From records available and the memories of old identities it is almost certain that the first school in the Nashua valley was established in the late 1880's in an old cheese factory and called Brook Park, with Miss Selbon as teacher. It is interesting to note that the ages of the fifteen pupils enrolled at that time ranged from a tender 4 ½ years to an imposing 18 years. The classes ranged from first to third class, with the average age of the pupils 11 ½ years, the majority getting their first experience of organised schooling. Most of the district was still clothed in the "Big Scrub" and children went to school along bush tracks through thickly timbered country.

Through lack of pupils and poor attendance this school closed in 1890, but two years later a more pretentious building set in a playground of half an acre, was opened on a site now known as Springvale and officially designated as Gay's Hill Provisional School, less than half a mile from the original school. The first teacher was Miss Herman, who was succeeded in turn by Messrs. C. M. Selman, W. J. McPherson, W. Young, and J. P. Russell, who was the teacher when it closed in 1912. This school was removed on bullock waggons to Bangalow, where it still stands.

The new school, a two-roomed weatherboard structure in a playground of two acres, which had meanwhile been built in the centre of the valley and which received the name of Nashua Public School, immediately came into operation. Since then it has provided an unbroken service to the people of Nashua and portions of the neighbouring districts of Binna Burra and Booyong, in catering for the primary educational needs of their children. The teachers at this school have been Messrs. J. Nankey (3 years) A. E. Brewer (2 years), C. B. Connell (8 years), W. G. Budden (23 years), and the present teacher, R. B. Hook (11 years).

Until about 40 years ago senior pupils completed their education at Nashua, but with the opening of Lismore High School they were given the opportunity of secondary education, being transported to and from Lismore by train daily. In the last ten years motor buses, which provide a more convenient service, have supplanted the railway in carrying these children.


Some of the more notable people who have passed through the Nashua School as scholars have been: Mr. Stanley Jordan, who became a British Consulate Representative in Turkey; Dr. Charles Lawrie, practising medicine in Macquarie Street, Sydney; Mr. Frank James, a dental surgeon; Revs. James Marshall and Wilbur Cook, clergymen; Messrs. Neil and Clyde Rankin, John Lawrie and Graeme Johnston, teachers in the Department of Education. Many have successfully taken a leading part in public life at rural, town and city levels on the North Coast and in wider spheres.

Nashua School has been throughout its existence a light in the life of this small farming community. The present school population is 30 pupils, ranging from Kindergarten to Sixth Grade. Apart from regular school work, which follows the same curriculum as all schools under the control of the Department of Education, the children are encouraged to take an active part in the various educational agencies, such as Junior Red Cross, Gould League of Bird Lovers, Stewart House Preventorium and "Kayleena" School for Sub-normal Children. Through the efforts of the pupils sound support in cash and kind is given to those and other worthy causes. Most of the children deposit money in the Savings Bank through the school agency. The school participates in the annual inter-school sports organised by the P.S.A.A.A. of N.S.W. Through this pupils may win their way to contesting the State championships in Sydney each year.

The Parents and Citizens' Association is an active body and its members co-operate well in all school activities and functions. It is of immense value to the efficient working of the school, since it provides for better teacher-parent understanding and co-operation. This very helpful body has also supplied for use at the school equipment and materials not normally provided by the Department of Education. In this way Nashua School has acquired such costly amenities as a tennis court, a strip film projector, a radiogram and microphone, duplicator, library and text books, playground improvements, and physical education and sporting equipment. Nearly all citizens of the district are members of this fine association and are wholeheartedly supporting of its progress.

Throughout the years, this school, by service to the community has proved worthy of its continued existence as an inspiration to the children of this rural district.

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.