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Friday, March 4, 2011

On my reunions

The above is a link to a site that shows photos of the Fortitude Valley School ( in inner Brisbane) in its various guises.
Front view

On my mind today has been the 150th celebrations at a school where I taught from 2001-2003. Fortitude Valley is a little bit different from most city has only 2 teachers and it was a big shock to the system when I got transferred there.
The Valley school was once a huge school, but over the years, homes made way for office blocks. In recent years there has been a lot of redevelopment with many apartment blocks going up on previously industrial and commercial lots.  Maybe the trend towards growing smaller as a school will start to reverse? When I taught there, the most students we had in those 3 years was 39.  A parent I spoke to today said he thought there were 33 there now. It may have been small, but it was one of the best resourced schools I’ve ever worked at.
The queue for the registration tent. The school's cricket pitch looked like a lap pool!!
Today I went on my own as a former colleague who was going to attend, changed her mind because of the pouring rain which we here in Brisbane, awoke to. The mud was pretty bad and I think my little strappy shoes will never be the same.
Not a good start; my name tag needed serious editing

The school oval...muddy

The entrance to the marqee...muddy!

My feet in inappropriate footwear...muddy!
But it was a wonderful experience despite juggling an umbrella, handbag and camera. It was wonderful to see former pupils recognising people they knew and who perhaps, they had not seen for years. The oldest former pupil there was a lady who attended the school in 1920!

The marqee set up on the oval. The buildings in the background have all been built since I was transferred in December 2003

The marqee starting to fill up

Some more people arriving. By the time the dignitaries arrived it was standing room only

The back part of my old classroom; I missed the large classrooms when I left.

I knew my friend’s BIL was going to be there and I did find Santo and he introduced me to his 2 sisters, his BIL and his brother. Santo’s BIL knew my godparents who had a farm outside Stanthorpe...small world huh?
On a tour through the building, I chatted to former colleagues and the most serendipitous thing happened. I met up with a woman who used to teach at my high school.  She was there as a former pupil! It was amazing and we chatted for quite a while. Mrs Evans, (I could probably call her Tricia now I gave me her details which I’ll pass on to my school friends and maybe she’ll come to our 50th celebrations of the school in 2013.

Mrs Evans a teacher at my high school in the 1960s

When looking through the photos later, I realised that in this totally random photo of cars parked, I've 'captured' Mrs Evans, hours before I met up with her.!
Now those of you who read my blog and who live in the northern hemisphere may consider 150 years not very old. The Valley school was opened in 1861, 2 years after the state of Qld separated from New South Wales. It is one of the 3 oldest schools in Qland. It was known as a National school. Free State education did not come about until 1875. At various stages, the school was in different sections ie, infants' school, boys' school and a separate girls' school. Listening to former students (before my time though) talking today, it is obvious the school has a rich history! I'm proud that I have been able to be part of that story, albeit a small part.


Dmarie said...

wish all teachers could work at schools with great resources! there is so much more that needs to be done in educating our youth. thank you for being a teacher...once and always, whether working or retired!

Maria said...

Thank you Dmarie! I agree with you about resources...last year District Office imposed higher benchmarks which children are supposed to achieve this year...strangely there was no indication of any more resources to help achieve these higher levels. I was disgusted as i worked my class hard, they did their best but it's still not good enough for the politicians!

Abby Tranter said...

Your blog reminds me of my high school days. Very memorable and so many lessons in life to cherish and should not be forgotten. Thank you so much for inspiring many students whether student in classroom or in life.

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