The school register for Shelford State School No. 379 features in the latest group of updates to the Geelong & District database.
From Vision and Realisation, published by the Education Department of Victoria in 1973:
Probably a Presbyterian School operated at Shelford before the 1850s. Certainly a Denominational School was established from 1st of July 1853 on the present site, in a wooden building that survived more than thirty years. Shelford then was called Leigh. The HT in 1853, Patrick Collins, stayed until the end of 1854. The longest serving HT, George Hunt, stayed from 1861 until 1885. In his time, the present bluestone building was erected in 1866. When the school was taken over by the Department, Hunt remained in charge. The Church sold the site (originally given by Russell and Bell) to the Department at the end of 1873. Hunt’s successor, John H Betheras had a notable career in the Department retiring as Assistant Chief Inspector of Schools in the 1920s. Betheras had charge until 1891. He was the last teacher to use the original wooden building which was demolished in 1887, after serving as an infants room. Although the township was by this time known as Shelford the school’s name was not changed to Shelford until 1908, when Thomas Spowart was HT. The close association of the school with the Presbyterian Church is indicated by the names of the Committee Chairman after 1911: the first Chairman was the Rev. J Higginbotham who served twice, to 1918; then the Rev D Jones to 1921; and the Rev R Parry three terms to 1942. After the second World War closer settlement caused such a rise in population as to warrant a second classroom. This was built in 1966; but population fell from 47 pupils to an enrolment in the 20s. This gave rise to concern for the future of the bluestone building which, because of its obvious beginnings as a church structure, is of no little interest, and steps are being taken to preserve it. John Coffey took charge in 1967.
We now have 1,514,097 records in the Geelong and District database. This is what’s been added since the last major update on 24 February 2014:
- Geelong District: Nurses from the Victoria Government Gazette 1940-1950 – 1,272 entries
- Geelong District: Surnames of Interest – 14 entries
- Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum: Annual Report 1885 & 1915 – 4,693 entries
- Geelong: Index to Deaths Books for Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum 1852-1925 – 5,996 entries
- Shelford: School register for State School No. 379: 1901-1954 – 275 entries
And don’t forget to search again for your ancestors in the Geelong & District Database – they could have been in the last load of additions!