This publication presents the schools of the Ballina Inspectorate at this time - Education Week, 1959 - and their origins.


Coorabell Public School was first gazetted on 7th August, 1890, as a provisional school. The site chosen was in the valley below the heights on which the present school is situated and served the children of Myocum and Coorabell. The school, unpainted and unfenced, was on the property now occupied by J. C. Love's home. Writing was on slates and the cleaning, though typical, was not particularly hygienic. The two-foot globe, a feature of modern supplies, was in use at this school. Quaint, by modern standards, was the use of a fig tree as a weather shed. A daily feature was the procession of bullock teams that passed in front of the school. No heating was provided save for the hands and this appears to have been applied both freely and liberally.


The school was opened in January, 1891, by Francis Bassett with an enrolment of 18. John Allen followed in '92 and Gertrude Herman in '93.

Hugh Thompson was appointed in January, 1894, but by the end of the year the enrolment had dropped to 13 with an average of seven, and in July, 1895, a month later Edwin Blanch was appointed, the school was made halftime with Blindmouth, near Main Arm.

With a revived attendance, the school was gazetted a Public School in January, 1897. By 1904 the enrolment had climbed to the 30-40 mark and Edwin Blanch opened the Coorabell School on its present site in 1903. The site, however, was not resumed from Mrs. Blanch till 1913.

Meanwhile O. M. Williams built a residence to be rented to the teacher, Duncan Baillie, who was appointed in March, 1906. This residence was later purchased from his daughter, Mrs. Blanch.

In January, 1918, Duncan Macrae was appointed.

Stanley Mouatt followed in April, 1923, and during his term the majority of the trees in the playground were planted. At this time, too, a further quarter acre was acquired from Mrs. Blanch and in 1926 a one and a quarter acre reserve was obtained.

The first regular series of concerts began with Nicholas Lennon in January, 1936, but were later discontinued. In 1938 the present site was firmly established by a barter deal with Harry Wedd, then owning the old Williams farm.

Arthur Meaney followed in January, 1948. During this period a radio and projector first appeared in use, a tennis court was bulldozed and tarred. This was followed by a bookcase and reference library.

The school is well supported by the community. A hard working P. and C. can again, therefore, point to considerable achievement.

The school has been repainted and refenced. Several paths and an ablution bench have been installed and fourfoot high windows brought to desk level. Dual desks have replaced the old style long ones. A duplicator and tape recorder have been added to the school's equipment together with a workable junior library, cricket pitch and sporting equipment.


In 1957 the first civic school Anzac Eve ceremony was introduced and is attended by district ex-servicemen and residents. Mullumbimby High School supplies an officer and two N.C.O.'s as a guard of honour from their Cadet Corps. Local ex-servicemen's organisations provide the guest speaker.

The school feature of the year since 1955 is the annual Play Night of six to nine plays. This is made possible by the colourful and careful dressing of the players by their parents, at considerable expense. Stage lighting is prepared by the Hall Committee.

The quaint idea of weather shelter still persists, though the thirty-five children now shelter under a large camphor laurel tree. Present teacher-in-charge, appointed in 1955, is Dan Waide.

North Coast School Histories

North Coast School Histories: as transcribed by Kathy Pearson and posted to NorCo List. STATUS QUO MCMLIX This publication presents the schools of the Ballina Inspectorate at this time - Education Week, 1959 - and their origins.