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  • Writer's pictureMagnetic Community News

Community celebrates 100-year-old heritage-listed school building

Pictured above: Magnetic island State School Band.

The Picnic Bay school building was the focus of much fun and activity when Magnetic Museum hosted a community event in its grounds on Saturday 11 September.

The proceedings began with a heartfelt Welcome to Country by Lyle Johnson for his Wulgurukaba people, traditional owners of the land where the school was built in 1921, Camoomilli on Yunbenun.

Pictured above: Welcome to Country.

There were many past pupils present to share memories of their school before its closure in May 1970. Two poems especially written to recall the history of the building were recited by their authors Dot and Mark. As part of the celebrations the band and choir from Magnetic Island State School provided a delightful musical performance. Later Joe Dale, a past pupil from 1946, cut a commemorative cake and Trevor Berryman a more recent past pupil planted a memorial tree.

Pictured above: Peter Lawson & Isabelle Gair- Hemsley

An Acquisitive Art Competition sponsored by C & R Consulting Townsville was judged by well-known artist Peter Lawson, the senior section won by Isabelle Gair-Hemsley and the junior by Mya Bates. For those who wished to record their attendance at the celebration a memorial supper cloth was available – signatures to be embroidered and the cloth to be accessioned into the Magnetic Museum collection. Nostalgic images of the school with school books and work sheets were on display and the school bell was rung to gain the crowd’s attention.

Activities were many and varied. Jenny Mulcahy’s haunting art installation ‘The Mark’ allowed visitors to see, feel and absorb the reality of the early days of quarantine at Picnic Bay. For the young there were opportunities to enjoy good old-fashioned activities – slate writing, card making, card playing, marbles, knuckle jacks and novelty races. Several market stalls were scattered throughout the grounds and with a jazz concert later in the day the Centre was a hive of activity.

The day was supported by many who contributed to this very enjoyable community event: volunteers from the community and from Magnetic Island History and Craft Centre, the Men’s Shed, Wednesday Craft Group and MICDA, as well as students and teachers from Magnetic Island State School and all who attended to share and enjoy the day.

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