Celebrate Fernvale’s proud history

Fernvale State School captains Brydie and Sam with deputy principal Jodie Eugster, ready to celebrate the school’s 150th anniversary. Pictures: JACOB HAYDEN

Fernvale State School is opening the gates to past and present students, families, teachers and faculty on Saturday May 11 to celebrate the school’s rich history of 150 years.

Principal David Raine said it would be wonderful to have the community and families connected to the school to come back and reminisce.

The 150th Anniversary will run from 10am to 2pm, with plenty of entertainment and historical memorabilia to enjoy.

“The official welcome will commence at 10am, which will be down at the hall for about half an hour,” Mr Raine said.

“After that time we’ll have the cutting of the cake with our youngest prep and our eldest surviving student.

“We have, on the hour, a number of different events planned including some music performances by some former students including Kodie Sloane.

“We’ll also have our school choir and school band doing a performance.”

Mr Raine said the school has collaborated with various community organisations to create displays and artwork.

“I’m excited to have a local artist who has commissioned some pieces of work, an oil canvas painting of the original Harrisborough Provisional School,” he said.

“We have Cooneana Heritage Centre, great supporters of our 150th, they’ll be running some active displays including spinning and weaving.

“We’ll also have a block set up as a colonial classroom with the old desks and chairs, teacher tables, slates and inkwells.

“There’ll be two short old class lessons happening, one at 11am and one at 12:30pm.”

The school will host around 50 market and community information stalls, as well as a range of vintage and classic cars, motorcycles and military vehicles.

There will be plenty of entertainment for the kids with jumping castles, face painters and a petting zoo.

“We’ll also have a blacksmith who’ll have some blacksmith demonstration skills from the years gone by,” Mr Raine said.

“As part of their display they’re actually going to create and give back to the school some poppies, welded blacksmith poppies, which we’ll have as a keep-sake here.”

Mr Raine said he was particularly excited about a collection of historical photo panels.

“There’ll be about 10 panels, they’re 2.4m by 1.2m with a collection of events and histories – so staff, sports, anniversary celebrations, local history and the growth of Fernvale,” he said.

Mr Raine thanked the various community groups who have supported the school in planning the 150th.

“Our Fernvale Lions have been great supporters, they’ll be providing BBQ lunch and drinks for the day, and Fernvale P and C have been tremendous supporters also with the souvenirs and merchandise,” he said.

“Community Bank Lowood-Fernvale have made a substantial donation of $5,000 to go towards our legacy project for the 150th, and that project is the planting of 21 trees, which is one tree for each class here with a plaque to go to each tree.”

Special thanks went to Fernvale Community Association president and local historian Julia Chaunce, who was instrumental in providing historical information about the school and Fernvale town.

Mr Raine is celebrating his 25th year as principal at Fernvale State School.

“I’m proudly the 32nd principal of our school,” he said.

“We’ve been fortunate enough here because we’ve had a lot of principals come and stay, and I think that’s because of the Fernvale school community.

“Mr Bruce Peel, the principal before me, he was here for 19 years, so between the two of us we’ve done 44 years of the school’s 150 year history.

“Principals come and go but it’s about the kids and the staff and the community that make it up, and I’ve been very proud to be part of Fernvale State School and to lead a beautiful community.”