The above is a link to a site that shows photos of the Fortitude Valley School ( in inner Brisbane) in its various guises.
On my mind today has been the 150th celebrations at a school where I taught from 2001-2003. Fortitude Valley is a little bit different from most city schools...it has only 2 teachers and it was a big shock to the system when I got transferred there.
The Valley school was once a huge school, but over the years, homes made way for office blocks. In recent years there has been a lot of redevelopment with many apartment blocks going up on previously industrial and commercial lots. Maybe the trend towards growing smaller as a school will start to reverse? When I taught there, the most students we had in those 3 years was 39. A parent I spoke to today said he thought there were 33 there now. It may have been small, but it was one of the best resourced schools I’ve ever worked at.
|The queue for the registration tent. The school's cricket pitch looked like a lap pool!!|
Today I went on my own as a former colleague who was going to attend, changed her mind because of the pouring rain which we here in Brisbane, awoke to. The mud was pretty bad and I think my little strappy shoes will never be the same.
|Not a good start; my name tag needed serious editing |
|The school oval...muddy|
|The entrance to the marqee...muddy!|
|My feet in inappropriate footwear...muddy!|
But it was a wonderful experience despite juggling an umbrella, handbag and camera. It was wonderful to see former pupils recognising people they knew and who perhaps, they had not seen for years. The oldest former pupil there was a lady who attended the school in 1920!
|The marqee set up on the oval. The buildings in the background have all been built since I was transferred in December 2003|
|The marqee starting to fill up|
|Some more people arriving. By the time the dignitaries arrived it was standing room only|
|The back part of my old classroom; I missed the large classrooms when I left.|
I knew my friend’s BIL was going to be there and I did find Santo and he introduced me to his 2 sisters, his BIL and his brother. Santo’s BIL knew my godparents who had a farm outside Stanthorpe...small world huh?
On a tour through the building, I chatted to former colleagues and the most serendipitous thing happened. I met up with a woman who used to teach at my high school. She was there as a former pupil! It was amazing and we chatted for quite a while. Mrs Evans, (I could probably call her Tricia now I guess...lol) gave me her details which I’ll pass on to my school friends and maybe she’ll come to our 50th celebrations of the school in 2013.
|Mrs Evans a teacher at my high school in the 1960s|
|When looking through the photos later, I realised that in this totally random photo of cars parked, I've 'captured' Mrs Evans, hours before I met up with her.!|
Now those of you who read my blog and who live in the northern hemisphere may consider 150 years not very old. The Valley school was opened in 1861, 2 years after the state of Qld separated from New South Wales. It is one of the 3 oldest schools in Qland. It was known as a National school. Free State education did not come about until 1875. At various stages, the school was in different sections ie, infants' school, boys' school and a separate girls' school. Listening to former students (before my time though) talking today, it is obvious the school has a rich history! I'm proud that I have been able to be part of that story, albeit a small part.