Hay Public School celebrates 150 years| Photos

Hay Public School celebrates 150 years| Photos

Life & Style
Yosadai Selvakumaran with Jenny Sheaffe celebrating 150 years of Hay Public School. All photos: Margie McClelland

Yosadai Selvakumaran with Jenny Sheaffe celebrating 150 years of Hay Public School. All photos: Margie McClelland


SESQUICENTENARY CELEBRATIONS: One of the worlds top teachers going back to Hay Public School where her passion for education began.


It was a grand occasion on 21 September, when ex-students and the Hay community gathered to support students and staff of the Hay Public School celebrate the sesqui-centenary of primary school education in the western Riverina town.

In August 1864 the Hay correspondent for the Denilquin Pastoral Times made the plea on behalf of the Hay community for a school with a schoolmaster when he wrote ... "There are about 30 children here fit to go to school - can you help us find a suitable master?"

That heartfelt request took some time to make an impact within the then public education system: but in late January 1869, Andrew Chambers from Melbourne after a successful application for the position of headmaster arrives in Hay ready to begin teaching.

Naturally, the community of Hay are very proud of their public school and the celebrations for 150 years brought back many memories and ex-students to the little town.

Among those returning was Yasodai Selvakumaran, now recognised as one of the Top Ten teachers around the world as a finalist in the 2017 Global Teacher Prize decided in Dubai and she began her primary education at the Hay Public School.

She was a special guest during the event and entertained the audience with her journey as a daughter of Tamil immigrants from Sri Lanka from kindergarten at Hay to the upper echelons of education teaching.

Other memorable speeches included one from Max Lugsdin OAM who recalled starting at the school in February 1932 until he finished in 1938.

Because his brothers were already at the school, Mr Lugsdin said didn't need a chaperone at the age of five.

"I didn't need an introduction," he said.

"My brothers had told me how good it was."

Mr Lugsdin said it was important that history is collected and celebrated by way of the sesqui-centenary event.

"There are people my age that have lived for a third of colonial settlement," he said.

"The history should be easy to collect, we are not an old country."

The celebrations concluded with a bush dance in the Memorial Hall and the planting of a time capsule alongside the entrance path and to be opened in 2044, on occasion of the 175th anniversary of the Hay Public School.


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