History of Jamieson Primary School 814

The Jamieson Primary School commenced unofficial classes in the 1860's and the first teacher was a Robert Goy.  Classes then were taught in a slab hut without proper facilities.  The school at this time did not have official recognition.  Robert Goy did request aid as a common school in 1862 but it was turned down.  A School Committee was formed in 1864 to seek aid for the establishment of a Common School. 

 

In the meantime the Catholic Church was used for classes for a tuition fee of 1 shilling per week per child.  Without consultation with the School Committee, Father Courtney asked for, and received, recognition of the school as Roman Catholic School 788 in early 1865.  As a result, the Common School application was rejected causing considerable bad feeling in the town.

After a tense few months, the Government rescinded RC School 788 and officially recognised Common School 814 in September 1865.

Andrew Loughrey taught the first official class of 51 pupils.The original school was a timber building and consisted of 1 room of 18x30 feet, a stone fireplace and shingle roof.  This was completed for £150 in late 1867 by which time,  Mr Loughrey had already left.

 

The next year, a 20 foot extension was authorised at a cost of £60, but the old school was destroyed in a storm in early 1869 before the extension was even finished.  The school was re-erected by J. Anstey for £41 while classes continued in the Church of England. 

 

In October 1876, a further extension was approved at a cost of £112 to house the 121 pupils then being taught by John Dunkerly and his wife Hannah.  Dodson & Co of Mansfield were to erect a brick building of 50x50x25x20 with a galvanised roof capable of accommodating 150 pupils.  Unfortunately, the survey plans had part of the school in the adjoining cemetery, which then had to be gazetted.  The school was eventually finished in January 1878.  The delays and costs forced Dodson & Co into bankruptcy. 

Jamieson Primary School c1880

The drama was not yet over because the opening ceremony was conducted solely by the new head teacher, Mr Joseph Webb, much to the annoyance of the School Council who felt that they should have been permitted to show their appreciation of the new building.​

The old timber school was dismantled in 1882 and re-erected on a 1 acre block in the Jamieson Valley purchased from Richard Gerrans for £1.   This was to provide education to the many families then living in the Jamieson Valley.   This became Jamieson East 2499 but only lasted until 1891.

One of the very early teachers was a 30 year old lady, Miss Anne Jane Cowan, who impressed, and surprised, many people by her ability to get the best out of the School Committee as well as out of the children.  Notable teachers included Mr Frank Wood who started the nearby Arboretum in 1910, to which Mr Bavington added in 1925, and Mr Padge Seymour (a local) further added in 1927.  Mr Haslam was instrumental in introducing gardening to the children and, together with his wife and other locals, conducted many music concerts in the local church.  In the 1930’s, Mr Lewis encouraged pupils to grow their own vegetables on the river bank, and Mr Stocks formed a Young Farmers Club for students in 1946.​

The current Principal of Jamieson Primary School is Genevieve Bolwell who has been with the school since 1986 - first in the capacity of a parent, moving on to be School Council President, then Principal in 1996. Genevieve is a very much loved and respected personality at the school, as well as within the Jamieson Community.

A time capsule was placed in the front wall of the school in 1985 as part of Victoria’s 150th celebrations.  The time capsule is to be opened in 2034- 2035.

Look forwards with hope;  Look backwards with pride.

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