Dodging the cane and beating bees: 50 colourful years at Calare

50 YEARS: Former student Rosanne Osborne, assistant principal and former teacher Maxine Thompson, Annie Taylor and staff member Lyn Edwards. Photo: JUDE KEOGH
50 YEARS: Former student Rosanne Osborne, assistant principal and former teacher Maxine Thompson, Annie Taylor and staff member Lyn Edwards. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

For all those students who think school today is tough, spare a thought for your grandparents.

As Calare Public School prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary with a fete, school tours, a reunion dinner and displays of memorabilia, tales of the old days have been uncovered.

Deputy principal Colleen Alchin said when the school opened on May 6, 1968 it was surrounded by orchards.

“[Former student] Rosanne Osborne tells a story the teachers would blow their whistles when a swarm of bees was going through the playground toward the orchards,” she said.

“The children would all have to lie flat on the ground until the bees passed and then they could get up and start playing again.”

And the naughty children got dealt with differently back then.

Memorabilia uncovered includes the corporal punishment book that detailed how many strokes of the cane were handed out.

“Talking through scripture was two cuts, or strokes,” she said.

And there were more students in every class.

“The class sizes were so much bigger back then, up to 30 or 40 [students] in the class.”

Mrs Alchin said 50th anniversary celebrations [brought forward two months to protect against possible bad weather in May] would be a great chance for ex-students and staff to reminisce and for current students to learn about their school’s history.

She said that when it started the school had 250-300 students and eight teachers including the principal.

Today there were 650 students spread over 26 classes with 45 staff.

One of the first teachers Janne Eggleton is among the many former Calarians invited.

“We are trying to locate as many staff and former students that we can,” Mrs Alchin said.

The events will start with a Birthday Bash fete with stalls, food, rides, games and more at the school on March 9 from 4pm-8pm.

The next day will see school tours and food tasting from the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program.

A reunion dinner for about 200 people is on that night.

Memorabilia on display would include old Globite school cases, the punishment book, mascots, flags, the school magazine and the contents of a school time capsule buried 25 years ago.

Contact the school office for tickets and if you have memorabilia.

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