Broadford looks back to its school days (As printed in the North Central Review. )
January 21, 2020
Broadford and District Historical Society members Graham Neill, Marg Inness and John Brissett work on the Broadford Primary School exhibition, which opens on Australia Day.
A new exhibition depicting the life and times of Broadford Primary School will open on Australia Day.
For many visiting Broadford and District Historical Society’s exhibition on Sunday January 26, it will be a walk down memory lane as they see the many photographs, historic items, books and games on display.
The exhibition follows the success of last year’s Australia Day display of Broadford’s Australian Paper Mill.
The already-established link between the historical society and the primary school helped members come up with the idea for next exhibition to feature the school.
A call-out via social media soon sparked a strong contribution of photographs and items from people who had been associated with the school over the years.
Historical society member Marg Inness said the primary school began as Broadford State School in 1873.
“The earliest photo on display at the exhibition is from some time in the 1880s,” she said.
The earliest photographs depict some school children dressed quite formally, while others are in bare feet.
Ms Inness has also collated a book of information, facts and stories throughout the school’s history, gathering information from the internet and from various former students and teachers.
“Sandy and Barry Withers, former teachers at the school, have been amazing with their contribution,” she said.
“The school has also been extremely helpful, especially with printing the book.”
Items such as a Gestetner printer, scales and a portable writing desk have also been donated or loaned for the exhibition.
“The small writing desk belonged to long-time residents George and Shirley Bilton, and its from the 1900s,” Ms Inness said.
There are also marbles, toy guns, satchels, a grammar phone, uniforms and readers from yesteryear.
Society member John Brissett, and former Broadford Primary School teacher, has also helped out with collating the exhibition.
Mr Brissett was librarian at the school for 17 years, and helped with a library upgrade in 1999.
He said the primary school had undergone many changes with buildings coming and going over the years.
The building the historical society calls home was formerly a primary school building, moved to the High Street location in 1995.
The exhibition will open from 10am to 5pm on Sunday at 120 High Street Broadford, opposite the memorial park.
In May 2019 our Society hosted a surprise birthday party for our much loved, oldest member, Ruth Davern, who was turning 90. Friends and family converged on the old schoolhouse to wish her all the best for the future and to celebrate her long association with the Broadford Historical Society and the town she has lived in all her life.
Ruth is always our first human resource when we are conducting family history research. Her remarkable memory and her willingness to share her knowledge is very much appreciated by everybody, and especially the 'Wednesday regulars' at the schoolhouse.
Ruth is perhaps best remembered for the book she wrote, with our assistance, entitled "When Broadford Was Young And So Was I". She has generously donated the profits from the book to the Historical Society. We have sold our 2 print-runs and unfortunately it is no longer available for purchase. You can find out more about the book below under the heading "Book Launch 15th December 2015".
Congratulations to Mitchell Shire's 2020 Community Event of the Year, the Broadford and District Historical Society's Australia Day Exhibition 2019 entitled History of Australian Paper Manufacturers, Broadford.
Our Society was recognised at the Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony on Sunday. Hear all about it here.
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In late 2017 local radio station station OKR FM and Broadford & District Historical Society came together, and were successful in obtaining a grant to create a short series of broadcasts about the Broadford Courier newspaper. The download file below is of Russell Searle being interviewed in the first program of the series
Broadford book is finally here! (2020 Update. We have also sold out. There were 2 print runs but they are no no-longer available.)
Ruth’s long awaited book "When Broadford was young and so was I" has been printed and is on its way. It will be available to everyone on December 15th. We’ve only seen the proof copy so far but we are all delighted with the result and eagerly await the arrival of the rest of the books next week.
This project has taken seven years to complete and was made possible by a series of grants the society received from:
Details of the content and upcoming launch can all be found in the newspaper article below which appeared in the North Central Review on Tuesday November 24th 2015.
On Friday November 25th 2011, five of our members made the trip to Central Deborah Goldmine in Bendigo to retrieve the old Columbian “Eagle” press. Little did any of us expect that it would take over 7 hours to dismantle, move and load the press from the shed onto the awaiting truck. Shown in the photo below are (From left): Bob Tomkins, Russell Searle, Rod MacKenzie and John Brissett. Howard Cooper, took the photo, and we thank him for taking all the photos in this posting.
(Below) Project leader, Russell Searle is shown below inspecting the press prior to its dismantlement. It was important that we remembered where every part came from, and how it had to be reassembled. Howard photographed each part as it was removed, for later reference if that was needed.
The beautiful brass plate at the centre of the press records the name and address of the manufacturer, Clymer and Dixon, of London. Unfortunately there is no serial number or date of manufacture on our press , but we believe it was manufactured around 1840. That would make it about 170 years old!
The move-able balance beam from the top of the press took 4 strong men to move it. Lifting it up onto the truck presented another challenge.
The main frame was the heaviest single part, and required some concerted teamwork. Glen Carter, from Central Deborah Goldmine is seen here in orange. His specialist knowledge and experience with moving heavy objects, and his additional physical strength were appreciated by our team.
Finally with some extra help from Andrew Finnie, the truck driver, the main frame was coaxed up onto the truck for the journey back to Broadford.
The Historical Society would like to thank: