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< Early Canberra Government Schools

Shannons Flat [1906 - 1965]

Shannons Flat Half Time school opened in conjunction with Grogans Plains in February 1906 with John McKinnon as teacher. McKinnon came to Shannons Flat from Jeir school, where he had stayed less than four months. Grogans Flat was closed in October 1906 and Shannons Flat became a Provisional School and continued as such until it closed in February 1913 after the enrolment had dropped to nine.

The school re-opened on a Half Time basis with Murrumbucca in May 1914, an arrangement which persisted until October 1924 when the school as closed for three years. Shannons Flat again operated as a Provisional School from October 1927 to August 1935, and from August 1944 to June 1957. In the intervening years it operated, for at least some the time, as a subsidised school - parents being given an allowance to empty their own teacher in premises they arranged - often the departmental school building.

It became a Public School in July 1957, but finally closed in March 1965. A new building was provided in 1959 - "a single-classroom unit of standard size, erected in timber by Mr R S Jamieson at a cost of £3,825. Ablution facilities, paving and a new 1000 gallon tank are also provided". The new building was erected on the Departmental site of two acres to replace the old classroom which, measuring only 18' x 16' was too small for the pupils enrolled. The contract for construction was signed on 17th February 1959 but the contractor encountered f\difficulties over timber supplies and the build was not completed until 25th August.

The Teacher's residence was moved from Shannons Flat to Jerangle, and the school building was moved to Bookham. After the Bookham school closed the building was moved to the Bookham cricket ground (personal communication from Geoffrey Luton).

Memories of Shannons Flat - Trevor Stephens, teacher in charge 1961- 1965:

I was appointed to Shannons Flat school on 31st January, 1961 following the transfer of Bernie Twohill. The one teacher school was situated fifteen miles north of Adaminaby. The school had huge granite boulders on one side of the site, a tennis court and a good sized flat playing area. One drop toilet was provided.

The community was very supportive of the school and through the Parents and Citizens Association provided much needed educational resources.

The surnames of some of the pupils, including one who gained the Intermediate Certificate, were : Luton, Kennedy, Litchfield, Kimbell, Sayer, Venables and Dixon.

The highest enrolment would have been twenty-five pupils, whose families owned or worked sheep properties in the district.

A teacher's residence was built on the site in 1963, but the school was closed in March 1965 due to low enrolments. The old school building was demolished.
The building was eventually moved, I think, to Jerangle Public School. Before the residence was built we were living in shearers' quarters on the Venables property.

(thanks to Brenda Brown, daughter)

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NSW Government schools from 1848

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