Great Western Primary School marks its 150th birthday with weekend full of celebrations, restored bell and time capsule

GREAT Western Primary School marked its 150th birthday over the weekend, with a time capsule, plaques, new bell, a parade and, of course, a cake.

Anniversary committee member and former Great Western Primary School student Greg Robson said the celebrations could not have gone any better.

“We spokes as a committee on Sunday night when we were tidying up,” he said.

“It was an outstanding success, better than we ever could hoped for.”

Mr Robson said attendance at the major events was higher than expected.

“We figured there were about 350 to 400 people at the day events and at night we had 180 that booked in and there were a few people that ended up standing and eating off plates.

“So we figure that 180 to 200 people were at the dinner.”

Current and former staff and students gathered at the school on Friday afternoon for a ceremony to kick off the celebrations.

2017’s Students gave tours of Great Western Primary School.

This was followed by a 150 Years of Education official ceremony with unveiling of the restored school bell, followed by afternoon tea.

On Saturday there was a vintage vehicle, bicycle and musical street parade followed by a Celebration Dinner in Great Western Hall. 

Sunday saw a Church Service at Christ Church - Great Western followed by lunch and entertainment provided by Anglicare at the Great Western Performing Arts Centre, which was the original school building.

Ringing the bell in the school grounds brought the weekend of celebrations to an end.

Ripon Mp Louise Staley and Northern Grampians Shire mayor Tony Driscoll were among the guests for Friday’s ceremony.

Great Western Primary School principal Kerrianne Harris said during the ceremony that 150 years was an incredible milestone for a small rural school.

“This school has played an important role in the learning of so many over the years,” she said.

“How many small rural schools can lay claim to two Brigadier Generals in the Australian Army?

“Our school today continues to play an important role in the community. We are lucky to have passionate staff who engage and challenge our students.”

Mr Robson said the parade featuring the Ararat City Band was particular popular.

“The weather was perfect and we didn’t hear any complaints, only congratulations on how well organised it was,” he said.

“We had a parade of vehicles over the decades going back to the Model T Ford and horses and carts. The parade was a hit. The whole weekend was just fantastic.”

This story Great Western Primary marks 150 years | Photos, Video first appeared on The Stawell Times-News.