Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Trove Tuesday - Our Home

Our Society is housed in former classrooms of the Old Gordon Public School.

A search on Trove returns several historic photographs of this beautiful sandstone building however due to copyright restrictions these cannot be published on our website. Curious readers may view the images here:

Among the many articles found on Trove about the school was this report, the full text of which is copied below this partial image:

1897 'GORDON PUBLIC SCHOOL.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 18 June, p. 3, viewed 19 November, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14115605
Yesterday Gordon was en fete, the occasion beingthe official opening of tho new wing of the Publicschool by the Minister for Education The approachto the school was hung with flags, and the decora«tions were of a lavish description
The Hon. Jacob Garrard, ML A, accompaniedby Mr J C Maynard, Under-Secretary for PublicInstruction, arrived shortly before 2 o' clock and wasreceived by Messrs P F Richardson (chairman),Mc Keown, S King, M'lntosh, Mrs Cornwall, andMiss Mc Keown, members of the School Board, andthe headmaster, Mr H L Fry Amongst otherspresent were Mr G Howarth M L A , and the Rev.Raymond King. The Minister was requested to turnthe key of the additions, after which the childrenfiled in under tho direction of the assistant teachers.
Mr Jacob Garrard said he wished to confine hisremarks to the progress of tho Gordon School, andthe system under which they were educated. He  stated he had recently laid on the table of the Housethe report of the department for the past year. Itshowod that in the colony there were no less than2574 schools, giving instruction to 221,603 scholars.
To distribute this instruction there were 4442 teachers.Accommodation was provided for 239,354 scholars.The population of tho colony was 1,287,755, ofwhich number 79 per cent of the children of schoolage received their education at the Public schools.The increase en accommodation since 1881 amountedto 140,633. The cost of educating this army ofstudents for last year was £651 307. The sum wasa large one, but not larger than the country waswilling to pay: the money was well invested, and
would enable the children to receive such instructionas would fit them to take their place in the busyworld. He then referred to the growth and historyof Gordon School. The denominational WesleyanSchool at Lane Cove was in 1871 converted into aPublic school. The enrolment was then 54, withan average attendance of 38. 7 This school con-  tinued to be held in tho old Wesleyan chapel until1877. In March 1876, a site fronting Lane CoveRoad was acquired at a cost of £30, but portion ofthis ground was subsequently resumed by the Rail-way Department in 1888: but the Instruction De-partment secured an additional area for £318, anda further area was conveyed by Mr Mc Intosh in1891. The name of the school was in 1885 changedfrom Lane Cove to Gordon. In 1877 Messrs Eatonand Sons' tender for new school buildings and resi-dence was accepted for the sum of £1957,which were completed and opened in Augustof that year. The school afforded accommodationfor 98 pupils. In 1888 further  additions were made at a cost of £207. The roomjust opened measured 34ft. 6in. by 24ft., and is con-structed of stone, and covered with slates, so as tomatch the old building. It is of modern design,giving plenty of light and ventilation and 124ft ofcubic space for each child. It gives accommodationfor 100 pupils. With the old building there was
now accommodation for 220 children. The enrolment
of the school for last March quarter was 205,  with an average attendance of 143, under the direc-tion of an efficient staff of teachers. The total
cost of land and buildings amounted to £3351. Heretened to the extra week's holiday the scholarswould enjoy on account of the Queen s Jubilee, and  drow their attention to the numerous blessings en-joyed under the glorious reign of our beloved sove-reign, whom they should always remember as a    noble woman. He exhorted them to never forget tolove their God, their country, and their Queen, andto honour their fellow-men. He had much pleasurein declaring the building open. (Cheers )  
The children then sang " Advance, Australia
Fair "
Mr Geo. Howarth, M L A , also spoke, and re-ferred to a custom in tho schools of the United Statesof America w Inch ho would like to see introducedinto our Public schools, und that was the saluting ofthe national flag at a certain hour each day.
The pupils here sang " Australia's Sunny Clime."after which Mr P F Richardson thanked theMinister for his attendance and interesting address,and asked the company to accord a vote of thanks tohim by acclamation.
Mr Garrard briefiy returned thanks, and theMinisterial party returned to the city.

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