ton and Corey Oates.

In his ad­dress at Satur­day’s cer­e­mony, Cal­lide MP Colin Boyce said their suc­cess should serve as a re­minder for stu­dents to fol­low their dreams.

“One hun­dred years is a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone for any state school,” Mr Boyce said.

“Schools are the fo­cal point of any small com­mu­nity and Bar­al­aba has pro­duced in­ter­na­tional sport­ing stars to nu­clear physi­cists.

“Stu­dents can achieve any­thing if they put their mind to it.”

Prin­ci­pal Kate Davis said she was hon­oured to be in­volved in such a spe­cial oc­ca­sion.

“Although many things have changed over the last 100 years, the strong sense of com­mu­nity re­mains in­te­gral to the life of Bar­al­aba,” Mrs Davis said.

“It has al­lowed Bar­al­aba State School to flour­ish.

“It’s be­cause of this strong com­mu­nity own­er­ship and pure hard work that the school re­mains an im­por­tant part of the town in 2018.”

PHOTO: MACKENZIE COLAHAN

GEN­ER­A­TIONS: Class­mates of 1931, Mavis Lewis and Dei­dre Byrne, with Trey and Elise McLel­lan, di­rect de­scen­dants of stu­dents from Bar­al­aba’s days as a tent school. More pic­tures from the day on page 15.

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