First Headmaster At Old Bar Public School
Will Hopper was appointed to open Old Bar Public School after the August-September holidays in 1935.
A partly built house was used as the school. It was a weather- board building, complete on the outside but without main walls inside and with hessian attached to the rafters to divide the building into 2 or 3 rooms.
Information and photo provided by Athol Hopper, (Will Hopper's son) who was in Year 6 at the time.
The first public school consisted of an 8 metre square classroom partitioned at the back to provide living quarters for a teacher and was leased by the department for the sum of 8/- (8 shillings) or 80 cents weekly Sydney.
The Post Office is the original structure renovated and modernised by subsequent owners over the years. ( This building has since been replaced with the current Post Office/Shops). About 17 pupils of all ages came from around Bohnock down towards the Bar and quite a few were transient timber cutter's children. Some rode bareback and picked up those walking so sometimes 1 horse had 5 or 6 passengers. The horses were tied to various shade trees of which is now the corner of Cross Street and Old Bar Road, and a huge Morton Bay fig tree planted by Pioneer Mrs Gillfillan in 1880 was a dominant landmark until developers of Belle Vista subdivision removed it.The pupils of the time sat around this tree to eat their lunches.
The school amenities consisted of 24 wood-topped second-hand desks screwed to the rough wooden floor boards. Two tall wooden storage presses to hold books, pencils and slates, plus table and chair for the teacher's use, as well as a blackboard attached to the wall. A first aid kit was a shoebox containing a bottle each of iodine and kerosene, a pair of tweezers for removal of splinters in bare feet and a packet of aspros in case of need.
The present school site was selected in the 1930's and in 1940's work began on the new class room with verandah in front and an incorporated sewing room at the far end. Once again it was a stark and sterile looking room, bare floored and the same two presses, table and chair plus desks and blackboard were installed, but the many windows made the room light and airy.
Extract of article by Olive Tewksbury