BRIDGING THE DISTANCE
1877: LOW LEVEL BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION
On the 2nd July 1877 a public meeting was held in the North Pine Provisional School to form a committee to advise the Department that the bridge across the North Pine River was under construction. They were to request that the Department “take steps to build a new primary school for the accommodation of the children at present attending the half-time school”.
Members elected were: Tom Petrie; John Duffield Jnr.; James Hay; George Hall; John Duffield Snr.; John Todd; Ambrose Tucker; James White; and Charles Bright.
It was at this meeting that Tom Petrie officially donated an extra portion of land in order for the schools to be amalgamated and a State school [Read More About the State School System: http://education.qld.gov.au/library/edhistory/state/brief/primary-1860.html] to be built, essentially expanding the original north bank school premises.
The 1877 enrolment report shows that the school had obtained steady growth (as well as some other interesting social demographics), pressing the need to establish a school that could accommodate all the children in one place with concentrated learning over a whole school day.
The North Pine River Bridge was anxiously longed for and on the 6th July 1877 The Brisbane Courier reported from the region that ‘Crossing the North Pine’ was now a lot easier.
6 July 1877 (Friday)
CROSSING THE NORTH PINE
Foremost among the reasons for which the residents of this district have been for years anxiously looking forward to the erection of this bridge was, that it would allow them to amalgamate the two half-time provisional schools, which have hitherto been carried on by the same teacher at a few hundred yards distance from each other, on either side of the river into one regular State School. To effect this object, a meeting was held at one of the school-houses on the 25th alt. [sic], at which Mr Thomas Petrie offered to give the quantity of land necessary, and the respectable sum of 45 pounds was subscribed as a start.
Source: 1877 ‘Crossing the North Pine.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld.: 1864 – 1933), 6 July, p. 3, viewed 4 December, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1364835
Interestingly, this article was published between the gathering on the 2nd of July and when a letter was drafted by the School Committee to the Under Secretary of Public Instruction on the 9th July, publicly divulging the action of the previous meeting and Mr Petrie’s generosity.
The letter was to ask the Department of Education for additional funding in light of the valuable donation of land and the amount of subscriptions already collected.
Transcript of letter:
[reveal heading=”%image% Click here to read transcript”]
9 July 1877
Letter to the Under Secretary of Public Instruction signed by Secretary, John Duffield Snr.
North Pine River
July 9th 1877
To the Under Secretary of Public Instruction
Now that the Bridge at North Pine River is almost completed the inhabitants of the district having taken steps to build a new Primary School for the accommodation of the children attending the present half-time schools. The offer of two acres of land, from Mr Petrie has been accepted by the Committee who wish to draw your attention to the fact that the land has been valued at six pounds per acre. The Committee therefore request that the value Twelve Pounds per acre be added to the amount of Subscription of above proposed school.
I have the honor [sic] to be on behalf of above Committee.
John Duffield Snr
By the time this request was made the school had already undergone one Departmental inspection on the 17th of April, curiously a second inspection was also carried out on the 19th and 20th of September. These inspections were amalgamated into one report that was presented to Parliament in December 1877.
On the south bank, the community proved their tenacity to the Department by erecting the necessary toilet facilities. However as numbers rose, it was clear that it was difficult to contend with the demand for school materials.
The children were considered to be progressing steadily and it was considered there was fair progress since the previous inspection.
However a large shift in the routine and enrolment pattern on the north bank was evident now the bridge was finished:
“Since the opening of the bridge over the North Pine River, many of the children attending the forenoon school on the south side come over in the afternoon; consequently, the room is crowded, and the accommodation in every way insufficient. Soon after the second inspection, tenders were called for building a State school.”
Transcript of 1877 school inspection report:
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NORTH PINE RIVER – SOUTH SIDE. (HALF-TIME PROVISIONAL).
Inspected 17th April and 20th September
First inspection: – On roll – Boys, 14; girls, 13; total, 27. Present – Boys, 7; girls, 8; total, 15.
Second inspection: – On roll – Boys, 18; girls, 12; total, 25. Present – Boys, 18; girls, 11; total, 20.
During the year the committee erected the necessary out-house, but a book-press is still wanting, and the supply of desks and forms is barely sufficient for the number of children. In other respects the material appliances are good.
The attendance (forenoon only) was moderate as to regularity; the quality of the results in reading, writing, and arithmetic, was between moderate and fair, and the quantity of work done was satisfactory. Order was very fair; the discipline was so far effective as to promote industry in school; fair progress was made between inspections, and the general condition of the school was satisfactory.
NORTH PINE RIVER – NORTH SIDE (HALF-TIME PROVISIONAL)
Inspected 17th April and 19th September.
First inspection: – On roll – Boys, 18; girls, 8; total, 26. Present – Boys, 17; girls, 7; total 24.
Second inspection: – On roll – Boys, 22; girls, 13; total, 35. Present – Boys, 18; girls, 11; total, 29.
Since the opening of the bridge over the North Pine River, many of the children attending the forenoon school on the south side come over in the afternoon; consequently, the room is crowded, and the accommodation in every way insufficient. Soon after the second inspection, tenders were called for building a State school.
The attendance (afternoon only) was fair in quality; the results were fair in quality and in
quantity satisfactory ; order was good ; the discipline was such as to promote earnest industry, but it failed to produce perfect honesty under examination in the desk work ; the progress made between inspections was good, and the general condition of the school was satisfactory.
A report for an inspection on 28th October 1878 has been sourced; however this citation omits the report for the south side and only references the report for the north side school. Eventually, we do hope to source the entire report.
Nothing structurally had changed since 1877 and it was considered satisfactory, however a toilet was still wanting. Slates and “third books” were noted to be still deficient but attendance was “very fair” in quantity and “punctual but only indifferently regular”.
Transcript of 1878 school inspection report for the north bank schoolhouse:
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PINE RIVER NORTH
Inspected 28th October
On roll, 27: 15 boys and 12 girls. Present, 18: 12 boys and 6 girls.
This school is on the north side of the river, and is the companion half-time school to the one on the south side: this one is open in the afternoon and the other in the forenoon. The premises are unchanged since last inspection. Building and furniture may be considered satisfactory. Closet is wanting. Slates and third books are deficient in supply. The attendance is very fair in quantity and quite punctual but only indifferently regular. The general administration of the school resembles that of its companion, but in this one the tone is more open and lively and the proficiency somewhat higher.
Again the Inspector noted a marked difference in the atmosphere on the north bank in comparison to the south side remarking:
“The general administration of the school resembles that of its companion, but in this one the tone is more open and lively and the proficiency somewhat higher.”
A SINGLE STATE SCHOOL AMALGAMATION
1879: AMALGAMATION ON THE NORTH BANK
Buildings consisting of one classroom, separate teachers’ residence with a detached kitchen were finished and handed over to the Department with the school opening as State School, Pine River North on the 20 January 1879.
There was another ‘special inspection’ completed at this born-again school on the 28th April 1879, including a written report and a schematic showing how the school was placed on the land and the plan of the buildings.
The site is described as being on the upper portion of the same lot as the North Pine Hotel on land known as ‘Petrie’s Paddock’, it is considered a suitable site but already considered too small.
The school building had hard wood floors and verandahs, hard wood weatherboard, hard wood shingles, a roof lined diagonally with pine, pine gallery and furniture, spouts and two tanks, and railed verandah at back as the building stood very high from the ground.
The toilet or ‘closets’ are described as being three in number of hard wood with pine seats and a urinal in the boys’.
The teachers’ dwelling was a four-cornered cottage with detached kitchen, hard wood floor, weather boards and shingles, no lining or ceiling with pine partitions.
The Inspector states that the buildings were all erected in the latter part of 1877 and were well finished in all respects.
The School Inspector completed his report on Pine River North State School No 183 on 24 July 1879.
Transcript of 1879 special school inspection report for the new State School on the north side of the Pine River:
[reveal heading=”%image% Click here to read transcript“]
Inspected 28 April 1879
[INCLUDING] Plan of Site and Buildings [see Image].
30 A Parish of Redcliffe, County Stanley being a rectangular piece having 2 chains frontage Whiteside Road and 10 chains in-depth giving an area of 2 acres. It is the upper portion of the paddock attached to North Pine Hotel known as Petrie’s Paddock. The site is in every way suitable but it is not large enough.
Hard Wood floors and Verandahs [sic], Hard Wood weatherboard, Hard Wood shingles. Roof lined diagonally with Pine, pine gallery and furniture, spouts and, two tanks. Stands very high from ground at back. Verandahs [sic] (back) railed.
Four cornered cottage with detached kitchen. Hard Wood floor, weather boards and shingles, no lining or ceiling, pine partitions.
Three, Hard Wood with pine seats and urinal to boys’ closet.
The buildings were erected in the latter part of 1877 and are well finished in all respects.
Signed District Inspector 21.7.79[/reveal]
There is evidence that there was an annual inspection that also took place in 1879, but we have been unable to secure the full citation for this visit by the Department at this stage.
1880s: RENOVATION AND EXPANSION
Seemingly there was no new construction for some time, until a Board of Education report to Parliament for the year 1884 (only 5 years after the official opening of the new amalgamated state school) included a new schedule of the floor space of certain State Schools, including Pine Rivers North:
School #: 183
Name: Pine Rivers North
Av Attend: 60
Area of classrooms excluding Verandahs [sic]: 594
Varandahs [sic]: 544
Over the next few years there seemed to be steady funding for improvements with tenders advertised in the newspaper for local tradespersons to quote their best price to get the work. The successful applicants were announced in following editions of the paper.
In 1887 Thomas Curry was successful in winning a tender by the Education Department for “additions to Pine River North State School”. Presumably these were to add more space for more students. For the era, the 319 pounds and 10 shillings he would be paid was a very large expense, so it could be expected that this was a considerable sized addition.
3 December 1887 (Saturday)
The following tenders have been accepted by the Education Department: —… additions to Pine River North State school, Thomas Curry, 319 pounds 10 shillings;
Source: 1887 ‘Current News.’, The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld.: 1866 – 1939), 3 December, p. 885, viewed 13 December, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article19928893
It was stated in Commemorating 125 Years of Service: Petrie State School 1874-1999 that in 1888 an extra classroom was constructed on the western end of the original building adding another room of 40 ft x 20 ft or 12.192 m x 6.096 m.
1888 also, saw an invitation for tenders for painting the school.
8 December 1888 (Saturday)
TENDERS AND CONTRACTS
… painting State school, North Pine;
Source: 1888 ‘TENDERS AND CONTRACTS.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld.: 1864 – 1933), 8 December, p. 6, viewed 24 January, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3489717
Eight years later, tenders were invited by the Department of Public Works for “painting State school, North Pine”.
24 December 1896 (Thursday)
Tenders are invited by the Department of Public Works, by advertisement in another column for …; painting State school, North Pine; …
Source: 1896 ‘CHRISTMAS CARDS FROM RAPHAEL TUCK’S.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld.: 1864 – 1933), 24 December, p. 4, viewed 13 December, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3642266
This tender was won and announced the following February in 1897 as being awarded to S McTaggart for the amount of 18 pounds and 10 shillings.
6 February 1897 (Saturday)
The Department of Public Works has accepted the following tenders: — … Painting State school, North Pine: S. McTaggart 18 pounds 10 shillings.
Source: 1897 ‘Current News.’, The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld.: 1866 – 1939), 6 February, p. 280, viewed 13 December, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article20769548
In 1900 more tenders were announced and awarded for “improvements and repairs”:
14 August 1900 (Tuesday)
Improvements and repairs, State School, North Pine, 7 September;
Source: 1900 ‘OFFICIAL NOTIFICATIONS.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld.: 1864 – 1933), 14 August, p. 2, viewed 28 January, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article19044426
8 September 1900 (Saturday)
The following tenders have been received by the Public Works Department: – Improvements and repairs to North Pine State School, W. Jarvis, 73 pounds 10 shillings;
Source: 1900 ‘TENDERS FOR PUBLIC WORKS.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld.: 1864 – 1933), 8 September, p. 14, viewed 28 January, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article19068309
7 August 1900 (Tuesday)
Tenders Called: – … improvements at North Pine State School, 7th September;
Source: 1900 ‘OFFICIAL NOTIFICATIONS.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld.: 1864 – 1933), 7 August, p. 6, viewed 28 January, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article19062812
1900s: THE PLAYSHED IS CONSTRUCTED
Finally in 1906, after a delay of many years, along with more painting and improvements to the teachers’ residence, the children were now awarded a ‘playshed’ to help them shield from the weather and have an outdoors spot to gather in the shade (More about the Playshed):
26 November 1906 (Monday)
Tenders for Public Works.
… new play shed, improvements to residence, and State school buildings, North Pine, December 21 ;
Source: 1906 ‘Tenders for Public Works.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld.: 1864 – 1933), 26 November, p. 3, viewed 28 January, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article19500550
This tender was awarded to Mr A Anderson for a cost of 131 pounds and 12 shillings:
28 December 1906 (Friday)
PUBLIC WORKS TENDERS.
The following tenders for public works have been accepted … North Pine State School, new playshed, improvements to residence, repairs, and painting, A Andersen, 131 pounds 12 shillings;
Source: 1906 ‘PUBLIC WORKS TENDERS.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld.: 1864 – 1933), 28 December, p. 5, viewed 28 January, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article19492542
A feature article and photographic layout for ‘The Sketcher’ column in ‘The Queenslander’ published in August 1907 showcased the entire North Pine district including the State School, by now a fine upstanding institution in the established area and proud of its recent renovations.
3 August 1907 (Saturday)
The State school buildings are large and commodious and well equipped. A new play shed has just been added, with other conveniences, and the whole place has just been painted. The average attendances reaches ninety children, and the teaching staff consists of Mr R. Hunter, master, with Miss Davies as assistant and Mr White as pupil teacher. The inspector left an excellent report on his last visit to the school.
Source: 1907 ‘SKETCHER.’, The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld.: 1866 – 1939), 3 August, p. 8, viewed 13 December, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article22271965
The article is accompanied by a full-page photographic spread showing the front fence of the State School in 1907.
3 August 1907 (Saturday)
Around North Pine.
(1) Railway Bridge over the North Pine River. (2) North Pine Railway Station. (3) A corner of the stationmaster’s home. (4) North Pine township ten years ago. (5) The township to-day. (6) Loading pigs at the railway station. (7) A favourite picnic resort. (8) The Wesleyan Church mounted on wheels and removed to a new site. (9) Interior of the Church of England. (10) North Pine Police Station. (11) The State School. (12) The newest residence at North Pine.—See “Sketcher.”
Source: 1907 ‘Around North Pine.’, The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld.: 1866 – 1939), 3 August, p. 22, viewed 13 December, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article22271915
Despite this however, more improvements and renovations were required in 1908, particularly “roofing of teacher’s residence”:
13 July 1908 (Monday)
Tenders Called —… re-roofing teacher’s residence and improvements State school, North Pine, August 14;
Source: 1908 ‘OFFICIAL NOTIFICATIONS.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld.: 1864 – 1933), 13 July, p. 2, viewed 28 January, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article19514884
This tender was won by Mr J R Wiley and evidently involved more painting:
19 August 1908 (Wednesday)
Repairs and painting at North Pine State school, J. R. Wiley, 52 pounds.
Source: 1908 ‘PUBLIC WORKS.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld.: 1864 – 1933), 19 August, p. 3, viewed 28 January, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article19535958
The fencing of the school was considered “dilapidated” at a meeting of the School Committee and the Secretary was instructed to refer the matter to the government:
31 May 1911 (Wednesday)
NORTH PINE; May 30
At a meeting of the State School Committee Mr J. Connors occupied the chair, and there were also present Messrs T V Bray (secretary), W Osborne (treasurer), J Young, W J Baldwin, W Lear, and J W Lear … Attention was drawn to the dilapidated state of the school fence, and the secretary was instructed to refer the matter to the department.
Source: 1911 ‘GRAFTON DISTRICT.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld.: 1864 – 1933), 31 May, p. 12, viewed 13 December, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article19714339
Yet more repairs were called for in the interim:
Saturday 12 August 1911
The following tenders were received:—Repairs, &c [sic], North Pine State School: E Sticklen, 100 pounds 5 shillings:
Source: 1911 ‘CURRENT NEWS.’, The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld.: 1866 – 1939), 12 August, p. 16, viewed 28 January, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article21920220
The action from the School Committee Secretary regarding the fence issue raised in the May meeting was swiftly acted on with a request, tender announced and awarded within only five months:
Tuesday 10 October 1911
North Pine School
The tender of C Street has been accepted by the Public Works Department for fencing the North Pine State School grounds, amount 83 pounds 15/9.
Source: 1911 ‘North Pine School.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld.: 1864 – 1933), 10 October, p. 9, viewed 21 February, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article19735861
In 1913, the teacher’s residence again received more repairs to the amount of 50 pounds and was inspected and noted at the School Committee meeting:
8 February 1913 (Saturday)
… A meeting of the school committee was held on Tuesday evening, when there were present : Messrs J Connors (chairman), S N Bray (secretary), W J Baldwin, J W Lear, and J Young. The secretary reported that improvements to the school house, amounting to 50 pounds had been completed, and these were inspected by the committee, who expressed satisfaction at the work done …
Source: 1913 ‘BELOW THE RANGE.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld.: 1864 – 1933), 8 February, p. 6, viewed 14 December, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article19862505
It was stated in Commemorating 125 Years of Service: Petrie State School 1874 – 1999; Petrie State School 1999 that in 1920 approval was given to replace the shingle roof on the original classroom with iron.
1930s – 1950s: TEACHER’S LODGING BECOMES UNSUSTAINABLE
It’s assumed that the school did not change terribly much structurally from this time until more modern times.
Commemorating 125 Years of Service: Petrie Sate School 1874 – 1999; Petrie State School, 1999; p9 references a number of changes to the school during this time such as:
1934 – Board linings were provided to the school (by T & G V J) to make it more weatherproof and keep out the drafts;
1936 – Enlarged windows added to end walls of both constructions for better lighting; and
1939 – Funding allocation to paint the exterior of the entire school (including the roof) as previously only one section had ever received paint.
The teaching lodgings were continuing to become a ‘money pit’, and most unsuitable for a growing school. By the end of the 1930s it was nearing its demise and the era of head teachers acting as an unofficial school caretaker was ending.
It is said that the teacher’s lodging was kept longer than it should have been on request by the ‘predecessor’ of Mal Langusch despite having being condemned for demolition. It is not clear however if this was Arthur Delhby Hanson or Alexander Howe as Mr Howe was an acting Head Teacher. Mal Langusch says of his 1951-1953 stay in the Head Teachers lodgings in his Petrie memoir in 1999:
“My worst memory of my term at Petrie was the house we occupied. A relic of the distant past, it was condemned and marked for demolition, but retained on a request by my predecessor.”
1950s & 60s: OFFICIAL SCHOOL NAME CHANGE & THE AUSTRALIAN PAPER MILL MOVES IN
New things were happening in Petrie in the 1950s. The Australian Paper Mill (Read More About The APM’S Influence) had built a massive industry on the north bank of the Pine River next to the bridge and there was a new boom of population, innovation and children.
Due to this increased enrolment, in 1954 the Department of Works built an additional 9ft to increase the area of the original school wing. Windows opening onto the verandah of the original wing were also enlarged.
Source: Commemorating 125 Years of Service: Petrie Sate School 1874 – 1999; Petrie State School, 1999; p9
THE NAME OFFICIALLY CHANGED TO PETRIE STATE SCHOOL ON THE 21 May 1956
Read More About the School Name Changes