From timber pit-sawn by Messrs Fred Hawkins and P Grant the original school was built by members of the Hogan, Hawkins and Gardiner families. It stood in a clearing beside the Ballina-Byron Bay road on the summit of Piccadilly Hill. The land was given by Mr. Fred Hawkins.

The building was a single room, fronted by a porch. The classroom had a tiered floor and contained two rows of six long desks, two blackboards on easels, a teacher's table and chair. Water was stored in square iron tanks. The school was roofed with corrugated iron, which was unusual as most of the houses were shingled.

This school was opened in 1890 by Mr. W C Boorman, who had previously taught at Woodburn and Byron creek schools. Mr. Boorman boarded with Mr. Sam Hawkins until a residence was built at the school in 1893. On "Black Saturday" a few years later, this residence was almost burnt in a bushfire which swept through the district.

As this was the first school in the district the teacher was called upon to teach pupils from six to twenty years of age. All work was done on slates.

At this time the country was covered by dense scrub and the children had to walk to school along narrow bush tracks. One family was fortunate enough o won a horse on which three children rode,

Inspector, later Chief Inspector, H D McLelland visited the school on 30th January, 1890, when 32 pupils were present. In 1893 the school was inspected by Inspector P Board, who later visited the district as Chief Inspector. Mr. W T McCoy, who was one of the early inspectors, became Director of Education in South Australia.


With the opening of the railway through Bangalow in 1894, the track from Ballina to that town became the main road. A separating factory was opened beside it three and a half miles south of Bangalow. This factory was the nucleus around which the village of Newrybar quickly grew.

Two acres of land were purchased from Mr. Alf Gardiner near the Ballina-Bangalow Road and facing what was then Possum Shoot, now Broken Head Road. The school was shifted intact to the new site in December 1900, by Mr. George Johnson's bullock team on a V-shaped log slide. The residence was shifted in the following year.

The school, which is now the weathershed, was used while the present school was being built from timber purchased from Snow's mill in Bangalow.

Opening in 1903, this school was originally a single room, 42ft x 21 ft, with an 8ft wide verandah and porch. The schoolroom had a tiered floor running the full length of the building. In this large room Mr Boorman taught 60-70 children till Miss E Stone of Ballina was appointed assistant in 1907 when the enrolment was over 90. Mr Boorman was known throughout the district for his musical ability and the school was notable for its four-part singing. He retired in 1910 and settled in Newrybar, where his family still lives.

His successor was Mr E J Blanch, who was in charge till 1914 and then came Messrs W W Thomas, 1915-24, H S Williams, 1924-27, P McCartney 1928-29, A Robinson 1929-32, PG James 1933-49 and D Stewart 1950 - .

The assistants following Miss Stone were Misses E Cooke, 1909-11, Bennett, 1911-13, Black 1914-17, I Buttsworth 1917-20, J Cook 1920-21, G A Judge 1921-22, O Silvertone 1922-23, B M Warburton 1924-25, M Weir 1925 - 26, M Woods 1927-30, Hales 1930-32, when the assistant was withdrawn.

In 1925 the schoolroom floor was leveled, a partition put in, and dual desks replaced the long desks in the H/M's room. Windows were placed in the northern wall and wall-blackboards erected so that seating could be arranged across the room instead of lengthwise.


The p & c WAS FORMED IN 1915 and has functioned ever since, supplying the school with much necessary equipment. In 1918 a typewriter and piano were purchased, the piano being replaced in 1931. A radio was purchased in 1949, a duplicator in 1953, a film strip projector in 1954, a Victa mower in 1956, a record player and a set of encyclopaedias in 1957. Besides the above text books, library books, manual training materials, etc, have been bought from P & C funds.


A Junior Red Cross Circle, Gould League and School Bank have functioned for a number of years and are controlled by the children.

For the past three years swimming instruction has been given and in 1958 the school won the Aggregate Cup - for 4th class schools presented by the Royal Life Saving Society - NSW Branch for Life Saving Awards.

The school has always been in close touch with the community. Milk testing was included in the curriculum in the early 1900s. In 1924 kikuyu grass was introduced to the North Coast by Mr Williams, who planted the first cuttings in the school ground, and during Mr James' term a Junior Farmers' club was active.

Pupils from this school, too numerous to mention individually, have taken their place in the educational, agricultural, industrial, local government and sporting activities of the district and State.

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.