Ballina & Richmond River GenWeb
DUNGARUBBA PUBLIC SCHOOL
Dungarubba Public School is situated on the flood plain of the Mid-Richmond River, four miles from Broadwater on the Lismore-Broadwater road. Behind the school is Dungarubba Creek, from which the school derived its name. In the early days the creek was inhabited by many blue cranes, the aborigines collected their eggs from along the creek, and so they referred to the creek as "dungarubba" or 'blue crane". Early settlers used the aboriginal word and so the school was named.
Mr. John Carmichael, of Woodburn, built the first school just behind the present school site and it was opened in 1886 as a Provisional school. Timber for the building was transported down the river from Coraki by boat and along the creek to a point on the bank near the site. It was a single room, weatherboard building with a fireplace, long desks and narrow stools constituted the furnishings.
The first teacher was Mr. McGregor, who taught for a short time. During the first years of the school enrolments were low and Miss Lyn Hoare and Mr. John O'Farrell, although past school age, and Mr. W. Morgan, who was not really old enough to commence school, attended several days each week to maintain the necessary enrolments.
Miss Julia McLean, who came from Sydney, was the second teacher and records indicate that she was teaching at the school until 1892, when in that year Dr. A. Forbes visited the school on behalf of the Wardell School Board, and Miss McLean complained of a large black snake located in the fireplace. A comment stated that steps were taken to have it removed.
Some of the early visitors to the school before 1900 included Mr. John R. Barnes, Rev. F. R. Newton, Rev. N. Lacsby Cecil, Mr. E. Dean, Mr. Peter Board and Mr. W. Cornish, inspectors of schools, Mr. P. A. Hoare and Mr. C. R. Bagot, all of whom were well known in the area. There have been twenty-five permanent teachers at the school. Following Mr. McGregor and Miss McLean came Miss May Campbell, Mr. Ernest Duncan, Mr. Davis, Mr. M. McNamara, Mr. F. Capp, Mr. Bailey, Mr. T. Moore, Mr. O'Neill, Mr. McRae, Miss Wade, first teacher in the new school, Mr. Swan, Mr. Wilson, Mr. R. V. McMullen, Mr. R. Pryor, Mr. S. Levick, Mr. J. Ferguson, Mr. Sketchley, Mr. Lang, Mr. R. Davies, Mr. A. Morris, Mr. H. Spillane, Mr. H. S. Delves and the present teacher is B.Willis.
NEW SCHOOL BUILT
In 1920 the present school was built in front of the original one and was subsequently raised a foot after the 1948 flood. A weather shed was erected by voluntary labour in 1945 under the guidance of Mr. R. Delves, the teacher-in-charge at the time.
The school was severely hit by the record flood of February, 1954, when seven feet of water covered the front lawn and water entered the school to a depth of three feet. Much valuable equipment and a number of school records were destroyed. The old long desks and stools were then replaced by tables and chairs and this year an Infants' shelving unit was added to the modern furnishings.
Located between two churches and a short distance from the public hall, the school has a neatly kept lawn, a garden containing flowering shrubs, a variety of annuals and a number of fine shade trees in the playground, some 50 years old, all adding to the attractive setting of the school.
School enrolment has fluctuated over the years, ranging from 47 in 1931 to nine in August, 1957, when it appeared that the school might close. However, since then the numbers have been steadily increasing and now the enrolment is 20, the highest for some years.
Formation of the Parents and Citizens' Association took place in 1932. However, it only functioned intermittently for a number of years. Today the association is actively interested and is providing for the needs of the children. In the past two years over 200 volumes have been added to the library. At present the members are engaged in the construction of two portable tables and seats for use by the children. Executive officers for the year are: President, Mr. W. Wunsch; Secretary, Miss E. Sneesby; Treasurer, Mr. C. Nelson.
Annual events in the school year include a school picnic held on Commonwealth Day, at which Mrs. A. R. Giggins, Cr. and Mrs. A. McAulay and Cr. A. Hull have been guests for a number of years. The school competes at the P.S.A.AA. carnival at Coraki, and last year was successful in winning the Average Point Score Cup. At the conclusion of the year the annual concert-Christmas tree is held in the local hall,
A recorder band, which gave its first performance on Commonwealth Day, was established this year and promises to be an important asset to the school and the community. Folk dancing has proved popular with the children and many dances and singing games are enjoyed, including the evergreen maypole.
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.