A century and a half of memories, friendship, learning and love were celebrated when Brungle Public School marked its 150th anniversary on Saturday.
The school was filled with people of many different generations, as former students, teachers and principals, plus their families, looked back on their time at the school, which was named the national winner of Woolworths’s ‘Inspiring Schools’ award last year.
Mr Russell Graham, Director of Educational Leadership for Gundagai Principals, described the school as a magnificent place, and praised the students and staff.
“The connection that you have when you walk onto these grounds is really evident and something that really draws you in,” he said.
On behalf of NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes, Mr Graham presented a 150th year certificate to principal Jill Ludford.
“Together with the parents and community, we worked hard to make the school a special place,” former principal Dianne Strong said.
She paid tribute to the parents and community members that made it possible for the school to win the Director General’s Award for Community Participation.
“The children I taught over ten years will always have a special place in my heart,” she said.
Former student and now Prime 7 TV reporter Angie Asimus told of the heart-warming welcome she received at the school.
“I walked onto the school grounds and one of the older girls came up with the most enormous teddy bear and said ‘we’re going to be great friends; that was Tammy Piper, who’s here today,” she said.
“It really was a fantastic place to go to school and I have wonderful memories. My parents tell me that my brother and I refused to take sick days; that’s how much we loved coming to school. Brungle has managed to make learning fun. In many ways Brungle was a school ahead of its time; we were very, very lucky.”
Former student Shane Herrington said: “Brungle School to me is family.”
“Brungle School empowered me to be the person I am today. Brungle is where I come from; it’s where my passion lies.”
Cheryl Penrith started at Brungle School in kindergarten in 1968 and loved catching up with friends.
“You have a really strong connection with people that you started your journey with,” she said.
“If we could bottle what happens here at Brungle and people could take it with them to high school, it would be something that you could not forget. I was here for the centenary, and now for the 150th, and hopefully again for the 200th.”
Kiahna Bellchambers said the school taught the students life skills how to be confident
“Everyone who works here actually cares for the students,” she said.
“The teachers developed us as people.”
She encouraged the current Brungle students to pursue their dreams, as the school inspired her to chase hers, resulting in her playing rugby for the ACT Brumbies.
“It was a dream I was able to pursue because of the things I learnt while I was here,” she said.
“Embrace the school, work hard and you can do big things.”
Aunty Sue Bulger started at the school in 1959.
“My start here at Brungle School was probably the best schooling of my life, and I mean that sincerely because it was the happiest school I’ve ever been to, because I had family here and made great friends I’m not related to,” she said.
She reminisced about coming to school via a farmer’s paddock and running if Toby the bull was in it.
“The message that stays with me is that if you want to do something, you can, you don’t have to make excuses. Put the excuses beside you and you will be able to do whatever you want.”