Black Springs looks back | The fight for area's first school

OPEN: The first school at Black Springs opened in 1959. The school will be open at the Black Springs Heritage Festival later this month.
OPEN: The first school at Black Springs opened in 1959. The school will be open at the Black Springs Heritage Festival later this month.

THE Black Springs Community Association will hold a Black Springs Heritage Festival on Saturday, October 26 from 10am to 4pm. The day will include tours of local churches and cemeteries. There will also be a display of historical photographs.

Below is a story which appeared in the Black Springs Gymkhana program of events in 1960.

As early as 1956 the need for a school at Black Springs was voiced by local residents to eliminate the many miles of travel involved to enable children to attend the various scattered small schools in the district.

A firm move to form a committee was made and at a public meeting, Mrs Joe Moriarty was elected as secretary to apply to the Department of Education to provide school accommodation at Black Springs.

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Initial attempts were fruitless, but undeterred the committee sought the assistance of Oberon Shire Council in their quest. Councillor L Armstrong and R Buckley were elected to form a deputation to approach Mr C A Kelly, MLA, the state member for Bathurst on the matter.

Further, the inspector of schools was invited to open the First Black Springs Gymkhana in 1958 with a view to enabling the Department of Education to have an on the spot survey of the potential of the village as the site for, by now, an urgently needed school.

Subsequent to these moves a school was approved and in February, 1959, with an enrolment of 16 pupils, Black Springs School was opened with Mr B Cady appointed as teacher-in-charge.

Enrolment increased rapidly following the closure of Mozart and Gerrynian schools and in November 1960 a larger classroom was erected on the school site. With the evident sustained increase in enrolments, the Black Springs Association requested the posting of two teachers to the school.

In January, 1961, Mr Reg Jones took charge with his wife as assistant. However in the final term of that year and in 1962, attendance fell slightly below the required number for two teachers and Mrs Jones was relieved of duty.

In 1963, enrolment increased to over 50 pupils and Mr W Pearce was appointed as assistant teacher.

Reclassification of the school from January 1, 1964 was notified in August 1963 and the present principal Mr W H Burns was appointed as principal with Mr B Patterson as assistant.

The estimate of attendance next year is 60 to 70 pupils will be attending school.

Moves have been made by the Progress Association over time to have additional accommodation provided and following many submissions by the association and representations on their behalf by Mr Kelly, the erection of a new brick veneer school was approved last year by the Education Department.