Ballina & Richmond River GenWeb
Alstonville Central School
Mr. Perry later became a member of the Legislative Assembly and Minister for Public Instruction. Today the two houses at the school are named Alston and Perry after these pioneers.
The school was opened on 15th March, 1875. The first teacher was Mr. John Dodd and he had an opening enrolment of 17 pupils. Mr. George Kemp was chairman of the local committee for the school. The local residents raised £47 towards the cost of the building which cost altogether £121. The contractors were Messrs. John Perry and Adams. An inspection report of the school, dated 22nd July, 1875, stated that good progress was being made.
In 1884, Mr. John Dodd, who had one arm, was succeeded by Mr. J. J. Simes. Mr. Simes was followed by Mr. H. J. Fox in 1891. The new residence built during this period is the same one occupied by the headmaster at the present time. Later headmasters were Mr. A. J. McCoy (5 ½ years), Mr. Dunlop (8 months), and Mr. T. D. Burling (9 years). Mr. Abernethy was in charge during the First World War. He was followed by Mr. W. A. Lowe, Mr. Stove, Mr. Ben Whatson and Mr. A. G. Spicer.
While Mr. Spicer was headmaster, the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of the school were held in December, 1936. President of the Celebrations Committee was the late A. L. Elvery and the Secretary was Mr. W. A. Crawford. A publication by this committee contained photographs of headmasters John Dodd and J. J. Simes and school groups from the year 1896.
Later headmasters were Messrs. W. A. Bloomfield, G. Richards, S. T. Neeves, R. F. McGregor, A. Scheumack and, today, C. Goldthorpe, B.Sc.
Mr. C. Goldthorpe, B.Sc. (Econ.) London, has been headmaster since 1955. At present on the staff are Miss M. Nankivell (Infants), Mr. I. Bootes (Lower Primary), Mr. J. Elliott (Upper Primary), Mr. D. Ogilvie (Junior Secondary) and Mr. N. Bartlett (Agricultural Science). Mrs. Goldthorpe teaches Primary Sewing. Visiting teachers who have headquarters at Ballina High School are Mrs. G. Myers (Secondary Needlework), Miss B. Sieffert (Secondary Home Science) and Mr. M. Miller (Primary Woodwork and Secondary Farm Mechanics).
Last year a combined church service was introduced during Education Week and held in the Methodist Church.
School captains are Shirley Meredith and Jim Hindmarsh. Vice-captains are Ian Reddell and Dorothy Gray. Prefects are Marcia Lack and Ken Thurgate. These pupils meet regularly as a school council.
This addition has enabled an ex-R.A.A.F. hut, previously used as a Junior Secondary classroom, to be converted to a school library room. The school library now contains 320 books. During 1958 local residents donated 120 books to a special Library Appeal. Electricity has recently been connected to this room. The school pupils have supplied the room with curtains, vases and three pictures.
Primary pupils participate in the Alstonville District P.S.A.A.A. sports at Alstonville at the end of second term. In 1958 Neil Strong represented the school at the P.S.A.A.A. finals in Sydney.
Secondary pupils meet pupils from tile Central schools of Nimbin, Coraki and Woodburn in an Athletics Carnival at Lismore each September. An inter-school visit with Coraki is arranged for each December, when competitions are enjoyed in summer sport and a social is held at night.
During each summer an average of 75 pupils travel to Lismore Baths each Wednesday morning for swimming instruction. Last year eighteen lessons were held, the children paying over £100 in fares.
The school was well represented in the Alstonville Junior Rugby League Team in last year's Ballina competition. This year, eight of the schoolboys are playing in the Alstonville Junior Hockey Team each Saturday afternoon. Other pupils play with the local junior cricket and tennis teams.
Officers of the Mothers' Club are: President, Mrs. R. F. Bryant; secretary, Mrs. H. Seed; treasurer, Mrs. L. Smith.
School history kindly supplied by Kathy Pearson.
Source: the publication STATUS QUO MCMLIX; presents the schools of the Ballina Inspectorate at this time - Education Week, 1959 - and their origins.