A tale of a teacher in the bush
IMAGINE getting your first teaching job at a new one-teacher school in the bush miles away from the nearest town and any colleagues, with letters your only form of communication.
Your schoolroom is a slab-walled, shingled hut which does not even have an outhouse and there is no playground because the cleared area is only just large enough for the building.
It must have been a daunting but exciting prospect for 27 year old Eliza McNeill when she arrived at Karangi in 1892 after travelling for days by coach and buggy from Maclean.
She was bringing school education to the area for the first time and her schoolroom had been built by the parents of her pupils, who had fought hard to have Karangi School established and were keen to support it and provide her with accommodation.
Today's teachers and students have facilities beyond Miss McNeill's wildest dreams, but what has not changed is the solid support local parents and citizens provide to the school.
On June 10 Karangi Public School will celebrate its quasquicentenary - 125 years of education.
Everyone involved with the school, past or present, is invited to join in a day of celebration.
The day will begin at 10am on June 10 and the school bell will be rung at 11am to signal the start of the formal proceedings, which will include invited guests, speeches and the cutting of a special anniversary cake.
There will be a roll call of the decades and recollections from the school's oldest living former pupil.
The day's events have been designed around the old Commonwealth Day picnic days and everyone is invited to bring a picnic lunch.
Tea and coffee will be provided and the environmentally aware can bring their own coffee cups.
As well as classroom displays by today's students and historical displays, there will be games and activities for both children and parents, again on the theme of the old Commonwealth Day program.
Broom throwing, anyone?