My memories of the Glen Park School of over 60 years ago are very happy ones. For several years, in October, my parents (Mr. & Mrs. W. Ritchie) would bring my brother Russ and I, by car, to visit my Grandma and Uncle on a farm at Glen Park.
Russ and I attended the Glen Park School with our cousin, Stewart Cameron, each day. We walked the 3 miles each way with our cut lunch in our school bag. This was a novelty to me as we lived in a large country town 300 miles away, at Bright, in North-Eastern Victoria. The Bright school was close to home - we came home to lunch each day - and then each class had its own Teacher from lst Grade to Intermediate Certificate.
Mr McLachlan, the teacher at Glen Park School at that time, came from Ballarat each day. He was very kind, and popular with all the children. The school consisted of several Jeffrey children, Arnold Coffield, ? Goldsmith and Stewart Cameron that I can remember. We had a photograph taken at the time, which has been lost unfortunately, over the years.
Mr. McLachlan wrote on a large blackboard each morning, setting out our lessons and it took me some time before I could find which section belonged to my grade. The teacher took all the grades himself, apart from some help at times from his Monitor, Stewart Cameron. One day my sketch of a stalk of Daphne was voted the best, so I felt very proud of my effort.
We ate our cut lunch and played together happily each lunchtime. (I was supposed to visit a cousin nearby, called Annis Ross, at lunchtime, but I often stayed at school instead, to play with the other children).
Stewart, Russ and I had some interesting adventures on our way to and from school especially as Stewart knew the families en route and we were always made welcome to call in and have a chat and something to eat, after school.
I started at the Glen Park School in 1941, there were four in my family going to the school at this time my brothers, Jim, Steve and Bill and myself. There were 11 children in my family. We lived at the bottom of Jimmy Longs Hill and we cut across the paddocks to get to school. At school we used to take it in turns to go and get the mail, Peterkins up the road from the school used to be the post office. When it was nature study day, if the weather was warm we would go for a day in the bush, we would take lunches, we thought it was rather good. Sports day was another great day. We would bob for apples, have an egg and spoon race, and a sack race as well as running and the other sports.
We used to play in the area before they built the White Swan Reservoir. When they started digging the holes we thought it was great, because we had the great mounds of dirt to run up and down in, we also used to walk along the big pipes. One day my brother Steve and I wagged school and we went swimming in a dam in the bush, we remembered it was bank day, and we had to get our bank books from school so mum wouldn't know we wagged. When we got back to school everyone had left, there were some swaggies and their dogs camped in the shelter shed. They had a fire going and they were eating hard boiled eggs, shells were everywhere on the ground, we got scared and ran home. We all had a garden at school. The boys grew vegetables and we planted flowers, my garden was a big round one. There were three teachers as I can remember Mrs Knights, Miss Terry and Mr Swenson. There were about 14 children going to school.
We used to like Mrs Knight, she had an old car, it could hardly make it up Jimmy Longs Hill, if we were walking up the hill we would give her a push and she gave us a bag of lollies.
I left Glen Park when I was 13 and came to Balla