About this blog

This blog is about the history of the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp and neighbouring areas, such as Pakenham, Cranbourne and Garfield, and any other historical subjects I feel like writing about. It's my own original research and writing and if you live in the area you may have read some of the stories before in the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society newsletter or the Koo-Wee-Rup township newsletter, The Blackfish, or the Garfield township newsletter, The Spectator.
Heather Arnold.

Monday, October 21, 2013

100 years ago this week - Iona State School, No. 3201.

This comes from The Argus of October 22,1913, 100 years ago this week.



The Iona State School was located on the corner of Thirteen Mile Road and Bunyip River Road at Vervale. It commenced in 1894 and was originally known as Koo-Wee-Rup North; in 1899 it changed its name to Bunyip South and then in 1905 to Iona. When the school opened on July 9, 1894 it had 83 pupils and the Head Teacher was Arthur Jamieson. By 1895, it had grown to 120 pupils and the new Head Teacher Joseph Lyons arrived in the April of that year. He had three assistants – Mr Colquhoun, Miss Alston and Mrs Lyons. Joseph Lyons remained at the school until 1903. The Teachers Residence was built in 1908; previous to this the Head Teacher had to live in Garfield.  The original building burnt down on July 6, 1913.  The new building opened on April 28, 1914 with 164 pupils. In 1942, electricity was supplied to the school and the telephone was connected in 1964.

Celebrations took place in 1964 to mark the 50th anniversary of the new building with between 500 and 600 people attending. Another celebration took place in 1989 to mark the 75th anniversary the 1914 building. Sadly, the school community could not celebrate one hundred years of education as the school was closed on December 17, 1993, seven months short of its centenary. The building is now at Nar Nar Goon and used as a Scout Hall.

Sources: On the edge of the swamp: a history of the Iona Primary School No. 3201 1894-1994 by Denise M. Nest ( Iona Primary School Back-To-Committee, 1994)
Vision and Realisation : a centenary history of State Education in Victoria edited by L.J. Blake (Education Department of Victoria, 1973)

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