Kingsgrove Public School launched its centenary celebrations today, May 11, ahead of Saturday’s open day.
The school is hosting tours all day on Friday, and tomorrow, May 12, the community is invited to see its memorabilia displays.
On Friday pupils rehearsed a Chinese lion dance to celebrate the beginning of their school’s 100th birthday.
Kingsgrove Public School has a long history, which dates back to 1887 when the first application for the establishment of a public school in the suburb was made.
Further attempts were made in 1891, 1894, 1901, 1905 and 1913 – when the department of education announced it was investigating three sites possible sites for a school.
Two acres of land were purchased that year, and a school was built between 1917-1918.
The initial building was simple – a timber single storey with three classrooms. This building still stands and is used every day.
Donald Lobban was appointed the first headmaster, and a planting of a tree marked the opening of the school, with 147 pupils enrolled by the end of 1918.
By late 1919 there were 179 children and three teachers.
That same year, a memorial peace bell was presented to the school to honour fallen soldiers. The brass plaque attached to the bell disappeared in 1963 and was dug up 20 years later in a garden on Stoney Creek Road.
In 1942 a second school building was constructed in Caroline Street, and 12 years later, a larger school site was constructed on the Kingsgrove Road campus.
By then the population of the school had reached 1230 pupils.
But in 1985, a fire – believed to be started by an arsonist, destroyed the senior school on Kingsgrove Road, causing significant damage. Demountable classrooms were installed, and classes continued as usual.
About 500 teachers and 10,000 pupils attended Kingsgrove Public School over its century of learning.
The open day is on from 10am-2pm. There will be a barbecue and a jumping castle.
There is also a celebration dinner from 7pm-11pm on May 12 at Kingsgrove RSL.