Bourke Street celebrates 150 years

Hundreds flocked the to 150th birthday celebration of Goulburn Public, or Bourke St School as it is affectionately known, on Saturday, August 4.

There is a lot of love for this old school, as demonstrated by the number of former students and teachers who turned out on the day to celebrate her sesquicentenary.  

On Saturday, students performed the old and new school songs and also demonstrated ancient games such as Tunnel Ball and Hopscotch. They also danced old dances such as the Heel and Toe to an enthusiastic crowd of onlookers. 

In the school hall there were displays from each year on various topics such as transport, games from now and then, communications, the architecture of the main street, the city’s weather, local occupations and statistics and demographics of the city.

The place to be though was the History Room, which was standing room only at most times of the day as people looked through old enrollment and punishment books. 

Even Goulburn Mulwaree Mayor Bob Kirk found a record of himself being caned there in 1960 for throwing ink on another child’s white sports uniform. 

The official celebrations continued on Monday morning at the school, where students again performed songs and a special cake was cut for the occasion. 

Guest speakers principal Sharyn Cox and former teacher Elaine Hunt gave interesting snippets of history about the school

Did you know there have been 34 principals at the school, with Narelle Lloyd being the first female principal in 2006?

Some other interesting points: A Block was built in 1888 and B Block in 1897. At it’s largest, the school had about 900 students. Boy students used to help chop and gather the firewood for the classrooms. On the day that WWII ended the students were allowed to go home early. 

“I can remember when students got free milk and lined up for vegemite crusts at the canteen,” Elaine Hunt said. 

Former principals Narelle Lloyd, Brian Pengelly and former teachers Christine Forsyth and Linda Alchin, who has been a cleaner at the school for over 25 years. All photos David Cole.

Former principals Narelle Lloyd, Brian Pengelly and former teachers Christine Forsyth and Linda Alchin, who has been a cleaner at the school for over 25 years. All photos David Cole.

Former students Barry Cranston, Bryan Mulquiney, Ron Stamm.

Former students Barry Cranston, Bryan Mulquiney, Ron Stamm.

The students played ancient games and also danced the Heel and Toe on the day.

The students played ancient games and also danced the Heel and Toe on the day.

Two former captains Mike Galland (1954) and Jasmin Gilchrist (2011).

Two former captains Mike Galland (1954) and Jasmin Gilchrist (2011).

The Bourke Street administration staff sold plenty of school merchandise such as pens and mugs and badges on the day. Katie Latham and Julie Baragry.

The Bourke Street administration staff sold plenty of school merchandise such as pens and mugs and badges on the day. Katie Latham and Julie Baragry.

The old Bourke Street School song.