This is an account of a reunion, held November 28 1964, of pupils who attended Yannathan State School. It is an interesting list of names and surprisingly for the time includes the women's maiden names and married names and, as it also has a few snippets of Yannathan history, it is a valuable source of family and local history. We don't have very much about Yannathan on this blog, so I have transcribed the article for you.
Koo-Wee-Rup Sun, December 2, 1964.
Big crowd enjoy reunion at Yannathan
Every pioneer family who selected land in the Yannathan area was represented by one or more of their children at a get-together of ex-pupils at the at the Yannathan State School last Saturday afternoon.
The re-union was held for pupils who had attended the school in the 1900 to 1914 period. Over 150 former pupils and friends attended the occasion coming from many areas as far away as N.S.W.
The oldest scholar was Mr Joe Smethurst of Melbourne who is 84 and attended the school 77 years ago.
Original school buildings
The school building was built 88 years ago in 1876 and except for a few new windows the present school is the original building. It was originally built near the site of the present Yannathan store and moved to its present site about 1890.
Beautifully cut, trim lawns and gardens provided a delightful setting for the occasion. The school and grounds had been prepared by the head teacher, Mr Palmer, assisted by Peter Aldrick.
After the picnic lunch, old pupils who had not seen each other for years swapped yarns and recalled incidences from their old school days at Yannathan. So busy were the old friends chatting together that there was hardly time for any formal speeches, however a former pupil, Mr Norman Ridgway of Yea, moved a vote of thanks to the organisers on behalf of all the visitors. This was seconded by Mr Harry Smethurst of Athlone.
Old timers recalled how pupils came many miles to attend the Yannathan School, some walking from Bayles and Yallock, while others rode ponies from Monomeith and Caldermeade. In its hey day there were 62 pupils on the roll at the school and many at the re-union expressed amazement at how they ever fitted into the tiny school.
Her father opened the first Yannathan store
One of the ex-pupils at the afternoon was Mrs Liddle of East Malvern, formerly Vida Nelson, whose father, the late William Nelson, opened the first general store in Yannathan in the 1870s, on the site where the present store stands today.
The fist mail run
Another visitor, Mr Norman Ridgway of Yea is the brother of Walter Ridgway who delivered the first mail run in the Yannathan district. Travelling by horse and jinker the mail came from Monomeith to the Yannathan Post Office and onto Heath Hill.
Another old timer at the re-union was Mrs Willis of Oakleigh, formerly Annie Smethurst, aged 79. The youngest pupil at the afternoon was Mrs Howlett of Glenroy, formerly Crissie McKay The oldest mother at the gathering was 86 year old Mrs Mark Ridgway of Frankston who was presented with a gift by Mr Norman Ridgway. To conclude the re-union afternoon tea was provided by the Yannathan Mothers Club, followed by the singing of Old Lang Syne.
Amongst old scholars present were: Elsie Anderson (Mrs Stewart, Sandringham); Annie Orchard (Mrs Bateson, Archies Creek); George Beer (Blackburn); Ted Cozens (Monomeith); Millie Casey (Mrs Chandler, Dandenong); Bert Coates (Mathoura, N.S.W); Eardley Coates (Koo-Wee-Rup); Jessie Coates (Mrs Wadsley, Koo-Wee-Rup); Ruth Carson (Mrs Clarke, Templestowe); Dorothy Carson (Mrs Adeney, Sandingham); Les Edey (Yarram); Claude Einsiedel (Koo-Wee-Rup); Vic Lineham (Deniliquin); Ruby Lineham (Yannathan); Elsie McCraw (Mrs Greaves, Croydon); Gladys McCraw (Mrs Greaves, Kyabram); Ethel McKay (Mrs Wilson, Box Hill); Maggie McKay (Mrs Bowman, Glen Alvie); Myrtle McKay (Mrs Grayson, Ashburton); Pearl McKay (Mrs Trewin, Archies Creek); Chrissie McKay (Mrs Howlett, Glenroy); Claude McKay (Glen Alvie); Edie Matthews (Mrs E. Dwyer, Koo-Wee-Rup); Frank McCraw (Yannathan); Dorothy McLeod (Mrs Head, Yannathan); Harry Hawkins (Warragul); Jessie Hawkins (Mrs Collins, Warragul); Marjorie Hawkins (Mrs Rhodes, Warragul); Maud Leeson (Mrs Crispin, Kew); Alf Leeson (Lang Lang); Ted Leeson (Longwarry); John Orchard (Inverloch); Rich Orchard (Almurta); Dave Orchard (Glen Alvie); Mavis Patullo (Mrs M.McCraw, Yannathan); Silvia Patullo (Mrs Greaves, Bairnsdale); Norman Ridgway (Yea); Vera Ridgway (Frankston); Tom Hatty (Yannathan); Ruby Stephens (Mrs Thompson, Bayles); Vida Nelson (Mrs Liddle, East Malvern); Joe Smethurst (Melbourne); Annie Smethurst (Mrs Willis, Oakleigh); Herb Smethurst (Blackburn); Harry Smethurst (Athlone); Myrtle Smethurst (Caulfield); Clarrie Smethurst (Mlebourne); Nita Smethurst (Mrs Gardiner, Mooroolbark); Jessie Wright (Mrs Luke, Mornington); Nellie Wright (Mrs McFadgen, Moorabbin); Alice Wright (Mrs Pither, McKinnon); George Wright (Shepparton East); Arthur Wright (Shepparton East): Dick Wakenshaw (Cora Lynn).