Canobolas Public School stands the test of time: 150th anniversary coming up

PROUD HERITAGE: Canobolas Public School P&C president Melissa Caulfield with an 1879 register of admission. Mrs Caulfield wants to contact all former students and employees of the school for its 150th anniversary celebrations. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

PROUD HERITAGE: Canobolas Public School P&C president Melissa Caulfield with an 1879 register of admission. Mrs Caulfield wants to contact all former students and employees of the school for its 150th anniversary celebrations. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

THE story of Canobolas Public School started in a woodshed, nine metres by four metres, 150 years ago.

The school’s P&C president, Melissa Caulfield, wants to hear every story from within its walls and wants to find every student still alive who passed through its gates. 

“It’s a community here, it’s the people, it’s the teachers, the parents and the generations on generations of students,” she said. 

The archives from the school’s history were a little patchy but Mrs Caulfield believed one student in year 1 was a relative of those who petitioned to build the school 150 years ago. 

Mrs Caulfield has big plans for the school’s birthday but first she wants to track down every former student or teacher. 

“Ultimately I want the oldest living person who went to the school, for me they would be a treasure,” she said.

She found a 1879 register of admission and the first 34 students listed, the occupation of the father was a farmer.

On the second page of 34 names there was the odd orchardist and even a publican.

The school is the oldest public school in Orange and has 101 enrolled students but is continually growing with enrolments for kindergarten next year almost full. 

"It is hard to believe rumours that in the 1960s, parents had to send their children to kindergarten prematurely for fear the school would close because of a lack of enrolments," she said. 

To celebrate the school’s birthday there will be a ceremony on Friday, October 31, followed by a vintage fair. 

Historical photographs will be on display, newsletter excerpts, former student talks and written history displays. 

The weekend of celebration would culminate with a gala dinner on Saturday November 1. 

The P&C members want to hear from anyone who has a story to tell from their time at Canobolas Public School and anyone who has past school photos. 

Anyone interested in being involved can contact Mrs Caulfield at mcaulfield72@optusnet.com.au, or like the Facebook pages called ‘Canobolas Public School P&C’. 

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