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History

Pullenvale State School celebrated our 140 year anniversary in 2014! 

You may enjoy reading about our school History... 

Thank you to Mr Fred Hardman, past Principal and Dr Ron Tooth, Principal Pullenvale Environmental Centre (PEEC) for this information. 

The Pullenvale State School opened its doors for the first time on March 16th 1874 in what would have been a remote backblock of the Brisbane Colonial settlement.

In those days a telephone would have been the height of technology and certainly beyond the reaches of the Pullenvale State School or the band of mainly Scottish selectors who made up the parent body. One wonders how the original Principal, Mr. George Henry Francis, would have marvelled at the internet site we have today.

What was one of the last one teacher schools on the outskirts of Brisbane right up until 1978 has now developed to the present size of 387 students. This is obviously a big change from the early days but what we will strive not to change is the friendly country atmosphere that has always been synonymous with Pullenvale and has always attracted people.

 

The Early Years

Pullenvale lies within a small, shallow valley bound by an arc of rocky hills peaking at Mt Elphinstone. Its eroded valley walls and floor guide Pullen Pullen Creek along meandering pathways to the Brisbane River.

When Pullenvale was part of the Jagera's tribal lands, grassy woodlands fringed the valley's tall forests pf eucalypt, box and pine. Its sheltered slopes and damp gullies carried subtropical rainforest where cedar beech and silky oak rose above tangled vines and ferns. Artefacts, middens and bora rings found in the area indicate its significance as a ceremonial meeting place and bountiful source of food and fresh water.

Surveyor John Oxley was the first European to recognise the potential for a free settlement in the Moreton Bay hinterland. During his 1823 survey of the Brisbane River, Oxley described Mt Elphinstone as Rocky Knob and noted the adjacent stand of good timber and open grazing lands.

Oxley's primary task however, was to choose a location for the new Moreton Bay penal colony. Construction began at Redcliffe in September 1824, but eight months later the settlement was moved up river near the present Victoria Bridge. On 11 February 1842 the penal colony was closed and the region declared open to settlers.

Initial restriction on land acquisition in the immediate Brisbane hinterland were lifted with changes to the Land Act in 1846. Leasehold sections of one square mile became available and lessees were given pre-emptive rights to convert to freehold. Settlers now had access to land in the Moggill district which included the present suburbs of Brookfield, Upper Brookfield, Pullenvale, Pinjarra Hills, Anstead, Bellbowrie and Moggill.

Darby McGrath appears to have been the area's first leaseholder, taking up land along Moggill Creek around 1848. Further changes to the Act saw Job Twine purchase freehold title to Potion 1 at Pullen Pullen Creek in February 1850, while Darby's brother, John, bought Portion 19 at Moggill Creek in July. All three increased their holdings during the 1850s as did John Doyle and Thomas Prior.

Timber resources sustained the district in its infancy. For over 30 years bullock teams hauled logs from Brookfield and Pullenvale to the Moggill Creek rafting ground. The logs were chained together, rafted half a mile downstream to the Brisbane River, then floated or shopped to Brisbane sawmills.

Many of Pullenvale's future residents arrived in the colony between 1862 and 1868 but few could afford the large tracts being offered. With the Crown Lands Alienation Act of 1868, smaller holdings became available in the Parish of Moggill. Conditions under the Act were generous with minimal leasing costs and conversion to freehold providing improvements were made and the lessee resided on the property for a specified period.

 

A Pioneering Community

The pioneering families of the 1860s and 70s formed a close-knit community; some having common homelands, others meeting enroute to Australia. They shared the hardships of creating a better life in a new and strange land.

Selectors felled and handcut timber for stockyards, barns and their first homes which were shingle-roofed, slab huts. Land was cleared for livestock and small crops wit Brisbane Town providing a ready market for meat, poultry, eggs, butter and vegetables. Within a few years the area became will known for its dairy farms.

By 1873 the valley was known as Pullen Vale and as families prospered many increased their holdings until 1885 when most portions had been taken up. Land tended to remain within the circle of original families as successive generations inherited property and found marriage partners amongst their neighbours.

Pioneering Families

ANSTEAD

BAINBRIDGE

BOYLE

BIRD

CURRIE

FISHER

HERRON

LISK

OGLE

O'BRIEN

WALKER

WARD

 

Anstead

John Anstead emigrated from Devon, England, arriving in Brisbane via Sydney in 1858. He married Susannah Williams in 1866. John worked as a timber cutter to support his wife and five children. The family first lived on Portion 165, then moved to a hillside property across Mt Crosby Road. John's grandson, William, married Violet Currie and they raised four children at their home on the original site.

 

Bainbridge

Robert Bower Bainbridge of Dunfermline, Scotland arrived in Brisbane with the Currie family in 1863. Mary Currie became his wife in 1871 and they lived on her property next door to her parents. They had eleven children. Robert worked away from home as a labourer, miner and road builder. During the 1890s depression he and sons Dougald and John walked to Stanthorpe to pick fruit. Robert served several terms as the school committee secretary between 1879 and 1908.

Boyle

James Boyle arrived from Port-o-down, Ireland in 1866. Two years later he took up Portion 187 near the present junction of Boyle and O'Brien Roads. He brought his 18 year old bride, Elizabeth Hughes, to 'Armagh' in 1870. The Boyles raised small crops and dairy cattle, taking their produce to Brisbane each Saturday. When James and Elizabeth retired to Toowong, William, the eldest of their 11 children, took over the property. He sold it to his brother Patrick in 1938.

Bird

George Bird, native of Stroud, England travelled to Brisbane after reaching Sydney in 1855. He was married to Ann Jane Doyle of Pullenvale in 1867. They established a dairy farm on three adjoining holdings along Pullen Pullen Creek. John, the eldest of their 10 children, purchased an adjacent portion in 1908. He lived there with his wife, Emily Kerr, and sons George and John. John (Jnr) continued to run the family dairy until 1970 when he subdivided the Bird property. One of these lots is the current home of Pullenvale State School.

Currie

Dougald Currie arrived from Scotland in 1863 with his wife, Margaret, and four children. They selected Portion 225 in 1870. Within seven years, they had 36 acres under cultivation and a four-room weatherboard home. Their son John remained on the Currie property where he and his wife Sarah raised 11 children. They attended the local school and later some married members of the Anstead, Else, Bird and Gillingwater families.

 

Fisher

William and Jessie Fisher emigrated from Scotland in 1863. They took up Portion 234 in 1871 and named it 'Pullendale'. William, who worked at Pettigrew's Sawmill in Brisbane, boarded in Petrie Terrace while Jessie and the four children lived at the homestead. Jessie obtained title to the property following William's death from typhoid in 1873. She purchased other holdings around Brisbane as a result of her successful farming endeavours. Jessie also ran Pullenvale's first Post Office.

 

Herron

Thomas Herron came to Brisbane from Port-e-down, Ireland in 1866. He married Irishwoman Ann Jane Gray and they settled on Portion 208 at the foot of Mt Elphinstone in 1869. They sold butter at the Fortitude Valley market and later joined the Booval Dairy Co-op. Thomas was a member of the first school committee and an objector to the school's relocation. John Henry ran the farm after his parents retired to Taringa and in turn bequeathed the land to his daughters Joyce and Mary.

 

 

Lisk

John and Ann Lisk were the Herron's' neighbours in Ireland and Pullen Vale. In 1869 they selected Portion 205 where they put in crops and established a slaughteryard to supply to supply their Indooroopilly butcher shop. Lisk helped out his neighbour by putting in an access road to the Herron property. The seven Lisk children children attended the school and their father was a school committee member in 1879.

Ogle

John and Mary Ogle and their three daughters arrived from England in 1860. Within 10 years they owned over 170 acres encircling the junction of Pullenvale and Grandview Roads. John was treasurer of the first school committee. On his death, the family offered land and a building for a new school, but complications arose and the offer was not taken up. The original Ogle house was donated to the Pullenvale Environmental Education Centre by the Harris family in 1993.

 

O'Brien

In 1866 Charles and Catherine O'Brien and their five children settled on Portion 188. Six years later the central courtyard of 'Stormont' was surrounded by a house, barn, staff quarters, stables, dairy, piggery and a horse-powered mill. O'Brien took up another two selections on Pullen Pullen Creek and a third on Grandview Road, part of which became the second school site. Many of their 11 children remained in the district, including William who lived at 'Stormont' with his wife Annie and their six daughters. Pullenvale is still home for several of the descendants of Charles and Catherine.

Walker

Adam and Agnes Walker emigrated from Scotland in 1965. They were living on Portion 245 by 1871 and had named their homestead 'Glen Pullen'. Within three years they acquired the leasehold over another two portions. Along with seven children, they raised cattle, maize and potatoes. Adam represented the community in its bid to establish a state school and he was secretary of the first school committee. Adam was buried at Mt Elphinstone in 1879. Agnes, having transferred the titles to her name, ran the property until she retired to Taringa.

 

Ward

Timber cutter, William Ward and his wife Anne took up two selections on the eastern side of the Moggill Timber Reserve in 1871. Their three children were some of the school's first students and William served on the committee during the 1870s. He also taught Sunday School on the banks of Pulllen Pullen creek.

 

A School for Pullen Vale

As the settlers became established their thoughts turned towards securing an education for their children. Aside from church-run schools, colonists had the option of two types of government funded schooling during the early 1870s.

Where a community could guarantee a minimum enrolment of 30 students and pay one-third of the building and equipment costs, Queensland's Board of General Education would set up a state school. A provisional school with a salaried but unclassified teacher required only 15 students, however the community had to supply and maintain a suitable building.

The board was aware of local support for a school at Pullen Vale and in November 1872 gazetted a 15 acre reserve in the north-west corner of forfeited selection 1191. In March the following year, the Board received a formal request for a state school from Adam Walker on behalf of the residents. In his emotive submission Walker wrote:

"We are but a young and struggling community endeavouring to plant ourselves in the wilderness which goodness knows is hard uphill work with all of us not one among us who had had more than a pair of strong hands and a willing heart to enter upon this arduous task. But our children are dear to us and we would not have them grow up in ignorance to be distanced in the race of life if by any effort on our part we could avert it."

The Board was receptive to the proposal as the community raised 42 pounds and submitted a list of 37 prospective students. These included children from the McCaskill, Kelly, Maddock, Currie, Lisk, O'Brien, Blaney, Ward, Fisher, Irwin and Walker families. Building plans for a school and teacher's residence were drawn up and tenders called. In the meantime a new school reserve of about 16 acres on the corner of Herron and Haven Roads was surveyed and gazetted.

When the lowest quote came in at 509 pounds, the Board doubted the community's ability to meet its requirements and suggested Pullen Vale children share the Brookfield school. Residents rejected this idea suggesting the Board curtail its elaborate plans. A compromise was reached in September 1873 when the Board awarded J.G Evans a contract for £256 to construct modified versions of the school and residence.

Assured at last of their own school, the community elected Adam Walker, John Ogle, Duncan McCaskill and Thomas Herron to Pullen Vale's first school committee. When it was found the intended headmaster had a large family the committee requested the residence be built to the original specifications. The Board capitulated and Evans agreed to do the extra work on the residence and floor the school's front verandah for an additional £116.

Pullen Vale State School No 140 opened on March 1874 with 32 students enrolled. Headmaster George Francis was to discipline their mental faculties with a curriculum based on the 3Rs. To ensure standards were maintained, the Board conducted twice-yearly inspections.

District Inspector Anderson reported in June 1874 that the children were making satisfactory progress and though attendance was satisfactory, punctuality was very defective. Five months later Anderson noted the children's zealous spirit and creditable progress in penmanship and needlework. A 40% attendance that day led him to also comment:

"This, again, is one of those schools where parents strain every nerve to get a school for their children, but, when it is got seem to satisfy their consciences with the first effort; the children are not sent to school and are not educated."

Falling attendance in the last quarter of the school year, especially among older children, was a common occurrence in rural schools. This trend persisted through Pullen Vale's early years despite the introduction of compulsory education in 1875. The dilemma for parents lay in maintaining enrolment numbers to keep the school open, but requiring their children's help to keep their farms viable.

Parents also had the responsibility of maintaining the school buildings and grounds, although they now only had to contribute one-fifth of associated costs. In spite of the school committee's best efforts, termites and the fiscal constraints of drought and depression during the 1890s exacted their toll. In 1900 G. Street was contracted to replace the residence's entire ceiling, one third of the wall partitions and a section of flooring. Negotiations over funding other major repairs were still going on in 1905 by which time enrolments had fallen to 28.

The stalemate ended when the committee propose the schoolhouse be moved to a more central location on the Ogle property and be reclassified as a provisional school. The Board gave its approval after receiving only two objections. One was from Headmistress Bridget Healy requesting a transfer as it would be too far to walk from the residence to the school. The other was on behalf of seven families only one of which had children at the school.

Complications arose when the Ogle site fell through, however Charles O'Brien Jnr offered to subdivide two acres from Portion 237 for a school reserve. Tenders were finally called in July 1906 and T. Hirons was contracted to remove and re-erect the schoolhouse for 98 pounds.

A common means of transport photo courtesy of PEEC.jpg
A Common means of Transport. Photo courtesy of M Cooper.


 


 

 

 The Move to Grandview

The restumped schoolhouse capped by a new tin roof was ready for occupation on 5 October 1906. Twenty-eight children were enrolled at the new provisional school under the tutelage of Headmaster Richard Hilton. In 1908 the Board agreed to relocate the teacher's residence to the new site. Removal and building extensions were carried out by J. Price for 288 pounds.

Names appearing on the school committee over the next ten years included Robert Bainbridge, James and William O'Brien, John Bird Snr and William Denniston. Members continued to ensure the buildings and grounds were maintained.

School work still focussed on the 3Rs but a shift towards useful subjects saw the introduction of nature studies which included aspects of agriculture and biology. Drill, gymnastics and vocal music were also part of the curriculum, but were oftern ignored or poorly taught. The school day lasted from 9am to 4pm with a one or two hour break. Cricket, swimming in the creek and wandering the neighbouring paddocks were popular midday activities.

The District Inspector was obviously impressed with the children's progress, commenting in his report of August 1907:

"Fully over half of the school is comprised of pupils older than one generally finds in bush schools. The whole are very well behaved, and give little trouble, but quietly, and self-reliantly, apply themselves... I have seldom seen bigger boys more anxious to make up for lost time."

 

The Teacher's residence photo courtesy of C Jones.jpg 

Headmaster's residence. Photo courtesy of PEEC.




 

In 1909 four year old John Bird began a lifelong association with the local school. He was awarded a special medal for not missing a single day during the eight years of his primary education.Pullen Vale regained its state school status in about 1909 when minimum enrolment requirements had been reduced to twelve. The school's population received an unexpected boost in 1912 with the enrolment of 27 trenchers' children. For three months, labourers, digging the trenches for the water pipeline between Mt Crosby and Kenmore, camped at Pullen Vale with their families.

The pipeline also boosted the local economy with farmers selling food to the trenchers and employment for people, such as Tom Currie who hauled pipes with his bullock team.

By 1914 the school picnic had become an annual event. The school was closed for the day and parents with trucks would load up families and head off to Moreton Bay for a seaside picnic and cruise on the "Koopa". the Brisbane Exhibition and Brookfield Show were other special events that warranted official time off school.

The school, though far removed from the battlefields, did not escape the effects of World War 1. One of its former students, Patrick Boyle, was taken prisoner during his four year enlistment. On Armistice Day 1918 Headmaster Gall and the students celebrated the end of the war by banging tin cans and anything else they could find.

 

Through Depression and War

The social fabric of Pullen Vale remained intact through the economic and emotional stress of the Great Depression and World War II. Most families were not wealthy, but they were self-sufficient. The valley not only maintained its commercially viable dairies and tropical fruit farms but also boasted the largest pineapple plantation in the southern hemisphere.

Living conditions were basic by today's standards. There was no electricity or tap water and roads were little more than rough, dirt tracks. Motor vehicles were uncommon and bullock teams still hauled timber down Grandview Road from Moggill Forest.


 

Tennis at the O'Brien's photo courtesy of M Cooper.jpg
Tennis at the O'Brien's. Photo courtesy of M.Cooper.

The Post Office on Grandview Road was the local meeting place. Mail arrived by horse and sulky. When Denniston, who took over from Jessie Fisher, had a telephone installed, he would yell out messages across the paddocks. In the 1940s, people would meet at the post Office to catch the twice weekly bus into the city.

Weekend cricket matches also drew the locals together. Roy Else recalls matches played at his uncle Tom Else's property and that Billy Anstead had a reputation as a fast bowler. Spectators sat under a big fig tree above the pitch where teams from Brookfield, Moggill and Fig Tree Pocket would take on the Pullen Vale Stringybarkers. Tennis was another social magnet attracting players from the O'Brien, Boyle, Mackay, Anstead, O'Reilly, Else and Gillingwater families. Games were held on the O'Brien's court where the pony club is sited. In 1920 Headmaster McWilliam recommended the Pullen Vale Tennis Club be allowed to construct a court at the school as it would help promote social life and friendliness in the district.  Occasionally, the headmaster or committee would organise a Saturday night dance at the school. It later became a regular event held in a pineapple packing shed on the Pullenvale Hall site. These rowdy affairs were emceed by Tom Else and the Currie family provided live music.


 

Pullenvale Hall photo courtesy of C Jones.jpg
Pullenvale Hall. Photo courtesy of C. Jones. 

By the 1920s Pullen Vale State School was echoing with the voices of the pioneers' grandchildren. The headmaster presided from a cane-bottomed chair behind a four foot desk. At his disposal were two blackboards, two easels and a library housed by one wall cabinet and three shelves. The children sat eight to a row at long, pine desks.

The school was unheated in winter and former students Marie Cooper (nee Boyle) and Ronnie Mair (nee O'Reilly) recall cold draughts rising through large gaps between the floorboards. Drill squad, physical exercises and organised games were held on the tennis court between the school and teacher's residence. The headmaster's wife usually took needlework classes and a Catholic priest conducted weekly religious

The Department of Public Instruction introduced the Agricultural Project Club scheme during this era in an attempt to link educational activities with rural home life. Milk and cream testing were a part of the Years 4 and 5 curriculum by 1923. The children were also encouraged to tend a garden plot or raise a calf or poultry, recording their progress in workbooks.

The scheme flourished under the guidance of Headmaster George Oakden and parents, such as John O'Reilly. The children's efforts culminated in the annual Project Club Day when they gave speeches and demonstrations and their animals were judged by an officer from Department of Agriculture and Stock.

The school committee continued to look after the grounds and buildings through this period. In 1925 the closets were converted from 'long drops' to a pan system, although it seems someone forgot to organise the night soil collection. Two years later the committee line the schoolroom ceiling and walls and enclosed part of the verandah. Public funding for schools was scarce in the 1930s and the committee's efforts to lobby the department and politicians for further improvements were unsuccessful.

Tensions within the committee led to the resignation of five of its seven members in 1936 and Oakden recommended it not be replaced. It appears there was no formal community representation until the formation of a Parents' Welfare Association in 1944.


 

Classes I and II, 1928 photo courtesy of PEEC.jpg

Classes I & II, 1928. Photo courtesy of PEEC. 


 

 

 
Students of 1930 photo courtesy of V Mair.jpg
Students of 1930. Photo courtesy of V.Mair.

From Rural to Suburban

In the 30 years following World War II the valley underwent a gradual transformation from large rural properties to small acreage homesites. By the early 1970s subdivisions of 2.5 and 5 acres had replaced the 10 and 20 acre portions common in the 1960s. Local use of the one word spelling for Pullenvale gained official recognition in about 1970 when the suburbs of Bellbowrie, Anstead and Pinjarra Hills were created.

While the district was changing, the one-room schoolhouse on Grandview Road retained its rural atmosphere until the late 70s. This was due in part to a post war expansion of the state's secondary education system and the government's reluctance to spend money on primary schools.

Lionel Dittman, principal from 1962-67, recalls possums in the ceiling disrupting classes, and getting fresh milk daily in a billycan from John Bird. Mr Bird also made financial contributions to the school during this era.

Doug Woodward, who joined his siblings at the school in 1959, remembers walking to school barefoot through the paddocks with the Mackay children. Lunchtime pursuits included Red Rover, rounders and sneaking down to the creek for a swim.

Departmental statistics indicate annual enrolments varied between 20 and 40 students from 1950 to 1963. During this time the school had groomed several final year students to sit the scholarship examination. The exam was abolished in 1963 with the introduction of free secondary schooling.

Pupils of 1961 photo courtesy of J Duke.jpg
Pupils of 1961. Photo courtesy of J.Duke.

An alarming drop in student numbers during the mid 60s saw some parents registering their four-year olds to keep the school open, just as Thomas Herron had done in 1875. Even with the addition of the principal's children, there were only 10 pupils on the roll in 1966.

Students enjoyed the benefits of a family atmosphere and a more flexible approach to structured learning which came with the State Education Act of 1964. They participated in a range of activities including swimming lessons at Jindalee and interschool garden and sport competitions. No doubt the boys also appreciated an officially sanctioned end to caning. About this time a big Christmas party at Bundaleer replaced the annual seaside picnic. There were races and iceblocks and each child received a book from P&C funds.

Project Club activities continues at the school. Students elected office bearers and gave talks during formal meetings. Athol Alcorn helped the club raise funds by selling live carpet snakes at two shillings per foot to university researchers.

One hundred years after Pullen Vale State School opened, Cecil Pellatt was the principal of the last one-teacher school in the greater Brisbane region. An estimated 871 children had been registered at the school from 1874-1974.

Centenary Year 1974 photo courtesy of PEEC.jpg
Centenary Year 1974. Photo courtesy of PEEC.

Past principal Geoff Lacey offers memories of Pullenvale from the mid to late 1970s:

"When I arrived in 1975, the school had only 13 students and walking into it was like taking a step back in the past. The gentlemanly Cec Pellatt had been there for many years and the respect he held in the district was well earned. His wife used to take the girls for needlework and other traditional crafts on a Friday afternoon.

The weeks I spent with Cec just prior to and after my appointment gave me a wonderful opportunity to temper my youthful enthusiasm with a firm belief in and commitment to the history of the school, and its strong, supportive community.

The local families - both the established and the 'Johnny-come-lately' (those who hadn't been there for at least two generations) were welcoming, committed to an all-round education for their children and fiercely proud of their little school.

My wife Rosemary and I found living in the residence a wonderful mixture of tradition with suburban convenience. The enormous carpet snake draped over the verandah rafters, the wallabies on the oval around dusk, possums in the ceiling and the jonquils that grew wild on the marshy lower side of the house were all part and parcel of the wonderful environment.

The Brahman calves, the sheep, goats, ducks, geese, chooks, bees and vegetable garden caused much bureaucratic head shaking, but reinforced that rural nature of the school. Inside we operated a family grouping system with the older children working with their younger counterparts. The school dances and socials at the hall were great fun."

Enrolments had escalated to 60 by the beginning of 1979. Parents and successive principals had been lobbying the Education Department for some years to develop the nine acre site it had purchased in 1970 from John Bird. Its response was to erect demountable classrooms either side of the old schoolhouse. Meanwhile parents had been mowing and landscaping the new site so students would have space for sporting activities.

In April 1980 the Minister advised that a replacement school for Pullenvale had been given top priority subject to funding. Preliminary estimates put the cost at $437 000.

It was obvious before construction even began that the combined administrative and teaching unit and the separate amenities block would not accommodate the 93 students erected for 1981. The department rejected these concerns stating that the existing demountables were available if necessary.

Lunch at the kindy.jpg
Lunch in the Preschool 1974
 

A New Era

Past principal John Kelly recalls the transition to the new school in 1981:

"I was the last Principal on the old site and the first one on the new site. It was a time of long days and short nights for me. During my three years, I was blessed with a top quality staff and an enthusiastic and supportive Parents and Citizens Association.

The students were particularly fond of the history of the old school and were proud of their gardens, self-made paths and favourite trees and birds. It was a truly peaceful setting. This peace pervaded the student and teacher community only to be occasionally upset by loud screams of terror coming from the girl's toilet. Those wonderful green frogs had returned.

It was a sombre feeling experienced by all during the last days at the old site, yet there also existed a sense of anticipation as we planned to occupy the flash new buildings and spacious grounds.


 

Teaching and admin block 1981.jpg

Teaching and Admin Block, 1981. 


 

Our first day on the big grounds was remarkable. The 80 students were so accustomed to playing on such a small area that it took two lunch hours before they ventured far from the main building. On the third day they spread so far that we had to sit together and work out the in and out of bounds areas."

In January 1982, Val Fawcett replaced John Kelly as Principal and recalls:

"There were not may female principals in those days and it was with mixed feelings of excitement and some trepidation that I made my first visit during a P&C working bee one Saturday afternoon.

The school building was quite new. All the classrooms were in one teaching block with the undercover play area below. The gardens had been put in place and maintained by dedicated parents and a couple of enthusiastic Upper Grade boys. However, the oval was in the very early stages of being developed and 1982 became 'The Year of the Mower'."

With Bill Millis' four and a half year stewardship came a school choir, interhouse athletics carnival, the reintroduction of interschool sports and the opening of the preschool. Bill still vividly remembers:

 "Penny Everingham and Joanne Byrne rehearsing students for the theatre restaurants

·  Gerald Brown always assisting and the Strakers always helping

·        Sue Meeking pouring over the accounts

·        The Arts and Craft nights, fetes and Billy Boiling days

·        the Project Club days - extracting honey and visiting home gardens

 

·        the Year 7 dinner nights and the awarding of the Trotter Prize."​

 

       The Pullenvale State Preschool opened in 1986 with Elaine Simpkins as its first teacher. The centre operated a two and a half hour session for a small group of children until December 1995 when the Department approved a full day program. Over the past twelve years the efforts of a dedicated staff and Parents' Group have resulted in a well equipped, multi-faceted learning centre which focuses on the preparation of children for their primary education.

Sue Meeking's reminiscences as a parent and staff member provide a valuable overview of the school through the 1980s"

"It was with much interest we observed the progress of the new school building as we drove past each day to the old school. Finally the day arrived in April 1981 when the students and staff could relocate to the new building with all the acres of grass surrounding it.

Working bees of parents, friends and children set about maintaining the grounds. Parents came at weekends with their ride-on mowers, brushcutters and tools to start the long process of establishing an oval and shady aras. No groundsman was employed at that time.

In 1981 Pullenvale State School dedicated its oval to Mr John Bird in recognition of his many contributions to the school. Year 7 student Nick Petroeschevsky spoke of the students' appreciation in his maiden speech as Pullenvale's first school captain.


 

views from the oval of the school with demountable classroom.jpg

Views from the oval.


 

A band of mothers, accompanied by toddlers, continued to nurture many small trees and help establish shade houses. In 1982, the P&C had to raise 50% of the cost of a tractor for grounds maintenance - a big effort for a small school community - and the parents were rostered for weekend mowing.

It was during this time a competition was held to design a school logo for the unofficial uniform of gold t-shirt and black shorts or skirt. Parents and other community members submitted designs and the koala emblem was selected.

By 1984 the school population had reached 127 and a demountable was positioned between Teaching Block 1 and the lower carpark.

Over the years, excursions, camps and interschool sport have provided many wonderful memories for students, parents and staff. Mr Bill Millis, Principal from 1983-1987, purchased tents for overnight camps on the school oval and at Moreton Island.

Sports including cricket, softball, Australian Rules, netball, tennis and soccer provided students with opportunities to develop their skills and learn the art of good sportsmanship.

The students were divided into House groups for athletic competitions. Captains and Vice Captains of the Pullen and Vale Houses were elected and acted as school leaders at functions and sporting events. Local MP at the time, Mr Bill Lickiss, donated the Lickiss Shield for interhouse athletics competitions.

During the 1980s, the school community held many fund-raisers that helped build a very supportive and strong school spirit. Pullenvale Country Fairs and Arts & Crafts Shows were well supported and offered an opportunity for the community to make new acquaintances and catch up with old ones. The Billy Boiling Competitions attracted challengers from far and wide and qualified for the Guinness Book of Records."

 

The Pullenvale Environmental Education Centre

This centre is located in Grandview Road. The old school building at the front of the centre was the former Pullenvale State School. Students from our school, along with thousands of students throughout Queensland, attend this school for excursions and workshops throughout the year.  

 

 



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