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IMPAC Prize - vote now

Reading Rewards - reviews -

Each year public libraries throughout the world join together to submit titles for consideration in the prestigious International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, one of the world's richest literary prizes with a €100,000 prize (AUD $154,000).

The State Library of Victoria invites you to help select Victoria’s titles to be submitted in the 2015 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the nineteenth year of the award. To vote, please consider the titles below then visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CXWHF57 by close of business  Friday 11 April 2014. The State Library of Victoria will put forward the top three titles. Your choice should be based solely on the literary merit of the work. Please vote only once.

A World of Other People by Steven Carroll
Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas
Blood Witness by Alex Hammond
Cairo by Chris Womersley
Coal Creek by Alex Miller
Dark Horse by Honey Brown
Gotland by Fiona Capp
Holy Bible by Vanessa Russell
The Memory Trap by Andrea Goldsmith
The Swan Book by Alexis Wright

Deb.

Diagram Prize shortlist

Reading Rewards - reviews -

How I love this time of year - it's Diagram Prize 2014 shortlist time! 
Every year since 1978, the Diagram Prize has singled out the oddest titles of books published in the preceding 12 months. Last year's winner was the surreal-sounding Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop, beating robust contenders How Tea Cosies Changed the World and God's Doodle: The Life and Times of the Penis.
In 2014, the odd books up for the prize are:

Working Class Cats: The Bodega Cats of New York City by Chris Balsinger and Erin Canning
Are Trout South African? by Duncan Brown
How to Poo on a Date by Mats & Enzo
Pie-ography: Where Pie Meets Biography by Jo Packham
How to Pray When You’re Pissed at God by Ian Punnett
The Origin of Feces by David Walter-Toews

The annual prize is organised by The Bookseller magazine (UK) and the winner will be announced on Friday 21 March.
Deb.

BLOOD FAMILY

Quicksand -

BLOOD FAMILY by Anne Fine

The pain in your past never goes.
It’s always there in the background,
like a lurking enemy, waiting to trip you up.
Or worse, waiting for you to trip yourself.


Eddie is seven when rescued from years of neglect. Hidden away, no one has seen him leave the flat for over three years. What sort of person hides their child away? What sort of person puts up with continual physical abuse from an alcoholic partner?

The answer is Eddie’s mother.

Finally he is given the chance of a real life. Taken into foster care and then adopted it is hoped that Eddie now known as Edward will be able to lead a normal life. But the years of emotional damage have taken their toll. He struggles to fit in, struggles to have a ‘normal’ life.

One day Edward sees a photograph of himself, horrified to see the monster Harris’s face. Does this mean that blood will always tell? That he too will turn into an abusive animal?

I don’t like happy ever after stories. I like darkness and sharpness….this book has it all. Fine does a great job of taking the reader to  untangle Edward’s life. The change of point of view is an intriguing way of offering up information that the central character, Edward, has no way of knowing.

We see his life from his foster parent’s point of view, as well as his adoptive parents, but we also dip into that of his adopted sister, the nurse at the hospital, his school teacher, class mate, social worker, psychotherapist.

And finally we understand Edward’s struggle and hope he discovers that blood doesn’t always make family.

Vicki @ Pak​

Open for Inspection

Reading Rewards - reviews -

Open for Inspection by Carmel Bird
Narrated by Caroline Lee 
   

From the cover:  Sassy freelance journalist Courtney Frome is on assignment counting bathrooms for the property pages. For Courtney the world of expansive bay views and renovator's delights is just another job... until Lizzy Candy is discovered dead in her spa while Courtney is inspecting the Candy mansion. Lizzie's faithless husband is a big player in real estate. But is he the obvious answer to the obvious question? Then a second body is discovered at another prestige address...

I liked Courtney Frome from the get go (this is the second book in the series) – not only is she sassy and a freelance writer; she has meaningful two-way conversations with her cat Vanessa; adores her Grandma despite her interfering ways; and isn’t stupidly in love with crime reporter P.P.  It’s also set in Melbourne, which is a bonus when you’re a local – you just can’t help ‘landmark spotting’, identifying buildings, the Westgate bridge, Fitzroy streets, parks and schools etc.  I also think I like her so much because of the way Caroline Lee brings her to life.  She has the perfect voice that matches the persona in my head!
This was a fun, easy-breezy read, though the amount of bodies piling up towards the too-sudden ending was a tad over-the-top.

Another reviewer wrote:  “Australian sleuth girl, ditzy but streetwise, with men running round her like sniffer dogs and an array of histrionic and sleekly observed characters camping it up on the sidelines, (it’s) just itching for that film or TV destination. All this in prose that oozes like an apple in autumn and with a talking cat."
Deb

Doveton North Technical School / Endeavour Hills Technical School

Links to our Past - history -

Doveton North Technical School opened in 1969, in Power Road, with five teachers and 45 students.   From 1974 it was  called Endeavour Hills Technical School, then from 1990 Endeavour Hills Secondary College. It changed its name again in 1993 to Eumemmerring College Endeavour Hills campus, then in 2008 the name changed back to Endeavour Hills Secondary College.   The School closed in December 2012.

The school site in 1968, above and below.



Construction of the School in 1968, above and the two photos below. 





The first staff - but there are no names attached to the photograph, but I believe they are - Standing: N. Chapple,  Harry Dengrove (English and Social Studies);  Don Banks (Maths and Science);  R.Rhodes (Sheet Metal)Seated: Kevin McDonald (Headmaster); Marilyn Wallace (Secretary); Ron  Gamble (Principal)A list of staff in a newspaper article (reproduced below) also has a Hugh Foster listed as an Arts Teacher. Mr Gamble was only 38 at the time of his appointment and was one of the youngest principals in the Education Department.

The School in 1969, the year it opened.


This article about the opening of the school appeared in the Dandenong Journal on January 14, 1969.

The Mothers Club was formed in March 1969, according to this article from the Dandenong Journal. I wonder what memories Dorothy Hall, Sylvia Rowe, Anne Nalty, Carol Kenyon and Gloria Robinson have about the first meeting?

This is page one from the Register of Corporal Punishment. I have obscured the names for privacy reasons. The register starts in July 1969 and finishes in July 1981.

Fireblood: Trisha Wolfe

Quicksand -

A land in turmoilAn evil king plottingA rebel force assemblingA prince on the cusp…good or bad?And one girl stuck in the middle of it allLet the war begin…
In the tradition of dystopian fiction Fireblood is set in a futuristic time where a virus has devastated the human population. One man, a King, has built his own kingdom modelled on the old legends of Camelot, Karm, where those who survive live sheltered by a domed force field from the terrors of the outside. Living within Karm is one Zara Dane, a simple girl who unlike those around her doesn't dream of princes, pretty dresses and a life lived in luxury. Instead Zara craves nothing more than to be with her father and the animals they care for. So when the prince, and next King of Karm, announces his betrothal to Zara a series of events will unfold that will sweep Zara up in an intricate web of lies, deceit and a struggle for power. Zara is about to find herself cast as pawn in the raging battle between King Hart and the Rebels who wish to overthrow him. A storybook fairy-tale this is not. Zara is in the battle of her life…for her life…and the lives of those she holds dear. Failure is not an option….
This novel surprised me, I really enjoyed reading an Arthurian style story with its knights, kingdoms, royalty and secret plots mixed in with a dystopian future. It made for a refreshing read blending the old world-ness of the traditional fairy-tale story with modern dystopian plots. Zara as the protagonist was engaging; she is smart and quick witted with an independent mind. At times she comes across as selfish, focused only on what she wants but I found this to be an appealing trait that is easier to connect with than the self-sacrificing protagonists of most tales. Prince Sebastian was an intriguing and complex character and I have to say I was disappointed not to see more of him or his back story. Just what was life like for him? What happened to make him the man he becomes? Perhaps if the story had been told from his point of view it would have added to the story.
Overall the story flowed nicely with the plot keeping a nice pace so that pieces of the story were revealed to keep the reader on edge for what was to come next. I think what particularly grabs me about this book is the strong female presence, not only is Zara a strong independent woman undertaking a massive tasks but her maid, her best friend, the Rebels leader and other female character show strong independent streaks that can only be praised in YA fiction. The male characters are present but they do not protect they fight alongside the women…standing as equals. The only deterrent from this of course if the strong focus on the romantic side of the story for several characters which somewhat deters me from the story but only because the setting, the characters and the plot where strong enough to stand without the romance aspect. Otherwise however I enjoyed the refreshing mix of Arthurian/dystopian traits. Fireblood has something for everyone; romance, action, adventure, secrets and mystery. Worth the read J

Courtney :)

Angel Baby

Reading Rewards - reviews -

Angel Baby by Richard Lange, is the story of a woman who goes on the run. To escape her awful life, Luz plans carefully. She quits drugs and pretends all is normal. All she takes are the clothes on her back, a gun, and the money from her husband’s safe. Her plan is to find her daughter she left behind years earlier on the other side of the US-Mexico border. What she doesn’t count on are two dead corpses left in the hallway before she has even stepped outside. 

Her husband, El Principe, is a key player in a powerful Mexican drug cartel and a violent and dominating man. What follows are thrilling chases, and unpredictable twists and turns. The author, Richard Lange, is a finalist for the 2014 Hammett Prize for Angel Baby. The Hammett Prize is awarded annually by the International Association of Crime Writers, North American Branch. Richard Lange is a strong contender with this powerful story of ruthlessness, revenge and redemption.
Narelle

Nyora

Links to our Past - history -

Nyora is on the very edge of the Cardinia Shire in the bottom south east corner, east of Lang Lang. The actual township of Nyora is not in Cardinia, but some of the surrounding farms are, so  I thought we would have a look at the history of Nyora.


Nyora. Photograph by Albert Arnell, taken between 1922 and 1929.State Library of Victoria Image H2013.48/27
The area was originally known as Lang Lang East until the Great Southern Railway line went through from Dandenong to Port Albert, and the railway station built in the area was called Nyora.  Nyora is from the Aboriginal word for “wild cherry tree”. This line was opened as far as Lang Lang in February 1890 and it was opened to Nyora and Loch in November 1890.  However the actual township site had been proclaimed on December 23, 1886 and it was surveyed in 1887 by John Lardner an assistant survey on the Lands Department. He is the Lardner after whom Lardner's Tracks is named. The first land sales in the township were held on September 6, 1887.  Shops were built, including a general store and post office, bakers and coffee palace.  The telephone  was put on at the Railway station in November 1891.  The hotel opened in a small wooden building in 1891, burnt down  in November 1913 and the existing brick building was erected in 1914.  To cater to spiritual needs, the Methodist Church at Nyora started in 1922 in a building that was originally the Jeetho West State School and St Marks Anglican church was opened in October 1930. The Anglicans had previously held services in the hall.

As is the pattern for most county towns  the Government set aside land for community purposes -  land for sale yards was gazetted  March 11, 1890; for the   cemetery in September 8, 1890, and a racecourse  in February 1896. The town of Nyora had  a boost when the railway line to the Wonthaggi coal fields (or the Powlett coal field as it was originally called) was opened on May 9, 1910 and Nyora became  a railway junction.


Nyora Railway StationPublic Records Office of Victoria photograph VPRS 12800/P1, item H 5416

Nyora Railway StationPublic Records Office of Victoria photograph VPRS 12800/P1, item H 5414

Nyora Railway StationPublic Records Office of Victoria photograph VPRS 12800/P1, item H 5413
The first school in the area was State School No. 2523, originally called Little Lang Lang. It opened on July 1, 1883 in a building 22ft by 13ft.; it was replaced by a larger building in 1889 and changed its name to Lang Lang East in 1890. It closed October 1903, reopened November 1904 and closed again in June 1907 (or 1908 according to one source). This school was north of the township, on a corner of Allotment 61 on the Lang Lang East Parish Plan. I can’t work out where it is on a modern map as none of the maps seem to have a road  marked anywhere close to where the school was!  The building was removed in 1914.  There was agitation as early as 1890 for a school closer to the town, and from 1894 until 1901 many parents sent their children on the train from Nyora to the Lang Lang School. For a while the School was conducted in the Public Hall but finally on May 1, 1903 Nyora School, No. 3401 was opened.


This is from the Parish Plan of Lang Lang East - the township of Nyora can be seen bottom left. The original school on Lot 61on Charles Humphries land, is circled in red. It was no wonder that the people on Nyora wanted a new school built in the town, it was a long way away.

The Nyora Hall commenced construction in 1891 and was completed by the April of the next year. This hall is thought to have burnt down in the 1898 bush fires and the new Hall was opened in March 1900, on a new site (which is the site of the existing hall).  This Hall was extended over the years to include a Library and other rooms. Sadly this well used hall was destroyed by fire on January 20, 1968. The Community worked hard to raise funds for the new hall which was opened on December 6, 1974.

Source: Nyora: its yesterdays and today by Joseph White (Nyora and District Centenary Year Celebrations, 1978)

The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata

Book Swamp -

Tell us about it:
Bad luck seems to be chasing Summer and her family. Family members are sick, Summer has had malaria and her brother has no friends. Since her parents had to return to Japan to look after elderly relatives, it is up to Summer and her grandparents to work as part of a 'combine crew' during harvesting season in the United States of America.

It is very hard work too, with Summer helping to cook for the harvesting team. Then her grandfather becomes ill and Summer has to find a way to turn their luck around.

A major theme in this book is family relationships but there is also a lot of humour which balances the more serious issues.

Recommended reading.

How good was it? Fantastic

- Ann


The Time Machine

Quicksand -

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

A Victorian scientist constructs a Time Machine. In which (I'm sure you'll be able to guess the next part) he travels 800,000 years into the future. He's astounded by the ruined state of the world around him. He encounters a slightly altered species of human, and another one - The Morlocks. These creatures live underground and only come out at night. They petrify everything and everyone.He stumbles across some obstacles on his way back to the present, which make this story unbelievably
hard to put down. The unknown just got the better of you, and you just HAD to know what happened next.
If you've by any chance seen the movie version, and assume this to be a replica of the film, then you may be disappointed.
Yes, it still has the main plots of the movie, but it just seems to lack detail.
I'm not usually one to 'judge a book by its movie', but I think that - even though it was still a captivating read, it could have used with more detail of the events that took place, and its duration possibly could have even extended a little more.
If you're into vintage, olden-day reads, then definitely have a crack at this one. But unless you're dedicated to science fiction and the idea of time travel, it's probably not the book for you.

Chantelle
Age: 17

Hush little baby

Reading Rewards - reviews -

Hush Little Baby by Suzanne Redfearn

From the cover: DON'T SAY A WORD. Not if you want to live or you want your children to live.
In a game of ultimate stakes, Jillian Kane struggles to save herself and her two children from her extremely cunning abusive husband.

Gordon Kane, Jillian's husband, is a good guy – at least that's what everyone thinks. Handsome, a recognized hero, an involved father, a respected coach. No one would suspect that beneath the flawless veneer lurks a man capable of unspeakable cruelty. Jillian, on the other hand, has her faults. She works too much, lacks maternal instinct, misses teacher conferences, and doesn't bring cupcakes to the school fair.

Perception is everything in the high stakes game of child custody and Gordon has the upper hand. And when all hope is lost of keeping her kids, Jillian is left with the question of how far she'll go to save them.

A chilling story of abuse and marital warfare, Hush Little Baby is a cautionary tale about how easily a reputation can be destroyed, a mother's children can be taken from her, and the terrifying choices she's left with to get them back.

This novel popped up on a reading blog that I follow, and it's rating on Goodreads is 4.09/5 which is very good, so I thought I would give it a go, in fact we didn't have it on our library system at all, so I put in a request and our Adult Collections Librarian ordered it in!!

This book was a page-turner, and what this woman went through was hard to imagine, and it makes you wonder how many women out there are in a similar position. Jillian is left with only the clothes on her back when she finally flees with her two children to escape her emotionally and physically abusive husband, but where do you run to, when he is a police officer who has all the connections available to him to track her down?


It seems that I have read a lot of books by new authors over the last year, and Suzanne Redfearn is another one. Sometimes stepping outside your comfort zone when you read can open up a whole new world for you. So long as the subject matter doesn't bother you, it's a good read.

~ Janine

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Quicksand -

This book is one of those that keeps playing back in your mind. I really didn't know whether to review this book here, or even to recommend it, because on one level this book is terrible. It really upset me. But on another level it is absolutely brilliant, perhaps because it had the power to really upset me!
Unwind by Neal Shusterman is really popular in the U.S. It was published back in 2007 and is still talked about in YA circles today, so I thought I should have a read of it.
A 'Bill of Life' precedes the novel, describing how a war was eventually fought in America over the issue of abortion. An agreement was reached whereby a child cannot be touched from the moment of conception to the age of 13, but that between the ages of 13 and 18, parents can choose to retroactively 'abort' their child - on the condition that the life of that child does not technically end. At this point I was confused. What did that mean? The process by which this retroactive abortion happens is called 'unwinding'.
Putting my confusion aside, I started the novel. It begins like any of the increasingly popular dystopian fiction around at the moment, with an outsider character who likes to rebel (could be The Hunger Games at this point). The action revs up and as a reader you get carried away by the story line. Connor, Risa and Lev have just turned 13 and for various reasons they are in danger of being unwound. They run away together (Lev somewhat unwillingly). But how do you hide from the authorities when you are only 13? And if one of you is convinced that unwinding is your destiny? Connor also manages to pick up a newborn baby on the way that hardly makes things easier. Through their journey we get little hints of what exactly unwinding means, and what it has done to society. 
Unwinding, we discover eventually, is the process of harvesting parts of the human body for transplants. The scene in which one character is unwound made me feel physically ill, so I warn you that you may feel likewise reading it. 
Tackling issues of abortion, human transplants, ethics, children's rights and society 'norms' makes this a hugely interesting read. Shusterman is an incredibly talented writer, but I am a little scared of whatever he writes next...
Read it if you dare. 
- Celia

The Bed I Made

Reading Rewards - reviews -

The Bed I Made by Lucie Whitehouse
From the cover: One night in a bar in Soho, Kate meets the powerful, sensual Richard.  Going home with him that night is reckless and exhilarating, their connection electric.  Now, 18 months later, Kate is fleeing London for an old coastguard’s cottage on the Isle of Wight, determined to forget Richard forever.  In winter, however, the island is locked down, wary of outsiders and there is little to distract her from her memories.  Within days, Alice, a local, goes missing from her boat and there are whispers of suicide.  Kate is quickly drawn into Alice’s world, but all the time Richard – powerful, unstable Richard – looms larger and larger over her own.
Even from the brief publisher blurb above, you can pretty much foretell how this story will play out, however the setting stops it from being too predictable.  Whitehouse writes some wonderful descriptive passages that lure you into the Island setting and it’s this evocative atmosphere that helps to deepen the sense of foreboding.  I enjoyed the book as it was a little different to others in this genre.
Deb.

That Burning Summer

Quicksand -

'That Burning Summer' is the second teen novel written by English author Lydia Syson.
Lydia takes us back in time to the year 1940.
Ordinary people's lives have been turned upside down and the world is in chaos as World War Two is in progress.
The setting for this novel is Romney Marsh, Great Britain. Germany is threatening to invade Great Britain and the inhabitants of Romney Marsh are attempting to live their lives amidst the ongoing terror of daily air strikes.
Guidelines and instructions are issued by authorities for the general public. For instance, 'Do not rush about spreading vague rumours', and 'Do not give any German anything. Do not tell him anything. Hide your food and your bicycles. Hide your maps.'
There are many strengths to  this novel. One notable strength is the characterization within the novel - characters are well developed and totally believable. For instance, sixteen year old Peggy is growing into maturity and finds herself facing a huge moral dillemma when she befriends a Polish pilot whose plane crashes in the marsh. Does she hand him over to the authorities? What is right and wrong?
Her younger brother, Ernie, is perceived by others to be shy and under confident. He tries to do the right thing and agonises over the instructions he receives. He, too, discovers the Polish pilot and the danger for the pilot escalates.
Another strength in this novel is the strong sense of place and time. Lydia has obviously researched her subject well to include meticulous details and viewpoints that depict the era. To give you an example, Peggy and Ernie's father is a conscientious objector to the war and as such is scorned by some members of the family and community.
'That Burning Summer' is an outstanding novel that I would recommend to all teens, especially those who enjoy historical fiction.
-Ann 

Bad Behaviour

Reading Rewards - reviews -


Bad Behaviour by Liz Byrski

From the cover: Zoe is living a conventional suburban life in Fremantle. She works, she gardens and she loves her supportive husband Archie and their three children. But the arrival of a new woman into her son Daniel's life unsettles Zoe. Suddenly she is feeling angry and hurt, and is lashing out at those closest to her. In Sussex, England, Julia is feeling nostalgic as she nurses her best friend through the last painful stages of cancer. Her enthusiastic but dithering husband Tom is trying to convince Julia to slow down. Although she knows Tom means well, Julia cannot help but feel frustrated that he is pushing her into old age before she is ready. But she knows she is lucky to have him. She so nearly didn't... These two women's lives have been shaped by the decisions they made back in 1968 - when they were young, idealistic and naive. In a world that was a whirl of politics and protest, consciousness raising and sexual liberation, Zoe and Julia were looking for love, truth and their own happy endings. They soon discover that life is rarely that simple, as their bad behaviour leads them down paths that they can never turn back from.
The blurb above doesn’t really do this book any favours so I’m glad I chose to ignore it.  I read another of Liz Byrski’s books last year – The Last Chance Café – and appreciated a character driven novel as a change from my normal reading pile.  This is in the same style, with Zoe and Julia’s lives and choices driving the storyline.  I enjoyed this on CD – 11 CDs, 11 hours, and it was well narrated by the professionally smooth Marie-Louise Walker.Deb. 

Stella Prize Longlist

Reading Rewards - reviews -

The Stella Prize is a major literary award celebrating Australian women’s writing.  The prize is named after one of Australia’s iconic female authors, Stella Maria ‘Miles’ Franklin, and was awarded for the first time in 2013. Both non-fiction and fiction books by Australian women are eligible for entry.  The $50,000 Stella Prize seeks to:
 
•    recognise and celebrate Australian women writers’ contribution to literature
•    bring more readers to books by women and thus increase their sales
•    provide role models for schoolgirls and emerging female writers

The 2014 Stella Prize longlist is:



Letter to George Clooney by Debra Adelaide
Moving Among Strangers by Gabrielle Carey
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Night Games by Anna Krien
Mullumbimby by Melissa Lucashenko
The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane
Boy, Lost: A Family Memoir by Kristina Olsson
The Misogyny Factor by Anne Summers  
Madeleine: A Life of Madeleine St John by Helen Trinca 
The Swan Book by Alexis Wright
The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka by Clare Wright 
All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld

The shortlist will be announced on Thursday 20 March, and the 2014 Stella Prize will be awarded in Sydney on the evening of Tuesday 29 April.
Deb.

Anzac Centenary: Sharing Victoria's stories website

Casey-Cardinia 1914-1918: the Great War -


To commemorate the centenary of the Great War, the Victorian Government has invited  us to 'share Victoria's stories' to help honour the local World War One service men and women. They have established a website http://www.anzaccentenary.vic.gov.au/ which includes information about grants, historical information and photographs and  resources to help research family and local history.  You can also add your family story to the website and this will be one way that the sacrifice and service that your family members made can be shared with the wider community. These stories will be searchable by both name and location. The site also has a list of upcoming events, from all over the State, which commemorate the centenary.

Is It Just Me?

Reading Rewards - reviews -

Is it just me? : confessions of an over-sharer by Chrissie Swan
Chrissie Swan is a self-confessed over-sharer. From weight to wee, children to crap dates, nothing is off limits! Chrissie shares lessons in life that many of us would not dream to disclose, drawing from her experiences as a television presenter, breakfast radio host, working mother of three, and loving partner. Is it just me? is a compilation of Sunday Life articles written while Chrissie was a columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald.

Is it just Chrissie though? I don’t think so, as many of us can relate to her down-to-earth experiences, just not with as much frivolity and hilarity as only Chrissie can do.  After all, she confesses that “You know what I want. I want to be able to have fun wherever I am. I want to be able to cook with beautiful ingredients always. I want to laugh. All. The. Time.” And indeed she does! It is an easy read with all the ingredients to have you smiling or laughing out loud. If you are looking for a light-hearted and humorous read, give this a go.

Narelle

Cranbourne Primary school, No. 2068

Links to our Past - history -

On June 1, 1856 the Presbyterian Denominational  School at Cranbourne was opened, although another source says the opening date was May 21, 1856.  The teacher, James Henry, had twenty two pupils, eleven boys and eleven girls. The School, which was erected at a cost of 205 pounds,  was located on Sladen Street, where the Presbyterian Church is today. The second teacher was Mr Walker, who was followed by Archibald Thompson, who was at the school from 1858 until around 1886.



Cranbourne School, 1890s
In 1862, the Common School Act was passed and all  schools were then managed by the Board of Education and the Presbyterian Denominational School became the Cranbourne Common School, No. 144. In 1873, it became the Cranbourne State School, No. 144 and by 1876 had an enrolment of 100 pupils, with an average attendance of 70. A new school was needed and it was built on the South Gippsland Highway, just south of the Police Station. Not only was there a new location, but the  school had  a new number, No. 2068. School No. 2068 opened on May 1, 1878 and the old School No. 144 officially ceased to exist on May 31 the same year.


Cranbourne School, around 1900
The School gradually acquired some 'mod cons' - town water in 1924, electricity in 1947, the telephone in 1953 and septic tanks in 1959. In 1933 the school population was 118 and by 1959 it was 150 and once again the school was running out of room, so classes were held in the Anglican Church Hall. Numbers declined with the opening of Cranbourne North Primary School, No.4887,  in February 1962 (this school is now called Cranbourne Park).  However, there was still a need for a newer, bigger school and this was built on the current location in Russell Street and it opened on February 5, 1969. The school on the South Gippsland Highway was later demolished and is now the site of the Senior Citizens.


Cranbourne School, 1947

Cranbourne School - it looks fairly deserted, so I assume it was taken around 1969, after the school moved to the Russell Street location. The photo, below, appears to be from the same time.

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