Official visit to Longreach State School
Mayor Warren; Longreach State School Principal, Mrs Vicki Rayner; students, staff and supporters. Good morning.
Thank you for such a warm welcome to your historic regional school, and thank you also for displaying the Governor’s Standard so proudly on stage today.
It seems such a very short time ago that I was last here with you, and I am very pleased to have been asked back.
Since I was here in 2016 you have all enjoyed many milestones – you have had birthdays and holidays, and many of you have been to the Longreach Show, an annual community celebration with its rides, games, food and, of course, a Ferris Wheel.
Something you may not have known as you gazed up at that towering ride – the Ferris Wheel and your school have one big thing in common – they were both launched in the same year.
In May 1893 the World's Fair was held in Chicago, and one of the attractions was the very first Ferris Wheel, named after the gentleman who designed and created it, Mr George Washington Gale Ferris.
In the same month, on the other side of the world, your school opened for the very first time.
So while young people in America were taking their first ever ride on a Ferris Wheel, 102 girls and boys in Longreach were sitting down to learn in their very own school for the first time.
Today we are missing the Year 5 students, who are returning from Emerald, full of wonderful memories of school camp.
They may not know it, but they also have a connection to events that happened at the same time your school was founded.
Their camp was centred on leadership, and in a few weeks voting will be held to determine school leadership positions for next year.
Well, back in 1893, New Zealand was the first country in the world to allow women to vote.
So 1893 was a very historic year indeed.
I am pleased to have shared in some small part of 125 years as a school.
I was myself a student here for a few years when I was a boy, and I have had the pleasure of returning to Longreach both as Chief Justice of Queensland and as Governor of Queensland.
Today my visit coincides with Grandparents’ Day, and – as a proud grandfather myself – I know that your grandparents are very happy to be with you here.
As we look at you we see the future of the school at the same time as we celebrate its past.
I thank you once again for your warm welcome, and I look forward to meeting many of you as we tour the school.
I am also proud to plant a tree at the school today, in celebration of this magnificent milestone.
May it grow, mature and thrive at Longreach State School, just as so many girls and boys have before it.