Class of 1959: Nina Carter, Carol Murphy & Janice Beddows.
Class of 1959: Nina Carter, Carol Murphy & Janice Beddows. Jack Lawrie

Monto school reunion

AT THE 50 anniversary reunion for students of Tellebang School, three sisters reminisced about taking the half-and-hour school bus ride every day.

Jan McKay, Laurel Samuel and Kathy Brian, who attended the school in the 1950s, remembered how the staff responded to a measles breakout.

"One breakup day, there was a measles breakout among the students and they sent people along the bus routes to every house to deliver breakup presents to people who couldn't make it,” Kathy said.

"They did things that you'd never see happen now”.

These three bus routes would eventually contribute to the school's closure in 1966 as transport became more widespread.

The school closed due to a lack of funding caused by rising education costs and lower attendance figures, as transport routes enabled students to attend bigger schools, most notably Mulgildie Primary School.

Past students from as far back as the late 1930s turned up at old Monto Shire Council building at the weekend to reminisce about the old days.

Joe Lang organised the reunion as an opportunity to bring together people from the school, some of whom had not seen each other in more than 50 years.

"Quite often I'd come back to Monto to meet friends and talk to fellow students about how we should organise a reunion, and eventually I put my hand up for it,” Mr Lang said.

"A lot of people have passed away, as you would realise the youngest students would probably be 60 now.”

Tellebang School consisted of three connected schoolhouses; the library/administration building on the right, and the two class halls on the left and centre.

After the closure, the centre building was bought in an auction and used to build the house beside the Duck Inn store on Cunningham St, while the library became the Rural Youth Clubhouse on Mungungo Rd.

What became of the left most building is currently unknown.

Previous reunions had taken place at Mulgildie and were focused on all of the smaller schools that closed down in the '60s.

Bill Johnson remembered attended the school in 1956, when his father, James Roy Johnson was principal .

"I think it made life a little bit difficult for me,” Mr Johnson said..

"People are more likely to find criticisms with you if you're connected with the teacher.”

Mr Johnson said his father gave students a good grounding in the fundamentals of reading, writing and arithmetic.

At the time, he was one of the few students who lived close enough to walk to school. .


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