The following is the Introduction to the book:
I N T R O D U C T I O N
By Sue Matthews, Principal , Tallong Public School, 2014
In 2014 Tallong Public School educates 56 students. It is a school that is proud of its role within the community and understands the responsibility it has in providing an education to the youth of Tallong. Families within Tallong support the school and value a sound education for their children.
One hundred and fifty years ago these values were just as prominent. Railway workers camped with their wives and children near Tallong (then known as Barbers Creek) whilst work went on to complete the viaduct over Barbers Creek, were very active in lobbying for a school to educate their children. The railway workers even built the bark hut that was to becomethe classroom that would educate approximately 40 children. A teacher was employed. He taught the children during the day and the railway workers in
the evening. However as the railway line was completed the workers moved on and the little school closed and it wasn’t until some seventeen years later that a school once again operated in Tallong. This time the school was in a new location but still consisting of a bark slab design, and only after much lobbying by parents keen to have their children educated. The building was never suitable, with students and the teacher often falling ill during the harsh Tallong winters.
Continued lobbying to improve the school facility finally saw the school in its third location and with a new school building. This time the building was more structurally sound and able to provide better accommodation for the teacher and students. This building came from another school near Bungonia which had recently closed. The building is still to be seen to this day on the current school site and is used as a sports shed, and previously as a weather shed. Interestingly, this building was the cause for parents to be later lobbying again for a new school dwelling due to the current one being too hot in summer!
A final move was made in 1914 to the school’s current site in Bumballa Street. For many years one teacher educated the students but as enrolments grew, two teachers operated out of this building using the enclosed verandah to separate the students into a junior and senior class. This building today is still a classroom and whilst minor improvements have been made, from the outside, the structure remains largely unchanged. Stepping inside the classroom of course is a completely different matter with laptops, interactive white board, air conditioning and a vast amount of resources not available back in 1914. Back in 1914 Tallong was a busy and bustling community not only because of the expanding orchards but also because of building works again developing along the railway line. The railway line was being duplicated, the overhead bridge, now leading to
Tallong Park Estate, was being built and the brick viaduct over Barbers Creek was also being built. Davenport’s Store provided a local business hub and the recreation area and picnic ground were established beside Barbers Creek.
Tallong today is also thriving and the school currently has three classrooms, with the third classroom established in 2014. Whilst there is much talk about the viability of 4 small schools, Tallong Public School has been able not only to maintain but increase enrolments ensuring its successful existence for the foreseeable future.
If you would like to purchase this book, copies are available during school hours from the Tallong Public School office in Bumballa St., Tallong and also The Midge, Tallong.
Principals at Tallong Public School:
Nathaniel Netterfield 1914-1927
Patrick Clune 1928-1934
Geoffrey Costin 1934-1941
William Cook 1942-1949
Morton Crawford 1949-1955
John Swain 1956-1958
Brian Joyce 1959-1960
Walter Morgan 1960-1962
Keith Kelly 1962-1964
Alan Smith 1965
Keith Pollack 1965, 1966-1967
Ronald Cochrane 1968-1970
John Henry 1971-1974
Charles Gunning 1975-1976
John Weedon 1977-1981
Janice Jones 1982-1985
Peter Westren 1986-2004
Robyn Neale Relieving Principal part 2005, part 2007-2008
Belinda Orellana 2005-2008
Christine Alderton 2009- May 2010
Susan Matthews May 2010 to 2015