Calling all former students to a Kew Public School reunion on September 2

Reunion appeal: Do you recognise anyone in this photo? If you have more information about the school or if you’re a former student, David would like to hear from you. Email David Bignell at dabldooya1@hotmail.com or phone 0439 632 900.

Reunion appeal: Do you recognise anyone in this photo? If you have more information about the school or if you’re a former student, David would like to hear from you. Email David Bignell at dabldooya1@hotmail.com or phone 0439 632 900.

Many stories will be told when students come together for a Kew Public School reunion on September 2. 

Former student David Bignell is organising the get together which will formally kick off at 11am at the Royal Hotel Kew, just down the road from the old school site. 

Mr Bignell started organising the event in 2016 and he said it has been a difficult process in tracking down all the families who attended. 

He said there were 150 people who were sent print invitations to the event and over 50 of those have confirmed they will attend. 

One of the event attendees is a 93-year-old woman who attended the school in the 1930s. Her son and his son also attended and all three generations will be at the reunion on September 2. 

Mr Bignell said he is hoping to get close to 100 attendees and doesn’t want anyone to miss out. 

Even though Mr Bignell only attended the school up until he was 10-years-old he has vivid memories of his days there. 

His friend’s dad was a policeman who used to lock them up for an hour ‘just for the hell of it’. Mr Bignell and his friends used to catch snakes and take them to school. He would also get inside the tyres of big trucks and roll down the highway with his friend. 

“it’s a bit different on the highway now as back then you were lucky to see two trucks a day,” he said.

The school was established in 1883 as the Camden Haven Crossing School on Tathra Road and shared a school teacher half time with Johns River School. Then, in 1887, it was half time with Stewarts River School.

Half time schools were established to educate children in areas of scattered population. Itinerant teachers would travel between two schools.

Camden Haven Crossing became a provisional school in 1892 then a public school in 1893. The name changed to Kew Public School in 1894.

Teachers were shared for a time between Brush Gully Public School, south of Ross Glen and Kew. These teachers were Doreen Bucton, Verley McKay, Heather Margaret McInnes, Maisey Haydon and Vince Dunn.

Norman McLeod taught at the school in 1899, M Riley and Thomas Abel prior to 1919 and Jack Britt from 1919 to 1926. Other teachers were EG Morton, S Mannix, PC Prowse, R Tanner, A Guant, HA Hurrell and Byron J Moss. 

The school closed in 1967 and the building was moved from its location on the old Pacific Highway. 

The event on September 2 officially starts at 11am. Lunch and presentations are scheduled to take place in the afternoon.

If you have more information about the school or if you’re a former student, David would like to hear from you. Email David Bignell at dabldooya1@hotmail.com or phone 0439 632 900.

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