ON THE MARCH: Yamba Public School walk through Yamba CBD to commemorate the school’s 25th anniversary yesterday. Carrying the school banner are (from left) Erin Shugg, Toby Austin, Zahri Berry and Nic Bowen and with them is school principal Debbie Woods. Photo: Debrah Novak
ON THE MARCH: Yamba Public School walk through Yamba CBD to commemorate the school’s 25th anniversary yesterday. Carrying the school banner are (from left) Erin Shugg, Toby Austin, Zahri Berry and Nic Bowen and with them is school principal Debbie Woods. Photo: Debrah Novak

Yamba Public School pupils re-enact school march

PUPILS of Yamba Public School were high fived and applauded as they celebrated the 25th anniversary of the new school.

Yesterday all 385 students of the school marched in a loop from the new school in Angourie Rd, past the site of the old school and back to their classrooms.

Around 40 former students, parents, teachers and P&C members joined them to celebrate an important milestone in the history of the school.

The Member for Page, Kevin Hogan and former State and Federal member Ian Causley, who did a lot of work getting the school its new site, also attended the march.

The school's relieving principal, Debbie Woods, said the students loved the attention from local shop owners and residents who applauded the young people as they walked.

"I think that was one of the highlights for them," Ms Woods said. "They really enjoyed being the centre of attention."

March organiser and a teacher at both schools Lyn Eke said there were three generations of pupils at the school.

"The link between the generations at the school is something that's been really important over the years," Ms Eke said.

"As a five-year-old Mareka Laurie cut the ribbon for the new school.

"Now, 25 years later, she and a former teacher of the school Maureen Curtin, who closed the door when they left the old school, cut the cake celebrating the anniversary."

Ms Eke said Mareka's daughter, also went through the school and has gone on to win a scholarship at a private school in Sydney.

The school's principal 25 years ago, Geoff Gorman, answered the call to speak to the latest generation of children.

"He made a really nice speech recalling what happened all those years ago," Ms Eke said. "It was well planned. The kids had the Monday off and came to the old school on the Tuesday.

"Rather than just turn up at the new school they made a made a gesture of going from the old to the new."

She said it was also rewarding to see a good turn out from the town's indigenous people.

"They've been a big part of the school's history and it was good to see them parents and Elders taking part," she said.

"We thought it was important we included a smoking ceremony as well as the Welcome to Country and advertised it thoroughly."

The school will celebrate 150 years of education in Yamba in three years time.



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