STATUS QUO MCMLIX
This publication presents the schools of the Ballina Inspectorate at this time - Education Week, 1959 - and their origins.
PEARCE'S CREEK PUBLIC SCHOOL
Pearce's Creek was named after a cedar cutter named Pearce, who first operated in this district in the early days. Much fine cedar grew in the rich scrub growing here.
Settlers arrived about 1880, including Hugh Kirkland, the Smith brothers and the Bryens and the need for a school quickly arose. School was first taught in a barn on Mr Bryen's property in about 1883. Polson Brothers own this property today. Teachers who taught there were Mr John Cameron and Mr John Fraser. Children who attended were McDonalds, Bryens, Kirklands and Jamiesons.
About 1885 a building was erected on Mr Hugh Kirkland's property by Messrs H Kirkland, John Smith, Alf Smith, Dave Gorton and Tom Sims, who was a ship's carpenter and a sawyer. It was built of white beech, pitsawn locally. This building was used for church services, meetings, entertainments, and as a provisional school. Teachers who taught there were Mr McPhee, Miss McPherson, Miss Lily Hunter and Mr Talbot. A photo of this building with its shingle roof taken at a picnic is in the school library. Mr Talbot, the teacher, and many pioneer families are represented in this very interesting photograph.
The next school, which is now the weather shed, was erected between the present school and the residence fence. Mr Talbot taught in this school also.
In 1902 the first portion of the present building was erected. This was later enlarged to cater for increased enrolments. When the new building was built the old school was removed to its present site and used as a weather shed.
During the building of the Ballina railway line, which has now closed, the enrolment reached over one hundred pupils. Classes were taught in the two classrooms and in the old weather shed as well. Attendance is now twenty-six, being stable at about that number.
During Mr Nettlefield's period as teacher at Pearce's Creek the present residence was built. This residence has been added to from time to time.
Many local folk learnt to play tennis at a court laid down during Mr Nixon's term as teacher. Both social and competitive tennis was played. This court was allowed to fall into disrepair, was rebuilt, and finally disappeared.
At present the school is equipped with a projector, radiogram, speaker and microphone, pictures, aquarium and a Banda.
Quite an attractive library was opened at the school in 1958, when the hat room was attractively painted, furnished and stocked with a fine assortment of books. Mr Rex Barlow was the teacher when the library was opened. This library is very valuable, many pupils being very keen readers.
The Parents and Citizens' Association has played an important role in school affairs and is particularly proud of the library. The present office bearers are: President, Mr G Oliver, who has held office for twenty-eight years; vice-presidents, Messrs W Johnston and H Gibson; secretary, Mr E Fielder; and treasurer, Mrs E Fielder.
Children have a school council to assist in the running of the school and library. At lunch time a friendly magpie will hop along and take a crust from a child's hand without any fear whatever. Bird life is plentiful in the school grounds.
Ex-pupils now usually attend Richmond River, the new High School which serves this area in regard to secondary education. A bus service passes near the school.
The following teachers have taught at Pearce's Creek: Messrs Cameron, Fraser, McPhee, Miss Lily Hunter, Miss McPherson, Messrs Talbot, Nettlefield, Napier, Nixon, Gettens, Judge, Masters, Grainger, Graham, Pickford, McEwan, Hampton, Grunsell, Barlow and Hoade (present teacher). Assistant teachers: Messrs Jackson, Hurley and Agnew; Misses Graham, Donnan, Humphries, Rivers, Steel, Waters, Farrell, Way, Layton and Keene.
This information was compiled with the aid of Mrs C F Martin, Mr R Thompson and Mr G Oliver, to whom I am greatly indebted, as early records do not exist, and memories are beginning to fail.
contains transcripts of newspapers, a postal directory and a register that have
been typed up from the original.