Friends’ Annual Field Trip

The School House

On Saturday 19 November 2005 friends of ANME enjoyed a very pleasant and informative excursion to the Tuggeranong Schoolhouse in Chisholm, ACT. Following Devonshire teas in the schoolroom, the Caretaker conducted a tour of the site, including the residence.

Appreciation is extended to ANME's Assistant Curator, Maryna Goodwin FACE for organizing the trip and to the the current schoolhouse caretakers, Matt. Swarbrick and Julie Kennett for their hospitality and courtesy.

The schoolhouse and outbuildings are considered to be of important historic value and worthy of preservation. It is one of the earliest schools in the ACT region and provides us with an excellent example of late 19th Century school architecture .A temporary slab school opened on the existing site in 1876 to be replaced by a shingled roof brick schoolroom and four room residence completed in 1880 and closed in 1939.

The school provided the first formal schooling to the children of a few of Canberra's pioneering families from Tharwa and the Tuggeranong Valley.

In the School Room (LtoR) Dr Malcolm Beazley, Dr Geoffrey Burkhrdt, Maryna Goodwin, Dr Brian Robson, Dr Joan Robson, Sue Bessell, Brian Willey, Dr Michael Bessell

1870 First provisional school for the Tuggeranong area is opened.

1873 Michael Doyle appointed teacher.

1876 Joseph Kelly appointed teacher.

1876 (June) Dispute between Joseph Kelly and Martin Pike results in the closure of the school.

1876 (October) Gained public school status.

1878 (April) Temporary school opened, first teacher was Michael Kennedy.

1878 (October) A permanent school and four room residence was built by Saunders Helman.

1880 (May) Permanent school officially opened.

1897 Michael Kennedy was succeeded by Mr Greentree.

1898 (October) Mr Frank McGee appointed as teacher.

1927 (April) Mr Frank McGee retires and is replaced by William Duffy.

1934 Francis Luff succeeds as teacher.

1939 (December) School closes.

(By courtesy of Environment ACT.)

Class of 2005

Back Row: Brian Willey, Dr Brian Robson, Dr Geoffrey Burkhardt, Dr Michael Bessell.
Front Row: Sue Bessell, Dr Joan Robson, Maryna Goodwin, Jill Buscombe.