Gympie South School 100-years-old

Former Gympie South principal Ian Wenzel and students Tia Dullard and Toby Collins bury the centenary time capsule.
Former Gympie South principal Ian Wenzel and students Tia Dullard and Toby Collins bury the centenary time capsule. David Crossley

IN 1910, Gympie South State School took its first enrolments.

On the weekend, hundreds of past teachers, students and principals packed the school’s grounds to celebrate 100 years of education.

And the staff and talented students of Gympie South certainly turned on the celebration. Eighteen months of preparation culminated into one full day of festivities on Saturday, which included student performances throughout the day, an official roll call, the burial of a time capsule and the cutting of a spectacular centenary cake.

Gympie South Centenary Committee chairperson Ian Wenzel said the event was an outstanding success, proven by the large number of positive comments received throughout the day.

“It was a very successful day with about 800 people – plus their children – attending,” he said.

“There were many past students and staff ... we got a lot of favourable comments about the day, which was very rewarding.”

A popular attraction was the historical display in the original school building and the dedication ceremony was an unique way to acknowledge former students. The school building, which was completed in 1910 and cost $250 to build, was dedicated to Reg Lewis, 99, the oldest surviving student.

The pool was dedicated to the community and renamed the South School Community Pool and the hall, which was opened in May 1998, was named Toppin Hall after Gail Toppin, who was instrumental in having the hall built.

Mr Wenzel said Gympie South School amalgamated with nine other schools located in Gympie’s west that closed their doors in the 1970s and ’80s due to declining numbers.

He said former students from those schools were present at the centenary and group photographs were taken for every school to put on permanent display in the school hall.

“We had official photos at the end of the day, including group photos of students that went to the nine small schools and photos of Gympie South students up to the class of 1995,” Mr Wenzel said.

Gympie South Centenary Committee consisted of present Gympie South staff, past South students and also representatives of the nine small schools – Lagoon Pocket, Calico Creek, Glastonbury, Scrubby Creek, Warrawee, Greendale, Langshaw-Eel Creek, Pie Creek and Mooloo.

“It’s taken a lot of hard work and effort. The School Centenary magazine was organised by teacher aide Eileen Holzapfel. She did an incredible job ... it was very popular. There are only a limited few left for sale.

“Items of current interest in the time capsule were a copy of The Gympie Times with our centenary feature, student work, the school newsletter, a copy of the Centenary Magazine and a video recording of the day.

“The students performed a montage of ‘education through the ages’ as part of the official ceremony. That was really enjoyed by the crowd. Past students looked like they were having a wonderful time catching up with friends.”

Centenary Magazine and souvenirs are still available through the school website or from the school office on 5483 0444.

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