Sunday, March 15, 2009

#268-365 School (Photos #1, #2 & #3)

The comment by Bobby Coughlin that she had gone back to her home which had disappeared but that her school hadn't got me thinking as I had done a similar thing (Which at the time was really out of character- I went back to school) By my own estimates the parents of even the oldest child at the school (that day) would have been lucky to be born at the time I left school, and no it was voluntary, I was not expelled although I guess they were glad to see the back of me.

44 years after leaving mind you but interesting never-the-less. I asked permission to take some photos, which necessitated my talking to the Deputy HeadMaster, during the course of our conversation I related that during my tenure at the school I had spent a good deal of time having discussions with his predecessor, who was in charge of discipline. He stated that "That role still is his domain" I asked to see his collection of canes (For caning boys) as I had been on familiar terms with all those that his predecessor had possessed. He expressed shock and said "We don't do that anymore!" but smiled silently when I said "Shame, it didn't do me any damage, just direction!"

He showed me his office (the same as I remembered) I baulked at going inside, besides he had a couple of surly lads awaiting his "Discussion" and a man's hobbies have to come first! He told me that I had permission to photograph the school but not the students, and I agreed to show him the shots that I took. The first one above is taken from the balcony of the new Gymnasium which was built after the Old Gym a 200 year converted wooden barn had burned down, it does the job but doesn't have the atmosphere, I mean there wasn't even evidence of Cream Bun Fights on the lower level - Ah Kids today.

I wandered through the school taking shots of demountable (looking) buildings (They are temporary by the way) which had not changed since being erected 50 years before, they were more than well maintained and a few classrooms that I peeked into showed the insides to be at least as good as I remembered when they were almost new, marvelling that they were still being used for the same (some modernised) subjects as they had back in the dim dark past.

The second photo shows a shot taken looking back over the football oval up at the school buildings, from a covered hard standing in the area where our school cadet unit used to parade (a type of RTOC) I hope that the unit still exists, that sort of thing must help kids today. I did notice that the incinerator that was also located at this far-flung part of the school was gone, but then the use of incinerators is now against the law and if you can believe it some boys (& girls) used to sneak down there to have an illicit cigarette (or two), but of course I wouldn't know who they could have been.

The third photo takes in the daily view that students with time to go for a walk between class or at recess or lunch enjoyed, within the safe confines of the school. My only disappointment was that there was no evidence of the sculling/rowing facility that the old deputy head had promised would be built having come into fruition, which is a shame. I know that government often times fails to invest sufficient funds into schooling, but when you have a gem you must keep it in good nick or it devalues. I had heard that there were moves afoot to close down this school, but I put it down to Greedy Developers in this well heeled part of Sydney, salivating over the wasted resource of good high-rise building land being thrown away on a mere school, and gave it little thought. I should have been down there manning the barricades, and that I wasn't is something I apologize for.

I hope for the 365 Challenge members that I have had dialogue with over the last few months now understand that being brought up in such straitened circumstance and having been subjected to the rigors that such a prison like Education Facility as I attended, had on my delicate little Psyche, there are reasons why I am like I am. And for any brought up under totalitarian Regimes fight so that your children can have the freedom (and discipline) that I had both in my Home and School, Must make it a better world.
Opera Ad Maiora

11 comments:

Iona said...

What a marvelous setting and facility for a school! Lots of shade trees too. With a setting like that to watch, instead of the teacher and the lessons, it is a wonder any of you learned anything! :D

Great photos and story well told.

~Val said...

Thanks for the tour of your school, Ron! I enjoyed your comments about the time you spent with the former head-master (hmmmm).

mljrbg said...

Just playing catchup and I apologize as I know I probably will have to take some flack from you for this!! Just looked at the last nine themes and read the very detailed stories about each one. I enjoyed all of them but my favorite is "Classic". I love the verandas, the beautiful fences and the stark white color.

Tracy Lee said...

Your school looks great - glad you had such lovely grounds, and I hope the developers don't take more of them away.

Chesney said...

No wonder you understand my boys as well as you do, YOU WERE ONE OF THEM (and I am guessing you still are..)! Great images, and as always I enjoyed your stories! You are the master story teller!

Linda said...

The story was wonderful. It added so much depth to the photos. Thanks for the school tour.

klsbear said...

I'm really enjoying the walk down your memory lane and great that you've had the chance to capture these photos. My school days were very different - no harsh discipline (or maybe I just managed to avoid all that) and even a stint in an experimental learning experiment where we got to set our own course of study a few afternoons a week - very unusual opportunity for 10 and 11 year olds but loads of fun.

shadowsandhighlights said...

Beautiful photos Ron! Sounds like you and the Deputy Headmaster were good friends!

Debra said...

I think we are lucky you picked up a camera. Thanks for the stories especially how things were.

thedailyshoot said...

What a trip that had to have been! What a place for a school.

Bo

gregworld said...

Love the story and the images! My old schools have been torn down - too few students and the county wanted to save on the budget.