Keith Cecil writes of the school’s history in an unpublished manuscript –
In the early 1920’s the Department of conservation, Forests & Lands, then the Forest Commission of Victoria, established a se
ries of pine plantations in the Anglesea area and it soon became apparent that the lack of a nearby school was very restrictive when trying to engag
e labour to work the area.
On March 10th, 1926, Mr. J W Grey, District Inspector of Schools submitted to the Department a letter from the Post Master at Anglesea, Mr. A R Mousley, asking for a school at Anglesea.
On March 18th of the same year, Mrs E Smyth wrote to the Hon. Sir Alexander Peacock with a similar request. The nearest school was at Bellbrae, 7.5 miles away; the Forest Commission operating in the area could only supply single workmen, as married workmen would not accept employment where there was no school, and Anglesea was a progressive seaside resort –
these were reasons given for the establishment of a school.
The Geelong Advertiser, on Saturday August 14th, 1926 reported:-
Residents of Anglesea will be pleased to learn of a communication received yesterday from the Education Department by Mr E Morley, MLA. The letter refers to Mr Morley’s representations on behalf of the residents of Anglesea, and adds:
“I have to inform you that the department has decided to establish a full-time school at Anglesea as soon as the site can be obtained and a suitable building erected”.
REPORT THIS AD
The actual opening date was Monday 26th. September, 1927 and the Pupils’ Register records the following as being the first enrolment of the school:-
Miss Joan D’helin opened the school in 1927. Miss Leydon was Head Teacher from 1928 until 1932. District Inspector Saxton represented the Department at the Official Opening on 22nd. June, 1928.
Tuesday 26th June, 1928
Last Tuesday saw the coincidence of two ceremonials at the Anglesea State School, these being the Official Opening and the celebration of Arbor Day.
In the presence of a large number of residents, Inspector Saxton of the Education Department, declared the school to be open. With a bright witty speech replete with a sound substance of good advice he addressed the parents and children. One of the most significant things he mentioned was that many of Australia’s leading citizens had received their initial education in rural State Schools. Turning his attention briefly to the few unmarried adults present, he uttered the fecund apothegm “The Bachelors of Today are the Fathers of Tomorrow”.
The rites of Arbor Day were then celebrated with due reverence. Inspector Saxton planted a tree on behalf of the Education Department, and Mr. Chas Venville represented the Forestry Commission in the solemn ritual. After all this, everybody adjourned to an enjoyable afternoon tea provided by the ladies. Apologies for their inability to be present were received from Messrs Morley and Brownbill, M’s L A , Chief Inspector McRae of the Education Department and members of the Forests Commission.
The festivities were brought to a climax in the evening with a euchre party and dance. The proceeds from this were given to the school fund. The ladies’ prize was won by Mrs Moreton Snr., while Mr. W Seiffert was acclaimed the victor of the sterner sex.
By 1933 the enrolment had increased to twenty-three and all grades except Grade Eight were represented; the Head Teacher being Miss F E Wallace.
On January 23rd, 1935, under the Aireys Inlet heading, the following item appeared in the Advertiser which would no doubt have affected the enrolment at the Anglesea School.
After this holiday vacation the Education Department have granted Aireys Inlet a half-time school with Wye River. The parents are delighted as previous to this some of the children have had to attend Anglesea School, a distance of seven miles. Others have been learning by correspondence, and some have not been having any schooling. There will be an attendance of about twelve children.
By 1939 the enrolment had increased to thirty. The majority were girls, and to provide for their instruction in needlework Miss Nan Hunter of Geelong was appointed Sewing Mistress.
Through the enthusiastic efforts of the Head Teacher (Mr. F P Wood) most of the children had been taught to swim, and it was hoped in March to have them examined for their swimming certificates.