Saturday, May 11, 2013

Winiam State School (number 2530) 1886 to 1959

The Horsham Times, Winiam State School
Source:  http://trove.nla.gov.au/

As the number of children in the rural community of Winiam began to increase, concerned parents gathered to discuss the formation of a primary school for their children.

They were advised by the inspector of schools to build a school in a central location and the department would send a teacher to take charge of it.

My Great Great Grandfather, James Pilgrim, was one of the parents who formed this initial committee.




James showed generosity and conviction when he donated an acre of land (which adjoined his property but was in his eldest daughters name) to enable a school to be built.  

Source: http://gazette.slv.vic.gov.au/
Winiam State School
1886 Map showing one acre subdivided for new Winiam State School
Source: www.slv.vic.gov.au
The school was opened by July 1886, when the school was listed as being an official polling place for the Winiam community.

Winiam Primary School - circa 1906

Back; Arthur Schultz, Frank Steer, John Steer, Clarrie Wohlers, Victoria Gniel, Hilda Fiegert, Elsie Wohlers, Florence Weir
 Centre: Edward Gneil, Roy Weir, Harry Triplett, Henry Westendorf , Ethel Weir, Gladys Weir, Nell Miles, Edie Schultz
 Front:  Garn Weir, Arthur Steer ,Perce Pilgirm, Linda Pilgrim, Irene Fiegert, Mabel Shurdington, Ollie Oldfield, Vera Wohlers
Teacher: Miss Fanny Box
My grandmother, Eva Pilgrim, was 8 years old when she first attended Winiam State School in 1918.




Winiam State School 2530
1932 - Winiam State School

Teacher - Lil Muller at back.  Left to Right: Melva Voight, Mary Pilgrim, Coral Wolhers, Una Voight, Lin Wohlers, Edna Pilgrim, Bill Pilgrim, Marj Moulden , Gordon Pilgrim, Rita Moulden, Howard Wolhers and Hazel Pilgrim
Local papers have revealed the following;

1886 Polling Place 
1893 Winiam State School closed for 3 weeks by order of health office as measles had broken out
1898 Miss Ethel Young appointed sewing teacher
1899 Mr W Jackson appointed, temporarily, to the charge of Winiam State School
1901 Head Teacher Walter Tranter transferred to Wangaratta after 10 years
1905 Mr HF Dunn, Master
1906 Miss Fanny Box teacher
1910 Shelter Shed erection contract granted
1911 Head teacher, Mr BT Kerr - New education Act regulates appointment of school committee
James Pilgrim senior was one of those nominated.
1912 Mr RT Kerr, been in charge for 3 years transferred to the metropolis
1913 Miss P Berryman, a popular teacher transferred to Hopetoun West
1916 Miss B Barnes was school teacher (notice of brother killed in war)
1917 Miss Brown appointed head teacher, in succession to Miss Barnes, who transferred to Gippsland
1926 Miss Darker presented with a marble clock set, she had been a teacher for 4 years
1933 Miss L Muller ceased teaching as getting married
1938 Miss Scott, head teacher, transferred to Geelong district


Next week, I shall include photos of children playing at Winiam State School.

Click to see more posts

30 comments:

  1. What a great piece of history and what an appropriate name!

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    1. You noticed the teachers name :)

      Imagine what students would say today!

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  2. How wonderful that you have all of these photos.

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    1. And so many more! I tried to keep it brief so will show others next week.

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  3. Fascinating to see such an old school.

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    1. This is typical of the old country schools in Australia.

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  4. It's amazing how those archived news are kept to this day. The schoolchildren look so cute.

    Hazel

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    1. We are very lucky that the National Library of Australia (and volunteers) is gradually scanning newspapers and has them available online at no cost.

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  5. I especially like the first photo. It displays both the building and people very well.

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    1. It is lovely and many of the children are related to me.

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  6. Superb being related and having such history, I'll post a photo of the first school in our village soon.

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    1. I look forward to seeing it. And it is probably still standing? This one isn't.

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  7. A delightful little story that might have been lost for ever, until you put it together and blogged it.....The best of blogging!!

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    1. Thank you Nigel. I couldn't find that anyone else had done a story about the school so thought it fitting to do a post for anyone else looking for information.

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  8. Yes - this is wonderful. The school class portraits are so different than most you see - teacher in the middle, gender separated, boys and their big collars - except for those two with the striped shirts in the back! And the other with the children standing spaced out in that way. I haven't seen one like that before. Your family connection is a interesting story.

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    1. Those white pinafores don't look very suitable for school, especially as it is very dusty.

      It is a pity that I don't have any pictures of the inside of the school.

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  9. It's a real badge of honor that your ancestor donated the land to help build the school. The school pictures complete with names are such a treasure, especially if descendants come stumbling into your blog. The newspaper references are interesting too. I wonder what Miss Darker did to deserve a marble clock - 4 years of teaching doesn't seem to have been important enough for marble.

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    1. Miss Darker was my grandmothers teacher and she wrote very fondly about her (but there is only so much I included as I didn't want the blog to be too long).

      James Pilgrim was involved in most aspects of the community and initiated many projects in the area, to make a difference. To me he seems to be an amazing man of great courage, fortitude and community spirit.

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  10. Imagine if you told parents to build a school today if they wanted one! That first photo is amazingly clear isn't it? I love how the teacher's shoes are so shiny and clean in comparison to the kids dusty boots.

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    1. I hadn't noticed the shoes Alex. Good pick up.

      It reminds me of that movie "Build it and they will come"!

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  11. Great post Sharon! You have linked the information from TROVE with family memories and keepsakes beautifully.
    I particularly love the first photo with them all being very obviously dressed in their best clothes - white pinafores for the girls, lace collars for the younger boys and a corsage on the teacher!

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    1. Thank you Maureen.

      Isn't Trove wonderful! I also found some other information about family members while researching this post. Very interesting.

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  12. Such a tiny little school but it seemed to have so much importance to the community.
    Wonderful post.
    Nancy

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    1. Very intuitive of you Nancy. The school was the centre of the little community and was soon followed by a hall, church and tennis courts nearby.

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  13. Those are unusual and fascinating school photos. I've never seen one with students standing like that.

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    1. It looks very casual doesn't it. It wouldn't surprise me if my grandmother arranged it as two of her sisters are in it and there are 6 other relatives in the picture too (including the teacher)

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  14. The 1906 class photo is an excellent example of what could be produced by a skilled photographer. The bright light did wash out all those whites a little, and the young girl in the front row couldn't resist the urge to scratch the itch on her chin, but I feel that most of the parents would have wanted to purchase a copy of that one. Interesting the number of striped sailor suits too.

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    1. I agree. An excellent photo, especially considering the year it was taken. I love the clothes that they are wearing.

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  15. Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by Jerry.

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