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

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