Strive with Honour – Hill End Public School 1870 – 2020

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“Strive with Honour, 150 years of Hill End Public School, 1870-2020”

Hill End Public School is now 150 years old. After two years of planning the first intake of pupils was on 30 May 1870. Prior to this there were a number of small private schools providing education to the children of the early miners and settlers in the Tambaroora Goldfields area.

On that first day 61 boys and 54 girls, ranging in age from 3 to 15 were enrolled and pupil enrolment reached a peak of 174 during that year. The original school was soon deemed too small to cope with the growing number of students and so additions were made to the building and staff numbers also increased. Then gold mines closed, and the population moved on, taking the children with them. Education practices changed. This pattern was to be repeated over the next 150 years.

Over the years the pupil numbers have continued to fluctuate but there have always been enough children in the town and surrounding rural area to maintain the school. Since its inception, the school and the staff have always been an integral part of the local community.

In order to celebrate the sesquicentenary in a fitting manner the Hill End & Tambaroora Gathering Group (volunteers and descendants of these early pioneers) have been working with the staff of Hill End Public School for the last 18 months to prepare a publication showcasing this vibrant school over the last 150 years.

This is no dry history volume. Using early histories prepared by the Department of Education, and previous headmasters as a basis, our researchers have also delved deeply into the State Archives and contemporary newspapers to unearth previously unknown documents and stories to supplement these records. When official accounts were unobtainable then we turned to the community. We were thrilled with the responses which arrived via oral histories, photographs and written memoirs from ex-students, teachers, and descendants alike. There were even some that we couldn’t possibly publish!

This work is a story of more than just a school. It reflects a broad social history of the town over the past 150 years. Student enrolments reflect the ups and downs of a mining community. Over the years the school has produced Members of Parliament, numerous educators, historians, authors, artists, sportsmen & women, military & business people and social commentators. There are over 250 pages including full colour illustrations, and many photos that have not been published before. It is fully indexed with the names of those mentioned in the text and incorporates an almost complete list of principals and teachers who have spent some time in Hill End. One extremely important inclusion in this book is a listing of the 4500+ students (with parent or guardians’ names) who attended the school over the first 100 years. Painstakingly transcribed from the Admission Registers by Gathering Group volunteers, this listing places family members in the town where no other records may exist to demonstrate their presence there. An added bonus for family historians.

Today, with just 7 students enrolled, the School continues to provide an extremely high level of education. Whilst still physically isolated, the children have access to the world at large via modern technological means. The staff have embraced these advances and these children will be able to take their place in any society along with all their contemporaries.

 

$40.00 + $14.00 postage within Aus

Read our online ordering information to purchase confidently.