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History of Reynella Primary School(1903 - 1976)

This information was sourced from the book "76 Reynella".

The following "Comments" are from Mr Tom Dyster, Principal Reynella Primary 1942 until 1949.

This was the year in which the school building was remodelled, but so slowly. For most of the year ‑ all the winter months ‑ the work went on, and my assistant and I took pot luck, she teaching her mob in the building that is now Ron Bowden's factory (was then used as the local hall, and before the turn of the century was the local school), while I gave my lessons in the shelter shed, under the trees, and later in a windowless unfinished classroom. I might add here, that one morning, when I awoke, the rain poured down, and the wind blew, and altogether it was a terrible day. What did I do? I closed the school for the day without the Department's permission. We lived in the residence all this time, with no kitchen and no bathroom. This was the year in which the mason subcontractor, Mr. Charles Baulderstone, who had to increase the size of the smaller classroom by about 7 feet, decided that he would move the western wall in one piece. This was the building wonder of the year, as nobody agreed with him that it could be done, which only made the obstinate old fellow the more determined. After cutting through the stonework to isolate the wall to be moved from the side walls, he spent weeks and weeks preparing the tackle for moving it. This undoubtedly lengthened our days of inconvenience. To cut a long story short, the old fellow eventually moved the wall, without cracking it, finishing only a fraction of an inch from where he wanted It. The operation brought many visitors particularly from the building fraternity, and the Architect‑in‑Chief Department (now the P.B.D.). But perhaps what brought the most visitors was the aftermath of a terrific wind storm, during one winter weekend. This hurricane from the north‑west, blew right into the opened gable‑end of the school building, and right against the wall standing alone. It speaks well for the workmanship of the original school builders and carpenters, in that the roof remained firm, as did the wall. On the Monday morning, the Architect‑in‑Chief, Mr. Lindsay, and many of his underlings, as well as the contractor, and Mr. Baulderstone, were quickly on the spot, agreeably surprised to see the wall Intact and the roof still on, because, in the storm, the Glenelg Jetty had been swept away.

From the average attendances it can be seen that the school population remained steady for nearly 100 years and then very rapidly grew, reaching a summit in 1967 of 600 children. It very dramatically dropped to 200 in 1969, which was caused by the opening of the Reynella South Primary School, because most of the children came from the new housing area to the south‑west of the old town. The population grew again reaching a peak of 560 children in 1974, however with the opening of the Braeview Primary School, to the North East of the School, there was a decrease in numbers, but not as dramatic as was the case in 1969. Reynella Primary seems destined to continue this rise and fall movement, because recently the Housing Commission has sold land to the East of the School, and Reynella Heights has "filled" dramatically in the last year. The original Reynella School was situated just to the west of the present School which was built in 1902. The old building is still used as Bowden's furniture factory. Recently a magnificent six teacher open space unit was opened alongside two stone classrooms and the old school house. Near these two solid buildings are the inevitable "portable" wooden buildings, of which there are thirteen class rooms which bear witness to the rapid and unexpected growth of the School. Material sourced from the book "76 Reynella".

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