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Historical Society News
William Rouse was the first teacher; Robert Buckridge arrived in January 1913. Henry Macara took over in December 1915. He was assisted by his wife, Amy, and her sister, Miss Burges. Their second child Molly was born before they departed for their next assignment at Pilliga in December 1918.
Last weekend, Molly's son, Paul Streeter and his wife Margaret from Barraba, were in the Ridge and chanced to meet Barb Moritz at the Sunday Markets. They didn't know how welcome they were until Paul mentioned that his grandfather had taught school here. Of course, they then heard all about the approaching school celebration and visited the Hospital Gallery to see Grandpa Macara with his class of 1918 on the wall. Streeters visited the wooden school house and ordered a name-paver for the courtyard.
Apparently, Henry Macara was a keen naturalist. The family will send us supporting documentation of this, his teaching life and family ties. It's believed that the next teacher was a relative. He was Donald Watson, the man who took significant photographs during his tenure at the Ridge; the brown album pages of photos were found at the school in a stack of papers during a tidy-up in 1994.
The pupils donated Watson's collection to the historical society and we established his position in the community, 1918-1921. He revealed Nurse Hannah Lucy to us and a photo of the Bush Nurse Association (BNA) Nurse's Cottage plus many more snippets of local life at Lightning Ridge.
The early teachers would be astounded to see the 2012 Central School complex not to mention the place Lightning Ridge has become. We have plenty to celebrate when alumni gather 21-23 September and every day!
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