SCHOOL MEMORIES: Former Ballina High School student, George Young, shares some memories with his former teacher, and another former student of the school, Barbara Edwards.
SCHOOL MEMORIES: Former Ballina High School student, George Young, shares some memories with his former teacher, and another former student of the school, Barbara Edwards. Graham Broadhead

Final bell for Ballina High School

ONE of former Ballina High School student George Young's memories of his school days was taking messages from his teacher, Barbara Edwards, to the Ballina slipway to Barbara's beau.

And he promises he didn't read any of them.

It's ironic that Barbara didn't want her posting back to Ballina High School where she had been a student - she was looking for the adventure of city life.

However, she met her future husband, United States Navy sailor Eddie - he was in Ballina as his patrol boat was being refitted at the Ballina slipway at the end of the Second World War - at a dance at the Masonic Hall not long after returning to her home town.

George, 86, was a student at Ballina High School from 1941-1947, and Barbara, 94, was a student at the school from 1932-1935 then taught English from 1944 to 1946.

The pair will join others in sharing their memories of the school at Saturday's official Ballina High School Farewell.

The memories will start flowing on Friday evening with a social event after school hours.

Ballina High will next year be demolished to make way for the building of Ballina Coast High School at the site, combining the secondary students of Ballina High and Southern Cross schools.

The oldest building at the school - M Block - was built in 1931 when the school opened its doors. as an intermediate school, which became Ballina High School in 1956.

Both George and Barbara admitted the new school was a sign of the times, but neither was particularly attached to the bricks and mortar of the current school.

George remembers the pan toilet for the school was located at the Swift St side of the school, and that meant about a 150m dash across the playground to answer nature's call - rain, hail or shine.

He said sports equipment was in short supply and in poor repair, but that didn't affect the enthusiasm of the students.

And of course both George and Barbara remember having to walk to school, but their tales of how far they had to trek have remained accurate over the years.

Fond Farewell

The Ballina High School Farewell begins on Friday evening with a social at the school from 5.30pm to 9pm, then continues on Saturday with an open day and community farewell from 9am to 6pm, then winds up on Sunday with tours of the school from 9am to noon.


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