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Lower Light School

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Fast Facts
Type of organisation: Government

Street name: Gordon Road
Town or locality: Lower Light
Date established: c. 1860
Ceased operation: 1963
Business or purpose: Education
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Although these early settlers were well educated themselves such was not the case with the children. Coming to an area which was unsettled where homes had to be built, a living to be made and with their time and means thus expended, a school was a distant vision on the horizon. However, to overcome the difficulty Mr Jimmy Johnson at Korunye employed a governess as did Mr Town at Lower Light. Local children attended at these homes and a fee was charged for each child taught and this helped with the salary of the governess. Secondary education was rare until the early twentieth century.

Early in Lower Light's history there was a small wooden structure, built in the 1860s, on the church grounds. It was used for church, Sunday school and day school. From 1874 until 1890 the teacher's fees were paid by the parents, the children each taking so many pennies to school on Friday. A combined school and residence was established by the Education Department in 1881, the total cost being £505, 16 shillings and 3 pence.

In 1891 the first salary from the Education Department was received by Mr Alfred M. Stapley when a Bill was passed through parliament introducing 'free education'.

Children had attended at these schools as far away as Frosts in the Dublin area, from the Mallala road, as far as Mr Arthur Pratt's and all along the river to the west.

Date of Taking Charge Head Teacher
1876-77 Daniel Coleman
1878 Manton Jackson
1880-89 Duncan McNaughton
1900-09 Alfred M. Stapley
1910-12 Ada Langdon
1913-18 Kate M. Kaine
1919 Andrew G. Brown
1920 Victor Slee
1821 William J. Hahn
1922 Alfred W. H. Lockyer
1923-30 Phyllis M. Fisher
1931-37 Harold J. Donnelly
1938-40 George Geddes
1941 Florence Bigg
Leonard Vickery
Dulcie Battain
1941-45 Dorren Ware
1945-49 Sylvia Schwalbie
1950-58 Joseph Costello
1959-62 Kenneth Clare
1963 Closed 5 February 1963

Related Articles


  • Life around the Light: A history of the Mallala District Council area compiled by Two Wells. Mallala and District History Book Committee. Community Development Board of the Council District of Mallala. (Mallala. S. Aust.) 1985.
  • Mallala Museum research notes
Lowerlight school 1916
Lowerlight school 1916
Lower Light
Lower Light
The children from the Lower Light School standing on the foot bridge that crosses the Light River
The children from the Lower Light School standing on the foot bridge that crosses the Light River
The Lower Light School marching in Mallala
The Lower Light School marching in Mallala
1911 Jack Quigley with trophy Lower  Light Schl_20140608_0001
1911 Jack Quigley with trophy Lower Light Schl_20140608_0001
1911 LOWER LIGHT Football Club_20140608_0001
1911 LOWER LIGHT Football Club_20140608_0001

Memories of Lower Light School

Shortstuff remembers: Mark & Kay Boon bought the Old School House in 1993, and renovated it extensively, particularly by building a new bathroom and laundry. The classroom, which had been partitioned many years before to create two bedrooms and a passage, was restored by removing the partitions, thus creating a kitchen/living room. Family members now live in the school house, surrounded on two sides by council reserve with hundreds of sheltering trees.

Do you remember Lower Light School ? Then Join up and add your memory here.

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