Purga peers to reunite

Former Purga Schools students will reminisce over a picnic in June. Picture: SHIRLEY DANCE

Past students from Purga School are being rounded up for a reunion in June.

Former students are searching country-wide for their peers in the hope to rekindle friendships and school memories.

Marburg resident Shirley Dance attended from 1953 to 1960 with her siblings, including her younger brother Ken Bauer from Peak Crossing (1956 to 1963).

Mrs Dance said she hoped as many former students could attend the reunion on Saturday 8 June for a picnic.

“It’s come about through some friends having some coffee and saying ‘I wonder how many of our school friends are still around’,” Mrs Dance said.

“It was never a huge school, I think there were 28 students when I attended, it was a one-teacher school.”

Mrs Dance and Mr Bauer were organising the reunion and have organised a Facebook group called ‘I went to Purga School’.

“There’s getting to be less and less of us, so a few of us thought it would be good to have a get-together,” Mr Bauer said.

The siblings said they had plenty of fond memories, including riding horses to school.

“Eight or nine of us rode horses to school,” Mr Bauer said.

“We had the horse paddock with a shelter where we used to unbridle and unsaddle the horses,” Mrs Dance said.

“We’d all save something from our lunchboxes, whether it be a piece of apple or a sandwich to catch the horses in the afternoon, then we’d saddle them up again and ride home.”

The school opened in 1871 and closed in 1967, when the building was purchased by the Country Women’s Association and renamed the ‘Anna Bauer House’.

“Anna Bauer was my grandmother, and they held all their meetings there,” Mrs Dance said.

“She married my grandfather and they lived in Purga School Road, grandma would always have cookies for us when we came home.”

Mrs Dance hoped to rekindle friendships and memories.

“We used to celebrate Arbor Day and we’d all plant trees, I think it would be nice to go back and see what’s happened to our forestry plot,” Mrs Dance said.

“We suggest people bring a picnic lunch, and there will be tea, coffee and cold drinks available.”

Anyone with enquiries can call Ken Bauer on 0403 337 211 or Neil Champ on 0402 122 675.