The information below is compiled, by kind
permission, from 'A History of Wyndham Fourth Edition 2003'
The Goulbum District included the Monaro and South Coast regions and it was in this sparsely populated district that most of the half-time schools were established. Mr Harris, the Inspector of the Goulbum district visited the South Coast during 1867 and spoke to most people interested in education. One listener was Mr Charles Stiles of Kanoona, Bega, who owned a great deal of land around Wyndham. He was respected by the community, which was generally divided on sectarian issues.
As a result of his personal interest, the official form of application was later completed by the residents who promised an enrolment of 27 at Wyndham and 14 at Burragate.
Wyndham Public School opened July, 1868
|The Boys at Wyndham School c.1896
Bottom Row: The boy 2nd on right is Percy Francis Grant b.1890
and boy no. 7 is William Arthur Grant b.1887
In the photo also are Nadens, Twyfords, Turbetts, and Ramsey's.
The headmaster's name was Mr. Thomas Beare
Those who agreed to send their children to
Wyndham were Robert Turbet, Henry Grant,
Robert Grant, John Love, John Whitby, Adam
Lewis and William Thompson.
The teacher appointed was Mr Mark Johnston, a 27 year old English born bachelor who had attended several small Dame schools in Manchester. In July, 1868 he sailed by the steamer "Merimbula" to the district to teach at Wyndham and Burragate half-time schools on a salary of 72 pounds per annum. On his arrival Mr Johnston was given a horse by Mr Stiles who reported that the teacher would need sufficient money to buy food for six months, to keep the horse well shod and to buy a saddle. Not being an experienced horseman he had several accidents which resulted in absences from his work.
One report read.......
"Whilst riding to Church on Sunday the 4th inst., my horse bolted with me into the bush, and thinking it better to jump off him rather than run the risk of coming into contact with the trees, I did so, but came to the ground with such violence as to sprain very badly my left wrist and hand, and was otherwise bruised about the body."
He was consequently not present when the school was burnt down on 13th January, 1869, in an extensive bushfire. All school records were lost.
Mr Johnston was forced to carry on teaching in temporary premises in the only room available at the rear of the Robbie Bums Hotel. Later in that year he transferred to the Lochiel and Grieg's Flat schools.
The school at Wyndham, was situated on the original road, which ran almost directly between the Honeysuckle crossing near the present bridge, and the cemetery. No record remains of the first pupils at the school, but it is known that in 1870 the boys in attendance were George Grant, Edward Whitby, Harry Whitby, Charles Whitby. Robert Turbet Jnr, Peter Turbet, James Grant and Daniel Grant.
|Wyndham Public School 1910
Mr. William Frank Fell - Headmaster
Back row: Alice Reid, A Tasker, Louise Whitby, Ivy Waterson, Alethia Gill
Next row: Will Thornton, Will Grant, Emma Hammond, Louise Waterson, Ivy Atkins
Next row: Norm Young, Iris Whitby, Sydney Whitby, Walter Fell,
Next row: Jack Felt, Dot Watson, Beryl Whitby, Bet Young, Linda Fell
Front row: Cecil Goldberg, Darcy Flanagan, Turnbull Boy.
George Riley was the new teacher who continued
to teach in the Hotel room while living in
private board with one of the families. Mr
Stiles drew up plans for a new slab school,
but these were too rough and the architect
was instructed to re-draft them using weatherboard,
as slabs shrank quickly. The tender
of Mr Thomas Wheeler of 66 pounds for the
sawn slab building with shingle roof was
accepted in June, 1870. In January 1871 a
new sawn slab school with a shingle roof
opened on the new site in the village. Mr
Riley was frustrated by lack of attendance
so much so that the school closed at Christmas,
1872, and re-opened in May 1873 with Mr Charles
Smith appointed on probation to teach. As
Mr Smith was a married man, a weatherboard
residence was completed in February 1874.
In the early part of 1875 the three families
of Burragate were all sick and Mr Smith taught
continually at Wyndham until May when he
left the position.
Mr Francis McPhail was sent to teach two schools at Wyndham and Lochiel. He left in 1877 and Mr Bernard Grant took charge in 1878. He had been teaching half-time at Snaphook and Larry's Point in the Araluen Valley. Grant was followed to Wyndham by his brother James in 1882. James built a slab home at the Junction of Jones's Creek and the Mataganah Creek and called the property, Pretty Point.
Because of growth in school enrolments, steps were taken to have Wyndham made a full-time school and from March 1880 this was the case.
The attendance of both schools increased as the settlements grew. Wyndham's growth was more outstanding, but its position on the main road, the increasing use of road transport, and the discovery of gold in the mountain range account for the growth to a large extent. In 1879 the local residents applied to the council of education to establish a Public School at Wyndham, the population being dependant on agriculture and grazing was permanent; the school site was in the village and 45 children would be enrolled. This application was signed by Messrs Charles Stiles, Robert Turbet, Edward Power from Willow Glen, Ferdinand Diversi storekeeper of West Wyndham, George Prosser from Honeysuckle, who with Archibald Tomball from Daisy Bank and James Robinson of Honeysuckle were to make up the School Board.
From March 1880, Wyndham was recognised as a Public School and Mr Grant was teacher. Mr Grant remained in charge of this school for five years during which time he married Mr Turbet's daughter, Sarah and lived in the old Robbie Burns until a two storied house was built in 1885 on the opposite corner to the hotel.
|Back row: Alf Whitby, Bert Grant, Ron Thompson,
Lionel Love, Dudley Goldberg, Roy Callaghan,
Mr Fell, Mac Turbet, Sally Smith,? Smith, Graham Warren
Middle row: Doris Whitby, Ida Whitby, ? Love, Queenie Whitby, Dulcie Whitby, Elvie Whitby,
Effie Thompson, Valma Tasker, Hettie Love
Front row: Matty Thompson. Nina Dell, Doris Grant, Valma Tasker, Elvie DeCosta.
|WYNDHAM PUBLIC SCHOOL OPENED JULY 1868|
|Mr Mark Johnston (Half time with Burragate)||July, 1868|
|Mr George Riley||July, 1869|
|Mr Charles Smith||May, 1873|
|Mr Francis McPhail||May, 1875|
|Mr Bernard Grant (Half time with Lochiel)||1878|
|FULL TIME SCHOOL - RECOGNISED AS WYNDHAM PUBLIC SCHOOL 1880|
|Mr James Grant||1882|
|Mr Thomas Beare||1885|
|NEW SCHOOL AND RESIDENCE BUILT 1892|
|Mr William Frank Fell||1902|
|Mr Thomas Bissell||1928|
|Mr Francis O'Neill||1942|
Wyndham Public School is celebrating 150
years of education in a massive celebration
The memorable occasion will have tonnes of activities at the school throughout the day.
There will be wood chopping displays, horse drawn vehicles, vintage cars, local stalls and workshops, old time games and plenty of food and entertainment.
The day will culminate with a dinner and dance in the evening at Wyndham Hall from 6.30pm.
Music will be provided by Gary Carson Jones band Mojo as well as a delicious three course Buffet style seated dinner by Valley Katering.
To ensure the success of this day, please extend the invitation out to family and friends, save the date for Saturday, July 7
Bernie Cornell looking through some of the school's memorabilia.
Mr Cornell said he attended Wyndham for three to four years before he was enrolled at Candelo Convent School.
His high school years he spent at boarding school in Sydney before he joined the Airforce and relocated to Ando (25km from Bombala).
He finished his time in the Airforce and become a teacher, which was his passion and worthwhile profession.
"The memories I have of the school is that - I liked coming."
"Most of my life I have spent in schools," he said.
Mr Cornell looks forward to Wyndham Public School's 150th celebrations attending to enjoy all of the historical displays that will spark up more memories.
July 5 2018
Memories of school with no shoes, no socks and a hockey stick cut out of the bush
In 1932, Wyndham Public School had no electricity, no carpet and a wood fire to keep students warm.
Coinciding with the school's 150th anniversary this weekend (July 7), 92-year-old Bernie Cornell openly shares some of his fond memories of when he was a student 86 years ago.
Mr Cornell recently relocated back to the Bega Valley Shire after living near Newcastle,
"It feels as though I'd never left," he said.
The original school building remains standing and is currently used as a Library. Mr Cornell recalls the single building split in two which catered for each of the stages.
He pointed around the room where each class would sit.
"There used to be a chimney with a fire place over there and I can still remember the fire burning my legs.
"You didn't have long pants on, you had short pants, no socks and no shoes sitting next to a hot fire."
You didn't have long pants on, you had short pants, no socks and no shoes sitting next to a hot fire...
"There were two rooms in the building in tiers, one was where the girls did their sewing on an afternoon a week and the boys did woodwork which was mainly cutting firewood."
Mr Cornell recalls his first day at Wyndham Public to be on his birthday, he said he loved to wake up and to go to school to play with the other children with sports equipment that was "cut out of the bush."
But first, as a young six-year-old he had to milk the cow both before and after school.
"It was pretty frosty getting up on a winters morning, searching for the cow," he said.
"I would have to then milk her and separate the milk. Mum would use the cream to make butter and stuff like that."