This week, the Griffith Genealogical and Historical Society look at the Ballandry School.
Where was the Ballandry School? At one time Ballandry Station stretched for hundreds of square miles north-west of Yenda.
Over the years blocks were excised, subdivisions and sales reduced the size of the station. The school could have been anywhere.
This photograph, taken in 1933, is of Ballandry School.
They placed the school on Jack Coulter’s property, Easthome, approximately 35 kilometres from Yenda.
However, public buildings were never situated on private land and the school actually sat on a small triangle of Crown Land, near Easthome homestead.
In the 1930s the Department of Education administrators, based in Sydney, would have been rather hazy about the Western Districts.
The Easthome block was once part of Ballandry Station. Locals called the school Ballandry, others called it Easthome.
It was a Provisional School, opened in July 1927 and closed December 1933.
The photo shows a typical government rural school of the time. Sited in 1929, it was weatherboard, with a brick chimney, one room, a small porch, two rainwater tanks, sitting amongst a few scrubby trees.
These buildings were transported to where they were needed, often shifted several times during their life-time.
Geometrical garden beds have been carefully laid out, edged with stones from the Cocopara Range nearby. Two small boys are finalizing the design. A mattock sits rigid in the red dirt.
The school is long gone, but the stones marking the gardens remain.
The photographs were taken by Carl Bendeich, teacher at Ballandry Public School in 1933.
Only men were posted to one-teacher schools at that time and they usually boarded with one of the pupil’s families.
Carl Bendeich boarded with Jack Coulter’s family. The photograph was donated to the Society by Carl Bendeich’s son, Michael Bendeich.
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