History of the Schools of the Nangiloc District
The Nangiloc/Colignan area was part of Carwarp Station, which had several owners until the lease expired in 1911. The area was then subdivided and leased to soldiers returning from the First World War.
With closer settlement came the need for schools and several were established in the area. In fact there were 12 small primary schools in the immediate district. Now there is one. In 1994, Colignan and Nangiloc Primary Schools, the two surviving schools, were merged onto the former Nangiloc site.
1. 3903 Yatpool School:
(South West corner of Yatpool Town Reserve)
1915 - Commenced in September 1915 in Mr McGibbon's house, rented by the Education Department. Later the school transferred into a marquee supplied by the Education Department
1921 - Moved into the new school building (now at Red Cliffs Central School). Parents built a room in the school grounds for the teacher.
1933 - A school house was built
1939 - closed. Part went to Werrimul and part to Red Cliffs, the residence to Irymple.
2. Carwarp State School
3965 Carwarp School:
(Calder Highway, Carwarp)
Mrs Josch held classes in her home at Carwarp
1917 - October - The settlers provided a hall
4/2/1918 - School opened for 17 pupils (grades 1 to 8) in a hall built by the settlers
1924 - The new school was built
Was situated at Carwarp, on the west side of the highway, due west of the silo.
3. 3989 Ginquam School:
(Mr Wood's block on reserve near Robinson's Tank)
1919 - Classes held in front room of Mrs J. Woods' house
1922 - School building built (a prefabricated building .... costly to erect)
1938 - School closed and building sold to Karadoc North School Trustees
4. 4106 Ginquam South School:
(Reserve opposite Bill Scott's Block 4 miles west of Carwarp)
1922 - built from prefabricated sections (Costly).
1937 - closed for a while
1945 - closed and building moved to Mildura South School. A piano owned by the school community was sold for 75 pounds and the money donated to the Mildura Hospital.
5. Iraak State School
4191 Iraak School:
(Cnr Carwarp & Mildura Rds, Iraak)
1924 - August - built later Moved to Johns'. Moved to Ryder's House Paddock. Moved back to its original site.
1964 - burnt down
2/2/1965 - New school opened on same site
6. 4184 Nangiloc School:
(Police Bend, Kulkyne Way, Nangiloc)
13/1/1924 - Opened with 15 pupils in current location
1963 - Additional classroom
1964 - School residence
1969 - Swimming pool
1993 - Merged with Colignan Primary School
7. Boonoonar State School
4258 Boonoonar School:
(Boonoonar Reserve, Calder Highway)
1925 - opened in a school building moved there from elsewhere.
1942 - closed and the building was moved to Colignan
Was situated on the east side of the Murray Valley Highway, about a kilometre north of the junction of Boonoonar Road with the highway.
8. Colignan State School
4340 Colignan School
(Kulkyne Way, Colignan)
12/5/1927 - School was first held in a hall. Closed 12 months later.
1932 - Re-opened in an abandoned house, which the Education Department rented 3 miles from the river on Colignan Road
9/1/1947 - Boonoonar School Building was moved to the Colignan Reserve site.
1968 - Old Boonoonar school building demolished
22/7/1968 - New school building erected
9. Nowingie State School
4409 Nowingi School:
1928 - a portable school was erected in a space cleared by the residents
1929 - Mr McGibbon of Yatpool built a new school building which was opened in May a dance being held on May 17th The school was only open for a couple of years
Was situated at Nowingie, on the east side of the Murray Valley Highway, almost opposite the Nowingie iron-clad tank.
10. 4408 Carwarp West School:
(In O. Scott's paddock on a small reserve)
1928 - became a full time school District dances raised funds for the school
1929 - officially opened
1937 - school closed
1938 - The school building was removed
11. 4586 Karadoc North School:
(F. Johns' property at Karadoc)
1938 - Locals purchased Ginquam school and moved it to Karadoc. The Education Department rented it from them. 13 or 14 children attended at first
12. Nangiloc/Colignan & District Primary School
5402 Nangiloc/Colignan & District Primary School
(Police Bend, Kulkyne Way, Nangiloc)
1993 - Formed by the merger of Nangiloc Primary School and Colignan Primary School. A Class 5 portable and the Colignan Primary School building were moved to the Nangiloc site and architecturally incorporated into a new school. A new brick toilet block and swimming pool upgrade plus a complete face-lift for the combined buildings were part of the merger deal.
Reminiscences of Richard A Saxton re Colignan State School
It must have been about 1931 when young soldier settlers, not long married with young families, started to be concerned about schooling for their children. The farms of these farmers were situated along, or, close to the road running from Colignan on the river Murray to the railway station at Boonoonar, a distance of 16km. My father, Richard Clive Saxton was one of the organisers, helped greatly, I would imagine, by my grandfather in Melbourne, J.T. Saxton, who was, at the time, Assistant Chief Inspector of Victorian Primary and Secondary Schools. One essential criteria for the establishment of a school was that there should be not less than twelve students.
The farmers along the road from Colignan were Harold Brown, nearly on the river. Besides running his farm he operated the Post Office and later a small telephone exchange from probably around 1928. There were very few phones but, the types were those where one lifted the hand piece and cranked a handle to ring the phone at the other end. The next settler was a Mr Hennesy, a batchelor, who would have left the district about 1929.
Ourselves came next with a road easement between. The track led out to Kulkyne Station and a farm run by Jim Murray, a batchelor. I last had a talk with Jim about 1945 just after the war. Then the next was that of A.E. Burke, who was our uncle by marriage, having married my father's sister, Nancy. He left about 1930 after a good harvest and a poor financial return by the Government who kept most of the profit as payment. It was his empty house where the first Colignan school was established in June 1932 with 13 pupils. (I have my doubts that there were 15)
Following on, there were the farms of the Moores with two boys, then the farms of the Ducars with two girls. Following on were the Aspens with no children but, on two occasions teachers boarded there. Somewhere further on were the Waldens who had two girls and a boy.
I can only recall the names of those pupils. Their names may not be accurately spelt.
Murray family - who were staying with Jim Murray. There were Stewart, Linda and Bill.
Parkinson - their son aged 13 and like most of us had never attended school
Moores - two boys, Bert and ?
Waldens - two girls, the eldest Thelma, and a boy, Bill
? family - two girls, rather refined girls I recall, who stayed a short time
Saxton family - Richard (Dick) and William (Bill)
Ducars - two girls, the eldest Beryl.
I cannot recall any fanfare for an opening of the Colignan School but the first teacher, a young probation teacher, Mr O'Rourke who was keen on teaching music and was generally well-received. I believe the Parkinson boy left sometime during the year, probably on turning fourteen. The teacher for 1933 was a Mr Maud.
The school itself was rather basic, no electric power and only one tank of rain water which was rationed for drinking during summer. In Winter, we, the pupils, would gather wood and make a substntial fire in what was once the kitchen/diningroom/lounge room. Pupils were graded between two rooms and one teacher. One spin off in such a small school was that history and geography lessons were tailored for the whole school. To this day I can remember many of the subjects taught at these combined groups. On Monday morning we would assemble before our flag pole and salute the flag, twelve of us from nearly five to about ten years or so.
Transport used was accepted as normal but looking back it was rather unusual by todays standards. The Waldens, all perched on the horse arriving, sometimes an hour late, when they could not find the horse. The Moores and ourselves walked, each two kilometres, but sometimes got distracted by rabbits or goannas .. etc. The Murrays walked three kilometres in file through the scrub and our wheat paddock. The two girls whose names I cannot recall, came, I believe, by horse and jinker, as did the teacher, although I can recall a bicycle being used but probably not very good on sandy tracks. The various forms of transport were so normal in those days it left no special impression on me.
The parents put a lot of work into preparing the school. Because my father was at the forefront of this work, we, my brother and myself were there with him. They erected toilets for the boys and girls and a stable for the horses. They had to remove a window to install an old-style teacher's high desk. The teacher could sit high and look down on the class as depicted in the Charles Dicken' era. I never saw a teacher use it. There was the clearing of rubbish to reduce snake hide outs. On occasions when a snake was spotted the whole twelve or thirteen of us would pour forth to dispatch the unfortunate creature. On other occasions a wandering traveller would call in to find his way, we all would again pour forth to be involved in the discussions. The school was set back from the road nearly a kilometre. If the unreliable watch of the teacher stopped, our time was read from the sun! Guessing. If, as it happened, the teacher was taken sick, there was no way of letting the people know because there were no phones, so we all turned up, played around for a while, then left for home.
The school, with no power, was very hot in the 40 degree days but I also remember road puddles turning to ice in Winter. The "Show and Tell" sessions, as they are now called, have remained with me because we all took a great interest in wild life.
1933 was, as far as our memory is concerned, the same as 1932. A new teacher, Mr Maud, took over the school. He was keen on sport and played in the local cricket team of which my father was captain at the time.
(with thanks to Frank Tucker for collating this information)