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‘From Bullock Drawn Days to the School of Today’

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October 26, 2017

Volunteer Robyn Allan works on one of the period costumes to feature in the production celebrating the ‘Red School’.

Past students, families and friends are invited to an evening of nostalgia and great entertainment on November 30 marking 140 years of the Yarrawonga Primary School campus – affectionately remembered as the ‘Red School’.

Work continues on the Yarrawonga College P-12 development which will see students move from the Piper Street campus to new facilities in Gilmore Street next year.
To mark the end of an education era, Yarrawonga College P-12 has launched plans for a theatrical production titled ‘From Bullock Drawn Days to the School of Today’ to be held on November 30 at the Yarrawonga Yacht Club, starting at 6pm.
The tribute to the ‘Red School’ will involve students in all grades from prep to 6 as well as some senior students, staff members and community members.
Set against the background of beautiful Lake Mulwala, the production will present a series of chapters, each seamlessly flowing into the next, telling the story of the ‘Red School’ and its contribution not only to local education but to the growth of Yarrawonga-Mulwala.
The two-and-a-half hour production will begin with a traditional landowner’s performance, followed by a chapter on the opening of the school in 1877 featuring students wearing beautifully hand-made costuming from the era and a moving dance performance to ‘When I Grow Up’.
Next is a chapter covering World War I, detailing the impact the conflict had on Yarrawonga and the school.
This will feature a dramatization of soldiers heading to war, children raising money for the war effort and will honour 16 local men who lost their lives in World War I whose names appear on a plaque at the primary school campus.
The audience will then be taken on a trip back to the 1970s with a look back at achievements from past students and a special tribute to the musical-teaching duo of Frank and Jenny Keenan who were instrumental in bringing music to the ‘Red School’ over many years.
Finally, the production reaches the present day, heralding new beginnings with the move to a new campus.
A story written by former teacher Joy Humphries will be read and acted out by students in costume and letters and reflections from past and present teachers and students will be shared.
‘From Bullock Drawn Days to the School of Today’ will be narrated by Helen Copland from the Yarrawonga Mulwala Visitor Information Centre.
Community Workshop projects will be displayed at the centre from November 21 to December 11 and volunteers will dress in 1800s costumes in the lead up to the November 30 production.
With plans for the production well underway, Yarrawonga College P-12 is asking the community to spread news of the event far and wide, to former students and families who may be living further afield, to ensure everyone can return to celebrate the ‘Red School’.

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