The exact site of the original Russell Island State School has never been known by school authorities, until now.
According to the official history of the school, and published in the October 2106 special edition of The Friendly Bay islander: “By invitation, two motor boat loads came from Redland Bay, bringing among them the teacher and committee of the Redland Bay School. Motor cars not yet being available, they tramped the two miles or so through the bush to the school in the ‘wild woods’.”
It is known the original school was located on Centre Road, but the exact position was not known.
Well, island resident Vern Schumacher, believes he knows the exact location.
He gave us a call after reading our request for ‘information’ on the exact location, in the September edition.
“The school was located just off Centre Road near the road to the Russell Island rubbish dump, next to the Whistling Kite area and near the entry to Phoebe Du Pont’s place, half way up the hill,” he told us.
We took the matter further and contacted a few other island ‘oldies’.
The ultimate person to agree with the location of the first island school was Phoebe Du Pont.
“Yes, I have always known it was opposite my place.
“It is general knowledge among the old hands on the island,” she told The Friendly Bay Islander.
Russell Island State School teacher Meg Cornthwaite, who helped organise the recent 100th anniversary of the school, said the exact location of the original school was ‘never really known here at the school.”
“This information is invaluable as far as our history is concerned.
“It is also fantastic that it has come out and inspired by our October 100th anniversary celebrations.
“It couldn’t be at a better time,’ she said.
Now that the exact site of the first Russell Island State School is known it can be identified by the placement of an appropriate plaque placed at the location!
The Friendly Bay Islander will see if it can be organised!
• Teacher Meg Cornthwaite and Phoebe Du Pont are pictured at the original Russell Island State School site on Centre Road.