There were many reminiscences that we couldn’t include in the book. Here are some of them.
I was a student at the school from 1959-1965. I think fondly of my years at your school and in fact, still use the ragbag I made there in grade 3 or 4 and keep my ‘treasures’ in a box that was an art project during the same years. Penny Hodgetts née Graham
I was at Glen Iris PS from 1957 to 1963 and have many memories of my time there. Playing beneath those magnificent acorn trees is a very fond memory along with SO many others. Angela Riddsdale taught me in year 1 or 2, and made a lasting impression as a wonderful teacher full of warmth and character. Her chalk drawings on the blackboard were a delight and her story telling and reading most enjoyable. I was fortunate enough to have her as one of my lecturers at Toorak Teacher’s College later in life. Kathleen (Kathy) Alfris
I was at “Glen Iris State” from Grade 2 in 1956 to Grade 6 (1960) and have happy memories of some of the friends and teachers I knew there. And of the big oak tree in the grade 2 play area, and the music from the radio programs/lessons that we listened to in the little library. Unfortunately I cannot come to your big open day as I’ll be away on holiday, but I hope it goes well. It would have been good to get news from others of the class of 1960! And to visit my Grade 6 classroom. I remember the view of the city skyline from the back window upstairs – it’ll be rather different now! Rosemary (née Spear)
The city skyline is still an amazing view from the upstairs windows. Robyn
I attended Glen Iris Primary School from 1953 to 1958. During that time there were no people to help you cross Glen Iris Road, and very few if any cars parked outside, as nearly every one walked to school no matter what the distance. On Monday mornings we would line up in our class groupings in the main quadrangle, and with our hand over our hearts we would swear to obey “our parents, teachers and the law”, sing the National Anthem (God Save the Queen) and salute the flag. A few male students playing the drums and some girls playing the fife would accompany us as we marched in order into our classrooms.
Blackboards ran across the full length of the front wall of the classroom with times tables, and grammar rules, as well as coloured pictures that brightened up the large boards fixed in front of us. It seemed to me that we had dictation every morning as well as competitions between the boys and the girls on times tables. The teacher would point at the times table to see who was the first to give the right answer. Students were given inked stamps on pages if good work had been done. In this era classes numbered well into the forties. Ink wells were filled by the ink monitors on a regular basis and somewhere in the fifties pens appeared that could suck up and store the ink so that you could keep writing for much longer. Milk monitors collected the crates of milk in small bottles for students every day at morning recess. At some time flavoured straws appeared, so we could then bring either strawberry, banana or chocolate to flavour the plain milk. Student teachers came to individual classrooms for two weeks as part of their teacher training, always being watched over by the class teacher. Boys could be punished for disobedience by getting the strap on the hand in front of the class. Talking out of turn was unacceptable in the class, and we were expected to speak only when spoken to. I personally had a bit of difficulty with this and I can remember on one occasion I was placed amongst the boys in the class as a preventative measure. Not a good idea as I had three brothers and boys were not a deterrent to me. Lessons were very structured and routine was expected.
Friday was sports day, the girls playing rounders and basketball, the boys playing cricket and football. In the more senior years we would travel to compete with local primary schools such as Deepdene, Solway and Ashburton. In the playground the girls played hopscotch, skipped, did remarkable feats with bamboo hoops, and played jacks (knucklebones). Sometimes we got these knucklebones from the joint of a leg of lamb. The boys went through crazes of playing marbles, and at different times card swapping was very popular. At one stage Coca Cola had a campaign and experts from the United States came to the school to teach us yoyo skills with red Coca Cola yoyos – walking the dog , rocking the cradle and around the world. None of us rose to world championship status, but we all had red yoyos.
‘John and Betty’ reader
The annual inter school sports was a big event with practice in marching, cross ball and tunnel ball seeming to take up lots of time. Marching was quite competitive, as all schools would have a much practiced squad in the hope that their precision would catch the eye of the judges.
There were no children from overseas backgrounds apart from two students in my time at school, so the opportunities for interactive cultural events was non existent.
This decade was also the time of a world wide polio epidemic and doctors and nurses came to the school to vaccinate the pupils. We all lined up, some of us in a distressed state, as injections were not so common at that time, and I think the needles were not so sharp. I can remember a medical team of doctors and nurses came to the school on a few occasions to check particularly our eyesight and hearing to try to identify any problems.
It was also the era of the Olympic games in Melbourne in 1956, and the huge excitement that accompanied the staging of this worldwide event. This anticipation also brought about the Herald Learn to Swim Campaign, which brought swimming to school on an unprecedented level. And the best thing of all television arrived as well. A visit to Melbourne by the Royal family was also a cause for great excitement and I proudly displayed to my class a piece of red carpet on which the Queen would walk.
Names of the day included Helen, Barbara, Jill, Lynette, and Richard, Robin, Gary and Peter. Male teachers wore suits and nearly always shirts and ties. Mr Crittenden, Mr Hubble , Mr Pascoe and Mr Frampton, Miss McClellan, Miss Collie and Mrs Beveridge. Mr Murray was the Principal in the earlier 1950’s always in a dark suit with his war service badge on the lapel. A very imposing figure, he used to come to the class to hear individual students read and give them a mark out of ten for mid year and final year results. Certificates were presented to the students who came first, second or third overall in the middle of the year and at the end of the year. Other certificates were given as encouragement awards to students who had done well. The entire primary school report for all years at Glen Iris was recorded on both sides of one piece of thin cardboard.
We used to do crafts, the girls doing cross stitch, sewing felt toys and knitting tea cosies, amongst other things. The boys glued match sticks and icy pole sticks to make different items, as well as basic basket weaving.
Birthday parties were always held at homes with chocolate crackles, honey joys, fairy bread and rich chocolate marshmallow slices. Parties were always on Saturday afternoons and were only all boys or all girls. It included games such as unwrap the parcel and pin the tail on the donkey. At the end of the party we took home some birthday cake wrapped in a serviette.
The Mother’s Club would sometimes provide students with either a treat of milk icy poles or slices of watermelon, particularly during the hot weather.
If a bigger indoor venue was required we would go to the hall at the back of the Uniting Church next door to look at 35 mm movies or to have some of the school concerts or other activities. Around 1957 or 1958 a 35mm film was made of the school. Another male student and myself who happened to be wearing the school uniform on the day of filming held a glass plaque naming the school and its number to head up the film.
At sometime in the 1950’s Glen Iris Primary School dedicated a special classroom as a library, where several books arrived and were catalogued, proudly overseen by Mrs Beveridge. Prior to this there were very few books in individual classrooms. Before that I hardly knew what a library was. A rumour spread that we were one of the first schools in Victoria to have a library. Whether this was true or not I do not know.
The time at Glen Iris for me is a time I reflect on with good feelings. I hope your students will do the same. Congratulations on such a milestone. Laraine Hartridge (nee Kneebone)
I was taught 4 different rhythms and went on to lead the band when in grade 6 (very exciting then!!) … forgot about the fact I had a sense of rhythm for years.
… used to do drum roll when flag was unfurled at Monday morning assembly. Monday morning assemblies were a big deal then. All classes lined up in grades in quadrangle in front of flag. Swore allegiance to Queen and country with our hands over our hearts, “I swear by almighty God to honour … Queen … etc. ” … then sang God Save the Queen.
Used to ring huge hand bell for end of classes (I think I used to like gadgets and things then, so I put my hand up.. ). Also used to carry milk crates to classroom. Milk was awful in summer (hands froze in winer) because of no refrigeration. It put me off drinking milk on its own for the rest of my life. The milk crates were kept under the classroom closest to High St. The little door may still be there on the south-west side. That’s where wood used to be kept also for heating (gas had just been introduced).
My first grade teacher was Miss Loveridge who actually taught my mother Dawn Chambers. My mother still lives in next street Barina Rd in my great grandparent’s house.
After school we’d walk up the lane opposite the school and throw acorns at each other from the oak trees up the lane (we all got into trouble after neighbour “dobbed” us in).
All male teachers had straps. Those days you could get the strap even for having an ink blot on your page, then had to go back to pencil … to sooth hands afterwards, you’d clasp the cool steel piping framework of the newer school desks. We sat in the older ones in the lower grades.
Library was corrugated hut closest to High St on North side. Miss or Mrs Howlett (was lovely white-haired “old” woman who sometimes used to read us stories). Library floor was a brownish linoleum that you don’t see now. Used to take our shoes off and run and slide on it.
I’ve got lots of memories of GIPS … we were fortunate kids to live in such a safe and quiet neighbourhood. There used to be a small Police Station in High St down towards railway, but was closed and amalgamated with Ashburton. There weren’t a huge amount of kids during our time compared to later. Most residents in our steet were elderly and many with Scottish or English accents.
Most of us went to the youth club in the old hall that used to be beside the two church buildings (smaller one was built first) on south border. Cheers, Peter Abraham
Our School Bell
The prefab buildings
Marching into class after assembly to the girl’s fife’s and the boy’s drums (very sexist division in those days)
Mr Williams’ oil painting and Miss Ridsdale’s innovative English and Drama
Mr Pascoe (school projectionist) showing films in the hall, mostly I think on Friday afternoons
I can remember the appearance of most teachers. Geoff Payne