Tarraganda school and its busy pupils

THE Bega Pioneers Museum has countless files on peoples and places. This history comes from its Tarraganda file and this week it continues the story of the Tarraganda School.

TARRAGANDA LIFE: This image shows Mr Richards with his Tarraganda School pupils in 1910. Picture: Bega Pioneers Museum

TARRAGANDA LIFE: This image shows Mr Richards with his Tarraganda School pupils in 1910. Picture: Bega Pioneers Museum

THE last teacher, Mr Gale, at first rode a pushbike from town, but he later purchased one of the first model Ford cars.

It seemed that whenever a teacher was sick at Angledale School, some of the pupils would come across to Tarraganda.

Ada and Dora Koellner and then Lamonts sometimes came across the river.

Some of the Tarraganda families who worked on Tarraganda dairies in those days included Flemings, Robinsons, Pecks at D’Arcy’s, Wilsons at Ottons.

Names such as Joe and Jimmy Bond, Noble, Parsons – Laurie and Eva, are remembered.

There were six classes with a high of 35 pupils down to 13 when it closed in 1932.

The teacher stated that there were so many pupils approaching 14 years, that it would be impossible to maintain numbers after that date.

Some transferred to Bega, where it was quite a traumatic experience to readjust, while others simply left school, even though they had not yet reached 14 years of age.

Joe Bond was reputed to have been an excellent hand writer in his school days.

Rounders was popular, and hockey (of a sort) was played with a gum tree sucker as a stick and a pine cone as a ball.

Ken Pearce was “crowned” with one of these hockey sticks on one occasion.

Most children walked to school, and mostly without boots too.

Each morning the full school would stand on entering class and sing the full verses of Advance Australia Fair and God Save the King.

The State Archives has the Tarraganda School Punishment Book – the only one it has.

In 1924 Mr Dave Sirl from Brisbane wrote to the BDN on his memories of the school.

“I have just read with interest your report of the opening of the Tarraganda School, and was pleased to learn that the good old Andrew Koellner was at least able to turn the key.”

More on Mr Sirl’s letter to the editor in next week’s column.