The school was opened on 21st January 1912, with five pupils on the roll. By the end of 1912 this number had grown to twenty-nine. The school was originally known as “Bayswater West” and the name changed to “Wantirna” in 1913. “Wantirna” is an aboriginal word meaning “gurgling stream”, no doubt referring to Dandenong Creek.
Some notes from the archives:
- One of the first projects undertaken by the original school committee was the provision of a shelter shed.
- An interesting motion in the Minute Book from 1912 reads “That we again apply for a pound for pound subsidy for a shelter shed.”
- In 1913 the School Committee erected a wire fence to keep out stray cattle.
- At the first meeting of the “Mother’s Club” held on 28th July 1928, a proposal to take the children to the Melbourne Zoo was discussed; that word “fundraising” was also mentioned.
- Teaching aids purchased by the school committee in 1913 included a roller map, a pine shelf with 4 brackets, a shadow stick, a waste paper basket and an enamel soap dish.
Many changes have occurred since these very early days with many extensions and upgrades to our school. If you walk around the school today you will see how far technology has come. If only our students from 1912 knew about what was to come.
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