Baralaba celebrates its story
Centenary celebrations for school
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.”
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.