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The convent at Kaiser - est 1877.

The site of the Kaiser settlement. Portion 53 near the centre was owned by the 'Council for Education' and was (possibly - probably ?) the site of the original public school known as Mitchell's Creek.

This document lists details of the school's origins, and the teachers, between 1892 & 1955. It was provided by Jean McIntosh, whose late husband John was teacher between 1955 & 1967.

The Schools of Bodangora

Kaiser & Bodangora Convents

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The first school in the Bodangora district was the convent established by the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1877 on the banks of the Mitchell's Creek near a crossing known as the Kaiser Crossing. On its opening, the enrolment of this school was 20, consisting mainly of children from the surrounding farms as well as some miner's children.

With the redevelopment of the Bodangora mine in the 1890's, and the resultant township which developed adjacent, the moving of the convent was inevitable. In 1899, when the school enrolment was 75, the convent was shifted to a site next to the present day St. Pauls Church. As many as 200 children attended this convent in the early 1900's. By 1925 the operations at the mine had practically ceased, the enrolment had dropped to 15, and so the convent was closed. The sisters had taught at two different convents at Bodangora over a period of 48 years.

The Bodangora Convent after its closing in 1926.

Public School

(From letter from Dept. of Education, 1963)

'Departmental records reveal that an application for the establishment of a provisional school at Bodangora, originally known as Mitchell's Creek, was approved in October 1891. The school commenced to function as a public school in 1892, and by the end of the the year the enrolment comprised 26 boys and 12 girls. The first teacher was Mr. Alfred Fraser. The following year a 2 acre Government grant and an 8 acre reserve was made available for school purposes. The site comprised portions 80 and 81 of the Parish of Bodangora, County of Lincoln. The name of the school was changed to Daviesville in March 1893, and to Bodangora in November 1906'.

It is unclear if there was a Public School built on Por 53 owned by the Council for Education at the Kaiser Crossing. As can be seen in the image below, there was an extra school building in 1904, between the schoolmaster's residence and the school which was built in 1898-99? (Both still stand today - 2007) Local identity Geoff England, remembers this building as being used for manual arts. Newspaper reports after the cyclonic storm hit Bodangora in March 1907 give conflicting reports as to its fate. One report has it being totally demolished, whereas another:-

'The old school building which is now used as a play shed, has the roof off. It was carried 50 yards away. Both the weathersheds for the boys and girls will be found 100 yards away'.

This school photo shown in the Town & Country journal 1904 shows teacher Percy Kable and around 150 pupils.

The newest school building apparently escaped serious damage as did the other Government buildings, the Post Office and the Police Station. The school enrolment probably peaked around this time, when the population of Bodangora was estimated at around 1,000. The mine began to employ less men from around 1908, until The Great War 1914-18 brought about its ultimate demise.

Pictures of the school taken around 1960. Its appearance had changed little since it was first built.

Not only was the school used for the education of the local children - it also became a focus for community activity in Bodangora. It was the polling booth on election day (in the 50's & 60's) and the venue for public meetings. There were other school related activities such as Cracker Night, when a huge bonfire was built on the school grounds. Play Night saw the schoolkids display their drama and singing talents. The annual Christmas Party, saw every child receive a present. For some years the school took on a new role (unofficially), as a shuttlecock competition was held on Saturday nights in the main school room - the bare timber floor resounding to the sound of the player's feet.

Tragedy came to Bodangora School in its last several years, when two students, Ashley Lyons and Ashley England, were tragically killed in separate accidents.

The last schoolmaster was Joe Manahan when it ceased to operate in 1971? The children were then transported to Wellington by bus.

School Photos

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Teacher - Clarrie Greentree, Assistant Teacher - Miss Clark
Back Row l-r: John Frogley, Noel Inwood, Arthur Bird, ? Ryan, Joe Logue, Maurice Beggs, Angus Campbell, Geoff Gosper, Ted Logue.
Second Row l-r: Bertha Logue, ??, Daph Tonkin, Joyce Moncrief, Patsy Johns, ? Ryan, Peggy Robinson, Helen Frogley, Ailsa Campbell, Cora Honeyman, Ellen Campbell.
Third Row l-r: Shirley Logue, Noeline Logue, Marie Robinson, Norma Logue, Jill Carter, Dulcie Honeyman, Joan Logue, Marjorie Cridland, Myrtle Beggs, Lorna Beggs.
Front Row l-r: Alan Carter, Clyde Greentree, Ken Tonkin, Keith Logue, Pat Robinson, David Lyons, Claude Moncrief, Ted Carter.

Picture and names kindly supplied by Jill (nee) Carter. (Slight correction by Dulcie Johnston)

Teacher - John McIntosh, also Jean McIntosh.
The 3 crosses are the McIntosh children, l-r: Glenn, Rhondalyn, Russell.
Robin Parkes - 2nd from left in back row. Carol Parkes - far right in front row.
The others are ? Hodges, Huggets, Darney's, Geggie's, Parkes, Fitzgeralds, Hintons ??


Teacher - John McIntosh, Assistant - trainee? teacher ??????
Back row l-r: Lionel Bailey, Glenn McIntosh, ? Noordhuis, Lynette Rogers, Wendy Olsen, Lesley Beggs.
Middle Row l-r: Stephen Rogers, Vicki? Lyons, Angus McConochie, Rhonda Bailey, Ross Parkes.
Front Row l-r: Elizabeth 'Liz' and Janet Glawson, Robin Bailey, ??, ??, ? Noordhuis, Kevin Rogers.


Teacher - John McIntosh
3rd from left at back - Julie Olsen
Back row left to right number five Paul Carter
Middle row left to right number three Ian Carter number four Wendy Carter
Front row left to right number one and two the Mitchell children

Other Schools in the Bodangora District

A Public School was opened at Jawbone in the early 1900's, but I have no details on how long it operated?? There was also a school operating at Drill Creek, prior to 1910, when it 'became a half time school, ie three days one week and two days the next - the other days the school was held at Bungiebomar, near Gollan'. Again I have no other details.

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Sources & acknowledgements
75th Anniversary St. Paul's Bodangora - booklet
National Archives
NSW Dept. Lands - Parish & Historic Maps
Wellington Times archives
Jill Nash(nee) Carter
Jean McIntosh
Dulcie Johnston
Anne Eccles