We were thrilled at how wonderfully warm and joyful our celebration was, and were delighted to see so many people reconnect with old friends and how proud former students were to bring back their children and grandchildren.
Our blog keeps getting ‘hits’ and ‘comments’ so I will keep it going adding anything of interest that is shared from time to time. People are still using this site to track down old friends. The idea of having a small afternoon tea reunion later this year, possibly September, has been suggested. Hopefully we will be opening our paved brick area as there have been some delays.
The Museum has been dismantled and it will become a Grade 1 classroom. However the memorabilia, rather than being returned to the dark cellar to be forgotten for another 50 years, has been catalogued and stored in a large cupboard which is easily accessible by teachers. Units of work on history are taught at all grade levels and the grade 1 and 2 units focus on the ‘Good Old Days’. The old school books, reference books, items of school clothing and other donated artefacts will definitely be used by classes to make history ‘real’. We have a new class set of readers, our very own history book.
Glen Iris: 150 Years of teaching and learning has its own ISBN number and there are copies in the National Library of Australia, The Victorian State Library and the local Boroondara libraries. There are some copies left at $50.00 which can be posted within Australia at a small extra cost of $5.00. Please contact the School Office on 0398853624.
If you haven’t received the email with the username and password to access the photos taken on the day please email email@example.com.
All class photos and memories emailed to me (even those that didn’t make it into the book) have been digitised as well as preserved on archival paper in hard copy and placed in the time capsule to be opened in 2025. I would like to save them in a second storage unit, perhaps a historical society so would be keen to hear any suggestions.
I enjoyed the writing and research for the 150th so much that I have accepted a position working for half of each week with the Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority writing teaching resources. I will still continue to be the Assistant Principal at Glen Iris, sharing the role half-time with a colleague.
Wishing all our Alumni a Happy New Year
Our students have enjoyed being read the emails and letters being sent by former students. The Discovering Ashburton Facebook Page commented ‘History is fun at Glen Iris.’
I was at Glen Iris Primary School during WW2 and I remember my father ( and other fathers) helping to build air raid shelters in the school grounds. And I remember that we had to line up and we were given cocoa to drink in the mornings. I remember having sports lessons in the street that runs behind the school. In the 5th grade we had to be transferred to Camberwell South Primary school because they built two new classes above the original ones. Helen Rethus (née Rodbard-Bean)
I am delighted to be part of the 150yr. celebrations of my first school. Having started in 1944 – a long time ago, I still have a few memories. In grade 3 I sat next to Lewis Wharington, father of the sailor – Grant Wharington During sewing class for the girls, with Miss Hugo we were allowed to sing, but not “Danny Boy”. Was there some friend involved in the 2nd World War we wondered? She drove a single-seater car to school each day. It was a fine car for those days. The Mothers’ Club was a very active group where my mother, Joan Bailey started a choir who dressed up and sang at various events. Many of the outfits were made in our home by some mums. Mrs. Dodman was the President of this group in the early days. My parents, Joan and Len Bailey also had made an electric train set with landscaping which was a great “hit” at the school fairs. Unfortunately I do not have photos of this marvellous project developed during wartime. Whilst the 2nd storey was being built, I remember spending that time at South Camberwell Primary School, which was a bus ride from my home. Judy
There were many reminiscences that we couldn’t include in the book. Here are some of them.
My years at Glen Iris State School started in 1939 in the “bubs” grade and went through to 1946. During this time I was in class with Keith Anderson, Robert Searle and Stuart Callow and we all lived in Albion Rd, therefore we often went to and from school together.
Some of my teachers were memorable, Miss Hugard took singing in grade one which she led with a rather powerful voice. Miss Loveridge seemed elderly to the grade fours’ as she was grey haired and wore her hair in plaits which were rolled into buns over each ear and wore a gold bangle on her upper arm, her appearance was completed by always seeming to wear a long black dress however she was kind. Grade five was a rude awakening with Mr. Thompson as he was strict and used the strap which was an old shaving strop which was about 8cms. wide and about 50 cms long which made more noise than anything else, but if you behave yourself and tried to work well there was nothing too much to worry about.
Mr. “Brassy” Allen came to school to teach drums and fife and we would beat and blow when we were needed on Monday mornings at assembly when the Australian flag was broken out and we would recite our promise to God and the King and then go into class.
As it was war time, in the school grounds some deep trenches dug in case of air raids by enemy forces and for the duration of the war all students had to wear a rubber block on a string around our neck which would be put between your teeth to lessen shock if bombing occurred. We also wore identity discs.
A brief reminiscence of the Great Depression days. I commenced in 1931 and my lasting memory is of winters when we were all miserably cold. Even those of us who had fathers in work were poorly dressed by modern standards. Morning frosts were common throughout winter.
One day it was my turn to fetch the fuel for the day for the fireplace in one of the end rooms, from the basement. It was doled out by the Headmaster and consisted of a handful of twigs and four Briquets. All it achieved, of course, was to create a draught in the room, which did help to keep fart levels down and the teacher could keep her back to the fire while it lasted!
Some elderly teaches were very prone to rap ones knuckles with a cane if you got your times table wrong, but as younger teachers were appointed the learning experience was much better. Bob Hughan
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.
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
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
A fine morning allowed us to re-enact an Assembly at the flagpole, singing ‘God Save the Queen’, saying The Oath of Allegiance and marching back into school to the beat of the 1960s drums ably played by Grade 4 students. Many former staff, local Principals and parents looked on as we unveiled our Mosaic, launched our Book and practised standing ‘at ease’ and ‘at attention’. Visitors had a tour of the school and then sampled the homemade delights provided by current staff. A great start to our birthday week.
24th August – 1950s Assembly for current students. Some of our former teachers return (9.30am)
25th August – GALAXY Program
26th August – Arbour Day -individual class activities & a special demonstration (more later)
27th August – Old-fashioned Art Activities in individual grade levels
28th August – Old-fashioned School Day – dress-up & Assembly. Guest Speaker Dr. Peter Abraham & Paper Plane Making Demo
Preps – 1990s
Grade 1s- 1900s
Grade 2s – 1960s
Grade 3s – 1980s
Grade 4s – 1970s
Grade 56 – 1950s