School Days Remembered

Gardeners Road, Year 3, 1948


What do you recall of school? Last week at our regular Mornings @ the Museum event a talkative group of locals shared their recollections of school. Together the group discussed school life from the late 1920s to the mid 1950s.


Until the opening of J.J Cahill Memorial School in 1961 many locals had to go out of the district to received post primary education. Because of this many of our interviewees went to Gardeners Road School which offered technical and domestic courses, on top of their primary classes which still operate today.

You might be surprised to hear that during these years boys and girls were taught separately. “The only time we would see each other was the tram stop but after a while they separated us even standing at the tram stop. The girls had to stand of the tram stop at Botany Road near the hotel and the boys had to get on at the tram stop before Botany Road” recalled June Thornton.

This separation of the sexes however did not stop Les and Mavis Morrison who met at the school in the late 1940s and are still married today.

One of the more interesting parts of the morning was when people started to sing school songs that they would have sung at sporting fixtures. Somewhere simple while others contained words we can’t print here!

All in all it was a fascinating morning where one person’s memory triggered another persons. The morning ended with a number of interviewees showing us what school memorabilia they had kept to this day. A lot of these objects will be used in our upcoming exhibition on the history of schools in the area. Below is small peek at what Mavis Morrison brought along.

If you have anything to add, get in touch but be quick. The exhibition will open in late July.

Prior to the introduction of the HSC in 1961, many girls left primary school to study domestic sciences. This was to prepare them to become wives and mothers. 

Old style drawing book, which belonged to Mavis’s father.

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