Tobruk Street Primary No. 4680
Approval for the construction of a third Morwell Primary School was given in June 1951. The school was planned to cater for the children who would be living in the 300 home Housing Commission area known as the "Hourigan Estate".
When discussing the issue of the "Churchill Road School" as it was then referred to, the Shire Council resolved in May 1952 to ask the Education Department to call for tenders for a "built on site" building in preference to a pre-fabricated unit. Cr. Hourigan believed that " a local job would be better, cheaper and completed earlier".
The Department had earlier advised that a pre-fabricated unit could be ready by February 1953. Cr. Hare stressed the need for the school to be erected as soon as possible.
Tobruk Street Primary School was eventually established on 2nd. February 1954, at a site on the corner of Churchill Road. The initial pupil enrolment was approximately 500. Meetings were held in February to establish a Mother's Club, at one of these meetings it was decided that a Father's Club should also be formed.
The following were elected as office bearers:
Mother' s Club President: Mrs. Jeffrey Vice Presidents: Mrs. Milligan and Mrs. Cummings Secretary: Mrs. Scicluna
Father's Club President: Mr. Little Secretary/Treasurer: Mr. Scicluna Committee: Messrs. Judge, Cash, Bakker, Cook and Jeffrey
The school committee was formed at a meeting held on Monday 15th March. The office bearers elected at that meeting were:
Chairman: Mr. Woolley Correspondent: Mr. Baker Treasurer: Mr. Sawyer Committee: Messrs. Cook, Bakker, Millett and McKay
The first head teacher was Mr. John Evans.
The Tobruk Street school was at the end Livingstone Street - easy walking distance from my home. I remember my first day at school so clearly - as if it were yesterday rather than more than 50 years ago. I remember wondering why some of the new kids were crying - this business of going to school was so exciting.
I completed Bubs (Preparatory) and Grade 1 in the same year (1959). This was common in those times - 'clever' children were 'promoted' half way through their first year when a second intake of Bubs began school. I can't remember the name of my Bubs teacher, but I think my Grade 1 teacher was Mrs. Buchanan. In Grade 2 I had Miss Tucker, but I think she left to get married and I don't remember who replaced her. In Grade 3 I had Mr. McQualter. My favourite teacher was Mr. Louis Lowe in Grade 4. He was special. We had a lovely old wooden gramaphone in the classroom and he used to play records for us. He also put lots of things like spelling rules on the windows in window paint. And in the middle of the top of the blackboard was a quote I have never forgotten - "Good, Better, Best. Never let it rest. Till your Good is Better, And your Better is your Best".
Mr. Lowe was also our Horticulture teacher in Grade 6. How I loved his lessons. I remember a poem he taught us to help remember the parts of a flower. For years I could only remember the first few lines, but in about 2009 I finally discovered the rest of it.
The Calyx is outside the cup
Its sepals have been woven stout
To keep the cold and dampness out.
Corolla is the colored part
That gladdens every childlike heart;
Its petals wave on the breeze
To summon butterflies and bees.
The stamens next within the ring
Their anthers set on magic spring –
These anthers store a generous meed
Of pollen needed to make seed
The pistil’s in the centre fair,
For it must have the greatest care;
The stigma’s catch the pollen beads
Which turn the ovules into seeds
-- Ruth Chandler
(as communicated by Major Wilson)