School History

Pupils assembled outside Bundanoon's first school.

 

 

Private instruction appears to have been given by Emma Harriman about 1868 to augment the family income: fee three pence per week per child, and often, it seems, paid in kind rather than cash.  It wasn't until 1870 that a committee of locals applied to the Council of Education for a provisional school to be provided.

 

In fact, the local community did the providing, the land, buildings, furniture, cost of repairs and usually the teacher.  The local committee comprised of Henry Badgery, Samuel Tooth, John Dimmock and Water Grice.  This application was granted and a school opened in the Primitive Methodist Hall on 7th or 9th January 1871; the first teacher being Mrs Dinah Osborne, at a salary of thirty-six pounds per annum.   Although both the Railway Station and the Post Office were called 'Jordan's Crossing, the school has always been 'Bundanoon'.  Fees were set by the local board and were six pence per week.  In 1906, all primary school fees were abolished.

The school on the present site was built in 1880, firstly a wooden structure, then a brick school in 1909.  It now boasts several additions and some demountable classrooms.  Pupils enrolled in 1884, numbered 82.  After graduation from primary school, pupils went to Bowral High School until 1947, then to Moss Vale Central School and, in 1963, to the new Moss Vale High School.

School buses are the usual mode of transport now, but for pupils who attended Bowral High School, it was the 8.00am passenger train to Bowral and the 'school train' home, at night.  The school train was a goods train with a couple of 'dog box' carriages at the end.  Mostly on Mondays there was no train due to lack of loading from Darling Harbour, in which case pupils caught the early passenger train home at midday, or waited for the 7.30pm from Bowral, arriving home at about 8.00pm.

As a goods train it was notoriously unreliable as to departure time, and if anyone took a change and stopped at the shops in Bowral  -  there was a fruit shop which was very popular  -  and dashed onto the platform when the train was on its way, maybe luck would be their way and the guard looking out, in which case if he was in a good mood, he would stop the train.  The hapless pupil would then run alongside and clamber up into their carriage  -  strictly segregated  -  one carriage for boys and one for girls.

 

(This article was taken from the book 'Jordan's Crossing to Bundanoon' and supplied by courtesy of the Bundanoon History Group.)