Black Rock Primary School - 1940-1950


The outbreak of war curtailed many activities and necessitated some new ones. The fund-raising efforts of the pupils and the parents were mainly directed towards the war effort. Children knitted many articles for the State Schools Comfort Fund.

Despite the war a Fife Band was established in 1941 under the leadership of Mr. Nugent. However, by 1943 it was noted that the lack of sporting equipment at the school was due not to a shortage of funds but to the difficulty of obtaining such items.

The establishment of a school library became an issue in the early forties with an essay competition being conducted in October 1943. The topic was "Why every school should have an excellent library". Prizes were five shilling War Savings stamps.

In February 1944 Mr. Stephens, who was still H.T., gave his opinion that "In view of the high cost and difficulty of obtaining books, it would be most advisable to wait until after the war". But with the appointment of Thomas Keddie as H.T. in May 1944 the School Committee decided to apply for a grant for a school library.

Unfortunately this did not succeed for more than a decade although a room that was vacant in 1946 was used briefly as a library room.

Bush fires again seriously affected the area in 1944, while in June of that year Dr.Garnet-Leary spoke to parents of the need for dental attention and regular examination of school children. He also stressed the value of fruit and milk for children at morning recess each day.

Education Week was first observed at Black Rock in October 1944 with Maypole Dancing being a feature.

Parents at BRPS have always been, and still are, progressive in their outlook. An example of their forward thinking was in 1945 when they sent an agenda item to the Victorian Federation of Mothers' Clubs requesting "the release of typists from the Women's Services to do office work in larger schools". Unfortunately clerical assistance to primary schools was not granted until more than twenty years later.

In August 1945 the school was equipped with an AWA Radio/Public Address system at a cost of £130, and the same year, under the leadership of Mr. Keddie, the school won the ANA prize for the most improved school ground in the district.

Besides being interested in the garden and grounds Mr. Keddie was an extremely well organised educationalist and administrator who tested the senior grade each month. Classes were streamed by ability and pupils were placed in rows in each classroom according to the results they achieved in the H.T's tests.

Victory Day was celebrated on 7th June 1946 with the Sandringham Council providing ice-cream and sweets and the Mothers' Club supplying five cases of apples.

An Annual Children's Ball was conducted in 1947 and 1948, and for some time during those years "Oslo lunches" were served at the school each Monday by mothers.

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