The opening of the new school building, Capertee - 1923

The opening of the new school building - 1923
Photo: The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

The whole district was there at the opening of the new school building - 1923
Ref: The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

The Kookaburra marchers en route - Capertee

The Kookaburra marchers en route
Photo: The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

 World War 1, from 1914 to 1918, saw the exodus of a large proportion of the male population. All told, 52 men joined up. In 1916, a group of patriotic country men formed the "Kookaburra" marchers, who, starting out west, marched through the country- side by several routes, all converging on Sydney. Their aim was to gain recruits. They bivouacked on the floor of Capertee school on their way from Mudgee, as it was the only public building in town.
Ref:  The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

Welcoming a returned soldier

Welcoming a returned soldier
Photo: The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

Ref: The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

Spring Hill, with Joseph & Lydia Willis and Children - Circa 1909

Spring Hill, with Joseph & Lydia Willis and Children - Circa 1909
Photo: Kelgoola A Real Bush School by Arthur Mason

Spring Hill **is the name of a farm belonging to Mr J Morrison, whose wife has been very active in getting applications made through Mr Fitzpatrick [landowner and NIP]. The country around is very wet in winter or rainy weather.
**He confused the properties. "The Park " was Morrison's, Spring Hill" was Willis'.

Ref: Kelgoola A Real Bush School by Arthur Mason

Kelgoola site - 1997

Kelgoola site - 1997

Photo: Kelgoola A Real Bush School by Arthur Mason

Now, no traces remain of Kelgoola, nor of any of its various "other halves", Nullo Mountain, Glen Lee, Cox's Creek and Narrango. This photograph of the Kelgoola site was taken in 1997 in the company of Joseph and Valmai Bird, whose farm at Olinda includes the site of the former Narrango school. 
Ref:  Kelgoola A Real Bush School by Arthur Mason

Pupils of Kelgoola Half Time School - 1910/1911

Pupils of Kelgoola Half Time School - 1910/1911
Photo: Kelgoola A Real Bush School by Arthur Mason - Original photo in Kandos Bicentennial Industrial Museum.

Ref: Kelgoola A Real Bush School by Arthur Mason - Original photo in Kandos Bicentennial Industrial Museum.

Kelgoola Half Time School


Photo: Kelgoola A Real Bush School by Arthur Mason - Original photo in Kandos Bicentennial Industrial Museum.

A subsidised school called 'Kelgoola' existed near the entrance to Morrison's property. 'The Park'. The building was composed mostly of stringy bark and began in 1911. Miss Flora Morrison, sister of the late Frank Morrison, was the first teacher. 
Ref: History of St James' Rylstone by Reverend Kevin Joyner..

The name Kelgoola first appears on Major Mitchell’s famous map, which he completed in 1834. The assistant surveyor who first mapped the mountains and valleys of the Cudgegong area, Peter Grant Ogilvie, came through the area in mid-1829 and it was then that he learned from local aborigines that the name of the conical mountain west of Coricudgy and north of the Cudgegong was Kelgoola. 
Ref: KELGOOLA EXCURSION 2008 - Histroical Notes by Bob O'Neill

Capertee - original Police Station

Capertee - original Police Station
Photo: The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

The building on the left is the original police station. The white shed at rear was the lock-up. It now rests (and is still occasionally used) behind today's police station.
Ref: The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

School teacher's house to-day


School teacher's house to-day
Photo: The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

Today the school teacher is much better off — by accident! When the Glen Davis shale workings closed down after world war two a modern house lay empty beside the vacant school. Someone had a brainwave and the dwelling was transferred to Capertee.
Ref:  The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

Archibald Dennis, despairing of receiving a departmental house


Archibald Dennis purchased his own home (above)
Photo: The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys
 
Archibald Dennis, despairing of receiving a departmental house, purchased his own home (above). The schoolmaster reared seven children in it. 
Ref: The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

Caves used by miners as homes

 Caves used by miners
Photo: The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

The sudden arrival of hundreds of people into a mountain bush area placed a severe strain on housing. In a word there was none. The miners showed their ingenuity by using the caves caused by erosion in the sandstone cliffs, enlarging these and sometimes building a "porch" at the entrance. A typical "home" is shown in the picture above.
Ref: The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

Airly village, in its heyday

Airly village, in its heyday
Photo: The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys



Airly village, in its heyday boasted a post office, school and inn. A doctor practised in the district!
The picture above shows the local brass band leading a procession down the main street of Airly. 

Ref:  The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

Torbane shale retorts in operation around the turn of the century - 2

Torbane shale retorts in operation around the turn of the century
Photo: The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

Torbane shale retorts in operation around the turn of the century come from the archives of the Department of Mineral Resources
Ref: The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

Torbane shale retorts in operation around the turn of the century - 1

Oil shale workings on Blackman's Crown c1895
Photo; The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

Torbane shale retorts in operation around the turn of the century come from the archives of the Department of Mineral Resources.
Ref:  The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

Oil shale workings on Blackman's Crown c1895

Oil shale workings on Blackman's Crown c1895
Photo: The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

Oil shale workings on Blackman's Crown c1895. The remains of the shaft can still be seen on the S.E. face of the mountain
Ref: The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

Second School at Capertee

Second School at Capertee
Photo: The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

In 1883,  Capertee became the proud possessor of one of
the first pre-fabricated schools.  
Designed as only a temporary building, the schoolhouse survived forty years of teaching, and emerged, after being retired, with a new roof, a hundred yards away as the home of a local resident. It is still standing.
Ref: The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys


'Bandanora', the Corlis homestead

'Bandanora', the Corlis homestead
Photo: The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

'Bandanora', the Corlis homestead, built partly in 1889 with additions in 1958. An earlier homestead was built in 1855.
Ref: The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

William Corlis and his wife Bridget

Photo: The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

William Corlis arrived with his parents at the age of four in 1840. His wife Bridget (nee O'Donoghue) was born at Rylstone. Her parents arrived in Australia the same year as the Corlis family.
Ref: The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

Capertee School - Class of '82

Class of '82 — Centenary Year
Photo: The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

Teachers: (Left) Mr. Ted Morgan (Right) Mr. Peter Cook
Back Row: Garry, Rohrich, Dallas Bennett, Kelly Gilshenan, Martine Ribaux, Heather Jefferys, Phillip Rohrich, Jason Hickey.
5th Row: Sally Vidler, Michael Brown, Daniel Morgan, Melinda Ribaux, Leonie Norrie, Shane Morgan.
4th Row: Andrew Ison, Jamie Ison, Ann-Maree Hickey, Christine Norrie, Mark McPherson.
3rd Row: Marie Welch, Benita Ribaux, Timothy Ribaux, Michael Ribaux.
2nd Row: Simone Ribaux, Andrew McPherson, Raymond Norrie. Front Row: Leon Ribaux, Catherine Baxter.


Ref: The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

Capertee Public School

Capertee Public School
Photo: The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

Erected in 1923 to replace the original building. 
Ref: The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

Pantony's Crown

Pantony's Crown
Photo: The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys 

Pantony's Crown juts like a giant monument to highlight the size of the magnificent Capertee Valley. 

Ref: The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

Map of Capertee

Map of Capertee

Photo:  The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

Capertee is a small village almost exactly 200 km from Sydney by road. The most popular route is by the Great Western Highway to Lithgow, then turning north towards Mudgee.

About 40 km along this road, you'll find Pearson's Lookout. From this high point you will see, to the east, a magnificent valley, bounded by soaring,' craggy sandstone cliffs. It's nearly 30 km across. You are looking at Capertee valley, one of the biggest valleys in the world.

Down the hill, just 2 km along the road, you come to Capertee, a classic Australian tablelands village. It sits virtually on the peak of the Great Dividing Range, about 800 metres above sea level. If you find the right spot, you can pour a bucket of water— so that one half flows west to the Murray and the other half goes east to the Pacific Ocean. 

Ref:  The Story of Capertee compiled by Bruce Jefferys

Location of camps and schools along the Maryvale to Sandy Hollow Railwayn line

Map: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

Ref: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

Railway tunnel under construction during the 1930's

Photo: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

Ref: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984


Railway workers living quarters whilist on-the-job

Photo: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984


On 2nd August, 1937, Mr. J. Waight, Newcastle Secretary of the Australian Workers Union wrote to Mr. Drummond, the Minister of Education, on behalf of the men on the Sandy Hollow—Maryvale Railway construction gangs, requesting that a travelling school be sent to "the job", or failing that, conveyance of the children to nearby schools. He stated "that it is not right that children should miss their education because their parents have to take what work is offering."

 
 Ref: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984


Ron, Dennis and Les King at."Glen Regis" Subsidised School - about 1933

Photo: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984


The "Glen Regis" Subsidised School was established at "Glen Regis", the home of Mr. and Mrs. S. King, in 1932. Five boys attended the school and one of them, Mr. N. C. King of Mudgee recalls:

"School was conducted in the dining room for several weeks until a school was built on the "Glen Regis" property about one mile from the homestead and one mile from "Kingscroft". . ."


Ref: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984


Betty, Rita and Doreen Taylor at Yvonne Subsidised School

Photo: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984


Yvonne"Subsidised School was situated at Mr. H. Taylor's place, now belonging to Mrs. Rita Roberts, a one time pupil. The school operated from 1936 until 1940.


Ref: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984


Bylong Valley Cricketers 1907

Bylong Valley Cricketers 1907
Photo: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

Back Row:   Gordon Tindale, Bill Davis, Archie Chitty, W. Spradbrow, Tom Stevens, Val Glew, 
Joe Goninan, J Brennen,   Simpson, Rou. Glew.
Second Row:   Oz. Leighton, Sid Freeman, Cecil Davis, H. Glew, Percy Davis, Chas. Graystone, 
J. Pholep, Ray Tindale, Dick Davis Geo Roberts, Allan Leighton.
Front Row:   J. Gleeson, Jack Kurtz, Harry King, Dave Leighton 

Ref: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984


Mrs. Daniels (nee Fanning).

Mrs. Winifred Daniels (nee Fanning)

Photo: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984


Mrs. Winifred Daniels (nee Fanning) arrived on the mail car in August, 1930 and left in September, 1933. She recalls that; 

"there were about 17 pupils who either walked or rode horses. The original building is still there with many comforts. In 1930 there were no summer comforts, but an open fire provided winter warmth, with parents providing the wood. There was a tennis court at the school and a hall across the road with a piano, was used for Christmas trees. The teacher boarded at the Post Office nearby. 

"During Mrs. Daniels' period at the school it was closed on two occasions due to very heavy rains. By 1932 there were 23 pupils enrolled at the school. 

Ref: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

Bylong cricketers

Bylong cricketers on top of Cox's Gap on their way to Baraemi.
Photo: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984


Cricket was well established as the sport of the Valley as early as 1898, as the Rylstone Express of that year reported in the "Kerabee News";

"Our local team play the Bylong Cricket Club at Kerrabee next Saturday, and as the Bylong gentlemen got defeated last match there is no doubt their best players will this time, face the music."


Ref: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

Jack Williamson and Car

Photo: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984


In 1933 the school was temporarily closed for want of a teacher. Mr. J. Williamson was appointed in 1933. During his stay of nine years (1933-1942) the average enrolment was about 20 pupils.

Ref: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

Bylong Upper School, 1957, showing tennis court

Bylong Upper School, 1957, showing tennis court
Photo: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

Ref: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

Oswald Packham

Oswald Packham
Photo: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

Ref: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

Kath Ryan

Kath Ryan
Photo: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

Ref: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

Mary Finlayson

Mary Finlayson
Photo: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

Ref: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

Bridgelo School 1920

Bridgelo School 1920
Photo: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

Ref: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

Children attending Bridgelo Provisional School in 1917.

Back row: Alby Thorpe, Rene Folpp, Alice Fountain, George Mead
Middle Row: Ron Daniel, Jim Thorpe, May Stevens, May Folpp, Cec Daniel, Clive Kurtz.
Front row: Perc Mead, Amy Stevens, Newt Daniel.
TEACHER: Miss Halloran.
Photo: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

Ref: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

Bridgelo School, Bylong

Bridgelo School, Bylong
Photo: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984


Early in 1914 Bridgelo Provisional School was established. It was situated 41/2miles from Bylong, on two acres of land which was part of Mr. Elijah Mead's property. A railway line now passes through the site, which was leased by the Department of Education at a rate of 10/- per annum. 

The school building was a slab dwelling with an iron roof. There was a tennis court and a square iron tank, used to store drinking water. Mr. Cecil Daniel, a former pupil recalled;

"There was a fireplace in the school, we used wood to make a fire during the cold weather. The Government paid a small sum for someone to bring the wood, but the teacher and children would carry wood from the hillside and use the money to buy something for the school."


Ref:  Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

Bylong Upper School Beautification Project 1957.

Bylong Upper School Beautification Project 1957.
Photo: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

Ref:  Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

Miss Adell Munro

Miss Adell Munro.
Photo: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984


Miss Adell Munro taught at the school from 1927 until 1930 (3 years) during which time there was another case of Diptheria.

Ref:  Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984


Miss Elizabeth Smith

Miss Smith

Photo: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984


Miss Elizabeth Smith was appointed to Bylong Upper in June, 1924, where she taught for the next three years (1924-1927). In November, 1924 she had a nasty accident.

"On Friday, 21st November, I (with the assistance of parents with cars) took the Upper Division of my school to see the School Exhibition at Mudgee. Unfortun- ately on the return journey, while trying to negotiate a nasty gutter the car gave a jerk which threw the occupants off their seats, but am pleased to state that none of the children were hurt. I struck the framework of the hood very hard inflicting two nasty gashes, one on my forehead and one on my nose. I sent to the chemist in Rylstone to know if anything could be done and was told that the treatment I was giving was all that could be done viz, ice, warm water and Boracic Acid. He said the arteries in my forehead were broken and the bruised blood had rushed to my eyes for they were absolutely black and the lump on my forehead was very prominent

On seeing the state I was in the parents would not hear of me going to school before Wednesday last, but on seeing me again decided it would be useless for me to try to work while in the state I was in.

I returned to my duty yesterday, but at present am far from well as I am suffering a deal with my head. Although my eyes are becoming normal and the projection on my forehead is now showing a bruise, so I am hoping to be quite well again in a week or so.

"By the mid-1920's accommodation in the school room had become insufficient. Miss Smith wrote to the Department in 1925 informing them that she had 29 children enrolled but seating for only 24, moreover, there was a likelihood of more children attending in the near future. She also mentioned that during the Inspector's visit to the school he had raised the problem of the school not being any longer in a central position, and she hoped that something could be done about this matter at the same time as accommodation was being looked at. She added; 


"The people are in favour of its removal and the owner of the surrounding paddock is quite willing to exchange two acres in any dimensions anywhere between the gate and the Upper Bylong Hall, thus placing the school on the main road and giving the majority of the children a mile less walking" 


John Burke, one of the parents, backed up Miss Smith's facts, claiming that because temperatures were often between 95° to 105°F the children were working in overcrowded conditions that were unhealthy, especially as the 30 odd pupils had to be "crammed" into a schoolroom 19 by 17 feet. He, too, mentioned that parents wanted the school building moved to a new location opposite the hall and even added a sketch.

The Inspector of Schools agreed that the building needed enlarging to accommodate the present and expected enrolment and that the site was not as central as it could be, children having to cross a large paddock to reach the school, while bullocks that were in the paddock were an ever present source of danger.

The Minister for Education decided to move the school to the new site and accepted James Gettens' offer to exchange two acre blocks. 

The overall cost of the move and the extra accommodation was expected to be a little over £400. The actual move took place in September, 1927 and, during the period when the school building was unusable, classes were held in Bylong Upper Public Hall, which was hired at a rate of 7/6 per week. Before 1921, the school room, itself only as big as the average lounge room, had been frequently used for functions such as fund raising concerts or, as in 1919 a juvenile ball to celebrate "Peace Day" after World War I.


In 1927 a child from the house where Miss Smith boarded contracted Diptheria, and she (Miss Smith) was placed in quarantine and the school closed for ten days. Later the same year, Miss Smith resigned as she was planning to marry. 

 Ref: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

Class Photo - Mabel Mow (Teacher)

Left to right (back row): Mabel Mow (Teacher), Amy Ribeaux, Thelma Gettens, Hilda Walker, George Walker, Danny Bourke, Kass Bourke, Glad Gettens, Rosey Ribeaux, Barney Walker, Michael McManus, Jean Saxelby.
Middle: Phyllis Gettens, Mavis McManus, Marcel Ribeaux, Paul Ribeaux.
Front: Allen Gettens, Ted Bourke, Lyndon Gettens.

Photo: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984





Under the leadership of Miss Mabel Mow, an expedition of school pupils success- fully attacked the north face of Tal Tal mountain a couple of kilometres to the south of the school. They set off one Friday afternoon in the early Spring of 1919, and taking provisions for a lengthy trek raced towards their objective until "a steep pinch brought forth more fighting, and less flying strength, and it was not long before a petition was made fora half". As the climb got tougher the stronger pupils had to assist the weaker brethren, and often the party was blocked by unscalable chalky cliffs and had to find new routes around them. "A series of wild war-whoops ahead", wrote the teacher, "found two of our number testing their lungs in a huge cavern which re-echoed their shouts till the place seemed filled with thousands of voices". Mabel Mow went on:

"In this cave, which is a chalk formation and about 20 ft square, seems to be collected the dust and cobwebs of centuries. High and dry, it appears never to have been touched by moisture and in its dust are the tracks of all the bush creatures who inhabit these parts. The tracks of foxes, wallabies, lyre birds and wombats are all there curiously intermingled in the quiet of that refuge." 

Ref:  Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

Cheese Factory, Bylong

Cheese Factory

Photo: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984


Mrs. Jean Stone (nee Saxelby) in a recent letter recalled; 

"Dad started the Cheese Factory in 1910 after leaving his job as manager of the Butter Factory at Rylstone. There were two share farms supplying milk to the factory and at times other suppliers. The type of cheese made was cheddar and it was sold to storekeepers for re-sale. I think the smallest cheese made was 3-11 lbs (Picnic Cheese) and it went up to quite large sizes, The place was sold in 1926 to Herbert Thompson of Tarwyn Park and we moved to Sydney where Dad opened the Tenterfield Bylong Cheese Company at Missenden Road, Camperdown

Ref: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

Flora Ellis (née Morrison)

Flora Ellis (née Morrison)
Photo: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984


In January, 1917, Bylong Upper resumed as a full-time school and Miss Flora Morrison was appointed. She lived with her brother-in-law and sister, Mr. and Mrs. Herb Davis, at Tryalion, which necessitated either riding on horseback 6 miles across country or driving 14 miles on the highway by horse and sulky. In a recent letter, 94 year old Mrs. Ellis (nee Morrison) recalled; 

"I wasn't an expert horse-woman and had it not been for hand-grips on my saddle, I would have landed in a forest of fence-high thistles as my horse shied at a rabbit or other animal. I often found myself facing the opposite direction from the one I wanted.

During my first week at the school, one pupil, Barney Walker, reported to his mother that the new teacher could see behind her, as I frequently corrected him as the culprit for talking when my back was turned working on the board.

Another incident I recall was after an Inspectorial visit by Mr. Harvey who had left his horse and buggy at the Cheese Factory with Mr. and Mrs. Saxelby, and walked two miles to inspect the school.

He invited me to accompany him to Mrs. Saxelby's for afternoon tea. This was quite pleasant until the Inspector noticed on the horizon an enraged bull pawing the ground. The problem which hindered a quick escape was not only a high rabbit proof fence topped with barbed wire, but my long straight skirt The Inspector no doubt, somewhat panicking, asked whether I could manipulate the hurdle. I assured him if he shut his eyes I could try. At the thought of the approaching bull, I clambered over in quite an unladylike fashion, but, trying to salver my modesty, to be told I had done actually quite well. On being told I had done it .,"'Quite nicely", we both laughed heartily as I looked accusingly and said "Now how would you know if you had kept your word and closed your eyes?"

Perhaps this contributed to my very good inspectorial report."

Miss Morrison resigned to get married and after living in Queensland for many years, eventually returned to N.S.W. To date, she has 5 children, 13 grand-children and 10 great-grand-children. 

Ref" Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

Bylong Dairy Farms - Map

Bylong Dairy Farms - Map
Photo: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

Ref: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984 

Allan, Ida Saxelby and daughter Jean 1915.

Saxelby family 1915
Photo: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

Ref: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

The remains of the Lee "Homestation".

The remains of the Lee "Homestation".
Photo: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

Ref: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

GINGHI PUBLIC SCHOOL (Around 1908)


GINGHI PUBLIC SCHOOL (Around 1908)
Photo; Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984

Ref: Bylong Valley - Centenary of Education 1884-1984