Home Community Watheroo Primary School’s final ringing of the bell

Watheroo Primary School’s final ringing of the bell

Shane Love MLA, Jan Millsteed and Ken Tasker with the bell.

Jan Millsteed

More than 250 people from across the state gathered at Watheroo Primary School on 6 April 2024 to commemorate the final ringing of the bell.

Marita Henry, the last Principal of Watheroo Primary School said, “The ringing of the school bell for the last time evoked a mix of emotions among attendees. There was a sense of sadness as the school closed its doors for the final time, mingled with deep gratitude for the support the school had provided to the community, and vice versa. It was widely acknowledged that while the school had been the heart of the community, it was the people within it who made it special. The spirit of the community would continue to thrive.”

Thank you to all who were able to be there and for those who helped in any way to make the time a success.

Afternoon tea was held at 3 pm. It was a ‘bring and share’ afternoon tea and of course it was a marvellous spread. It was an opportunity to have a last look at the school, check out the school historical display and to catch up with others. A celebration cake was cut during this time.

The Final Assembly started at 4 pm. Past students, teachers and principals shared memories of their time at the school.
Shane Love MLA spoke of the general history of the school and his involvement in Watheroo.

A student, Mrs Marjorie Burton (nee York) spoke about her father, Charles York, who was one of the first students to start school in 1914. She recalled a few incidents from her father’s time at the school such as breaking the cane into little pieces after it had been administered to him.

David Elliot, with 3 generations having attended the school, shared some of his memories at the school which included playing Brandy on the playground equipment.

Ralph Mason shared his thoughts and memories of his time at the school, particularly the bus trip in.

Noelene Reed, a former student and a school bus contractor, told of the people involved over the years who drove the school buses.
Anna Creegan also shared some of her experiences at Watheroo. Her mother, Anne Cameron, a student and then a teacher, spoke of the some of the history of the school.

Past principals shared some experiences from their life in Watheroo: Chris Walsh, (read by Meredith Crossley), Gary Stenhouse, Marita Henry and Ken Tasker.

Ken Tusker concluded the assembly with the final ringing of the bell.

A Sundowner with hamburgers and refreshments was held at the pavilion, hosted by Watheroo Cricket Club. This was a terrific evening for the crowd and well done to the club and their supporters for their efforts: they did a great job. It was a wonderful way to finish the day.

Watheroo School opened again on Sunday morning for one last look for the people who had travelled and stayed overnight.