Johns River school community celebrates 150 years

Johns River Public School students Elkie, Phoenix, Ellie and Indigo give up their Saturday to attend Johns River markets (in school uniform). Back row teacher Mr Josh Tomasone and Relieving Principal Mr Murray McGrath
Johns River Public School students Elkie, Phoenix, Ellie and Indigo give up their Saturday to attend Johns River markets (in school uniform). Back row teacher Mr Josh Tomasone and Relieving Principal Mr Murray McGrath

This year, John's River Public School celebrates the remarkable feat of 150 years of educating local children.

From its humble beginnings of nine students in a borrowed room of a local resident in 1870, the little school has educated generations of Johns River locals, and continues to be the beating heart of the local community.

Although Covid-19 restrictions have thwarted plans to hold big celebrations, past and present students were able to look through photo displays of the years gone by at the Johns River markets recently.

Principal Murray McGrath chatted with locals as they tried to find their names and faces among the old photos and newspaper articles.

Nobody admitted to finding their name among those listed in the school's antique 'Punishment Book' where students' names and crimes were recorded, along with how many lashes of the cane they had been dished out.

Phoenix shows her grandfather the schools history.

Phoenix shows her grandfather the schools history.

Disobedience, laziness, sulking and smoking on school grounds were just some of the incidents punishable by caning at the time.

The students have also been working hard to research and film a series of videos outlining the history of the school.

"The students have enjoyed learning more about the unique history of their school. It is fascinating for them to take a look into the past to see how much education has changed in 150 years," Mr McGrath said.

Things have certainly changed in education since 1870, but with a fresh group of kindergarten students set to hit the school in 2021, Johns River Public School looks set to add yet another chapter to its rich history.

Relieving principal Murray McGrath chats with locals.

Relieving principal Murray McGrath chats with locals.