Ballina & Richmond River GenWeb
Bora Ridge Public School
Bora Ridge was so named because it was the site of an aboriginal bora ground, and the raised earthen ring that was the scene of their corroborees is still partly visible in the playground of the school. Corroborees were held only ten years before the school was opened.
The ridge itself lies between Bungawalbyn and Sandy Creeks, which feed the Richmond River several miles away, and it was along the former that trading vessels brought supplies for the early settlers. In Bora Creek, a tributary of Bungawalbyn, and close to the school, the late Oliver Jones built and launched a river craft, the "Mystery", about seven years before the turn of the century.
The land on which the school stands was given to the Department by the late Mr. C. Hetherington, whose great grandsons now attend the school, and about twenty-five pupils were enrolled for the opening in 1900. Mrs. Justin Nowlan, who at the time of writing lives at West Coraki, was the first pupil enrolled. Only thirteen children attend the school at present, but the figure has been as high as forty, and the building was enlarged just after World War 1.
Although most children now go on to central or high school when they have finished their primary schooling, many pupils in the early days completed their education at Bora Ridge. The fiftieth anniversary of the opening was a landmark in the school's history. It was suitably celebrated and many links with the past were renewed. In quite a number of cases two generations of the one family have attended the school. This is true of the Pursey family, three members of which now have their own children enrolled here. One of these, Mr. R. A. Pursey, has been secretary of the Parents and Citizens' Association for twenty-five years.
There have been only nine teachers at the school in its fifty-nine years. The first, Mr. M. Bourne, had the longest stay of some twenty years, and he was followed by R. McMullan, G. Booth, J. Heap, K. Greedy, H. Clayworth, L. Simpson, H. Cooper and B. Purkiss. A departmental residence is alongside the school.
Approximately one hundred people live in the area, which is a farming one. Dairying and grazing are the main occupations and timber is obtained from the nearby Bungawalbyn State Forest. The original eucalypts in the school ground have been replaced by pines, which were given by the late Mrs. R. C. Yabsley, and by camphor laurels, jacarandas and figs, all of which help to make the setting quite picturesque.
Because it is not on a main road and is not served by public transport, the school is greatly appreciated by the residents. Various functions are held during the year for the pupils and the tennis court in the grounds is very popular at weekends. The local hall is close by also and so the Bora Ridge School has become the focal point for the small community which it serves.
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.