School Histories

Clifton Area School

Towards the end of the 19th century there was a growing demand for good farming land in WA. In 1896 the Forrest Government set up the Agricultural Land Purchase Board, to assess and negotiate a price for the acquisition of land from private owners, who had come to the realisation that they were unable to fully utilize their large properties. Algernon Clifton, owner of the large 7000 acre property known as ‘Alverstoke’ in the Brunswick area, showed an interest in the scheme and offered nearly 3000 acres of his farm for consideration. Negotiations took place and surveyors were sent in to sub-divide the area.[1]

By the end of 1898 a number of families had settled in the re‑purchased estate known as the Clifton Agricultural Area.[2] A reserve of 10 acres had been set aside on the south side of Clifton Road for a school. The cash-strapped State Government, struggling to meet the demand for schools in newly-settled parts of WA, prevaricated over the need for one in the Clifton Area.

As well as a shortage of funding, another problem lay in the regulation under the Education Act that a school would not be provided if the site was situated less than four miles from another school. There was some argument about the exact distance of the site from the Brunswick school and another which the Wellington Board of Education was trying to re-open at Australind, once a suitable building could be found there.

In August 1901 a plea was made to a visiting Government Minister, Charles Sommers, for the school to be built in another part of the Clifton Area, in order that a larger number of children could benefit. Mr Sommers promised to raise the matter with the proper Minister once back in Perth.[3]

The matter was also discussed that month at a meeting of the Wellington Board of Education in Bunbury, where the Chairman, the Rev. Andrew Buchanan, stated that he knew of 17 children at Australind and around 10 children from three families in the Clifton Agricultural Area in need of a school. Australind seemed to be his top priority. When asked whether there was any desire on the part of the Clifton Area parents to have their children educated, he assured the Board Members that every time he visited them he was ‘beset by parents, especially the mothers, about getting a school location’.

At the same meeting Chairman Buchanan proposed that perhaps a teacher could be shared between Australind and the Clifton Area on a half-time basis, once the problem of a lack of suitable buildings for both schools was overcome. He baulked at a suggestion that a school be conducted in his Australind Church, stating that – ‘Our church at Australind is very ancient and with the children running about there it would come down about their ears.’ The Members decided to investigate whether a grant could be found to assist with new school buildings.[4]

In the meantime the only option was for the children in the Clifton Area to attend the Brunswick School, or miss out altogether. This decision brought an objection from local farmer Mr William Reading, Chairman of the Brunswick Road Board:


Mr William Reading, of Runnymede, wrote enclosing a list showing the number of children attending the Brunswick school who were on the Clifton Area beyond the three mile radius :—Clifton 7, Carter 4, Pearce 2, Clapp 3, Smith 3, and Sims 3. Total, 22.

The chairman said that when last in Perth he saw the Chief Inspector about this school, and he pointed out that by the regulations they could not build a school within four miles of another school. He discussed the matter fully and pressed hard to get the school. His own children had to walk two miles to Bunbury to school, and that was quite enough.

Mr Gibbs said that there was not quite eight miles between Australind and Brunswick schools, and according to the regulations they could not build a school between them.

It was ultimately resolved on the motion of Mr Gibbs that Mr Reading be written to, and that his attention be called to regulation 12, which precludes erecting a school within four miles of another.

It was also agreed that some arrangement should be made to try and have the clause altered.[5]

After exchanging several letters with the Wellington Board of Education over the matter of a school in the Clifton Area, William Reading wrote again in September 1901, protesting over the Board’s arbitrary decision that the children from the area should travel to Brunswick School. He pointed out that for some of them this was a distance of 4 miles each way, at times over exceptionally wet and heavy country. He also claimed that the settlers of the area had been badly let down by the Lands Department, since they had been promised that a school would be built immediately, as a way of inducing settlement in the area.

In his letter Mr Reading also argued that there were by now 20 eligible children in the Clifton Area, with no less than 14 children living within 20 chains of the school reserve. He quoted sections of the regulations framed under the Education Act, which provided that ‘a State School may be established where an average attendance of 20 children can be guaranteed, and a ‘Provisional School’ may be established where an average attendance between the ages of four and sixteen years cannot be guaranteed, but where there are twenty children of such age within a radius of three miles from the proposed school’.[6]

A ‘Provisional School’ was finally opened in Australind in March 1902, with classes held in the Roman Catholic Church building, but the situation for a Clifton Area School had reached a stalemate. Eventually a deputation travelled to Perth to speak with the Minister for Works. This was followed by a public meeting held on 19 December 1903 at Mr AF Clifton’s home ‘Alverstoke’, where a building committee was appointed. It was decided to erect a building 25 x 15 feet, with a porch and outhouses, estimated to cost £90 if finished in a suitable manner. All the Education Department had promised was £10.

The Committee had found that a way around the impasse would be to apply to the Public Works Department for assistance in funding a general-purpose public building instead of one built specifically for school use. The Secretary was instructed to write to Mr Teesdale Smith, MLA, requesting that he use his influence in getting a grant of £50 from the Government, or £ for £ on the amount raised locally, for a public building to be used for all purposes of public utility or recreation, including Divine worship and education.

The residents of the Clifton Area naturally objected to erecting a school almost entirely out of their own pockets and then handing it over to the Department of Education unconditionally, but wished to keep the control of the building in their own hands.[7]

Following negotiations it was decided that the Education Department would relinquish the western half of the ten-acre block for the establishment of a public hall and recreation ground. Such a project would entitle the community to apply for a grant.[8] Steps were taken to have half of the ten acres vested in the hall committee, as the site for an Agricultural Hall, and in due course £53/17/6 was raised locally and £102 was provided by the Government. The Clifton Agricultural Hall was officially opened in 1905, at a total cost of £150.[9]

The first Headmistress of the Clifton Area School, held in the multi-purpose building, was Miss Alice MP Smith, known as ‘May’. A popular teacher, she held the position from 1905 until 1908. Miss Smith was given a farewell send-off in the Agricultural Hall, where Mr Clifton expressed the general sadness of the community at her departure, stating that he and Mrs Clifton would miss her, as she had boarded with them for four years.[10] [Miss Alice May Pugh Smith married Harry Bowra at Busselton in 1915.[11]]

The next teacher appointed was Miss MAG McDowall, who only taught at the school between February and April 1909, before being transferred to Gosnells.[12]

Miss M Connelly came next, followed by Mrs Roberts until July 1911, when Miss Emily Ker ‘Emmy’ Clifton took over. Miss Clifton was the Clifton Area School’s sole teacher from July 1911 until 1947, except for six months during 1913, when Miss Haddon Grahame served as the relief teacher,[13] and from February to August in 1922, when Miss Clifton took a trip to England, leaving Miss W Harvey in charge of the school.

Miss Clifton’s exceptional service was recognised at a special function at the Agricultural Hall at the end of 1947:

BRUNSWICK JUNCTION, Sat— Miss Emmy Clifton, who has just resigned from the Clifton Area School, has taught the parents of all but one of the children attending the school at present. She has taught there for 36 years, has resigned to care for her 91-year-old father, Mr. Algy Clifton, who is one of the pioneers of the district.

Last night the Parents and Citizens’ Association and past pupils of the school gave her a farewell. One of her past pupils, Mr. W. Shine, a local farmer, presented her with a wireless chair and a cheque on behalf of those present. The Clifton Area School is about five miles from Brunswick Junction. There are about 18 children there at present.[14]

On 9 March 1921 this building was destroyed during a bush fire and all school records and equipment were lost. This must have been a dangerous situation faced by Miss Clifton and the children, who were present at the time:



Tremendous bush fires are raging at Waterloo, Roelands, Brunswick, and surrounding districts. Many miles of newly-erected fences were burnt, several settlers, including Mr. D. Goyder, of Roelands, losing all their feed and grass. Mr. G. C. Money, M.L.A., had all the fields swept at his farm on Henty Brook, and only succeeded in saving the buildings after a long struggle. News was received this morning that Mr. D. Marriott’s new house near Brunswick was razed to the ground, also Mr. S. Carlson’s house in the same area. A large amount of farm property has been destroyed throughout the district. Clifton area school was completely gutted. The fires, which raged with unparalleled intensity on Tuesday and Wednesday, fanned by a strong breeze, are now slowly abating.[15]

In August 1921 the rebuilt school was opened with eleven students enrolled. The Clifton School P&C Association was formed in 1944 and over the years this dedicated band of people provided the school with equipment and were always available to transport the children to Bunbury for weekly swimming lessons in summer.

On 19 February 1967 a meeting was held at the school and Mr S Wallace of the Primary Education Department addressed the parents on the Department’s desire to consolidate and send all the children to the Brunswick Primary School. The parents were upset to see the one- teacher school closing but despite their objections they received a letter on 2 May, informing them of the official closure at the end of the year. A school bus would be provided to transport the children to the Brunswick School.


On 10 November 1967 a reunion for all former students and past teachers was held in the school grounds. Former pupils returned and reminisced about the happy hours spent in the classroom and on the playing fields. Special guest for this occasion was Miss EK Clifton and the school’s history was recalled by former students Michael Reeves and Alma Catalano.


Former students and teacher, Miss Clifton, 1969. 

Left to right. Mike Reeve, Glenys Roberts née Carlsson, Fay McNish née Clifton, Nora Wright née Simpson, Grace Blake née Knight, Miss Emmy Clifton (seated), Joan Fry née Piggott, Edith Ridley née Clifton, Judy Talbot née Piggott, John Piggott, John Clifton.

Following its closure, the Clifton Agricultural Hall building became the target of vandals. The Brunswick Agricultural Society needed a Ladies’ Committee Room, so it was proposed that the school should be shifted to the Brunswick Showgrounds for their use. In the early 1970s the building was moved and a plaque was unveiled by Miss EK Clifton, stating that it was originally the Clifton School.

In its new position at the Brunswick Showgrounds, attached to the Show Office (which itself was a classroom from the old Brunswick School, moved around the same time) the building served for many years as a meeting room, as well as a tea-room on Show Days:

Show Day sees many former pupils enjoying a well-earned cup of tea in the Committee Room, served by a mother of six of the students, Mrs Mollie Clifton, now of Bunbury and her daughter Mrs Faye McNish of Brunswick. This wonderful old building will be serving the district for many more years to come.[16]

When no longer required at the Showgrounds, the building was moved once again, to its present site at ‘Alverstoke’ in 1996/7, where it serves as a small museum. In 1988, a plaque marking the school site was erected not far from the road, on the block of land where it was originally situated. A gate was installed with ‘Clifton School’ written on it.

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Clifton Area School plaque unveiled, 1988

A reunion was held at ‘Alverstoke’, Clifton Road, Brunswick Junction, on 11 December 2005, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Clifton Area School.



Entries From the Clifton School Records.

(The original diary entries reflect the wording, punctuation and formatting of the time when written. For website use, the entries have been standardised. Ed.)


Aug 1st. Clifton Agricultural Hall has now been built, and school was opened in the new building today, with eleven pupils present.

Aug 12th. Arbor Day was celebrated today. Special lessons connected with the day and gardening was done during the morning. In the afternoon a gramophone programme was enjoyed by the children. Later the parents and friends come and after the trees were planted, afternoon tea was indulged in.


Feb 10th. Children arranged themselves in two groups for a weekly test. The two eldest boys, Fred Hoskins and William Morgan, each being captain of their side. The tests are to occur each Friday and will be comparative between the two groups. The gardens already neglected during the holidays, are suffering from lack of water and are looking very dried up. As the school tank is empty no plants can be watered.

Mar 10th. This week bush fires were to be seen on all sides. One from the north came in near the men of the district who came to burn a break around the school. The Morgan children are all absent with bad colds so the attendance for the week was only eight. Four children wrote an apology to the Secretary of the Hall Committee for having chopped the posts brought to put up the fence round the school garden.

Jun 26th. Mr Carlsson is very kindly renovating and practically rebuilding the school fence. Mr Piggott supplies the posts. Mr CA Clifton has given four books to the school library, Miss E Clifton one.

Nov 3rd. The Board Holidays were kept this week for the Bunbury Show which was held on November the 1st and 2nd, Owen Piggott is assisting with potato digging and both the Infants were unwell today so the average attendance this week is down to 9.6.

Mar 29th. The Rev. Riddles, the Congregational Minister who began giving weekly scripture lessons on February 27th did not come this week.

Apr 26th. Yesterday, being Anzac Day, there was no school. Leila Piggott, an old girl of the school, gave seven chicks to be disposed of in aid of the school library. The products amounted to 15/-. The three Hoskins girls have left during the week.

We have had the loan of a gramophone during the week, so marching and some exercises have been to music, as well as the pleasure of having songs and instrumental music each day, at lunch time and during needlework and manual periods.

Sep 13th. There has been no school clock since March 13th when I sent the old one which was broken for repairs. My own watch is out of order and it is quite impossible to know what time of day it is. For instance my watch has stopped a dozen times or more during the day today. My letters to headquarters on the subject of the clock have been ignored, so there seems little chance of improvement in this matter.

Sep 17th. Evan and Owen Davies have left today to return to their home in Narrogin.

Oct 5th. The 1st was kept as a holiday to commemorate the visit of the Governor General, Lord Forster, to this State.

Oct 12th. After writing four letters on the subject of the clock an old one was forwarded from the Department to the school. This would not even give one tick as apparently the spring was broken and so the clock had to be returned and the school is still in a clockless state.


Oct 20th. This morning I did not reach school until 8.55 a.m. owing to a serious accident to my brother who was gored by a bull, and to whom I had to render before assisting him off to the hospital.


Sep 10th. While sub-soiling one of the garden beds this week, we found to our disgust two large red gum roots several inches in diameter passing diagonally through the bed. It is not surprising that the plants in that corner of the garden have not been flourishing lately.

Nov 25th. A Board Holiday was granted for yesterday to enable the children to be present at the unveiling of the tablet and opening of the Soldiers Memorial Hall at Brunswick.


Mar 4th. Rev. A Fryer called this morning between 11.30 am and noon and gave instructions to the Anglican children present.

May 30th. School re‑opened today after vacation which lasted a fortnight instead of a week as the Duke of York requested that a week’s holiday be granted the schools to celebrate the occasion of his visit to the Commonwealth.

Nov 28th. The schools at Brunswick, Roelands, Benger, Clifton and Australind have combined to form ‘The Brunswick and Districts Schools Athletic Association’ and are holding their first annual sports gathering on December 10th while a concert in aid of the funds is being held in the Brunswick Memorial Hall on December 2nd. During this fortnight extra time has been taken for preparing songs and a little play for the concert, and today, instead of the usual afternoon work I took the children to Brunswick for a combined rehearsal.

Dec 12th. The combined sports gathering took place on the recreation ground at Brunswick last Saturday. Unfortunately the day was exceedingly hot, but there was a large gathering and keen competition for the various events. Roelands School captured the shield with 29 points. Brunswick had 21 points and Clifton 19. Ray Piggott of Clifton School won the champion athlete’s gold medal and two Brunswick girls tied for first place for girls’ medal and so a second medal was presented. Mr Blythe came from Perth to present the Director of Education at the gathering and Mr Klein was present for a short period also.


Mar 16th. I was obliged to dismiss the children at mid‑day yesterday owing to disastrous bushfire which swept the countryside. The children were needed to protect their own homes which were in great danger. A very strong gusty wind made it difficult to hold the fire within bounds and breaks were useless for the wind carried sparks across roads and breaks as if they were not there. Much damage was done to fencing, farm buildings and pastures in the neighbourhood. Owing to the dryness of the summer the fires this year have been the most disastrous for seven years or perhaps worse even than in 1921.

Oct 29th. The Second Annual Combined Concert and Sports held under the auspices of the Brunswick District Athletic Association took place at Brunswick Junction on October 19th and October 26th respectively. The concert proved a success. The sum of £19 being taken. This school gave as its item a little pageant of other lands, entitled ‘Mother Earth and Her Children’, all the children taking part. They also sang choir songs. The sports, taking place in excellent weather, were also successful. Roelands again secured the shield with 38½ points. Brunswick gaining 29½ and Clifton 10½.


Sep 13th. Today the schools held their centenary celebrations. This school combined with Brunswick at which place a gathering took place. During the morning, sports were held on the Recreation Ground. After lunch was partaken of in the Memorial Hall there were speeches by leading citizens and songs by the school children and a distribution of souvenirs and medals. Each child attending school received a cup and saucer and the children under school age received a mug, made by the local ‘Calyx’ factory. Afternoon tea followed and children each received on departing, fruit and sweets.


Feb 3rd. Arthur Morgan, Eric Carlsson, James Carlsson, William Carlsson and Grace Knights are all absent owing to their suffering from whooping cough.

May 28th. Mr DJ Williams gave the first of his lessons in religious instructions on behalf of the Church of England this afternoon; seven children were in attendance.

Aug 1st. Arbor Day has been celebrated today. The trees planted were 3 planes, 3 blackwood, 3 blackwattles, 3 Turpentine Cypress, 2 manna wattles and one poplar. The children worked very hard and cleared the ground near where the trees were planted, and at preparing the soil. When the trees were planted, we had a rounders match.

Nov 3rd. The Brunswick District Schools Athletic Association held their combined sports on the Brunswick Recreation Ground on Friday 31st inst. Four schools participating namely Brunswick, Roelands, Burekup and Clifton. A fierce north wind blowing all day gave warning of rough weather which broke in torrents about 3pm necessitating abandonment of the sports. As the final winner of the shield hangs in the balance it was decided to complete the programme after school next Friday. A Board Holiday for the Bunbury Show has been granted for Thursday November 6th.

Nov 21st. A successful concert was held on Friday night at the school. There were songs and recitations by all. The younger ones acted the ‘Elves and the Shoemaker’ followed by a country dance, and the older ones acted a Farce entitled ‘Catching a Lunatic’. We had a little sale of work, and there was such demand for the boys’ cane and raffia baskets that we had requests for four more.


May 1st. This week we have had the Giant Stride in the playground put in order again. With some of the money from our last concert we bought the necessary rope, and my nephew, Owen Davis, has spliced the rope and erected the affair again. It is giving pleasure though over zeal of the ropes, is causing sore hands and stiff muscles for the first few days.

Aug 21st. The children of this school have decided to start a Bird Lovers Club. Great sympathy for birds has been aroused by the condition of a magpie which always frequents the school, especially at lunch time. A few months ago some youths passing by, shot the bird as he sat in the tree near the road and wounded him so that one leg is now quite useless.

Oct 26th. The Brunswick District Schools Athletic Association held their combined sports on the Brunswick Recreation Ground on Friday October 23rd. This school competed with Brunswick and Roelands. The morning was very sultry, and about midday light rain began to fall and continued for several hours, but the programme proceeded and we finished soon after 5 pm. Brunswick won with 102 points, Roelands had 62 and Clifton 18. The girls’ medal went to Lonny Grey and the boys to Arthur Morgan, both of Brunswick, so Brunswick fared well owing to its big enrolment of 76 compared with Roelands 44 and Clifton 7 (of an age to compete). As one girl is beyond the age limit of 14½ and one is only 5, so did not go as it was such a long day for her. During lunch time today we set out on a Nature Study Ramble which filled our Nature Study period this afternoon. Quite a number of birds’ nests were located and those able to climb investigated several of them and had a close look at the birds in them.

Dec 11th. Edith and Irene Piggott were absent this afternoon attending a Girl Guide enrolment ceremony owing to the hall being used for the election tomorrow. The date of the guide meeting had to be changed from the 19th to the 18th.

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May 3rd. Most of the children coming from a distance were caught in a sudden heavy squall yesterday morning and I had great trouble in getting their clothes dried quickly. Frank Simpson was drenched through and I had to wrap him in my cardigan and overcoat while I dried all his clothes, and as he already had a cold, he is not better today.

Jul 18th. The new Rector of the parish, Mr BW Earle came to give religious instruction this afternoon.

Aug 16th. The school was closed on Monday for Harvey Day, to allow the children to participate in the sports held during the afternoon at Harvey which was a real red letter day. The chief events of the day being the opening of the new hall by the Lt Governor and the opening of the Harvey River Diversion Scheme, all the children went from here.

Sep 19th. The school was closed yesterday when we had a Board holiday for Brunswick Horticultural Show and Gymkhana. The children secured six first and one second prize for flowers, drawing and handwork.

Oct 28th. This school was closed on Friday 25th when all the schools were taking part in the Interschool Sports at Brunswick. The cup was won by Roelands this year. The points for the various schools being as follows: Roelands 82, Brunswick 76, Benger 78½, Clifton 46½, Burekup 17.


Feb 14th. A Schools Memorial Service for the late King George V was broadcast this morning at 11 o’clock. The nearest wireless to the school is nearly a mile away but Mrs Arthur Clifton kindly allowed me to take the children there to listen in and participate in the service.

Apr 21st. Three boys from a road making camp were admitted today. This brings the enrolment up to fifteen and there is only seating accommodation in the school for fourteen so we are somewhat crowded.

May 29th. Nearly six weeks ago I applied for a new desk as there were nineteen children enrolled and seating accommodation for fourteen. Today a very disabled and extremely dirty desk has arrived when the children have gone. In any case it is quite useless until it goes to the blacksmiths to be oxywelded, screwed and bolted.

….. 17th. Olinda De Conti, a little girl who has been here nearly has left us today to go to the Greenbushes district where her father has taken up a farm of his own. The whole school is gloomy at her departure as she was by far the brightest child in the school and a great favourite with everyone, so we are sad at losing her.

Nov 2nd. The Interschool sports were hold on Friday Oct 30th on the Recreation Ground at Brunswick, four schools were competing as Benger at the last moment withdrew, owing to an awful tragedy. Brunswick won this year with 140½ points. Roelands secured 75½ points, Clifton 54½ and Burekup 35½.

Dec 15th. King Edward VIII had abdicated the throne and his brother the Duke of York has been proclaimed King George VI.

Dec 22nd. Our Roads Board Member, Mr Frank George, had offered three prizes for the best cared for trees at our Arbor Day in August and this afternoon, the Secretary of the Roads Board, Mr and Mrs Eckersley, came and judged the trees and presented the prizes to Michael Reeve, Verna Bowers and Robert Carlsson with a Certificate of … to each of the children who have worked hard caring for their trees and I hope will feel rewarded as each tree seems in flourishing condition.


… 12th. The Snaggers [people who remove snags from waterways] Camp moved last Friday and as the three Vesey children have not been at school all the week I presume they are too far away to attend.

Jul 9th. We celebrated Arbor Day at our school today in Honour of the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. We planted in all 9 trees – 2 Cape Lilacs, 2 roses, 1 Geraldton Wax plant and one acanth.. … wattles and Acacia Seligna.

Oct 7th. The Brunswick District Inter-School sports were held at the Recreation Ground on Friday, the competing schools being Brunswick, Roelands, Benger and Clifton. Roelands being the victorious school took home the cup after securing 107 points, Brunswick 81, Clifton … , Benger 54 and Burekup 28.

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Sep 13th. Average attendance for week in 9. Today we have received a box of Travelling Library Books which are very welcome and will be made good use of by a number of children.

Nov 8th. When the prize money for the Show came to hand today some of the children gave the whole, some the money less their entries and some a portion of their prize money for the Lord Mayor’s Fund. This was very pleasing for it was a suggestion that came from two of the children so the others followed suit. This afternoon I took the children to my home to listen in to the School Broadcast Service for Remembrance. As the service was at 2.30 pm we had to leave the school at 2.20 pm.


Jun 18th. Both boys and girls have been busy knitting, various articles have been made for the Red Cross and Air Raid Relief. They have now completed the squares of patchwork knitted rug to which I am putting the finishing touches before handing it to the Air Raid Relief.

August. Euchre Parties to be hold every fortnight in school for Lord Mayors’ Fund.


Apr 23rd. Mr Inspector Radbourn called at mid morning on his way to Australind and took Mervyn and Barrie to show him the way. He returned after lunch and spent some time at this school.


Dec 17th. Since the examinations were over extra time has been given to hand work and needlework in preparation for a Sale of Work in Aid of Prisoners of War. We had our Sale & Xmas Party & Card Party to swell our funds last night and are able to sent £10 to the good cause. A feature of our work were handmade toys, some knitted homespun, some felt and the bigger girls made very attractive stamen jewellery. School broke up today for Vacation.


A meeting was held last night in this school to elect a delegate to attend the meetings of the Brunswick and Districts National Council of Fitness. It was decided to form a Parent and Citizens’ Association in connection with this school and a Committee was elected.

Aug 4th. Mr Shine has made some portable jumping standards for the school, which enable the children to practise jumping and to know the height they are jumping which makes it more interesting for them. Some garden tools have been purchased for use in the school garden.


May 8th. News came through this morning that the remainder of the … Armed Forces had surrendered unconditionally to Britain, United States and …

Aug 13th. The Ridley children have recovered from influenza, but owing to the excessive wetness of the winter their road is so bad that they can’t ride their bicycles or get out with the car and it means that the children will have to wade through water for a half mile or more, before getting onto the main road. As this is far from desirable I have agreed to set their work and correct it and they will work at home under their mother’s supervision for the rest of the month in the hope that after the holidays the weather and the roads will have improved. The children have been busy sewing and knitting for UNRRA and I despatched the parcel on Friday.

Aug 15th. The news came through early this morning that Japan had surrendered unconditionally but as both our wireless and the telephone were out of order I came to school as usual and was busy here until a message came to tell me the good news. The children have wirelesses in their homes and some of them came.

Oct 26th. The programme has not been followed closely during the last fortnight as all the children have been busy preparing for the Brunswick Show. Twenty nine entries have been made in Writing, Drawing, Nature Study, Needlework and Handwork.

Oct 30th. Eleven prizes were won for their work taken to the show. As there were over four hundred entries in the children’s section I considered it was quite good for such a small school. I closed school half a day early this afternoon as I had to attend a meeting in connection with the Inter School Sports and the car had to take passengers to the train at the same time necessitating the early closing. The time has been made up.


Feb 15th. Father Power has started giving weekly lessons in religious instruction for the RC Church coming at 1.45pm each Thursday for a quarter of an hour.

Feb 26th. There has been a very gratifying response to the Children’s ‘Food for Britain’ appeal and I have today packed a case containing 21 tins from this school of 14 pupils. There was a good variety too, including both powdered and condensed milk, tinned fruit, cheese, meat of various kinds, jam and golden syrup.

Jul 5th. We celebrated Arbor Day today as it was too wet on Monday to have planting today when everyone has just recovered from bad measles. However today was anything but ideal owing to the very wet week which left the grounds in a puddle but we planted some Queensland wattles, poplars and acacia in the grounds and some roses in the garden.

Aug 9th. John slipped while climbing last Sunday and had nine stitches in his leg, as a result he has been absent from school all week. Yesterday the Ridleys and Mary had to go to the Dentist.

Oct 14th. On Tuesday morning the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester visited Brunswick and all the school children of the district were invited to welcome them.

Nov 8th. Interschool Sports held at Brunswick where the following took part. Greenies 139 & Magpies 107, being the two factions from Brunswick, then Benger 34, Burekup 60, Roelands 13 and Waterloo 6 besides Clifton 39. The Greenies won the Cup while Clifton won the Shield for Meritorious Award handicap based on enrolment. Trevor Fenn of Magpies was Senior Champion and Ross Wood of Clifton Junior Champion. Katie Musatani was Senior Champion girl and Ruth White Junior Champion.


Oct 27th. The children did well at the Show securing eleven first prizes and four second prizes in drawing, nature study, handwork and needlework.

Nov 3rd. On Friday Oct 31st, the Brunswick Interschool sports held were on the recreation ground at Brunswick. The schools competing were three different factions from Brunswick, Roelands, Burekup, Benger and Clifton. We won the shield given for meritorious award handicapping being on a percentage basis. Pam Leonard won a cup for Junior Girl Champion.

Nov 20th. The flag was flown, the anthem sung and a special broadcast lesson taken in honour of the wedding of Princess Elizabeth.


Feb 9th. I took up duties here today as head teacher on supply. DV Butler.

Mar 3rd. Owing to the heavy smoke drifting in from coastal bush fires we feared the safety of the children and so I dismissed early.


Feb 1st. I took up duties here as head teacher. P Clarke. We had a full attendance of 14 – 4 boys and 10 girls.

Nov 24th. Today Mr T Thornbury came to inspect the school. All children will be promoted. The three girls in Std VI are leaving this year to attend respective secondary schools. Mr Potter, head master of Nedlands accompanied Mr Thornbury on his visit.


Jan 31st. Sander, a little Dutch boy started school today and is unable to speak any English at all.

Dec 13th. We recommenced school today after 3 weeks of Camp School. It was an excellent camp with 79 children from six schools: Glengarry, Winchester, Herman Rock, Glenorchy, Isseka and Clifton.

Six teachers and six parent helpers were present. School work was conducted for three hours every day and the other periods were taken up with sporting activities, swimming, fishing, organised games and nature study walks, etc. Folk dancing and indoor games were conducted after the evening meal and all children retired at 8.30 pm and lights out at 9 o’clock.


July. I did not arrive at school this morning until 9.50am. The chain broke on my bike and I had to walk three miles.


Feb 8th. School closed for the day as a mark of respect to the late King George VI, who died yesterday.

Jul 1st. Arbor Day Celebrations – seven roses and seven trees were planted by the children to observe the Arbor Day tradition.

Jul 3rd. PWD installed new blackboard in school and repaired hole in the roof.


Sep 17th. Mr Superintendent J Mack visited the school for Annual Inspection. Results were very pleasing indeed.

Dec 16th. The children had a concert in the evening at the school and gave a very creditable performance.


Mar 2nd. It was decided at a P&C Meeting held last week to discontinue the attendance at the Bunbury Baths for Swimming due to the Polio Epidemic.

Jun 3rd. Mr District Supt. J Mack visited the school accompanied by a Supt. of Education from Thailand namely Miss Supar. The latter was visiting the school to observe methods of teaching in one teacher schools.


Dec 1st. Mr Dist. Supt. J Mack visited the school to meet parents to discuss possible closure of school.


Feb 13th. School re‑opened today. 22 students attended including 4 infants. Water in tank will, I feel, be insufficient for the remainder of the summer. Approx. 150 gallons.

Mar 19th. Members of the P&C Messers O Piggott, D Ridley, J Carlsson & C Clifton met the PWD Supervisor Mr Bragg, at School (9.30 am) to discuss necessary renovations and method of meeting cost.

Aug 13th. Mr Mitchell, building contractor, commenced repairs on the school.

Sep 10th. The School reopened. Renovations to school were completed today. Yellow doors and window frames together with white and grey rails and red roof has given the building a very attractive appearance. 18 yards of gravel spread in front of the school should solve the flood water there next winter.

Oct 11th. The school visited the Seahorse Woollen Mills at Bunbury today (10.30 am–12.30 pm)

Nov 9th. The Annual District School Sports were conducted today at Waroona. This school competed in ‘C’ Division against Benger, Nanga Brook and Willowdale and were successful in gaining the pennant for the highest number of actual points scored and the Shield for points scored plus handicap.

Dec 18th. A combined Xmas Tree Party and parents night was held in the school last night. Fifty two children received gifts.


Apr 3rd. POLIO IMUNISIZATION CAMPAIGN. The second needle was given to 28 children today. Seventeen pre-school children were also treated. The ‘soothers’ (sweets) were provided by the unit this time.

Apr 26th. The SEC commenced erecting poles and relaying wires for the Sandy Road corner past the school to Mr Bevan and Mrs B Clifton.

Nov 8th. The annual school district sports were held at Harvey today. Clifton won the Millars’ Timber Co Shield and also the Pennant for gaining the greatest number of points – without handicap. Willowdale and Waterloo were the only schools to oppose us.


A P&C Meeting was held in the school this evening, the newly elected President Mr Bevan presided over the 22 members. The question of raising finance was the main topic. Transport for the children arranged for continuous attendance at swimming classes, Bunbury.

May 5th. School attended the Bunbury Youth Parade in connection with YouthSunday movement. The march through Bunbury to the Municipal Council to assemble before His Excellency the Governor, Sir Charles Gardener was a success and all children from grade 3 upwards participated in the march.

Jul 7th. Mr A Peacock from Claremont Teachers Training College has commenced his fortnight’s practice.

Sep 26th. A Fancy Dress Ball was held at the Brunswick Hall. For this occasion we have exhibited three folk dances: English Waltz, Swagman’s Stroll and a Hungarian dance – all children.


Feb 27th. A P&C meeting was held in the school. Officers returned this year as before. President Mr V Bevan, Secretary Mr Ridley. – A sports committee has been founded and Messers Carlsson and Shine are representatives.

Mar 2nd. Have concreted the floor of the adjoining shed with the help of the parents. Messers Bevan, Carlsoon, Piggott, Cameron and Ridley have donated labour and materials. Mrs Carlsson served tea.

Apr 7th. The school medical officer visited the school, examined 23 children – 8 girls and 15 boys. The report is pleasing 100% clearance. The doctor will recommend a septic system to be constructed.

Apr 24th. Anzac Parade ‑ the school invited the Bunbury High School Cadets – 7 boys turned up with the Commanding Officer and a Cadet contingent. They formed a guard of honour. Many parents were present. Mrs Piggott made the wreath which was laid on the newly erected flagpole by the 2 Girl Guides, G Carlsson and B Davies.

Sep 24th. Dr Robertson and Mr Stookes, the Director of Education and the Chief Administration Officer visited our school today. The Director expressed his satisfaction and praised the school and pupils.

Oct 30th. The school had a display at the Brunswick Agricultural Show. It was once again a success.


Mar 10th. Grades 3‑7 attended a play ‘Toad of Toad Hall’ in Brunswick this morning.

Jul 6th. Arbor Day observed. The senior boys have nearly completed a fish pond, commenced last year, in the school ground. An area cleared adjacent to this to be developed into a ‘Bush’ garden. Peppermint trees and a wattle tree planted to commence this subject.

Aug 18th. A school picnic was held at the Brunswick Bridge. Practise for school sports was conducted. After this wild flowers were collected for a start on a pressed flower display. Wildflower plants were transplanted to start a nature garden at the school. The afternoon was both pleasant and profitable.

Dec 22nd. The school children presented books as mementoes to Lois Anderson, Ted Wright and Murray Piggott who are all going to Bunbury High School next year.


Apr 24th. District Superintendent Mack visited the school this morning mainly to confer with Mr Carlsson and Mr Ridley of the P&C re the proposal to have a septic tank installed at the school. It was discussed and definite propositions were formulated to present to the PWD.

May 17th. Mr R Ozanno arrived today to undertake a fortnight’s practise teaching. He is a student of Graylands Teachers College.

Aug 21st. The school children were taken to some of the points to see Wellington Dam overflowing. We left at 12 noon having a barbecue lunch at the dam site. It was a most beautiful sight and a very enjoyable afternoon resulted.

Oct 20th. The annual interschool sports were held at Waterloo today. It was a most successful carnival. Clifton won the Pennant for the maximum points won without handicap for ‘B’ Grade Schools, and the Marching Shield from all the schools in the district.


Feb 12th. School commenced today after the annual vacation. Enrolment 30.

May 7th. Ross and Steven Piggott enrolled today. This brings the total enrolment to 32.

Oct 19th. The annual Athletics carnival was held today at Brunswick despite inclement weather. It rained very hard in the afternoon the meeting went off very well and keen competition was enjoyed by all. Having an enrolment of 30+, Clifton competed against the ‘A’ Grade schools this year, unsuccessfully. However, we won the marching shield for the third time in succession against all schools.


Feb 12th. Reported to Mr District Supt J Mack re large number in school. Problem solved if eight grade 6 & 7 children attended Brunswick School. Meeting called at school in lunch hour of 12th. February for parents of children concerned. Bus contractor Mr Cooper turned up, also P&C and Secretary. After much discussion parents voted 5 to 4 in favour of move. Children then transferred at Brunswick School on the morning of 13th. February. Public bus transport is used at a cost to the parent of 3/‑ per chid per week.

May 8th. Alterations taking place at school. Rainwater tank and basin installed at rear of school. Old tank and stand to be removed.


June 8th. P&C commenced bulldozing dam as first step in establishing regular water supply for school gardens and lawn. P&C to go ahead now with septic toilet after arranging loan with Harvey Shire Council.

Aug 4th. School closed. Heavy floods isolated HM in Bunbury. HM joined in civil defence work in area. Dept. advised of closure by telegram.

Oct 6th. Electricians rewired school and installed fluorescent tubes in classroom to replace globes.

Oct 26th. School met the Governor General, Lord De Lisle at Brunswick School. School granted holiday on Friday 13th. November. Children enjoyed visit.

Nov 20th. Mr J Carlsson mowed all thick grass in school grounds, 3 hours work.


Mar 7th. Clifton P&C Assoc. decided to purchase pumping equipment and piping to reticulate school gardens.

Jul 12th. Mr Graham Cann, a student from Claremont Teachers College, commenced the first day of a fortnight’s teaching practise. Mr Cann & the headmaster attended a combined welcoming afternoon tea with the P&C officials at Brunswick School at 4 pm.

Aug 4th. Educational tour of Bunbury. Children visited Telephone Exchange, Post Office, Power House and then went for tour of harbour on Harbour Pilot’s boat launch. Mr Macnish and Mrs Clifton helped with transport. Day was enjoyed by all.

Oct 15th. School closed for interschool sports at Picton. Clifton came fourth out of seven schools.

Nov 3rd. P&C Purchased 100 foot of hose and fittings for ground.

Dec 15th. Annual Xmas tree and concert hold. Night included Xmas presents, sports, safety club and school leavers trophies and concert items. Speeches, supper, ice cream and soft drink rounded out the evening. 100 adults and children crowded school.

Dec 17th. Harvey Shire Council dumped 2 loads of gravel at school. Later spread by machine.

Dec 20th. Mr Supervisor F Bainbridge discussed future of school with specially called meeting of parents. All parents of school children attended, including parents of children yet to attend in Grade one and Shire Councillor D Ridley. Meeting voted unanimously to keep school open following a discussion with Supervisor regarding the merits of children attending Brunswick school.


Mar 31st. P&C commenced erection of play shed formerly removed from Brunswick School. P&C employed carpenter B Kelly to do skilled work. P&C men to provide muscle when required for erection of walls, etc.

May 5th. Play shed completed by P&C. Play shed was dismantled from old Brunswick School and re‑erected. Carport complete for HM car.

May 30th. Mr Bainbridge and three Commonwealth inspectors had a quick look over a one teacher school.

Jun 2nd. P&C Annual General Meeting at school. Mrs Macnish re-elected as President and Mr J Carlsson re‑elected Vice President and sports council rep. Mr Blake retired office after six years as Secretary, his children would have all left the school this year. Mr Davies was elected as Secretary. The president outlined main features of year which included the completion of the dam and pumping equipment to service school lawns at a cost of over $200. The new shelter shed cost $120 to transport and re‑erect and a painting team would be formed to complete the job.

Jul 12th. P&C purchased $100 recorder for school.

Jul 25th. Headmaster constructed horizontal bar for Physical Education.

Oct 7th. Interschool day at Burekup. Enjoyed by children and parents, Greg Simpson won Junior Champion Boy.


Feb 20th. Meeting held at school at 2 pm by Mr Wallace, Director of Primary Education addressed the parent body of the school on the desire to consolidate. Mr Wallace appealed to the parents to reconsider and having enumerated a number of advantages left the P&C Assoc. with the possibility of consolidation at Brunswick at the end of the year.

May 2nd. Received today a letter from the Department informing of the official closing of this school at the end of this year. The children will attend the Brunswick Junction School in 1968.

Oct 6th. Interschool sports meeting in Picton. This school competed in the ‘B’ Grade division. The school was placed third in the overall points. Geoff Simpson was Junior Champion.

Nov 10th. School Reunion.

[1] AC Staples, They Made their Destiny, pp.292-293

[2] Southern Times 10 September 1898

[3] West Australian 9 Aug 1901

[4] Southern Times 10 August 1901

[5] Southern Times 5 November 1901

[6] Southern Times 14 September 1901

[7] Southern Times 4 August 1903

[8] Southern Times 9 Feb 1904

[9] Southern Times 17 January 1905

[10] Southern Times 24 December 1908 and 30 January 1909

[11] South-Western News, Busselton, 31 December 1915

[12] Southern Times 16 Feb 1909

[13] Southern Times 30 December 1913

[14] Daily News 14 December 1947

[15] Geraldton Guardian 12 March 1921

[16] Community News, Harvey Shire Community Committee, No 25, June 1978, p. 9