Official Opening of the 150th Windsor State School Heritage Day Official Opening of the 150th Windsor State School Heritage Day
Elected representatives, staff, students, parents, family and friends of Windsor State School - a very good morning to you all on this very special Heritage Day - the culmination of a year of sesquicentenary celebrations.
As we gather to celebrate this Heritage Day it is important to recognise those whose heritage and connections with these lands stretch back thousands of years – the Jagera and Turrbal peoples - the traditional custodians of these lands, whose elders past and present I acknowledge.
Windsor State School has come a long way since sixteen students attended the first day of tuition on 17 July 1865, at, what was then called, The Bowen Bridge Road National School.
This school has always been in the forefront of education in Queensland. When the original school was replaced in 1915 – 16 by the impressive heritage listed building we see here today, it was one of the largest and most modern buildings in Queensland. A swimming pool was added ten years later and was lit for evening competitions the following year. It is wonderful to see this historic building included as part of this year’s Brisbane Open House program, as is “Fernberg”, built by Johann Heussler in 1865 and the residence of Queensland’s Governors since 1910. I have in fact “absented” myself from Fernberg for this time this morning where I will shortly return to greet our visitors there. I particularly wanted to recognise this Windsor school community on such an historic and important day in the life of North Brisbane particularly.
I have, as a proud Queenslander, noted these fine buildings with pride every time I have passed by over many years – very often en route to the Sunshine Coast. These are remarkable distinctive public buildings, and so wonderful that they should be school buildings.
Today the fine education tradition of Windsor State School continues with 520 students having access to state of the art learning resources and excellent sports facilities, including a pool that, these days, is heated.
I have a particular affinity with Queensland state schools. My parents were school-teachers and I grew up in several country Queensland towns as my parents moved from school to school.
As a result I have an insight into school life beyond the classrooms. I am sure, as I move around your school today, I will be reminded of my own school days in a number of Queensland country state schools – most of them not unlike Windsor State School.I will be reminded of happy days, of teachers who had a passion for education and of fellow students who enjoyed the ups and downs of school life with me.
I will be reminded that, in addition to being taught “reading, writing and arithmetic,” I learnt a variety of life skills including the values of loyalty, sportsmanship, integrity and friendship – skills which Windsor State School has been imparting to its students for one hundred and fifty years and which, I am sure, will continue to be instilled in its students for the next century and a half.
It gives me great pleasure to officially open this Heritage Day event with the ringing of this marvellous bell, which 150 years ago signalled the commencement of classes, and which today signals the opening of celebrations.