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Slatterie, Mr A.J.

"The school [Gundaroo] was suffering so badly in 1870 from low attendances caused by the floods and the old bugbear of parental disinterest that Mr Crew was moved in November to Chatsbury, near Goulburn, and for the rest of the year the school was conducted half-time with Upper Gundaroo where similar problems had reduced attendance at the provisional school.

A half-time school meant no school at all, Affleck complained, whiie Charles Alphonse Massy threatened to have his children educated away from Gundaroo and the parents who out of ignorance and apathy had neglected to send their children to Mr Crew held it as a principle that they should refuse to allow them to attend an institution which did not function five days a week. Affleck's solution, as secretary to the school board, was both novel and opportune - they should engage a teacher who would work full time without remuneration until attendances were satisfactory.

Such a man, claiming to possess a university education, was actually on the spot in the person of Mr A.J. Slatterie who had won local favour through his ability as a Presbyterian lay-preacher and his claims to an impressive record as an educator. "He is well qualified for the situation and the whole of the parents having children to send to school would approve of his appointment", reported Affleckr who succeeded in having the full-time school restored on the understanding that no official salary would be paid to Slatterie until a regular attendance of fifteen was established.

This unsure arrangement lasted for two years until Slatterie's services were dispensed with by the Council of Education, evidently because his lack of a wife deprived the local girls of lessons in sewing. He left the school without pens or pencils, while for the whole of his term he was obliged to use a blackboard which had been broken on thejourney up from Sydney in 1868.

[Extract from Lea-Scarlett, Gundaroo, p.53]


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