All Saints’ first students farewell classrooms
Past students, teachers and families gathered at All Saints’ School on Saturday 18 March to farewell the original school building, including four students from its foundation year.
After a long and detailed planning stage, engineers determined that the original building would need to be replaced as part of a multi-million upgrade funded by the Australian Government's Capital Grants Program.
The original building was built primarily by volunteers from the Parish in 1956 and Sisters of Mercy arrived the following year to staff the school.
John and Molly Muller of Coulson were the first to enrol their two daughters at what was then called All Saints’ Convent School.
Kathryn Muller (now Kate Herrmann) was number one on that very first roll. At age 15, Kathy returned to All Saints’ as a teacher’s aide for six years before she married. Her sister, Margaret Muller (now Margie Wruck), was only four years old in 1957 but was enrolled early in to Grade 1 to make up the numbers. Margie’s children also attended the school in the 1980s, including her daughter Tanya Wruck who popped in to see her old classrooms and teachers at the recent open day.
Lyn Lutter (nee Allen) was another of the students from the inaugural year of All Saints’ who visited, paying tribute to her parents, Ron and Kathleen Allen, who helped construct the first building.
Noela Gilbert (nee Boyle) was in Year 4 when the school opened and shared fond memories of the sports days and concerts, in particular music lessons with Mother Bartholomew (Sister St Dorothy).
Gerardine Boyd (nee Moloney), who attended the school with her four siblings. reminisced about filling water buckets to clean the chalk slates for the start of lessons with Mother Bartholomew.
Long serving staff members were also well represented at the open day, including Moya Rabbitt who was a teacher at All Saints’ for 35 years from 1980. During this time, she says she saw student numbers swell from 74 to 230 in 2015. Mrs Rabbitt remembers the Sisters of Mercy running drills on the oval and the school’s pageant era.
Equally impressive tenures were shared by Juleen Sippel, another long-term teacher who returned on Saturday after working in classrooms from the 1970s until 2018.
Former staff member Jill O’Rourke was all smiles and remembered the wonderful camaraderie of the teaching staff at All Saints’. Mrs O’Rourke was a teacher’s aide and school secretary for 23 years. She and husband Kev were also active members of the Parents and Friends Association (P&F) with children and grandchildren attending the school.
Talking ‘books and more books’ were Marcia Wimmer and Yvette Barnes who collectively spent more than 40 years in the All Saints’ library. Mrs Wimmer was the teacher librarian from 1984 to 2007, and Mrs Barnes her library aide for 20 years from 1990.
Peter Falvey was a fan favourite at the event, having taught at All Saints’ for 27 years, and this being his final year in the classroom. Mr Falvey personally educated his four children and five of his grandchildren, two of whom are still at All Saints’.
Ginger and Bean Mobile Coffee were in attendance, thanks to support from owner and past student Jessica Lutter.
Current P&F committee members and former students Helen Murphy and Melissa Voss arranged families to bake goods to share with the school’s visitors.
Former parents who attended included former P&F President Alan Cant, who spent 10 years on the committee, with the highlight being his first meeting when funding was announced for the new hall. Mr Cant’s two daughters attended the school and joined him on his tour at the weekend.
Another former parent visiting the open day Julianna Rasmussen had two children attend the school, Neroli and Nicolas, who between them spent 16 years at All Saints’.
It was wonderful to see old connections being renewed with former student Terri Clarke (nee Howe) chatting at length with Kate Herrmann who had taught her softball and netball in the late 1960s. Ms Clarke’s father was one of the many hands who volunteered to build the original school building and said she was glad to see it one last time.
Demolition works are scheduled to start in April. More information is available from the school’s website.
Please visit our Facebook page for more photos of the event.