Berrigan Public School

Berrigan Public School

The first unofficial record of a school in Berrigan township is believed to have been around 1885, but there is not much information to confirm where or in what capacity this was. The State Government recognises the commencement as 1891 with around 30 students recorded as attending at that time.

The growth of Berrigan around that time identified the inadequacies of this school and the local Progress Association, a forefather of our Berrigan and District Development Association, petitioned for remedial action. By 1896 there were 68 children in attendance with a further twenty or so registered but not attending due to overcrowding in a classroom only capable of holding 40 students.

The school Inspector visited the school and was shocked by the conditions. He immediately wired the Minister to urgently rectify the situation and after some further delays a new school was opened in 1898. The new school commenced with 100 students in attendance with one teacher, Mr Basil Hughes, and his assistant, Miss Ormiston.

The numbers declined in the next century, reducing greatly on the introduction of the High School in Finley, with seventy students travelling by bus to receive their secondary education. By the mid fifties the numbers had again risen and the school housed 156 pupils and had expanded to four rooms, and a fifth teacher being added by the mid sixties.

There have been further extensions in the past fifty years including a library, an administrative wing, a hall and COLA, and memorial gates were also erected at the entrance of the school in honour of Mrs Helen Peterson, who dedicated the greater part of her lifetime as an infants teacher at the school.

Information sourced from ‘Berrigan Today and Yesterday’ by Ian Fuzzard, 1965

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