Norma O’Hara watched with pride as five-year-old John Charles became the 30th family member and fifth generation to step through the gates at Lake Wyangan Public school this week.
The proud great grandmother was the second generation to run through the grounds and reminisced her fond memories.
With butteries in her tummy, but knowing everything would be fine, John’s first day triggered Norma’s memories of her first day.
“I loved school, arithmetic and geography were the only subjects I didn’t like” Mrs Norma O’Hara said.
When asked why her family keeps coming back to Lake Wyangan, Norma couldn’t put her family’s ties down to anything specific.
“I always liked everything about Lake Wyangan,” she said.
“I had lots of friends and I knew everybody, there was no racism or bulling back in the day.”
“Because if there was a kid being naughty, their parents would be told and they would bring them back into line.”
“After all these years I still see it as the same nice little school, and that is why we would like all our children to come to this school.”
With only three classrooms at the school during Norma’s time, the school has since grown modestly to seven.
Where once there was an old tin weather shed for protection, there is now a large shelter.
“There was a school residence down the back were Mr Head lived, he was the headmaster.” Norma said.
“We would have to use an ink well and pen and many times I can remember having my pony tail dipped into the ink well.”
“To get even with the boys we would cry and they would be in trouble with Mr Head.”
Norma remembered the students, “looking for brownie points”, would offer to do chores for the teachers.
It seems some things never change, and even decades on, her preferred hands-on approach to learning is often still the case her today’s students.
“We were taught to read, spell and write correctly using slop cards,” she said.
“The current generation of children are more switched on. They can pick up a piece of technology at three years old and know exactly how to use it.”
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