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


The school was opened in 1896, with Mr. J. B. May in charge. The building consisted of one room. All the timber had to be pit sawn. The site had been presented by Mr. William Keye, one of the earliest selectors. Previously, a school site had been given to the Education Department by the late William J. Bate. However, when a school was built at Federal, and one was opened later at Goonengerry, Mr. Bate bought the land back from the Department.

Mr. May was followed by Mr. Hamilton, who in turn was succeeded by Mr. T. Murray, who taught in Federal from 1901 to 1908. In those days illiteracy was very common, so Mr. Murray not only taught the children, but also held night classes for the adults.

The original school building was totally inadequate for the number (61) of school children attending, and in the 1900's an extension of 12 feet was added to the length of the building. The enrolments continued to outgrow this extra space, and in 1906 the present two-roomed school was built. It was during Mr. Murray's time that the school residence was built. On taking over the new school Mr. Murray was given the services of an assistant, Miss Crofton, and was also relieved by Mr. Northcote whilst recovering from an injury.

Mr. Murray was transferred in 1908, and his successor was Mr. James O'Sullivan, who remained here until 1913. Next came Mr. Smith, who only remained a few months. His successor was Mr. Levitt, who was here from 1914 to 1917. Next came Mr. Lock, who was in charge from 1917 to 1934, thus serving a record term of 17 years. He was relieved for a short time by Mr. Chadwick. Following Mr. Lock came Mr. Patterson, 1935 to 1939, relieved for a short time in 1936 by Mr. 1. Keena. Then Mr. Shaw, 1940 to 1941, Mr. Stitt from 1942 to 1957, and the present teacher, Mr. Tyson, from 1958 on.

Many assistant teachers have taught at this school, but the only names on record are Misses Bourne, Gray, Graham, Gayner, McDonald, Crofton, McCarthy, Farquharson, Piersall, Long and Sketchley, with Messrs Manwaring and Tandy.

Many of the old pupils who attended the school in Mr. Murray's day are still living in the district, but one of the "Old Boys" who is most in the public eye these days would be Judge Furnell.

Today, thanks to the splendid work over the years of the P. and C. Associations, a great transformation has taken place in the Federal School and grounds. In 1896 the grounds were heavily timbered, today they are well grassed with a concrete strip for the practice of games. The school is modern and well equipped with a projector, radiogram, duplicator, typewriter and library.

The school has participated in district sports and Lismore Musical Festival, winning various trophies. This year the Federal Junior Farmers' Club, composed of the present pupils and old pupils, won the coveted Blue Pennant. It was the first time it had been won in New South Wales.

Plans are in hand for an even better school, one that the early pioneers could be truly proud of.

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.