Interview with Ida Nelson

Morawa District High School Centenary

Celebrating the past, present and future.


Ida Nelson (Brinkmann)

I went through from primary to year 10.

I started about 1943 or 1944 – it was before the end of the war.

“I remember across the road from the school where the kindergarten is, there use to be air raid tranches and we use to and play in them.”

We had combined classes. We had lessons at the original hall which is the Post Office.  When the war was on the soldiers use to live in there too.

I had classes in the Lesser Hall too.

Classes were traditional ready, writing etc.

There were the two wooden buildings, and the brick buildings were for high school.  What’s the staff room now was a classroom.

We had two play huts, one for the boys and one for the girls – you could sit and eat your lunch in peace.

“We did sewing classes – which were great.  We did fancy work, and made petticoats, all by hand.”

When I first went to school I was so shy, there was no kindy or that, and  because living  out on the farm.

I hated singing.  I did enjoy school. Arithmetic was my favourite.

“We played hop scotch, knuckle bones and marbles at recess time and we all played together.”

We did scripture, either Catholic or Anglican, we would get divided up.  We sang God save the King in the morning.

I remember on Fridays the Catholics didn’t eat meat in their sandwiches.

We had awards presented in class, usually books

I went to school with Merlene Johnson, she was my friend.

We always had a windup at the end of the year – a school concert. My mum and dad would come in for that.  The ladies would do all the cooking making cakes etc.

As I got older, I had Mrs Sorenson (she use to own the Drapery when she got older).

“I liked her; I think I was the teacher’s pet back then.”

When I got into high school I had Stan White, he was related to the Whites that use to live her, and he lived here for a long time.  I liked him very much.  I had him all through high school.

“We did a certain amount of work through correspondence; we would do the work in class and then it got sent away to be marked.”

We were on the Koolanooka bus run, it use to go out the mine run past Muncktons right out to Cunninghams and back again.  We use to leave at 7 in the morning and home by 5ish in the  afternoon.

Colin Malcom went to school here.  Reg Curtain  from Perenjori went to school on the Koolanooka Bus.

“The bus would break down that often we would get to the school that late, Reg would be the first one out to climb up a tree. We’d get to school at lunch time.  Things were different then.  We use to have lots of fun.”

I have three sisters and one brother, and we all went to school here (in Morawa).  My brother went to East Bowgada School until it closed down.  They went to that school by horse and cart.  Ollie Garrity went to that school as well.  She went to school with my brother.

“We took lunch everyday from home, but there would be a tuck shop every now and again.  Sometimes we bought our lunch down the street, some kids did, fish and chips or pies.  The old Drapery shop (where Sue and Rob Hunter live there now) sold soup. There use to be a little eating place there.”

There was no uniform for school.  We played sports Friday afternoon.  We had gravel ovals. No lawn, we were battling to have water.

We didn’t know any different, we didn’t notice the heat or cold.

The houses were built cooler, high ceilings and verandahs.  And we slept outside.

I remember my dear old mother, in the winters, she’d have the fire going in the loungeroom, and she would even have a clothes warming in front of the fire, because we’d be up so early (and it would be cold). We’d catch the buses, but they would be that cold (or that hot).

My sister (Ester) is in the school photo down the main street.

Valda Gronow (Valda Herringman) from Perenjori went to school here.

We spent holidays at home and drove our mother mad.  We use to have to help on the farm. They worked hard at home, no deep freezers.

When Ken and I got married I moved into town.  Ken was in the Peace time Army.  He was the gardener at the school for over 30 years.

Our daughter (Coralie) went all the way through from kindergarten to year 12 here in Morawa.  There was a heap of kids going to school then in year 12.

The teachers taught everything; we had the same teacher all day.

“We did our homework on the bus and mum would have a afternoon tea waiting for us, soup, fresh bread, biscuits.  We were always hungry.”

A lot of our fruit would come up on the train, we couldn’t get everything in town, bags of potatoes, sugar. We had milk and cream on the farm, and our own meat.


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