Berridale Public School

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History of Berridale Public School

This is a copy of the document 'Berridale Public School 1883-1983' by Jan Burnswoods, Department of Education, 1982.

Berridale School was opened on 4 April 1883 as a Provisional School, nearly three years after the families in the district sent in their application for a school to the Department of Public Instruction. The delay was largely the result of the residents' failure to get a building ready for the school, a problem they had hoped to avoid in 1880 by taking advantage of the recently passed Public Instruction Act. This Act came into effect on 1 May 1880, and has provided the framework for Education in New South Wales ever since. Prior to that date government schools and government-funded church schools had been run by statutory authorities, and by 1880 many reforms were necessary. The new Act established the Department of Public Instruction (or Education) under a Minister, withdrew state aid from church schools, made education compulsory (although with exceptions), provided for secondary education and improved the education facilities in sparsely settled areas. A feature which the people of Berridale found attractive was the reduction in the average attendance required for a Public School from 25 to 20: this was an important change because the Department met the full cost of PublicSchool buildings, while parents had to provide the building for a Provisional School, which needed an attendance of 12 to 19 children.

The need for a school in the Berridale district was quite obvious in 1880, for the nearest school was at Cooma 21 miles away, which had been operating since 1863. However, this did not mean that children in the area had not had the chance to go to school. The private township of Berridale had grown up on a property owned by William Oliver since 1870, very close to the old settlement of Gegedzerick (spelt Jejedzrick or Gejedzerick by the education authorities) in 1869, operating from April that year until March the following year as a Half-Time School with Coolamatong a few miles on the other side of Berridale. (See Appendix 1 for the location of these schools.) Coolamatong never operated again, but Gegedzerick was re-opened in 1876 as a Half-Time School with Cootralantra; Gegedzerick was permanently closed in 1878, but Cootralantra was to re-opoen in 1881 as a Public School. The only other school in the district before 1880 was Buckley's Crossing, from 1877 to 1878, which was to re-open in 1886 and later to be replaced by Dalgety Public School. The chequered history of these little schools meant that in 1880 there was no school which any child within a considerable distance of Berridale could attend. This situation was to change dramatically in the 1880s, when in addition to Berridale itself and Cootralantra, schools were opened at Rocky Plains in 1883 and at Jindabyne, Townsend, Arable, Oakvale and Middlingbank in 1884.

On 12th July 1880 William Oliver asked the Department to establish a Public School at Berridale, Gegedzerick, "the most central part of this neighbourhood". He had previously been in touch with Inspector Hicks, who had suggested an application for a Provisional School, but Oliver said that when the new Act was passed "we thought it better to apply for a Public School at once". The form was signed by 10 parents or guardians of 25 children of school age living up to four miles from Berridale, although Oliver said more would attend when a school was operating in the proper place. In the meantime it was proposed to open a private school in a vacant house about a mile from Berridale with Mr H. Mcalister as a teacher.

Inspector Dawson visited Berridale in September 1880 to report on the application, and recommended that a Provisional School be established. He made a detailed examination of the district, finding it populated by well-established free selectors and by shepherds who had no permanent stake in the country, plus the hotel-keeper, postmaster and storekeeper, David Main. There were 107 people living within five miles of Berridale, including 31 children of school age, but only 16 prospective pupils lived within the 'school district', that is within two miles. Dawson therefore predicted an enrolment of 23 and an average attendance of 16, a typical size for a Provisional School.

On 14 October Oliver was informed of the Department's decision to grant a Provisional School, and told that a teacher would be appointed when the necessary building and furniture had been provided. There was no answer, even when a reminder was sent the following month. Oliver finally answered another reminder over a year later, in January 1882, when he assured the Department that the building would be erected - "we are about commencing the same in a few weeks now" - and asked for advice about its size, since he had no doubt it would soon become a Public School. The Department recommended a building 25 feet by 15, with walls nine feet high. After yet another reminder, Oliver finally wrote again in June to suggest that the school would operate in a stone building with one room 16 feet by 12 and another 12 by 10 until the proposed building was finished. He urged that a teacher be sent at once, since it would not take long to get the furniture made. Somewhat curtly, Oliver was told that a teacher would be sent when he told the Department the furniture was ready. There was another period of silence, until late in November when Oliver wrote to say he would provide a vacant house for the school, explaining that it had been impossible to build a school that year because of the scarcity of feed and the poor condition ofthe cattle, so that they had been unable to cart either timber or stone. He asked for a teacher to open the school in January. This time Inspector Kevin, who had visited Berridale and approved the building, sent a telegram to Oliver about the furniture, receiving the reply that there was a desk and some forms. While this was hardly sufficient it had taken over two years to get this far, and Kevin knew that the school was badly needed. Nothing had come of the private school Oliver had suggested in 1880 either. Kevin therefore recommended that the school be opoened pending his visit to check on the furniture, and early in February 1883 the Department ordered the necessary textbooks and equipment and began the search for a suitable teacher. Then on 9 February, three days after the Department had told Oliver of the imminent opening of the Provisional School, an application for a Public School arrived. It contained the names of 31 children but only 14 lived within 2 miles of Berridale. The Department therefore refused to change its decision.

After some delay Berridale's first teacher was appointed on 19 March. She was 28-year-old Mary Driscoll, who had no training and had never taught before; this was not uncommon amongst Provisional School teachers during this period. She opened the school on 4 April, and by June the enrolment was a surprisingly high 42 with an average attendance of 29. On these figures the school was entitled to be classified as a Public School, but since a reclassification would oblige the Department to provide a building and a qualified teacher Kevin waited until the end of the next quarter before making a recommendation, so as to be sure of the school's stability. By September the enrolment was 60 and the average attendance 43, so the school was made a Public School, backdated to July. Kevin also recommended the removal of Mary Driscoll, since neither her education nor her experience fitted her to retain charge, and suggested that she exchange schools with Augustus Scanlan of Dignams Creek near Bermagui. He was a qualified teacher and a single man who could lodge at the hotel or at William Oliver's, so the exchange was carried out in November 1883. (See Appendix 2 for a list of teachers.)

At the same time Kevin recommended the erection fo a schoolroom to accommodate 50 pupils and a teacher's residence, to be built of rubble stone; stone was more plentiful and cheaper than timber in the district, and better suited for Berridale's cold winters. The residents of the district had sent in a petition in August asking for a Public School building, on the grounds that the temporary building was badly overcrowded. This petition contained 40 signatures, of whom 28 gave their their addresses as Berridale or Gegedzerick, but others lived some distance away at places including Woolway, Kiah Lake and Coolamatong. Kevin denied the building was overcrowded, pointing out that it measured 24 feet by 16 by seven (not 24 feet by 12 as the petition claimed), and therefore accommodated 48 pupils at the old standard of eight square feet per child, while the average attendance was only 43. Kevin ignored the fact that the Department's official standard was 100 cubic feet per child, which meant that the building only accomodated 26. However, he did regard the slab walls as far too low, the lack of toilets as a serious defect and the playground as much too small. The building was also badly located, being very close to the hotel, the butcher's shop and the blacksmith's and to a number of houses. Kevin believed the school's enrolment would increase, since Berridale was the centre of a large sheep farming area and would in time grow into a town, so he had no hesitation in recommending the replacement of Oliver's building with a permanent school and residence.

In 1883 the Department was forced to cut back its expenditure, even though it spent more on buildings that year than in any of the next 40. Between 1880 and 1885 the numebr of schools increased from 1100 to 2000, and the Department was forced to design cheap, wooden and officially temporary buildings to meet the demand for accommodation. Thus in October 1883 Kevin's recommendations for Berridale were replaced by an instruction to the Department's architects for a temporary wooden building for 50 pupils, without a residence. When Oliver heard the news he immediately protested, and pointed out that the nearest source of sawn timber was 30 miles from Berridale while there was plenty of granite within half a mile. His pleas were taken into account, so that when the architect submitted his stock plan for a "beehive" building of vertical boards with a curved galvanised iron roof, it was decided to call for tenders in both timber and stone. The cheapest received was from Montgomery and Riedy of Cooma, for 275 pounds in wood or 350 pounds in stone, and the Department agreed that the extra money was justified by Berridale's severe winters. Berridale was therefore to get a building with stone walls 18 inches thick enclosing a schoolroom 25 feet by 16, with an entrance porch and hatroom along one side built of vertical boards. These 'temporary' beehive buildings were erected all over New South Wales, and many survived for decades, but Berridale must be the only school in the State to have acquired a 'temporary' building of stone.

The tender for the new building was accepted in March 1884, but when the stonemasons employed by the contractors arrived in Berridale to start work they found that no site was available for the school. Kevin explained that the site chosen by Dawson in 1880 had been pointed out to him by the hotelkeeper, Mr E. O'Brien, and he had assumed it was crown land. In fact there was no crown land in Berridale, and the site was the one offered by Oliver. The price for the two acres was 10 pounds, only a third of its value, and in August 1884 Oliver gave his consent for building work to start immediately; the purchase of the site was not finalised until 1886. The mistake over the site cost the Department 41 pounds, when it agreed to reimburse Montgomery for the sum the stonemasons had obtained by suing him for lost time.


The new building was not completed until April 1885, and in the meantime the enrolment at Berridale had dropped dramatically. At the end of 1883 the enrolment was 58, but in January 1884 only 18 children were enrolled and at the end of 1884 there were only 15, with an average attendance of 10. (See Appendix 3 for enrolments.) No one at Berridale ever offered an explanation for this student decline, but the opening of new schools all around the little village must have had a serious impact. The school retained its Public School status, but its classification was reduced during 1884 and again in 1885, with consequential effects on the salary of the teacher and on the personal classification considered appropriate for the school.

Scanlan was entitled to a school much larger than Berridale was in 1884, and the Department had another pressing need to remove him. He had married in January 1884, and the following month he and his wife moved out of his former lodgings into the temporarily vacant Gegedzerick Church of England parsonage half a mile from the school. It was a large stone building in good repair and the Department had little choice but to pay the very high rent of 50 pounds a year, since no other house was available, but it did decide to find another school for Scanlan as quickly as possible and to replace him with a single teacher. This did not happen until November 1884, when Michael O'Grady was appointed. O'Grady held only the minimum qualification, although he had been teaching since 1858, but when Berridale's classification and hence his salary were reduced early in 1885 he complained that he had been disadvantaged by the move through no fault of his own. After some delay, he was transferred in May to a school where he could receive his former salary. The school was closed for 2 months before the 18-year-old Emily Spring arrived in July, and was followed just over a year later by another young teacher, John Whitely. Then in 1887 Frederick McPherson was appointed and he was to remain in Berridale for 16 years.

McPherson was a young man of 23 when he came to Berridale. He had begun his career as the first teacher of the Rocky Plains Provisional School 16 miles from Berridale in June 1883, and had remained there until early in 1887 when he went to a school near Delegate for 6 months. Beginning as an untrained teacher, his skill improved consistently over the years, and he passed examinations for promotion in 1884, 1892 and 1897. All the inspectors who visited Berridale found a school in a very satisfactory condition under McPherson. At the end of 1883 he married a woman from the district, Christiana Weston, at Aberfeldie, and early the following year they moved into a wooden cottage rented from the hotelkeeprer, E. O'Brien, for 10 shillings a week. Mrs McPherson taught the girls needlework from then on.

The enrolment at Berridale had increased to 30 in 1885 and by 1887 was up to 40. Apart from a brief drop below 30 in 1890, it remained around 40 until 1896-97, when it reached 50. It was a good period for the school, and it was comfortably accommodated by nineteenth century standards in its little stone building with seating for 45 pupils. Three extra forms 7 1/2 feet long were supplied when the enrolment rose in 1897.

Education in the nineteenth century was dominated by the 3Rs, and the pupils spent most of their schooldays being drilled to perfection in a very narrow range of subjects. There was a brief burst of innovation in the late 1880s and early 1890s, when kindergarten work and some manual training were introduced into the curriculum, but these had little effect in small country schools. The enthusiasm for gardening and tree-planting, however, affected every school in New South Wales, especially after the celebration of the first Arbor Day in 1890. McPherson had in fact anticipated this movement, and had planted 40 trees on the school site at his own expense in 1889, but they were all destroyed by sheep. During 1890 he had the pupils trench and prepare the ground for new trees which the Department supplied, plus enough wire for McPherson to make the fences sheep-proof. When the Department's agricultural expert visited the school in April 1891, only 13 of the 34 shade trees were still alive, but more were planted on Arbor Day later in the 1890s. In 1891 there was also a move to enlarge school sites throughout New South Wales, but the owner of Oliver's former property, Sam Hain of Cooma, asked too high a price for the land adjoining the school at Berridale, so no action was taken.

During 1890 and again in 1891 Mr J. Cousins, the secretary of the Berridale Literary, Debating and Mutual Improvement Society, sought permission for te society to use the school for its Saturday night meetings, since there was no hall or other room available except for the hotel. The district Inspector supported the proposal because such societies deserved encouragement, but the Department refused because, to quote Chief Inspector Maynard, "it is impossible in these cases to prevent furniture being damaged, ink spilled, and other acts of mischief and carelessness being committed". However, the residents were allowed to use the school in 1891 for a concert for charitable purposes.

Early in 1892 McPherson told the Department that O'Brien was giving up the hotel and wanted to live in the house McPherson rented from him. McPherson did not want to leave Berridale but there was no other house available, so he could only suggest that he send his wife away to stay with friends and move temporarily into the hotel himself, until the Department could transfer him. It is not clear what arrangements O'Brien made, because the next news about his accommodation came from McPherson the following year, when he reported that O'Brien had evicted him in June 1893 after a disagreement about repairs. O'Brien was still anxious to rent the house to the Department, though not to McPherson, saying he had built it about three years before especially for the teacher, but the inspector reported that Henry Scarlett was building a much more suitable house for the teacher. In the meantime Mrs McPherson stayed with friends nine miles away, and then gave birth to a child in Sydney and was dangerously ill; the school was closed for a week while McPherson stayed with her until the danger was over. They moved into the new house, a stone building with a brick front containing five rooms, with a stone kitchen and another room at the rear and a timber stable and buggy-house, in December 1893. Situated a quarter of a mile from the school and known as "Linden", it was to be occupied by successive teachers up to 1920.

By 1897 the school building was badly in need of repair, while the toilets were falling down. Following McPherson's request for repairs and new toilets, Inspector Cooper reported that the stone walls were in excellent condition, "but all other parts of the building are in so bad a condition as to excite surprise that they have so long been neglected". The necessary work was done in 1898. The only other request McPherson made during this period was for an increase in the fuel allowance. In 1901 he pointed out that the school stood on a rise on one of the bleakest plains in the Monaro district, that wood was expensive and most of the parents were poor and could not contribute much, and that fires were often needed even in summer - he recalled one day in January 1897 when snow lay two inches deep on the ground. His request was granted.

After 1897 the school's enrolment fluctuated between 40 and 50, and then in 1902 it rose to 60. The average attendance was briefly around 50, so in October 1902 the school's first pupil-teacher, the 16-year-old Elsie Rolfe, was appointed. The old pupil-teacher system, which was phased out from 1906, involved a four-year apprenticeship during which the young teacher taught a class all day and was instructed before and after school in teaching the various school subjects and the art of teaching them. Elsie Rolfe was to stay at Berridale until March 1907, when she went to Cooma as an assistant teacher. By then Berridale's enrolment had fallen to 50, and it reverted to a one-teacher school again.

An extra desk and form were supplied in 1902 to provide for the increased enrolment, and with two teachers and their pupils in the little building 25 feet by 16 it was rather crowded, as well as noisy. McPherson's concern was with the poor ventilation, and late in 1903 he asked the Department to install a window in each of the end walls. The two existing windows were in the north-west wall and there was no cross-ventilation, and in summer the windows had to be closed in any case because of the strong and dust-laden westerly winds. Some years before a ceiling vent had been installed at McPherson's request, but it was no help in introducing fresh air. McPherson complained that his predecessor had left the school in 1887 because of a bad throat, and that the last three summers had forced him to seek medical assistance. (He had been on sick leave with bronchitis and associated complaints for two months at the beginning of 1903, and the school had been under the charge of a relieving teacher, Archibald Newman.) He said that the children also were badly affected by drowsiness and giddiness in summer. Finally, the proposed new windows would also help the lighting, since the desks were then only lit from behind, which caused shadows and encouraged the pupils in the bad habit of stooping. The Department took these complaints very seriously, since they came just at the time of the "New Education" movement, which involved major changes in the curriculum and in methods of teaching and also a number of changes in school architecture, including better lighting and ventilation, more space per pupil and the abolition of the old long desks and forms on their stepped floors. An extension to the building was briefly considered, but the enrolment did not justify it, so the two new windows were installed early in 1904.

McPherson was again sick in 1904, and Berridale was in the charge of James Harler for the first three weeks of the year and under Sidney Hobson from March to June. McPherson was then transferred to a school in the Hunter Valley, and replaced at Berridale by Ernest Vernon. During Vernon's time at the school some repairs were carried out, including the interior plastering and painting of the stone walls in 1906 and the replacement of a rusted old tank in 1907. But the chief subject of correspondence between the school and the Department during Vernon's seven years concerned the teacher's wife and the instruction in needlework. Mrs Vernon bore six children during this period, although not all of them survived, and she had two young children when she came to Berridale. In addition to her periods of leave from teaching she often found it necessary to have the girls come to the residence so she could look after her children. At one point an unsympathetic parent complained about this practise as well as the alternative arrangement under which Mrs Vernon allegedly disturbed the school by bringing her babies with her when she came to teach needlework.


Vernon's successor, James Campbell, was appointed in 1911 and retired in 1916, and during all that time he communicated with the Department on only routine matters. His successor Thomas Emery was no more communicative, but after a while the parents began writing to the Department to complain that Emery's physical condition made him quite unfit to teach. Emery seemed quite well until 1919, when his feeble appearance, chronic cough and other symptoms convinced parents that he was suffering from the dreaded tuberculosis. By the end of the year the parents, led by the stock and station agent Mr P. Harris, had threatened not to send their children to school unless Emery was removed. Emery went on sick leave in January 1920, leaving his wife and seven children in Berridale, and two medical examinations found that he had chronic asthma but no tuberculosis. Neverthless, it was decided to move him from Berridale, and he continued teaching until his early death in 1923.

Apart from Emery's illness the Department had another reason to transfer him, because early in 1920 the teacher's former residence was converted into a police station, and it was decided to send a single teacher to Berridale. Harry Little was 31 years old and had been in the A.I.F. since 1915; he had been dangerously wounded and was not discharged until 1920, when he went straight to Berridale. He was married two months later, but there is no record of where he and his wife lived; later on they lived in a very small house which they owned themselves.

Little came to Berridale just as the township and school began to grow. The enrolment had fallen away from 70 in 1904 to 30 in 1915, and had hovered around 40 from 1917 to 1919; in 1920 it reached 50 again and by the middle of 1922 it was 80. In April 1922 Little made a detailed case for additional accommodation, in which he also described the recent growth in size and importance of the township of Berridale. The Dalgety Shire Council offices were located there, as were three churches of which two had been built recently. There was also a police station, a post office, a bank, a public hall and a wide range of business premises - two general stores, a grocer, two refreshment rooms, two auctioneers, two butchers, a baker, a hotel, a motor garage, a blacksmith and a timber yard - of which five had been erected since Little came to Berridale.

The first moves for extra accommodation had been made late in 1921, when Thomas Butler interviewed the Minister for Education and the Rev. K. L. McKeown, secretary of the newly-formed Berridale Parents and Citizens Association, wrote to offer the Department a loan from the Association so a new building could be erected. The following April Little sent in detailed statistics of enrolments, a plan of the old building and his account of the township. He suggested a new building, or additions to the existing building, or even the cheap solution of moving Berridale to the old Coolringdon building, where the school had closed in 1918. Although he said that any temporary expedient was out of the question in cold or windy weather, he did mention that there was a weathershed at the school: it had been erected in 1918 to provide lunchtime shelter for the children. Whatever was done, Little stressed the urgency of making some provision for the increased number of pupils, especially since he expected an assistant teacher to be appointed very soon to help him with his 67 pupils.

While the Department was examining the building options, Margaret Long was appointed late in May as Berridale's first assistant teacher. She was 19 years old and had just finished the short course of teacher training. As her father told the Minister the following month, he was horrified to discover that his daughter and 38 infants were placed in an open weathershed in the coldest district in the State. His plea that the shed be enclosed was considered and plans were drawn up to board it in and install a stove, but then in September it was decided that the expenditure could not be justified since the additions were expected to be completed that financial year. The Department had been urged to take immediate steps to put up a modern building by the Dalgety Shire Council, on whose behalf the Shire Clerk D. J. O'Rourke wrote several letters during 1922. In one of them he summed up the situation:

Parents are compelled to send their children to school under pain of fine, or worse, to see their children growing up without the advantages of education, or having sent them, to know that they must either be herded into a vitiated atmosphere, or frozen to the bones in an open shed, without a fire.

A petition was also received from a large number of residents of Berridale and the surrounding district in July 1922.

While everyone concerned in the Department agreed the best solution for Berridale's needs would be a new two-classroom building, the estimated cost (in brick) was 1400 pounds. The estimate for the building that was decided on, a stone building containing one classroom and a hatroom, was 830 pounds, plus 50 pounds to renovate the old building, which would remain in use; this included the levelling of the old stepped floor. Because of Berridale's climate, the cheaper alternative of building in wood was not seriously considered. The tender of A. Mawson of Cooma for 987 pounds was accepted in March 1923, and the work should have been finished by October. However, another 60 pounds was added to the contract for further repairs to the old building and alterations to the verandah which would connect the two buildings, and this extra work plus delays caused by bad weather, late deliveries of materials and the difficulty of getting workmen meant that the work was only just finished in time for the opening of school in January 1924.

Little remained at the school until 1929, his last two years there being marred by the death of his wife in 1927, leaving Little with four young children. The enrolment remained fairly stable at 60 or more during the 1920s and 1930s, but it is not known whether Margaret Long was replaced after her transfer in May 1923. In December 1926 Mrs Millicent Williams was appointed as assistant teacher, and she stayed until 1937. She was very familiar with the district, having begun her teaching career as Miss Wheatley at Townsend in 1907, resigning in 1910. She taught again later, after her marriage, and was in charge of Townsend once more from 1923 to 1926.

In 1929 the Parents and Citizens Association persuaded the Department to extend the school site by the acquisition of one and a half acres between the existing site and Mary Street. Apart from the area occupied by the school buildings, gardens and tennis court, the old site was sloping and rather rough, and neither suitable or large enough for games like cricket and football. The land had been owned by former hotelkeeper Edmond O'Brien since 1891, and he had allowed the children to use it as a playground. O'Brien had tried to sell the land in 1927, and Little had been anxious that the children would lose their sports area, but neither the Department nor any other buyer would pay O'Brien's price of 150 pounds. In 1929 O'Brien asked 125 pounds, so the Department resumed the land and O'Brien later accepted 65 pounds for it.

The secretary of the Parents and Citizens Association, Mrs L. Milne, also asked the Department to build a teacher's residence in 1929. She pointed out that the new headmaster, Roy Devine, was renting the only house available, which was very small and was also up for sale. (This was probably Little's house.) No action was taken, the Department explaining that it had far more urgent building projects on its waiting list. Although the immediate effect of the Great Depressioin was to reduce the Department's building funds, by 1932 there was enough special unemployment relief money available for the Department to build residences in various districts. Since Devine was still renting the same unsatisfactory house, which had no bathroom or laundry, Berridale was included in the list. The weatherboard residence, built on land acquired in 1929, was completed in April 1934 and cost 666 pounds. The Department refused to build a motor garage, so George Colditz erected a galvanised iron structure himself: the Department was to buy it from him for 15 pounds in 1937, since the new headmaster, Frederick Powrie, although he had no car, wanted the shed so his wood heap would not be covered with snow.

After the completion of the residence, and following requests from Colditz and the Parents and Citizens Association, the Department fenced the residence grounds in 1934, and supplied material for the fencing of the area behind it, which Colditz wanted as an afforestation site; this work was carried out by the parents. The energetic secretary of the Parents and Citizens Association, Mrs E. P. O'Rourke, then set to work to persuade the Department to overhaul the school buildings. No maintenance work had been carried out for many years, the last expenditure had been the replacement in 1931 of the old long desks in the "beehive" building, used by the infants, with modern dual desks. The parents had tried to repair the leaking roof of this building themselves, not very successfully, since they used flat iron sheets. The overhaul, which involved painting and repairs to the two school buildings, the weathershed, the tanks and the fences, was completed in the middle of 1935 by the Department's repair staff, and cost 116 pounds. The Department was probably surprised to receive a letter of thanks from Mrs O'Rourke for all this work: she said the buildings and grounds were now in fine condition, and the only remaining job was the dilapidated garden fences, which the parents planned to fix themselves by erecting new fences.

One of Colditz's main interests was "tree culture", which was popular in schools all over the State in the 1930s, when Arbor Day was revived and the Department provided school forest areas as additions to many school sites. Soon after his arrival in Berridale in 1933 Colditz organised a Junior Famers Club, which met at the school, and he was also the leader of the Junior Forest League, which in co-operation with the Parents and Citizens Association and the Shire Council planted many trees in the memorial park along the roads near Berridale. He and the pupils built a plant nursery attached to the weathershed at the school, and by 1936 300 young trees were growing in the school's afforestation area. An article on all these activities was published in the Education Gazette in 1936, with an editorial about "splendid work" at Berridale.

The school at Berridale has grown considerably since the 1930s, and new buildings have been erected. However, the stone buildings of 1885 and 1924 remain, and in 1974 they were recorded by the National Trust as buildings of significance to the national heritage.

Appendix 1


Appendix 2 -Teachers in charge of Berridale Public Schoolk

Provisional School opened 4.4.1883

Public School from 1.7.1883

Appendix 3 - Enrolment and attendance at Berridale Public School