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

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