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Jacob, Mr John

In late 1877, at the initiative of John Carney, the people of Sherwin Flats established a private school, with John Jacob as teacher. Jacob had been teaching in the NSW southern districts since 1858, but had been dismissed by the Council of Education from the New Line School in September 1877 'on account of his intoxication'. It was Jacob who made the first move to have Sherwin's Flats recognised as a government school, writing to the Council on 25 January 1878:

"The patrons of this school are desirous to place it under the Councils Regulations. I have taken the Pledge to refrain for life time from all intoxicating Drinks. May I hope to be appointed as Teacher, under the Council of Education, to this, or any other school - Praying not to be cast to utter ruin but to give me one more chance to regain a standing".

Despite his alcoholic tendencies, Jacob was an experienced teacher, and the people of Sherwin's Flats were lucky to have found him.....

....Inspector McIntyre visited Sherwin's Flats in March (1878) and found the 20' by 14' schoolroom suitable, and prospects good for an average attendance of about sixteen. Since the nearest school was four miles away and the settlers were generally poor farmers, many of them unable to read or write, he thought that the Council should grant aid. He also recommended that Jacob be appointed on probation, since he had "promised to abstain from intoxicating drink and has been strongly recommended by the school committee". Aid was granted on 18th March and the new Provisional school - known as Sherwin's Flats - began operating at the end of the month.

[Extract from Centenary history of Tarago Public school, 1978]


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