Our School's History

OUR  BEGINNINGS ....

HISTORY  OF  WARRIMOO  PUBLIC  SCHOOL
 

Children who lived in Warrimoo in the early days of development had a choice regarding their education and that was whether to walk to Blaxland Public School or Springwood Public School, which was originally adjacent to the railway station.  It wasn’t until 1954 that the existing buildings were opened (at Springwood).  In 1940 there were three children walking from Warrimoo to Blaxland.

During the war years a small school did commence in the Gospel Hall (now the Baptist Church) in Rickard Road.  However, it was only eighteen months to two years before the teacher, a retired headmistress, died, and a replacement could not be found.

The problem was alleviated to a degree when in 1945-46, the bus service from Springwood to Glenbrook was introduced.  The children at least had transport to and from school.  

The fifties came and the need for a local school was felt more strongly.  In the time of Mr Norman Leven’s Presidency, the Warrimoo Progress Association made representation to the Department of Education regarding the establishment of a school.

In 1956 the Association received a letter informing them “that land had been purchased in Florabella Street and Cross Street (land originally known as Neall Park) with the view to establishing a school”.

The choice, as we all know, was for the Florabella Street site.  Records show that in 1956 the Valuer General’s Department purchased on behalf of the Department of Education, three acres of land from A. Patman at a cost of $1,500 and in 1957 an additional seven acres from the Estate of the Late A. P. Major at a cost of $1,600.  It was not until 1967 that an extra acre was purchased from A. Squires for $3,200.  The valuer was Mr B. Alford, whose children later attended the school.

The land on which the school now stands is in the Parish of Magdala and the original title holder was William Deane, a Sydney solicitor, who also purchased the Old Pilgrim Inn in Blaxland in 1869.

It has been established that a man named Mulcahy had possession of part of the land at sometime and he attempted to develop a market garden and poultry farm, but his efforts were frustrated by lack of water.  At some stage the land was sold to Mr Powell, storekeeper, Main Western Road, Warrimoo, who used it originally for milk vending, “with one cow and a billy can”.  This developed into a dairy and a vending business.  It was Mr Powell, assisted by men of the town, who built a tennis court (where the present administration building stands).  “It was used regularly, but fell into disrepair when Mr Powell sold out”.


Mr Bebber then bought the property.  In 1939 Alan Patman, who lived locally, started to work with Mr Bebber.  Mr L. F. Spence (Alan Patman’s father-in-law), bought the property and the Ely’s poultry farm next door.  In 1940-41, Alan and Beryl Patman purchased the cows and licence for the dairy and they bought the properties themselves after the war.

The Patman’s had the courts restored.  Often when weekend tournaments were conducted at the Warrimoo Courts and they were running behind schedule, Patman’s Courts would be used to complete the competitions.  It was at Patman’s the Empire Night Celebrations were held and the crackers stored in a large washing basket for safekeeping.

1947 saw Mr Patman transporting water down from Torwood Road for the cows during a time of drought.  At one time a 1027 “Chev” was used to make deliveries of milk from Warrimoo to Blaxland.

The dairy closed when pasteurisation became law.

Another landmark on the school property is the remains of an old whiskey still which had two wells to supply it.  It has been suggested that the still was used last century but all evidence points to a much later date.  Definitely it was used around 1930 by “two guys who made the whiskey and took it to Sydney.  Everyone knew about it”.  Mrs Patman states that she and Mr Patman knew the “still” was there, but nothing more.

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1962
64 children enrolled.  New two-roomed building opened.
Staff:    Principal - Mr Fred Waters and Assistant - Mrs Bennett.

 

1966 - 1970
Mr James Kerin appointed as Principal.

1967 - school enrolment - 148.

June, 1970
Mr Colin Standen - Principal
1971 - School population was 176.

1979 - 1980
Mr John King - Principal,
189 pupils enrolled and for the first time there were seven straight classes.

1981 - 1984
Miss Jean Dawson - Principal.
 Library opened in 1981.  Words of original school Song written along with the school motto:  “Aim High to Achieve”.

1985 - 1997
Mrs Patricia Murphy - Principal.
The arrival of the demountable administration block.
In 1987, we celebrated our 25th Anniversary.
October 1992 - the Library burned as a result of arson.

1998 - 2001
Mr Ross Sutherland - Principal.
Refurbished school occupied February 1999 and officially opened in August 1999.
New school song written for school opening.
Achieved Apple Distinguished School Status

2002 - 2007
Mr Joe Banffy - Principal
Development of Outdoor Learning Areas
In 2004 reconfirmed Apple Distinguished School Status

2007 - 2008
3 new water tanks installed, construction of walkways between buildings and construction of sports storeroom.
Mr Michael Kitchin appointed as Principal
202 pupils enrolled necessitating delivery of a demountable classroom

2009
School notified of new library building and refurbishment of existing library into a classroom.

2010
Construction of the new library started in Term 3. The existing library is refurbished into a classroom.
Due to new bush fire restrictions, many trees near the new building were cut down to form a protection zone.

2011 
January, 2011 saw the completion and occupation of the new library,  refurbished classroom and reading room (B.E.R).
Reading Recovery Teacher appointed
Additional Solar Panels installed (B.E.R).

2012
Warrimoo Public School had its 50th Anniversary.

2013
Warrimoo Public School celebrated the Bi-centenary of the first European crossing of the Blue Mountains.
Climate Clever Energy Competition 6/5 Classes Winners – prize solar  tinting for their classrooms

 

A History In Photos

Our school has seen many changes over the years. We began as a one building school in 1962 but these days we have many buildings and even a few outdoor classrooms down in the bush.

 

In the Past