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


The first application for a public school at Tintenbar was made in March 1882. This was declined, but in September the Department of Public Instruction offered to establish a provisional school in the village. This offer was accepted, but it was not until February 1884 that the school was opened, Miss Ellen Duffy being the first teacher. Although it was opened as a provisional school, it was converted to public status in July 1884.

The school was one of 20 opened in the Grafton inspectorial district during the year. The first school building was erected under the supervision of a local committee of residents. At the end of the year the school had an enrolment of 29 boys and 22 girls, and an average weekly attendance of 32.4 pupils. The teacher’s salary for the year amounted to 91pounds/2/6.

The site of this school was in the center of the small village of Tintenbar. An interesting photograph of the village at this time is hung in the Tintenbar School at present. It was taken from a point in the vicinity of the present Church of England. In the foreground are some large timber logs, presumably cedar, for which the district was renowned, and which probably were stacked ready for transport down Emigrant Creek to Ballina. On the opposite side of the creek from where the photograph was taken, Cooper’s Store is shown. On the other side of the road is the Royal Hotel. A blacksmith’s shop is close by and behind this was the site of the first Tintenbar School.


It was found that the school was not in a central position to serve the needs of the district and an area was acquired from H Harden, in May, 1887, which was two miles further north on what is now the Pacific Highway. This consisted of two acres to which were added a further two acres in February, 1893. The latter two acres were surrendered to the Lands Department in 1930 in exchange for another area of land, and a further area, which was part of a closed road, was dedicated for school purposes in September, 1956.

After the acquisition of the site from H Harden, a school and residence were built. The school was small, constructed of low walls and was poorly ventilated. In 1908 a new school was built. This building was spacious and well ventilated. It withstood the test of time and served the needs of the district for exactly 50 years, when in January, 1958, the school reached the status of class 3 and the necessity for an additional classroom became obvious.

The opening of the remodeled school by the area director Mr C M Ebert, on August 13 1858, was one of the biggest events in the history of the village. Ex-pupils attended from near and far. Two “old boys” of the original school, Messrs G Skennar and C Lowe, who were present, were photographed by the “Northern Star”. The headmaster, Mr Colin Petrie, who is the twelfth teacher appointed to the school by the Department, extended a welcome to guests, visitors and parents.

In June, 1921, additions were made to the school residence at a cost of 420pounds. In 1945 extensive alterations to the teacher’s residence were carried out. The following list contains the names of teachers who have been in charge of the school and the dates on which they were appointed: Ellen Duffy, 26/2/1884; John Cameron, 8/7/1885; Lemuel Snow, 15/4/1887; James O’Sullivan, 14/3/1899; Thomas Murray, 18/5/1909; Frederick Dibley, 29/5/1925; Hubert Towner, 14/6/1926; Albert Folkard, 25/1/1927; John Wright, 23/7/1931; Aubrey Towner, 12/1/1943; Roger Christie, 29/6/1944; Colin Petrie, 4/12/46.


From school records it has been ascertained that 440 boys and 422 girls have passed through the school. Since the admission register dates from 10th April, 1899, it could be assumed that over 1,000 pupils have been enrolled.

The school site occupied the crest of a hill commanding a glorious view of sea and valley. After the closure of Knockrow School, in 1948, pupils from that area were enrolled at Tintenbar. The enrolment at the present time is 51, the assistant teacher being Mrs S O’Neill. The school is fortunate to be backed by a vigorous P. and C. Association. The president, Mr Stan Johnson, secretary Mrs H Everingham, and treasurer, Mr C Kirkland, have held office for several years. Past-president Mr James Clavan, who held continuous office for 20 years, is still a member. Mr G Campbell, who was treasurer for many years, is laso still a member. The late Mr Charles Ross held continuous office as secretary for 29 years.

Parents of the children in the area are liberal and progressive in outlook. They co-operate with the teaching staff in participation in inter-district sport, choral festivals, etc. A convenient swimming pool provided facilities for regular swimming instruction and at the conclusion of each school year the children have an opportunity of entertaining their parents with an operetta or other musical programme.

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.