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The Gap State School

Following the sale of crown land in The Gap to three purchasers – Moses Adsett, PJ & J Paten and JF McDougall – on 14th September 1858 and the second on 5 April 1859 – to Moses Adsett and JF McDougall together with HH Payne, J. Hilder, R. Cribb and Lewis Brockhurst – a small group of early settlers gradually moved into the area and no doubt celebrated when the State of Queensland was formed from the colony of New South Wales in 1859.

Within 10 years a total of 23 families were domiciled in the area, with three schools situated at Kelvin Grove, Petrie Terrace and Enoggera. On hearing of a decision by the Department of Public Instruction, planning to establish a school in the Ashgrove area was under way. Being concerned that this was still a long way for their children to travel, a number of concerned local parents approached local land holder and Superintendent of Water Works, C.H. Sigley Esq. to write to the Minister of Public Instruction to move the site further west thereby in some way equalising the distance to travel for children in both areas. After all, Ashgrove children were already attending Ithaca school, as were some from The Gap.

However, this attempt in 1876 by a group of early settlers to have a school established in The Gap, to save their children such a long journey out of the area for their education, was unsuccessful. It was to be 34 years later before a meeting in May 1910 of local families, when it was again decided to take up the cause to ‘get a school’.

On 2 July 1910, a formal application was made to the Department of Public Instruction by Mr Henry Hilder, who was the inaugural Secretary, listing the following Committee Members: Alfred Best, Thomas Purcell, Peter Clarke, Paul Gramenz, Alfred Smith and Arthur Pointer. Also it was advised that 26 pupils could be available with subscriptions promised of £20 with a total of £50 expected – even back then, 100 years ago, parents were expected to contribute.

It was thought two acres of freehold land would suffice to establish a school. Later letters, between the Department and Committee, indicate that Alf A. Smith was Treasurer and by the end of July 1910 they had a total of five sites for inspection and consideration. Only two sites figure in negotiations – one being two acres on the corner of Waterworks Road and (now) School Road, owned by Thomas Purcell and one in Payne Road, of two acres owned by Mrs L.E. Best offered at £25 per acre.

Reporting of a meeting on 28 July 1910, the District Inspector advised he had met with 14 residents, including the building committee, and noted 26 children were also there. The Inspector noted that seven of these lived within one and three quarter miles of Ashgrove School, many outside the two mile limit and some beyond three miles. He mentioned that he saw a number of young children between the ages of 4 and 5, who would be ready for schooling by the time a school was built and went on to advise, a 26 feet by 16 feet building, with two verandahs would suffice.

He went on to write that a lengthy and tiresome discussion took place about the question of the site. Some four or five sites were mentioned, each of which I was expected to visit, he recounted.

The Committee seemed to think “I was out for the day and that time was of no moment. After some discussion I got the number reduced to two – namely Purcell lot and Best lot. To settle the dispute I took a vote with six parents voting for Best corner and four for Purcell’s corner. Stating both sites were good and less than a mile apart with the majority of children closer to the Best site.

On this occasion the Committee also advise their funds had reached £25 and there would be no trouble finding accommodation for a female teacher.”

Land valuation of £25 an acre was considered too high for the Best property and as Purcell was happy to receive £20 per acre, the Waterworks Road site was selected.

Within a week, on 4 Augusto 1910, formal notice was issued by the Department of Public Instruction to the Public Works Department, giving approval to proceed with the construction of The Gap School with Henry Hilder, Secretary of Building Committee, advising the Department that accommodation was available for an unmarried male or female teacher three quarters of a mile from site in a 10 ft x 12 ft room at 15/- per week.

Article by Richard Speechley.

With acknowledgement for the research carried out by Mrs Chris Pommerel, editor of the 75th Anniversary Book and now editor of the 100th Anniversary Book of The Gap Primary School.

 

  • Class Photo 1928

    Grades 1—2, The Gap School 1928. (LR)

    FRONT ROW: Duncan CAMERON; Brian PROCTOR; Charles CURTIS; Bill PROCTOR; Jack VINTER; George WILSON.

    2nd ROW: Doug SHEPHERD; Mervyn KAY; Stan INWOOD; Keith PROCTOR; Ellen WILSON; Daphne SHEPHERD; Olive ALTHOUSE; Irene BEST; Audrey LEVITT; Dorothy BROOK.

    3rd ROW: Hope THATCHER; Peggy SHEPHERD; Gay COWLEY; Maud INWOOD; Kathleen HARRISON; Betty ANDERSON; Florence HARVEY; Nancy DUFF; Mary COULTA.

    BACK ROW: Mr John GALL, Head Teacher; Ray MacARTHUR; Bill BEST; Norman BROOK; Ron LOW; Charles WILSON; John COULTA; Jack MacARTHUR; Jim COULTA.

    Date: 1928
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  • Class Photo 1931

    Date: 1931
    Courtesy: Shirley Craig
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  • Class Photo 1931

    Date: 1931
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  • Class Photo 1932

    Date: 1932
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  • Class Photo 1934

    Date: 1934
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  • Class photo 1936

    Gap State School Class photo circa 1936.

    From Left Rear: Tom Coulta, Malcolm Levitt, Ian Harrison, George Harvey, Pat Rowe, Roy Pickering, John Taylor, Mervyn Heyer.

    Centre: Pat Griffin, Colleen Moore, Pearl Buchanan, Joan Mc Auliffe, Joyce Probert, Hazel Barns.

    Front: May Easton, Olga Heyer, Joyce Christiansen, Marj Christian, Ruth Proctor, Molly Coulta. 

    Date: c. 1936
    Courtesy: Audrey Connellan
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  • Class Photo 1937-38

    Date: 1937-38
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  • Class Photo 1951

    Date: 1951
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  • Class Photo 1965

    Date: 1965
    Courtesy: Shirley Craig
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  • Class Photo 1967

    Date: 1967
    Courtesy: Shirley Craig
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  • Class Photo 1970

    Date: 1970
    Courtesy: Shirley Craig
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  • Class Photo 1972

    Date: 1972
    Courtesy: Shirley Craig
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  • Class Photo 1973

    Date: 1973
    Courtesy: Shirley Craig
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  • Class Photo Early Days

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  • Class Photo Early Days

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  • Class Photo Early Days

    Mr John Gall with pupils of The Gap School early days.

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  • Fundraising for Swimming Pool

    Horse “Silver” waits for Steptoe and Son, AKA Noel Mitchel and Jim Nichles load up for the first fundraising function to build The Gap School swimming pool, 1966. From right, Bill and Nancy Fursman along with Julie Nicholas and family keep watch.

    Date: 1966
    Courtesy: Nancy Fursman
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  • Headteacher 1950s

    Headteacher – Frederick Bernard Milton and son lan, circa 1950s.

    Date: c. 1950s
    Courtesy: The Milton Family
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  • Junior Red Cross 1945

    The Gap State School Junior Red Cross. Note the old galvanised iron enclosure under the school, circa 1945, (top photo).

    Junior Red Cross assembled on the front steps of the Gap State School, circa 1945.

    Date: c. 1945
    Courtesy: Audrey Connellan
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  • Quensland State Primary School Rugby League Football Club

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  • School Fete 1960s

    The Gap State School Fete, 1963, grade 1 dancers. (top photo).
    The Gap State School Fete, school recorder bane, October 1965.

    Date: 1960s
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  • School Fete 1964

    The Gap State School Fete, September, 1964.

    Date: 1964
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  • School Fete 1964

    The Gap State School Fete, September 1964.

    Date: 1964
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  • School Fete 1965

    The Gap State School Fete, 1965, choir performance.

    Date: 1965
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  • School Pupils 1950s

    Pupils of The Gap State Primary School (circa 1950s) assembled near tennis court – cnr. School Road & Waterworks Road.

    Date: c. 1950s
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  • Social Events 1940s

    Three Junior Red Cross Members From left : Audrey Pickering, Jean Harvey, Doug Easton, (top photo).

    1940s social event at The Gap community hall, note the classic lining on the interior wall. Pictured enjoying themselves are Audrey Pickering and Edna Vinter.

    Date: 1940s
    Courtesy: Audrey Connellan
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  • The Gap State School 1945

    Sept, 1945, The Gap State School: From extreme left – Melveen Pickering, Richard Speechley, 3 unnamed, John Gall, Don Carnegie, Mrs Cameron, Mervyn Marshall and Brian Fursman.

    Date: 1945
    Courtesy: Connie Carnegie
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  • The Gap State School 75th Anniversary

    Elsie Fanning (ree Cowan) and Gwen Facott (nee Bennett), past pupils at The Gap State School 75th Anniversary celebrations. Elsie was the oldest past pupil to participate in the festivities.

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    Courtesy: Elsie Fanning
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2018-02-20T06:33:19+00:00