School fete to take Gatton back down memory lane

Benjamin Emerton paints Tallis Revell's face at last year's OLGC Fete on Sunday, August 30.
Benjamin Emerton paints Tallis Revell's face at last year's OLGC Fete on Sunday, August 30. Tom Threadingham

EVERY two years, the Gatton community flocks to Our Lady of Good Counsel's school grounds for games, raffles, rides and food.

But this Sunday August 27, the school is expecting its biggest fete yet as the event coincides with the school's centenary celebrations.

School staff, including principal Nathan Haley and secretary Anthea Schultz, have been diligently collecting and sorting through hundreds of stories, photographs and documents from the last 100 years to showcase the school's rich history on the day.

"We're hoping to capture the story of the school so we can re-tell it,” said Mr Haley.

"It's important to remember the story of Catholic education of the time, because the Sisters did everything for (the children) and were committed to bringing education opportunities to the poor and the marginalised.

"The number of the Sisters of Mercy are less, but their strength is no less, even today.”

Past students hoping to re-live their school days or keen local historians will be able to gain a thorough insight into the school's 100 years of operation, as this collection is set to be displayed in the original school building with the Daniel Walsh Centre available for viewing all day and guided tours run at various times.

Current students will also have their turn in the spotlight, with class performances, dancing, jumping castles, petting zoos and loads more scheduled throughout the day.

Year 6 student Sarah McNeil said she felt privileged to be able to take part in the celebrations, especially since their year had experienced the school fete in Prep as well.

"It's going to mean we'll be able to say in 30 years that we were at the 100th celebration,” agreed her classmate Abigail Qualischefski, who added she was eager to dunk a teacher in the dunk tank.

In any case, it will be a wildly different schoolyard to the one former student Kevin McNeil recalls from his schoolboy days in the mid-1930s, when the children of millers, bakers, farmers and businessmen from across southern Queensland filled the classrooms.

Ms Shultz said the school is accepting donations, photographs and volunteer offers until Sunday.

The festivities will last from 10am-3pm and entry is free.

You can offer yours by phoning the school office on 54622675 or emailing au.

Topics:  our lady of good counsel school fete

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