Wednesday, 2 December 2015
Dobell Electorate: School Centenary Celebrations
It has been an exciting couple of months in Dobell with the celebration of not one but two school centenaries. The Entrance Public School and Berkeley Vale Public School celebrated their 100 years of education within weeks of each other, with fun activities and recognition events.
Berkeley Vale Public School opened on a part-time basis as Tumbi Umbi School with only 12 students back in 1915, and now it has 800. Berkeley Vale Public School celebrated the special event with a dinner dance and festival, which I was able to attend. Festival MC, Bob Graham, patron of the school and local Wyong Shire councillor, did a fantastic job introducing special performances by students on the day, including some extremely enthusiastic and well performed dance and choir routines. I was able to address the crowd and congratulate the school staff, students and parents on the great job they undertook in organising the centenary celebrations. I was presented with a special commemorative book for the school's 100 years, which now has pride of place in my office here in Parliament House. The commemorative book contains photographs from the school's 100-year period, a history of the school, facts and figures, and, most importantly, reflections from the former and current students, teachers, principals and parents over the decades. After the formalities, I was able to tour the school, view some of the memorabilia on show and visit the exceptional performing arts room. Congratulations to all involved in making the Berkeley Vale Public School centenary celebration an unforgettable event. I commend principal, Narelle Armour, and her team of dedicated teachers and staff for their contribution to education and the Berkeley Vale School community.
The Entrance Public School also opened in 1915, with 10 students, and now it has 582. The Entrance Public School celebrated their centenary with a formal school assembly, presentation and filling of a time capsule that will be opened in 50 years time. They had cake-cutting, a memorabilia display and student art exhibitions, as well as a special dinner event. The Entrance Public School also had three special murals commissioned for the occasion, including a mural representing the local Darkinjung people and the Tuggerah Lakes. These murals are now situated around the school for everyone's viewing pleasure. There was also a special presentation by Leo Dagg, who was so proud to have re-enacted his grandfather's first day at Tuggerah Entrance Half Time School, as it was then known. The art and craft display was a particularly special exhibition, where many ex-students commented on the memories that were brought back when viewing the memorabilia. Congratulations to principal, Mark Rudd, his outstanding teachers and staff, students, parents, ex-students and all involved in the organisation of the celebrations. In a surprising twist, the link between these two Centenary celebrations was the inclusion of the oldest people from both the schools and Mrs Audrey Davey, who is 98, from Bateau Bay. She we was a pupil at both schools. It was a great day. Congratulations to both schools.