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< Early Canberra Government Schools

Tallagandra School [1874 - 1926]

A Provisional School opened at ‘Spring Flat’ in 1874 after petitioning by George Reid and others. Seven years later this original building was described as a ‘disgrace’, and in 1882 William Affleck of Gundaroo won the contract to build a new rubble stone school for fifty children and residence, with furnishings, for £300.

Mrs Rosanna McAlister was teacher-in-charge at Tallagandra for 30 years (1876-1906), and was a very popular and effective teacher. Her farewell at Tom Casey’s home ‘Rose Villa’, chaired by Thomas Coleman, was a grand occasion. She retired to Ginninderra to live with her daughter, the postmistress there.

The second school was very severely damaged by fire in 1915. Joseph Reid purchased the surviving stone and deployed it in the construction of ‘Fernleigh’, his nearby residence.

A third Tallagandra School was completed in 1917 on a new site at a cost of £280 – funds recovered from the Treasury Fire Insurance Fund. It continued until 1927 – for the last four years on a Half-time basis with Mulligans Flat with James Gormly as teacher. Gormly moved on to Glenwood school.

By 1933 the Tallagandra school had been removed to Hoskinstown.

Picnic report

Picnic. The grounds adjoining the Talagandra Public School were on Easter Monday the scene of a most successtul and enjoyable affair in the shape of a picnic, tendered to the pupils attending the school by their esteemed teacher, Mrs. McAlister, ably assisted by her amiable daughter and the parents and friends of the children. In order to make the affair worthy of the name a large number of invitations had been issued by the promoters, and as the day was beautifully fine most of those invited availed themselves of their invitation, so that amongst the tolerably large crowd present might be noticed visitors from Murrumbateman, Jeir, Hall, Gininderra, and various other of the adjoining neighbourhoods.

The festivities of the day were commenced about noon by all present being regaled with a splendid lunch, consisting of sandwiches, cakes, &c., not forgetting the ever-appreciated cup of good tea, all of which were dispensed in true picnic fashion. After all had feasted on the good things spread before them, the committee of management proceeded to dispense a programme of athletic sports, for which different kinds of appropriate prizes had been procured, while those who did not care for this kind of amusement betook themselves to swinging and various other games. The joyous face and merry laugh denoting that one and all were thoroughly enjoying themselves were everywhere. A scramble for lollies during the afternoon caused great amusement amongst the juveniles.

About 5 p.m. all present were again regaled with tea and cake, after which those from a distance commenced to disperse to their various homes, all carrying with them a pleasant remembrance of the happy day they had spent. The proceedings of the day were wound up by a most enjoyable dance at Mrs. McAlister's private residence at night, at which most of the families in the locality were represented.

Great praise is due to Mrs. McAlister and the parents who so ably assisted her in providing such an excellent treat for the young folks. It is such thoughtful acts of kindness that go a long way to encourage that kindly feeling which ever appears to exist between the teacher and scholars at the Talagandra School.

[Goulburn Evening Penny Post, Saturday 23 April 1892, page 6]

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NSW Government schools from 1848

< Early Canberra Government Schools

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