Tuesday, 22 May 2007
My old primary school - Athelstane, in suburban Arncliffe- is barely recognisable to a casual glance. However, when I started looking more closely, I could see ghosts of the timber demountable school I attended in the late 1950s and early 1960s, in amongst the modern 2-storey brick buildings. I couldn't believe my eyes, for example, when I recognised some of those ACTUAL timber buildings, still being used as classrooms! ( Sounds a little like criminal and educational neglect )
The school is named after the rather grand house that existed on the land till it was demolished by the Department of Education around 1950, when they built the school. What they did leave, though, were the 2 huge magnolia trees, that must be close to 150 years old, and they are still magnificent. I couldn't tell you the number of times I fell out of those trees.
When I left Athelstane to go on to high school, the cultural make-up of Arncliffe was already changing, and Turkish families had started moving into the area. Today I think most of the students at the school come from a Lebanese background. The senior students in the photo above were walking back to school after going to Arncliffe Park for a PE class.