School History

The History of Melrose Park Public School

 

Melrose Park Public School was founded in 1945.

The school opened as Walumetta Infants School on 28th January 1945, with Miss Jean Chaffers-Welsh as its first teacher. There were 47 students enrolled for the first term. The school consisted of a small timber building divided into two classrooms.

 

Melrose Park Public School

 

Head Teachers

Appointed

Jean CHAFFERS-WELSH

January 1945

Flora ROUGHLEY

June 1946

Bessie HUTTON

January 1950

 

By 1952 the school had grown to an enrolment of 227. It was given Primary status and renamed Melrose Park Public School. A new building, containing four classrooms, was opened on 29th November 1952 by the Hon R J Heffron MLA, Deputy Premier and Minister for Education.

In 1952 the school had classes K to 3. Each year a grade was added until the school had all classes from K to 6. In 1955 the enrolment from Years 1 to 6 was 360.

 

Principals

Appointed

Raymond LARSON

January 1952

Lindsay HAMILTON

February 1954

K PARTRIDGE

February 1955

Randolph BRENNAN

January 1962

Peter FINLAYSON

January 1968

John QUIGLEY

February 1971

H D KEARNS

January 1974

Eric MATHEW

February 1977

John PAUL

January 1983

Colin HODDER

May 1983

John VERNON

January 1985

E Helen RICHARDS

February 1988

Ian CHASELING

February 1990

Denise GALBRAITH

January 1998

Trudy HOPKINS

September 2001

Craig OLIVER

September 2004

Milly STONE

January 2009

Clare KRISTENSEN

March 2011

 

The original inhabitants of the area were Aboriginal members of the Wallumede tribe.

In 1792 land grants were given to two marines, Isaac Archer and John Colethread. Samuel Marsden acquired the land in 1798. Later, the area was called Ermington, after "Ermington Park House" which was built by Major Edmund Lockyer in what is now Crowley Crescent. In 1926 the whole area was sold to the City Mutual Life Assurance Society Ltd for £35,000. It was subdivided in 1929 and is now occupied by the Ryde-Parramatta Golf Course and Melrose Park.

 Class of 1975

Memories of Melrose Park Public School

 

From Dennis Kennedy:
"I was talking to my sister (then Gloria Kennedy) about the school and her memories of it and she told me that she was the second student enrolled at Melrose Park Public School when it opened in 1945. She remembered that Kindergarten was held in a private house in James Street near the park and that there were only two classrooms, one for first class and one for second class and when you reached third class you had to go by bus to West Ryde Public School.
The students of today would not know the area around the school as it was in 1950. Where the top two classrooms are used to be Pop Rogers' Riding School and stable. A dairy and paddock for the horses was where Eli Lilly is now. Down past the dairy was another riding school called Vines Riding School. A plum orchard owned by Mrs Sutherland was on the corner of Hope Street opposite the church. Further up past the orchard was an old house which was used as a post office.
Any special occasion or Presentation Day was held at the scout hall across the road. It burned down once and had to be rebuilt. At school in the fifties, the boys were late if they didn't get there at 8am to play soccer before school started.
When the factories came the road was sealed, which a big improvement from the dirt and mud it was before."