List of personnel
PRINCIPALS Dates of Duty
O’Connor, Michael 1/8/1870 - 1/7/1871
Skinner, John 5/10/1871 - 1/9/1876
Hall, William 1/9/1876 - 1/2/1878
McNiell, Malcolm 1/4/1878 - 1/1/1884
Stewart, Robert 11/2/1884 - 1/4/1884
Clarke, Frederick 15/3/1884 - 1/7/1884
Pascoe, Edward 7/7/1884 - 1/1/1889
Pigram, Frank 1/1/1889 - 9/2/1903
Somers, Alfred (act) 2/3/1903 - 30/4/1903
Rogers, James 1/7/03 - 23/3/04
Krause, Joseph 11/4/04 - 1/1/10
Weston, Lizzie 1/1/10 - 30/9/10
Ewbank, Albert 1/9/10 - 31/8/21
Gould, Walter 1/10/21 - 1/6/27
Hooper, Ronald 1/6/27 - 8/5/33
McLean, George 8/5/33 - 1/2/38
Lloyd, Oliver 1/2/38 - 11/9/39
Francis, Harold 11/9/39 - 6/11/42
Smith, Alan 18/8/52 - 10/10/55
Lewis, Kenneth 17/10/55 - 6/7/59
Robinson, Keith 6/7/59 - 26/7/65
Roberts, Peter 26/7/65 - 29/6/73
Lennon, Barry 2/7/73 - 7/10/75
Howes, Brendan 1/1/76 - 1/1/77
Retschlag, Gregory 1/1/77 - 1/1/80
Bonney, Owen 1/1/80 - 1/1/83
Davidson, William 1/1/83 - 1/1/86
Cavanagh, Roger 1/1/86
Affleck, Margaret 1880 - 22/8/1882
Craig, Robert 19/2/1883 - 19/6/1893
Ryan, Jeremiah 1924 - 1/7/27
Collins, Peter 1/1/65 - 11/7/66
Reuschle, Alison 11/7/66 - 13/5/68
Greenup, Margaret 13/5/68 - 1/1/69
Doyle, Patricia 1/1/69 - 1/1/70
Fenwick, Dianne 27/1/70 - 15/5/70
Milward, Joanne 18/5/70 -
Hay, Catherine 2/7/73
Payne, Alison 1974 - 27/1/76
Willing, Robyn 1/1/76 - 27/9/76
McBain, June 27/8/79 -
Christensen, Bev January 1974 - Shelley,
Margaret January 1975 - November 1979
Ramsey, Dianne November 1979 - July 1984
Byrne, Dianne July 1984 - April 1985
Lancaster, Sharon May 1985 - June 1985
Davidson, Christine July 1985 - November 1985
Eastwell, Joy (Relief) March 1986 - present Small, June September 1986 - present
NOTE: Prior to the early 1970’s, cleaning duties at the school were the responsibility of the Principal.
Booth, Nola 1974 - January 1981 Seidl,
Frank January 1981 - December 1982
Mills, Gloria January 1983 - April 1984
Saunders, Irene May 1984 - January 1986
Saunders, John January 1986 - present
Route 895 - commenced February 1965
Closed July 1967.
Route 1452 - commenced 1/8/83
Hansen, Helmuth 1/8/83 - 9/10/86
Hayes, Gary 9/10/86 - present
On the 18th July 1869, a public meeting was held for the purpose of discussion regarding the establishment of a primary school in the district. Office bearers at this early meeting were Mr Thomas Jackson, Mr James Campbell, Mr Edward Malone and Mr J J Wilson.
As there were 57 children eligible for education in the valley, it was proposed to apply to the Chairman of the Board of Education for the provision of a teacher, school and school residence. It was also proposed to apply to the Minister of Lands for the granting of the Freestone School Reserve as part of the Warwick Agricultural Reserve.
In the following days a total of 70 pounds was raised on behalf of the residents and subscribers towards the cost of the proposal.
The proposed site for the school reserved was on the banks of Freestone Creek, a total area of 6 acres 3 roods 23 perches, upon which the present school lies.
While the application was approved, the actual grounds were not officially gazetted until 28/1/1876. The contract for the erection of buildings was let to a Toowoomba builder, Mr Daffy, and were finished in January 1870. The actual buildings were sited much closer to the creek than the present structure and differed in that the residence was attached to the school. (see illustration). A description is contained in the Inspector’s report of 1876. "The school room is 35 feet by 15 feet, equal to an area of 525 square feet. The framework and outside boards are of sawn hardwood lined with dressed tongued and grooved pine boards. The rafters and battens are of pine but the shingles are of iron bark. The residence was six rooms but originally contained the usual four and is built of the same materials as the school. The rooms are all lined with pine.
The buildings were opened on June 27 1870, but the first official school day was August 1st. It is presumed that the delay was caused by the lack of a teacher. The school was known as Freestone Creek No 1.
The first teacher was Mr Michael O’Connor who remained for a period of eleven months. The school was temporarily closed for three months until a new teacher was available. The name was changed in 1876 to Freestone Creek Lower.
Disaster struck on April 14th 1902 at 1am when the complete school and residence were burnt to the ground. The cause was attributed to mice nibbling at wax matches. Unfortunately many rolls and records were destroyed as well as all educational materials.
School functioned in the School of Arts building from 20 May 1902 until the erection of a new building in 1904. The teacher, Mr Frank Pigram travelled from Warwick by horse and trap.
The new school and residence were completed in 1904 at a cost of 528 pounds, 17 shillings by Mr J Woodcock. However this did not come about before considerable debate amongst local residents. Some residents believed the new school should be sited on the northern side of Freestone Creek (opposite the Catholic Church) as flooding caused the children to miss school. After much deliberation the Department of Education chose the site near the old position where the present building stands.
One finds it hard to believe the hardships endured by the pupils in the early days. Most children walked to school, some considerable distances. One group of children who lived near where Charles Mauch’s farm stands today walked to Freestone school. Many others rode horses and left them to graze in the school horse paddock.
The cultivation paddock across the creek facing eastward was originally thick scrub. One father, concerned at the extra distance his daughters had to walk, created a track by dragging a log through the scrub. The children then used this as a short cut to school.
Left - Plan of Freestone School
Such lengthy distances for children to travel to school invited mischief. One boy, whilst climbing a tree on his way home to rob a bird’s nest, fell and broke both his wrists. This drew little sympathy from his father who sent him to school at Swan Creek, quite a long ride on horseback.
Through the years, many students studied under the various teachers. The usual practice was for sewing and handicrafts to be taught by the Principal’s wife. One Principal used the services of his grown up daughter for sewing lessons. The boys would coax her pet dog into the schoolroom in the knowledge that the dog would dive under her long skirt. The boys would then inform the Principal who would create chaos in the sewing class by caning the dog. No doubt there are many such stories over the years.
The name of the school was changed in 1940 to Freestone State School after an application from the School Committee Secretary, W Head. With the operation of Freestone Creek Upper State School there was confusion concerning the two school’s similar names.
School picnics are an enjoyable part of many ex-pupil’s memories. The day was usually attended by parents and pupils of neighbouring areas, who would in turn play host to local residents when their turn came. The mornings were taken up with preparation of the meal and fruit while children took part in organized games and races. Popular events at the picnics included "Late for the train" and "Egg and spoon" races.
School sports heralded a time when school routine was broken. A popular athletics meeting was the Glengallan Sports held at the Clintonvale Sports Ground. Participating schools included Clintonvale, Freestone, Freestone Upper, Gladfield, Goomburra, Inverramsay, Maryvale, Mount Marshall, Sladevale and Willowvale. The list of sports were much after the style of the present Tannymorel Sports, including flat races, relays, jumps and ball games.
Left - Tannymorel Sports 1974
The event which cannot be overlooked and will dwell in the memories of many past students and residents is the School Centenary Celebrations on August 1st 1970. The day began at 9.30am with a Sports Carnival. Lunch was held in a huge marquee, with 1800 past pupils returning to their primary school to relive the past. Official guests included Mr & Mrs D Cory MLA, Mr J K Thistlewaite (Regional Director), Mr & Mrs Fagg (Chairman, Glengallan Shire Council) and Mr K McVeigh (Chairman P & C).
Left - Unveiling the 1970 Centenary plaque
The oldest pupils, Mrs Delaney and Mr Jack Phelan, were presented with gifts and many group photographs were taken. A Centenary cake made by Mrs Cox was cut in the afternoon. At night, an old time dance was held in the hall and was a resounding success. The visitor’s book from the day is presently at the school.
Over the years many changes have been made to the face of the school. The sealing of the parade ground, concreting of the playshed, renewing of paths and periodic painting of the interior and exterior have all enhanced the school’s appearance.
The greatest change to the school’s outlook has been in major works. In 1954, the first tennis court was constructed at a price of 173 pounds 10 shillings 8 pence. The building of an adventure playground in the seventies today provides a popular and attractive leisure outlet for the smaller children.
The closure of the Freestone Upper State School in 1964 led to the removal of the school building to Freestone State School. The two buildings were joined by a covered hallway providing the school’s Z shape. Other noteworthy changes in the seventies include the removal of the teacher’s residence which was sold for removal to Warwick. It was replaced by the present residence built on the opposite side of the playground. The changes continued in the eighties with the construction of an alcove near the building entrance. This picturesque area serves as both a recreational area as well as a quiet reading spot.
In 1985, the school was provided with a new tennis court. This was made possible, like many other innovations, through the hard work of the P & C. The court is a multi-purpose sports area and is well appreciated by the pupils and the community. It is rare to see such a fine court in a small school and it is often commented upon favourably by visitors to the school.
Space constraints led to the erection in 1987 of a modular classroom block. This modern room houses the Year one, two and three children.
The Project club has played a role in the school preparing children in areas of initiative and independence. The first documented account of a Project Club in the school is 1947. Activities undertaken over the years included projects on cotton, vegetables, flowers, calf rearing and landscaping. Perhaps some members may remember sending grain samples from the district to Indooroopilly State School in 1958.
From accounts documented, many Project clubs had to endure the problems of dry weather, caterpillars and hailstorms just as their families did on their farms.
In 1988, the project club is working with the P & C in a joint venture preparing avenues of trees to remember families who have had children educated at the school.
The school has certainly come a long way since the two rail wooden fence around the small bush school near the creek.
Today’s children work with modern audio-visual equipment and use the Apple IIe computer as an integral part of their studies. The changes over the years could not have come about without the strong support of the various school committees and the Parents and Citizens Groups.
The great number of pupils who have gone out into the world and made successes of their vocations or businesses plays testimony to all who have been associated with the advancement of the school.
Planting of the trees for school families.
DOWN MEMORY LANE
- Who can remember the drama associated with the bad summers when brown snakes appeared everywhere? (There were seven killed in one day).
- Who can remember tying the grass together on the path from the teacher’s house so that the teacher had a nasty fall?
- Who can remember the long hot practices for the school concert?
- Who can forget that awful feeling travelling home in the knowledge that your brothers or sisters would tell your parents about the trouble you got into today?
- Who can remember the trouble catching your horse in the horse paddock before it was fenced?
- Were you at school the day the Upper Freestone buildings were shifted? They had to be taken around Harold Booth’s house.
- Can you remember our long serving aide, Mrs Bev Christensen? Bev was the original Library Aide and has been employed through the years to the present.