When a school turns 50, it is time to celebrate! And Hawkesdale High School, now known as Hawkesdale P12 College turned on the celebrations. It is 50 years since the High School started – a school that came about to cater for the children of returned soldier settlers in the area.
Celebrations are an important time for sharing, reflecting and commemoration. Anne-Maree Huglin, an ex student of the school and a current staff member, was largely responsible for an amazing display of photos, memorabilia and connecting with past students, staff and friends. Friday was the day for current staff and students to celebrate. The majority came in olden day costumes with many opting for the 70’s and 80’s clothes, but also historic and even biblical dress. The primary school students enjoyed playing old fashioned games eg marbles, knuckebones etc, learning craft work and bush dancing. A time capsule has been put together and one that had been found in the grounds when building rennovations occurred was opened to catch a quick glimpse before it is to be replaced until the time of its official opening. A number of students were delighted to see the work of their parents in the capsule.
Hundreds turned up on the Saturday to reminisce, check out the displays, enjoy a bbq lunch and devonshire teas. A roll call was held in the afternoon and a celebratory dinner at night time. School stories were shared by past and present staff and students.
Facebook was used to great effect to communicate with many. A group was established and photos and updates have been constantly added. One past student and her husband flew in from London for five days, in order to attend.
It is days like this that make me proud to have been a teacher in this school for more than 27 years. I started there in 1976, took a break to have a family and then returned in 1986 and am there still. It is a wonderful school with a strong community spirit. Due to its small size, teachers and students all know each other.
Often we lose contact with past students and how wonderful it is to see that many have succeeded or perhaps survived and made a successful life for themselves. It was also very, very special and rather emotional time, when a number of students came up and told me that some of what I had taught them had made an impact on their life beyond school. As teachers we do have a big role to play in shaping the lives and future of our young charges.