STATUS QUO MCMLIX
MYOCUM PUBLIC SCHOOL
The earliest school in Myocum was situated on Mr. William's property at the foot of Coorabell about 1895. Mr. E. J. Blanch was the first teacher, teaching there one week, then at the school at the head of the Main Arm during the alternate week. Later Mr. Blanch married one of his pupils, Miss Florence Williams. At this time the children had to walk through the Big Scrub and brave its perils.
Gradually from 1895 the scrub was cleared and the land was sown to soft grasses. In 1899 the newly discovered paspalum was sown, and the prosperity of the district increased so that many dairy herds became established and have flourished ever since.
In 1903 the present 36 pupil capacity timber school building was erected on a hill overlooking Myocum with a wonderful view of the fertile grassland valleys as far as Mt. Warning on the Tweed. The school is built on part of the Byron-Bay-Mullumbimby road, and the road was deviated around it to meet the Tyagarah-Myocum Road. When the school was opened the grounds were surrounded with gardens, a tennis court and included in its equipment was a microscope, telescope and a typewriter. At first there was no residence for the teacher, until several years later Mr. Shearer built one nearby. He removed it when single teachers were appointed and made no use of it. In 1922 the Department built the present residence.
The boundary of the school Is lined with many native trees, most of which were planted by the Junior Foresters League in 1938 In 1952 a Poinciana tree was planted to honour the present Queen's Coronation, and another planted in 1954 in memory of her visit to the North Coast.
The pupils have always held their own when proceeding on to secondary education and acquitted themselves with credit.
Handicrafts such as carpentry, painting, weaving, felt work, embroidery, mosaic and stained glass window designing, raffia and leather work are enjoyed and performed by the pupils. Each year on Empire Day and during Education Week, the parents inspect the pupils' handicrafts and school work, showing a very good sense of co-operation with the teacher.
Several pupils volunteered and served in both the 1914-1918 and 1939-1945 Great Wars.
In 1930 in conjunction with Ewingsdale school pupils, the Myocum pupils assisted in planting trees and erecting a monument to the memory of three pioneer aviators, whose plane crashed nearby. Messrs. Virtue, Holden and Dr. Hamilton.
In 1924 the first Parents and Citizens' Association was formed, and has functioned vigorously ever since, giving full support to all the teachers and their requirements. Mr. S. H. Lee was the first Secretary and served in that post for 10 years. At this stage it is worthy to mention Councillor Raymond W. James, the youngest original Pupil in 1903, who has served the P. & C. as Treasurer for 28 years and has always been a keen supporter of all school activities. The P. & C. have kept the school well supplied with supplementary text books, a small reference library and subscribes to the supply of library books from the Byron District p. & c. circulating library. In 1946 it supplied the school with a wireless set. In 1948 a strip film projector and films as required, and in 1953 replaced the wireless with a radiogram, which greatly assists in teaching the children folk dancing. The Myocum school was the first school on the North Coast to be equipped with the new posture-grooved seats. It was also the first school to practice hoop spinning on limbs and body. This innovation in physical training has now spread to many countries around the world. Since 1945 when the district combined athletic sports have been held annually in Mullumbimby, the pupils have fared very well. At present the school holds 4 cups, R. E. Budd (schools under 50 Pupils), A. H. Bartlett (small schools under 30 pupils) and J. B. Cartner Memorial cup.
In 1955 a weather shed was erected by voluntary labour of P. & C. members from materials supplied by the Department and has proved a boon to the children as the school grounds are exposed to the prevailing winds.
The Parents of the pupils are mostly dairy farmers. Many of the children having to walk 2 to 3 miles each day from and to their homes, in all sorts of weather, as this is a district which experiences many tropical storms.
Children from the following families attended the school on the opening day in 1903: Flitcroft, James, King, Shearer, Wallis and White.
The teachers from 1903-1959 were: Messrs. E. Jones, M. Munro, J. English, H. McKerhan, M. Dennis, G. Hicks, A.Woods, R. Patterson, J. Donnelly, G. Colditz, E. Baker, S.Chad, A. Jordan and T. Smith.
contains transcripts of newspapers, a postal directory and a register that have
been typed up from the original.
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