Parkdale Celebrating 100 Years 1924-2024

This year marks 100 years for Parkdale Primary. 


Parkdale Primary School opened its doors for the very first time on February 2nd, 1924. 


In each of our school newsletters at the start of this year we will be adding information about the happenings of a different decade.  Each time this information is published we will add it to this page.


The beginning and a snippet of PPS in the 1920’s

Parkdale State School opened on February 2, 1924.  Councillor C.G. Imes wrote to the Director at the time and asked when the school would be opening.  The Director replied that “Ulysses Browne would open the school on January 29, 1924”. The buildings weren’t quite ready by that date, and it was a few days later that students were on the actual site.  

The school in 1924 was a wooden building and pavilion. These areas were overcrowded so the school leased The Progress Hall which was in Parkers Road.

There was a staff shortage in 1925. Miss Mary Cantwell taught grades 1-4, with a total of 75 students and Mr. Dudfield taught grades 5-8 (numbers unknown).  There were two temporary teachers to assist.

In 1926 with the school situated on five acres, there was a lot of room for more buildings.  By this stage the school had another shelter pavilion. On the 3rd and 4th May the school closed for fumigation against Diphtheria.

In 1927, four years later, it was decided to replace the wooden structures with a brick building. This was officially opened on October 6th.  During this year, horses got into the grounds and destroyed most of the trees and garden plots.

A caretaker was appointed in 1928.  Mrs. Ruth White lived in the cottage next to the school.


1930’s and 1940’s

Back in the old days inspectors made visits to schools. The inspector would sit with the principal and would talk about which teachers wanted assessment or had requested assessment. Talk to the children, talk to the teacher, assess the level of standing of the children in a particular subject. 

In 1930, the Inspector’s Report for PPS stated, “A spirit of harmony and zealous interest pervades the school”.   The first school Concert was held, and a concrete cricket pitch and a rounders Square were added to the playground.

In 1932, Parkdale State School got its own address.  It was known as Postal District #12 

A new classroom was installed in 1937 and the Mothers’ Club meetings were stopped due to Polio.

In 1943 a Pet Day was held as a War Effort fundraiser.  The Mothers’ Club also held a Christmas Fancy Dress Ball and in 1944 The children performed in a Pantomime.

In 1945 the war was over and social functions were aplenty.  The children had a picnic at Mordialloc, a Bazaar was held in the recreation hall and a Dance was held at the Mechanics Hall in Mordialloc.  Another shelter pavilion was built.  A committee was formed to push for a ‘subway’ to be built under Pt. Nepean Road as the children’s safety was a great concern, as there were no traffic lights or school crossing people.


1950’s and 1960’s

In 1950 two new classrooms and a storeroom were added as enrolments continued to grow.

In 1951 the Subway Committee re-evaluate the traffic situation on Pt. Nepean Road and decided that traffic lights might be a better option.

Two new prefabricated classrooms arrived in 1952, but the school was still overcrowded

In 1954 because of the large number of enrolments (675) this year, it was decided that children could only start school once they had turned six years old.

Another two new classrooms and a passage were added to the school in 1955.

In 1957 he first school Concert was held at Mentone City Hall.

In 1958 there were eighteen classes and only sixteen rooms, so the school leased the Church in Chandler Street for the other classes.  There were 19 permanent staff and 3 physical education teachers and a music teacher. 

In 1959 the Head Teacher requested more classrooms, he wrote “all grades are nearing full capacity.  There is one composite grade with forty-three students and other grades range from forty-seven to fifty-two children”. 

In 1962, the school was officially appointed as a training school for teachers. 

A new Library opened in 1963.  It was situated in what is now the Prep area.

In 1964 there were sixteen classrooms at Parkdale State School, with another two in the planning.  A new Staffroom was under construction.  A major celebration occurred this year, as the Mother’s Club turned 40.

The Inspector’s report in 1966 stated “He found the parents show extreme interest and work tirelessly for the children”.

In 1967 class sizes were down to thirty-one to thirty-nine.  As a Christmas treat for the students, the Mother’s Club held a picnic at Mornington and the children went on the steam train. 



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