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Marrickville West Public School

Marrickville West Public School Founded on 5 July 1886 this school proved popular with children who had previously undertaken the long walk to Marrickville Public School: there was an enrolment of 228 by the end of the first month.
The first permanent school building, a 2-roomed wooden structure facing Livingstone Road, was erected in 1886. Two and even 3 classes were taught by separate teachers in the larger room. This was a common practice at the time. The schoolroom floor was stepped like a theatre to allow teachers and pupils to see each other more easily. The 1886 accommodation proved inadequate to house the school population which had risen to 2856 by the year’s end. An infant’s building was added at the beginning of 1887.
Accommodation remained a severe problem at the school until the mid-1930s despite the provision of additional buildings in the 1890s, 1911, and 1924. The school population kept increasing until it reached a peak of 1, 400 in the mid-1920s. As a result the school grew with a collection of permanent and portable classrooms.
Marrickville Express of 25 August 1900 reported a “rather serious accident at the school”:
A pupil- Tickle- discovered a revolver in the schoolroom, the property of one of the teachers, and proceeding to the playground challenged one of his schoolmates to “bail up Governor” [Jimmy Governor, up for murder, was then on the run] at the same time pointing the revolver, which went off, shoots the lad Griffen, through the nose.

The teacher in question claimed that he had inadvertently left the revolver, which he had recently used at Randwick rifle Range, in his clothing. Although Griffen was not seriously injured, the teacher was sternly reprimanded by the department for “culpable carelessness in carrying about a loaded revolver in the pocket of his mackintosh.”
Another teacher, Garnet Noble, was an enthusiastic promoter of the school’s cadet military corps which became one of the largest in Sydney and reached “a highter standard of proficiency than that of any other mertropolitan school.” A parents and Citizens Association, established in 1908 was one of the first of its kind in the state. Among its first actions was to request increased school accommodation.
A major rebuilding program in the 1980s provided more classroom space and a library. Syd fisher, yachtsman, and Richard Meale, composer are graduates.

Source: Marrickville People and Places. Meader, C., Cashman, R., & Carolan, A. (1990) Hale & Iremonger.



Reginald Utick and Enid Davis