CLASS REUNION: Past students of Byrnestown State School reunited for the unveiling.
CLASS REUNION: Past students of Byrnestown State School reunited for the unveiling. Adam McCleery

Past students reunite

NORTH Burnett Regional Councillor John Bowen took off his councillor hat to work on getting plaques created for a number of old school sites in the Burnett.

"I was a student at Byrnestown myself so this was something I wanted to do as a past student,” Cr Bowen said.

"The turnout today has been great, I am seeing some people I haven't seen for 50 years,” he said.

"It is amazing that we received the support we did and to be able to have these plaques pinpoint these old sites.”

The sites included Byrnestown, Mt Steadman, Gooroolba and Woodmiller which were all single building schools in the North Burnett.

Past students came from all over the south east to attend while some like Cr Bowen were already living back in, or had never left, the region.

The schools go back to the turn of the last century where students were still going to school on horseback or long distances on foot.

Val Cosier was a Byrnestown student in the 1940s and can still remember those days clearly.

"My parents had a property here and we would ride our horses to school everyday,” Mrs Cosier said.

"We started off with the old slates and chalk, if you dropped them they broke on you so you had to be careful.

"And the boys did get the cane from time to time, but only if they were being naughty.”

Mrs Cosier has fond memories of her days as a rural school student.

"It was so different back then, they were single teacher schools, one room and on teacher for probably 30 students,” Mrs Cosier said.

"And with one teacher he would have five or six classes worth of students to teach himself, but we all passed our scholarships with good marks, which is amazing.”

The plaque unveiling ceremony took place on the old Gooroolba sports ground which Mrs Cosier could remember competing on decades ago.

"Our sports days were held right here on these grounds with all the other schools coming in to compete as well,” Mrs Cosier said.

For Mrs Cosier being able to reconnect with long lost friends was the biggest appeal.

"Some you see again a couple of time over the years but there are some people here today that I haven't seen in 50 years, it is wonderful to be able to catch up with them,” she said.

Mrs Cosier, along with a number of other students, moved back to the North Burnett after living away, many in their retirement years,


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