Petrie State School opened 22 April 1874 on the south bank of the Pine River as a North Pine Provisional School #183. When the companion school opened a few months later on the north bank of the river to enable the establishment of the half-time experimental system, it was named North Pine Provisional School #183 ½.
The schools eventually amalgamated in North Pine (now Petrie) and the name reverted to North Pine Provisional School #183, however it was also occasionally known as North Pine River School. On becoming a state school in 1879 the name was first chosen as ‘Pine River North State School’ but was formally changed to North Pine State School in 1896.
“In 1879, it became a State School and the name was changed to Pine River North State School. In 1896, the name of the school changed again, this time to North Pine State School.”
Source: Queensland State Archives Agency ID5620, Petrie State School, Description.
When Tom Petrie died in August 1910 he was already considered in very high esteem by members of the social gentry in North Pine and in Brisbane town. His family are credited with much of the early settlement and establishment practices in late 1800s Brisbane. The name ‘Petrie’ adorns many place names including Petrie Terrace, Petrie’s Bight and Mount Petrie.
Although there is some evidence to suggest he wasn’t always popular with everyone in the local area where he lived, he certainly was not only North Pine’s earliest settler, famed friend of the indigenous people, but also a prominent socialite. The Petrie family seemed always willing to help with school events and fundraising, indeed often giving much-needed funds from their own pocket.
On Mr Petrie’s passing it was decided that he was long overdue for public recognition. In 1911 a memorial was erected that despite being moved a couple of times, still stands in the front of the North Pine School of Arts building on Anzac Avenue.
[COMING SOON: Read More About the Petrie Family and the Tom Petrie Memorial.]
It was also decided at this time to re-name the North Pine railway station ‘Petrie’ in his honour.
This had major ramifications. For as the train station also acted as the mail office people were required to change their address to ‘Petrie’ instead of ‘North Pine’, effectively changing the name of the location that people lived.
This was a controversial decision:
In 1911, the Department of Railways changed the name of the North Pine Station to Petrie as a tribute to Tom Petrie who had died the year before. As postal operations were being conducted from the Station at this time, it also became necessary to change postal addresses. Many local residents opposed the name change and the issue generated a great deal of controversy for several years.
SCHOOL COMMUNITY PETITION DEPARTMENT TO RETAIN ‘NORTH PINE’ NAME
The community surrounding the school took immediate steps to prevent it following the same trend as the rail station. At least seventeen people initialed a petition dated the 31st October 1911 addressed to The Under Secretary for the Department of Public Instruction. The petition sought of the department to “be so good as to take every precaution that the name of the State School at North Pine retains its name, and is not given the name of the Railway Station at that place”.
In this sense, the community persevered – at least in the short-term.
However it is clear that whether they liked it or not the name ‘Petrie’ was becoming the identifying personal pronoun for the geographic area north across the river from Lawnton.
As early as two years after the train station re-naming, and despite the petition from the school community and the consequential retention of its original North Pine identifier, the Brisbane Courier newspaper referred to the school as ‘Petrie State School’ in 1913:
1913: LITTLE ‘HORSE ACCIDENT’ GIRL FROM ‘PETRIE STATE SCHOOL’
11 January 1913 (Saturday)
Fell off a Horse
Eva Theodore, a little girl 9 years of age, and a pupil of the Petrie State School was riding a horse at that town on Thursday afternoon when she fell off and received injury to her left shoulder. Yesterday she was brought to Brisbane, where the Ambulance Brigade met the train and conveyed the little sufferer to the Children’s Hospital.
Source: 1913 ‘Fell off a Horse’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld.: 1864 – 1933), 11 January, p. 11, viewed 31 July, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article19878925
A couple of decades later and the children of the school were also identifying themselves as attending ‘Petrie State School’:
1930: PETRIE SS STUDENT WANTS TO JOIN THE NEWSPAPER ‘CHILDREN’S PAGE’
22 May 1930
PLEASE, may I be a member of “The Queenslander” Children’s Page? I am 11 years old and go to Petrie State School. I am in third grade. I have to leave for school at half past seven. My birthday is on June 20. — Nancy Vorea, Riverton, Petrie, N.C. Line.
Source: 1930 ‘Letters From Little Readers.’, The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 – 1939), 22 May, p. 54, viewed 31 July, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article23123285
1931: FANCY NEW NAME FOR FANCY DRESS?
21 September 1931 (Monday)
FANCY DRESS BALL
In aid of the funds of the Petrie State School a successful fancy dress dance ball was held in the North Pine School of Arts on Friday night. The Mayor and Mayoress of Redcliffe (Alderman and Mrs A H Langdon), who judged the fancy costumes, were accompanied by Mr A Stapleton (head master Redcliffe State School) and Mrs Stapleton and Mrs T B Hopkins (Brisbane) and were welcomed by Mr George Armstrong (chairman of the Petrie State School committee). A bouquet was presented to the Mayoress by little Miss Jill Buckby. The arrangements for the dance were carried out by a ladies’ committee comprising Mesdames W J Baldwin, F Brewer, R Paterson, S R Young, A Skinner, A E Buckby, Misses E L Hawkins, M Quirk, A Skinner, M Baldwin, Madge Chappell (secretary). The grand march was supervised by Mr A Dixon. Prize-winning fancy costumes were as follows – Best fancy costume, girl, Nancy Vores (Powder and Patches); best fancy costume, boy, Eric Twible (Golliwog); best couple senior, Thelma and Joyce Skinner (Irish Gentleman and Colleen;) best pair, junior Bill and Peggy Buckby (Bridegroom and Bride); most original costume, Jim Senyard (Australia England Air Mail); paper costume, Sylvia Herman (Early Victorian). Special prizes: Best boy, John Senyard (Toy Soldier); best girl, Valerie Skinner (Fairy); couple J Quinn and Miss M Quinn (Dad and Mum).
Source: 1931 ‘FANCY DRESS BALL.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld.: 1864 – 1933), 21 September, p. 17, viewed 31 July, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article21733077
1939: PETRIE’S NAME ENTRENCHED
24 October 1939 (Tuesday)
Prize-winners at the Petrie State School children’s annual fancy dress ball were: — Boys: M Herman. D Duncombe, A King, D Neilson, J Herman, J Ferguson, K Houghton, K Fink, R Cook, D Webster, J Randall, D Skinner, C Campbell, K Beaky, G Houghton. Girls: P Buckby, E Tuffiect, G King, G Moyle, H Gordon, M Brewer, B Allsopp, A Duncombe. Mr and Mrs C Buchanan (Caboolture), were Judges. Euchre prizes were won by Messrs M Klatt, E Goddard, J Cooke, Mesdames L Ebert, W Scott, and W Lang. Scriven’s orchestra (Sandgate) played the music, and the takings amounted to 20 pounds.
Source: 1939 ‘NEWS FROM THE COUNTRY.’, The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld.: 1933 – 1954), 24 October, p. 17, viewed 14 December, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article40886569
1942-1945: RESISTING CHANGE ‘TIL THE FINAL STAND
“At that stage about the only things that were referred to as ‘Petrie’ were the railway station and the post office (which was situated just outside the railway gate). Everything else was North Pine including the Police Station, School of Arts, Masonic Hall, Presbyterian Church, Methodist Church, North Pine Motors etc.”
– Ken Mitchell, former student North Pine State School (now Petrie State School) 1942-1945, received via email 2014.
21 May 1956: SCHOOL SUCCUMBS TO CHANGE AS SUBURB IS NOW ‘PETRIE’
The Name of the School was changed to Petrie, 21 May 1956.
Source: Queensland State Archives Agency ID5620, Petrie State School, Description, Accessed 28 September 2014.