When Canobolas Rural Technology High School opened 50 years ago, one of the first students did not expect the experience to inspire her to follow a teaching career.
Narelle Gordon, nee Hadfield, started high school in 1967 at the Orange Cultural School, which was the school’s temporary location until the Icely Road campus opened in 1968.
Following graduation, Mrs Gordon found herself following a teaching career and although she mainly taught at primary schools, she also worked at high schools and is a tutor at Ronald McDonald House in Orange.
She said she attended primary school at Glenroi Heights Public School, which her mother was also involved in starting, so she already knew some of the other students in her year group.
Mrs Gordon said in the first year at the Canobolas Rural Technology High School there were three buildings, A, B and the canteen in C block, and no grass or landscaping.
“I knew all about it because my mother was the secretary of the provisional P and C in 1965 and 1966, I got to model the uniform,” Mrs Gordon said.
Mrs Gordon said Canobolas high had a multicultural cohort when she started due to the demographic of the school’s catchment, which was east of Lords Place.
“After the war there were many migrants that came to Orange so they built the housing [to accommodate them],” she said.
Mrs Gordon said there were only two year groups, the equivalent of year 7 and 8 and many of her classmates came from different European countries.
There were about 336 students at the school initially, and the students helped plant trees to provide, landscaping, windbreaks and block the view of the cemetery.
The school has since grown to about 660 students and new buildings are still being built.
School library assistant Liz Richard has helped prepare for the school’s anniversary on Saturday and set up historical displays.
“In 1966 Orange was growing and expanding and Orange High School was the only government high school so they decided to have a second high school for Orange,” Mrs Richard said.
How the school will celebrate on Saturday…
Former teachers and students will return to Orange on Saturday for the 50th anniversary of the Canobolas Rural Technology High School.
Originally known as the East Orange High School before being promptly renamed, the school started at the Orange Cultural Centre in 1967, before relocating to its current home in 1968.
At 10.30am on Saturday, the school’s first teachers and students will reunite at the cultural centre.
During the afternoon from noon, celebrations will continue at the school with a historical display in the hall.
At 1pm a statue modelled on the school’s atom logo and created by current student Jack McGinley, will be unveiled.
From 6pm there will be a dinner celebration at Orange Function Centre for about 300 past and present students and staff.