The best I have to offer this week is a photo with a label handwritten in chalk on a slate. I have many such as this school photo but I will just include this one. Minyip State School 1923In the 3rd back row stands Florence Craine – the older girl in a braid trimmed blazer, there seem to be 2 others wearing a similar blazer (including her brother Ira reclining in front on the left) but we don’t know what they are. Florence would have been 16 when this photo was taken so we are surprised to see her still wearing a school uniform – wish I had asked her about it when she was still alive.
Born in Minyip, Vic – she attended this school as a student until she gained her Intermediate Certificate. She then took on another role as Student Teacher, and as she completed her training she went on to be a teacher in the school until marriage in 1932 determined her retirement. She was out of the work force for the next 13 years, when after WW2 a shortage of teachers in rural areas, saw the Head Master of the day Mr Charlie Campbell lure her back to the classroom in 1945. Her older child by then was a pupil at the school and a Grandma was called upon to mind the younger one. Florence rode her bike to school and the toddler travelled as far as Nanna’s on a home made wooden bike seat on the back. For a married woman with children to return to work was certainly rare in the 1940’s, especially in a small country town. She taught at the school until her retirement in 1972.
The other children in the photo would have been a mix of children of local farmers and from the families who had businesses or worked in the town. There were several rural schools around the district which provided education for many of the farmers’ sons and daughters.
I wonder if they knew the photo would be taken on that day – some of the girls have enormous bows in their hair, and the boys are nearly all in jackets. This was a year in the height of the depression, not long after the First World War and clothing items would still have been scarce, I imagine many of the children are wearing hand made items, or hand-me-downs, but they all certainly look very smart and contented.
Anyone viewing this post who wishes to know the names of other students – they are listed on this Flickr site