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2004 Chermside State School reunion

The Society and the School

The Chermside & Districts Historical Society has a particular relationship with the now closed Chermside State School. The original building, erected 1900, is now our headquarters.

Because of this connection we have held several reunions of expupils and exteachers.

The first reunion was in 2000 and attracted between 300 and 400 visitors who mingled in the Kedron- Wavell Community Centre. We called it the Centenary Reunion that the school was unable to have as it closed in 1996.

Keith Tune ringing the bell

The bell Keith is ringing was used at the Chermside State School and was donated to the Society by Education Queensland. The much larger outside bell, which hung in a wooden gantry in front of the school facing Gympie Road, disappeared long ago. We did try to find it, but alas, we failed.

Chermside State School reunion

Participants arriving

The reunion was held in the original Chermside State School building and the entry is via the front veranda.

The large notice on the balustrading is our acknowledgement of the contribution of the Commonwealth Centenary of Federation Fund 1900-2001, the State Government and the Brisbane City Council for the part they played in financing the shifting and refurbishing the building.

Chermside State School reunion

Signing visitors book, moving into the building

Visitors are asked to sign the book as a safety precaution before going into the school. Members are expected to do the same at meetings.

We have to clean the veranda regularly to remove the mess left by night time 'visitors'. This little exercise has been lightened since Kedron-Wavell Social Club has extended its nightime security patrols to the Precinct.

Chermside State School reunion

Viewing the display

Our displays of photos, documents and other memorabilia are laminated and fixed to movable display stands. We use velcro tabs to hold them in place and allow the viewers to point out salient features without damaging the display.

These displays often create animated discussion and enlightenment for the visitors and members alike. One of the most popular items for ex-pupils is to view, and often copy, their names and details from the school Register. Our photocopies of which extend from 1900 to the early 1980s.

Chermside State School reunion

John Hopkins, Beverley Isdale

Two long-time members of the Society find an amusing item in the display. In the background can be seen part of the extensive collection of school achievement pennants. They cover both academic and sporting themes of the post World War II period.

Chermside State School reunion

Patrick O’Shea interviewing on back verandah

One of the aims of the reunions is to gather information from the visitors about their time at the school. Some bring along photos, documents and other material which they donate or we scan it into our computers.

Another method is to interview the person individually and make notes. The only space left in this case was a small table on the back veranda store room. Fortunately there was a large back door which allowed much needed ventilation.

Pat O'Shea is interviewing Doreen Hatch (nee Hinton) who attended the school from 1939 to 1947. Doreen donated a complete collection of her class photos for the eight years - Prep to Grade 7.

Chermside State School reunion

Greg Hibberd in Milne Bay Memorial Library and Research Centre

One of the features of our reunions is the Devonshire tea, or coffee, which we provide for a small charge. We are given the use the Drill Hall by the 9th Battalions executive for the afternoon. It is a spacious building with room for up to 100 people in a theatre setting. They have their own kitchenette which we also use.

Chermside State School reunion

Terry Sullivan, Glenys Bolland, Beverley Isdale Milne Bay Memorial Library and Research Centre

Three distinguished members of the Society meeting in the Drill Hall. Terry was the State Member for Stafford for many years, Glenys is a skilled researcher specialising in the internet and Beverley was President at the time and is now the Archivist.
Terry Sullivan and Terry Hampson, the Marchant Ward Councillor, were instrumental in shifting the old school building and setting up the Chermside & Districts Historical Society in 1998.

Chermside State School reunion

Beverley Isdale addressing ex-students

Another feature of the reunions is the group photograph. This time the visitors moved into the shade of the Voyager Centre while Beverley stood on the quadrangle or parade ground using her umbrella for shade. It was very reminiscent of the old school assemblies and aroused many memories.

Chermside State School reunion