2011 saw the Gundiah State School celebrate 125 years since its original opening early in 1886. The first Gundiah Provisional School was built near the railway siding at Gundiah on land owned by the sawmill. The school committee formed in 1885, nominated Miss E Ryan, who had previously taught at Lady Elliott Island, as the school’s first teacher. The school opened officially in 1886.
The closure of the sawmill saw the school moved, in June 1895, to a new location near the Gootchie railway siding, where its name changed to the Gootchie Provisional School in 1896. By 1897 the sawmill had re-opened and a request for a new Gundiah School received Departmental approval for building on 5 acres donated by D.C.E. Neilsen. The school reopened in 1898.
In November 1905, requests were made to turn Gootchie and Gundiah (and Deborah) into a State School. In 1907 the school building became the teacher residence and a new classroom was built with an access road being formed in 1909. The School became a popular meeting place and dances were held there during World War I.
In 1934, Gootchie State School closed and the Gundiah School and teacher’s residence were moved (at a cost of 234 pounds) to a central location on the five acres of land where it is presently located, in an effort to service the two communities.
1953-Phone service to the residence
1959-Electricity installation accompanied by conveniences such as film projectors, refrigerator and conversion of the radiogram to AC power.
1967-Television set. This was unfortunately also the year the original residence burnt.
Various improvements occurred over the next few years, many being conducted by the children’s Project Group, parents and teachers. Prior to the School’s Centenary celebrations the tennis court was concreted, and several playground items appeared including the wooden fort and balance log still in place today.
Following the closure of the Munna Creek School at the end of 1986, a new demountable building and a second teacher were provided in 1989. Parents soon requested a school bus to service the areas of Munna Creek, Paterson and Emerys Bridge Road, the run commencing in 1990.
Last year, 2011, an extra building provided by Federal Government funding, was opened. This room is utilised as a resource centre providing a modern teaching and working space. Government funding and an active parent committee have seen the school buildings air-conditioned and fully resourced.
The support of the school and wider community shines through. Despite early discontent between where the school should be located, the local people of the Gootchie, Gundiah, Munna Creek, Deborah and Mt Urah communities have worked together to provide facilities of which to be proud. Gundiah State School has the benefit of a supportive community and a fantastic bunch of children. May we continue well past the next 125 years.
Source: Gundiah State School Centenary 1886-1986