My years as a Bush Schoolie

My years as a Bush Schoolie Pt8

Part 8 - From Natya to North Fitzroy

When I left Natya I was sent to North Fitzroy where we had a Head Mistress and the school was an experimental one. Miss Flemming was in charge of the school, and she was a very good one. The staff was nearly all women. That's where I met the migrant children.

My years as a Bush Schoolie Pt7

Part 7 - A Formidable Spirit

I was surprised that 90% of the children that I taught at Natya in those years came back to the "Back to Natya" in 1986. Nearly 90% of them were there, and they have all done well in life.

I am very proud of the ones who had a tough time trying to learn - some lived in a bag hut, which must have made life difficult, and they told me that, "Mum made the soup of frankfurts". They'd had a very rough life, and they've all done well, and are good Australian citizens - what more can you ask?

My years as a Bush Schoolie Pt6

Part 6 - Loneliness

The worst part about teaching at Natya was the loneliness - the lack of meeting people for the exchange of ideas. The loneliness for my type of people.

My years as a Bush Schoolie Pt5

Part 5 - The Last Dance

When I transferred from boarding at the store, I went to stay with the family who were in charge of the railway station. It was while I was there that I struck my first mouse plague. The house was a nice cement one, but the mice were getting in everywhere. Mr Rose set traps everywhere, and this night he said to me, "Do you mind I set some strychnine in some flour in your bedroom?", because they eating my clothing; they were getting into the drawers and eating everything.

My years as a Bush Schoolie Pt4

Part 4 - Discipline & Respect

All the children who came to school were well-fed, well-clothed and clean, and there were no problems with sickness such as epidemics. Nor were there any disturbed children - no disciplinary troubles whatsoever. We didn't have any aggressive children either; I never used the strap - there was one in a cupboard that someone had left - but I never used it, there was never a need. There was a corporal punishment book where incidences were recorded whenever a teacher had to use the strap, but I think there was only one entry in it.

My years as a Bush Schoolie Pt3

Part 3 - School Life

My years as a Bush Schoolie Pt2

Part 2 - Teaching in a One Room School

The plan of that school was repeated right throughout the Mallee. Plenty of big windows on one side, and a fairly large window on the other. There was also a little room to keep your papers and books in. There was a large open fireplace on the west side, with new blackboards on either side. But it didn't take long for the blackboards to start to buckle, with the terrific heat we had.

There was one rainwater tank and a filter to filter the water for the children to drink.

My years as a Bush Schoolie Pt1

Part 1 - Becoming a Country Teacher

I was born in 1901 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and I emigrated to Australia in 1911 with my mother, brother and sister. My father had preceded us some time before, and we settled in Melbourne.