SHORT HISTORY OF TALLEGALLA SCHOOL

Former Students return for the Reunion

Tallegalla School opened in June 1879. The first teacher was Irish-trained Edward Dunbar. The majority of the early pupils were German and scarcely knew any English. Local farmers had provided a contribution towards the cost of the school. In 1880, they raised additional money and a school residence was built. John Watkins, Head Teacher from 1889 to 1903, was responsible for planting many of the mature jacaranda, pine and Moreton Bay fig trees in the grounds. In 1932, a new school residence was built. Semi-detached rooms from the old residence were moved to the school grounds and used as the long- awaited playshed. This shed was later used as an activity room and finally as a store room; it still exists on site. A new playshed was built in 1977. Tallegalla School was the centre for community social life including the school picnic and Arbor Day. “Calf days” and other agricultural project days were common in the 1930s. The two acres on which the school stands was not proclaimed a school reserve until August 1938; at this time, it was discovered that the land was still owned by a local far

mer who agreed to surrender it. The school population was supported by local industries including farming, dairying and coal mining. The last mine closed in 1969 and in the 1970s, rising costs and lower prices made farming less attractive. In 1979, it was estimated that there were only 10 farms run as full-time businesses in the Tallegalla district. In the 1990s, the school was considered too small to be viable and it closed.


Story in Gatton Star

Story in GATTON STAR 2.4.2014

THE secrets of Tallegalla’s time capsule remain hidden in the ground after Saturday’s reunion day at the old school. The school closed in 1992 but there are up to three capsules buried somewhere in the grounds. The organiser of the event, Tammy Bichel, said they planned to dig the capsules up but the rain during the week made it unsafe. “But we are still having fun, with ex-students here and the widow of the longest-serving principal,” she said. That lady was 94-year-old Effie Munro, who shared her memories of the school with the members of her sewing class. Ipswich councillor David Pahlke said council struggled with what to do with the school building for 15 years but it was now in the hands of a sports firm run by 1984 Olympic Bronze medallist Justin Lemberg
Old Sign Uncovered/Found

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