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Carenne Public School - History

The history of Carenne Public School dates back to the 1950s,
through to the inclusion of the school by the NSW Department of Education
in 1971.

Topic Index

1: Tentative first steps

The beginning of a school in Bathurst for children with special needs, dates back to the early 1950's. The plight of a particular mother seeking assistance for the care of her Down Syndrome child became known to Mrs. Glen Fogarty, a Bathurst resident at that time. Following Mrs. Fogarty's approach to prominent Bathurst citizens, Mr. Charlie Price and the then Mayor, Mr. Oliver Parham, public interest was aroused, funding was provided, a building was made available (plus 1,000 voluntary hours for,alterations), and a teacher and 8 pupils began the first Glenray School on 17th July, 1957. This facility was housed in a disused stable at the rear of the William St. Uniting Church - it was a haven indeed and a wonderful beginning but its inadequacies were numerous, including poor heating.


2: Growing and getting stronger

Mrs. Kath Kenny, a devoted teacher during the schools early years relates two anecdotes in relation to the lack of heating in those early days:- An adjacent lumber suppliers, Dean and Redford, were greatly puzzled by the mysterious disappearance of various quantities of timber and firewood, and on one particularly cold morning, a pupil whose hands were very frozen showed a certain initiative by warming them in a recently made hot jelly. The second Glenray School was officially opened in November, 1961 in new and modern brick premises in Browning Street - an outstanding tribute to many local organisations and to the many Bathurst citizens who had worked untiringly raising funds, volunteering labour so generously to make this new school a reality. A Government donation enabled the Sub- Normal Children's Association (now the Challenge Foundation) to open this new school, completely debt free. The Education Department assisted at this stage by providing a teacher and equipment for one group of pupils and by subsidising the Sub-Normal Children’s Welfare Association in the provision of other staff and equipment.

The parents and many local volunteers maintained a regular fund of helpful assistance to the teachers and to the pupils. The immediate rural surroundings maintained a regular supply of half grown - and fully grown snakes which had to be "dispatched to their maker" by the staff with an assortment of implements.


3: The Department of Education assumes responsibility

In February, 197l, the N S.W. Department of Education purchased Glenray School from the S.C.W.A. School enrolments were increasing steadily and the staff numbers had similarly been extended to three full-time teachers. The Department supplied much needed classroom equipment and playground facilities. These were added to by the continued support of many local charities and the Parents & Citizens Association. The planning section of Education Department envisaged a continued growth of the school population and embarked on a building programme to enlarge and update the classroom accommodation and to provide specialist teaching centres and a modern administrative wing. In 1980 the new accommodation was available for occupation. In the same year a change of school name was gazetted - Carenne Public School - the name, Carenne, being derived from the verb "to care". On March 20th, 1981 the new buildings were officially opened by the Hon. Mr. Paul Landa, the then Minister for Education. This was another auspicious occasion in the history of Special Education in the City of Bathurst. It was especially fitting as that was also International Year for Disabled Persons.

The organising committee was delighted to welcome many visitors to this official function - people who had been associated with the school from its inception as well as those who had only recently become part of the Carenne "community".

A Carenne emblem and logo was devised by the school principal, Mr. Ian McPherson, for the occasion of the opening - it epitomises the sentiment that Carenne School, the Community and the Home are caring together for the betterment of the pupils.


4: Ready for the future

In the years since the opening Carenne has grown from a one teacher with 8 student unit maintained by the community to a school, catering for the special need of 45 students. Facilities have improved from a stable to 8 modern classrooms, specialist rooms for the home economics and industrial arts, library, mini gymnasium, trampoline, bicycles and a school bus. All these facilities have been developed by co-operation from the following: Department of Education, Parents & Citizens Association, Challenge Foundation, Bathurst Community, the Bathurst and District Service Clubs and the parents and pupils of Carenne Schoo1.

Last Update: June 1, 1999
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