Friday, 22 October 2010

Pakenham High School

If you went to Pakenham High School in the early days, then this book should interest you. It is written and produced by a past student, Roger Harvey, who has his own website
The book, Packy High: the good, the bad and the ugly (1969 to 1974) is a fantastic record of the time. It is produced in scrap book style, A3 size, from contemporary photographs, articles from the local paper and Roger's illustrations and writing. Roger is now a professional cartoonist and illustrator and lives in New South Wales.

Secondary Schooling in Pakenham had been provided at the Consolidated School from when it opened in 1951; the 'forms' went up to fourth form, or Year 10. The High School was established in 1967, still using the Consolidated School buildings and it started at its existing location in 1970. Pakenham students had also attended Koo-Wee-Rup High School, which was established in 1957, though Form One to Form Four education was available from 1953 when it was the Koo-Wee-Rup Higher Elementary School.

Pakenham's first Principal was Alex McCulloch, then from 1969 it was Lindsay Thomson. When he was was appointed in the February of 1969 there were 426 students enrolled, a huge jump from the 290 enrollments of 1968. By February of 1971 this had increased again to 733. At this time, the Pakenham catchment area went all the way from Berwick to around Nar Nar Goon. Berwick did not get its own High School until 1977. According to the book, Mr Thomson is now 86 and lives in Berwick.

A few pages from the book, you can see the eclectic style of the book (click on images to enlarge them)

Roger writes that this book covers the rites of passage as some 140 of us kicked off in 1969, until about 50 wrapped it up in 74's H.S.C Group. This was about the same ratio, i.e one third, who would have gone through to the Higher School Certificate at Koo-Wee-Rup High School when I was there from 1971 to 1976. After Form Three or Year Nine, when most students were about 15, and a large proportion left to take up apprenticeships or office jobs, many more left after Form 5 to work in Banks or for , the girls to take up Nursing.

I wonder where all these students are now? Once again, click on the images to enlarge them.

This book really is an amazing work and an amusing tribute to the School, the teachers and the students. If you have any connection with Pakenham in the days when it was a country town or went to any Government High School during the time of this book, then this is a book worth looking at.


Unknown said...

Thanks for posting this Heather - what a great page for local history. As one librarian (and an ex Pakky High student) to another well done!

Unknown said...

Good work!

Anonymous said...

I have to say that the book is a good one. I read it in 2013 for a history report I was asked to do about that school and the book had spot on records and very detailed information. it helped me a lot to read it