13: Learmonth Common School


HT Jonas Horsfall opened SS386 on 8th of February 1859. The School Minute Book gives an account of the School Board Meeting of February 1860. The Board then comprised the Rev. Mr Mackie, the Rev. Mr Lane, Messrs Bath, Hobbs, and McQueen. The HT was George Crockett. In October that year, the Presbyterian Church agreed to take over the management of the school, which moved into the Presbyterian Church. A new school building with brick walls, shingle roof and stone foundations opened in 1862. February 1863 saw Simon Morrison appointed HT, and his wife became SM. School fees, at first 1s 6d per child per week, were later reduced to 1s. In 1869, the school became vested with the Board of Education and the Presbyterian' Church, while in February 1873, the Secretary of the Education Department accepted the offer of the school which then became SS386.

Reproducted from "Vision and Realisation".


The historical school bell outside the Learmonth Primary School.

At a meeting of the Learmonth Combined School, run by the Wesleyans and the Presbyterians, on Oct 1860 at the Wesleyan site, it was resolved " that in accordance with the wish of the Wesleyans the school become a Presbyterian School as Mr Pomeroy had resigned." The following gentlemen were elected as the school committee — Messers Laidlaw, Baird, McQueen, McDonald and Findlay.

The school was to be removed to the Presbyterian Church and two weeks later the School Board passed resolutions " to make the Church workable as a school." A building used as a schoolteacher's dwelling house was purchased from Mr Horsfall for £78 ($156).
Mr Crockett who had been the teacher of the Combined School continued as teacher at the Presbyterian Church School.

It was at the meeting of the Learmonth School Board on 27th May 1861, when the historic resolution was passed that a new school room be erected — the said building to consist of brick walls, shingle roof, its dimensions to be 30 feet long by 18 feet wide, with walls 10 feet high above the floor —on stone foundations. In Feb 1862 the Church Committee recommended to the School Board that they erect a school room as soon as convenient After many delays, including the harvest, Mr Barnes built the one room brick school for £172 ($344).

At the Nov 26th meeting parents, and all interested in the welfare of the school, were invited to attend. At this meeting examiners were appointed and also Mr Crockett resigned. It was decided to advertise for a teacher, Mr Morrison being chosen to be Head Teacher and Mrs Morrison was appointed to teach sewing to the girls.

There were many efforts arranged by the district to meet the educational needs of the children and the school was finally free of debt in Aug 1864. A board was procured lettered "Common School" and placed on the building.

On 1St July 1867 the school was referred to for the first time as No 386 and was vested with the Education Department on 24th Feb 1873, becoming known as the Learmonth State School. By this time 100 children were registered at a building that was inspected to have room enough for 67, so it was necessary for the school to be enlarged. School was held at the Temperance Hall so additions could be undertaken.

At the Centenary celebrations of the school on the present site the Head Teacher was Mr Roberts, Assistant Teacher Miss Morgan and Mr F Ryan was President of the School Committee.

Researched at written by Mrs. Claudette Crick. Return to sites list

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