The rapid population explosion in Carlton in the early 1870's necessitated the opening of schools. In 1872 the 'Free, Secular and Compulsory' Education Act had resulted in the closure of many small denominational schools, there then commenced a frantic search for new sites and the steady acquisition of suitable buildings already in existence.
On the 3rd June 1873 the Rev. C. S. Perry suggested that the Carlton Lunatic Asylum should be secured for State School purposes. This proposal met with approval and on the 16th June 1873 the last of the asylum inmates were transferred to Kew and the Carlton site was officially made available to the Education Department as of the 17th June. As with the two previous establishments on the site, the school was to have been a temporary measure until a North Fitzroy school was completed; a temporary measure which has lasted over a century.
As the school was to occupy existing buildings, very little was executed in the way of repairs. Forty wooden forms, which had once provided seating for the insane, were acquired, and these together with three desks 12 feet long and nine desks 10 feet long constituted the school furniture. For the sum of thirty pounds, a 5 foot paling fence with padlocked gate was erected to section off the girls' yard.44
The large, central building, formerly the dayrooms and dormitories were fumigated with sulphur, as was the former Superintendent's residence. A police constable was appointed to live in one of the asylum cottages, to guard the premises from theft, a preventative not entirely successful as a number of thefts occurred in the following months. On one occasion a piece of lead 15'x 14" was stolen from the school verandah.
The school occupied the large central building and the Asylum office, surgery, hospital and dormitories at the southern end, bordering what is now Lee Street. The area covered remains basically the same as that covered by the present school.
The school was officially opened on the 28th July, 1873 by the Headmaster Mr. Henry Jones with his wife as 1st Assistant. Enrolment on the first day was 276 pupils, however in a mere eighteen days the total had almost doubled to 409.
On taking up his new post, Mr. Jones wrote,45 "Permit me to express the gratification which I feel in having my capacity as a teacher so highly estimated by the Minister for Instruction as to be put in charge of a school adapted to become under proper management, one of the largest in the Metropolis". The far-seeing Mr. Jones was to be proven correct.
For the first time in nineteen years, the gate was open. No turning of keys to regulate the days, only the routine clanging of the school bell. Here was a school with a difference. Children now entered through walls they had once been forbidden to approach. The mysteries the walls enclosed must have far out-weighed the thought of compulsory schooling to the new students. Cells to explore, walls to climb, dark, empty corridors to hide in, a disused quarry, rats to trap, a vegetable garden in which to poach. If lessons proved boring, there was always something in the environment to arouse interest.
No enviable task was Mr. Jones'. In wet weather roads were impassable, on one such occasion 3/4 of the school were absent. The old bluestone walls were a hazard, a child being seriously injured by falling stones in Canning Street. By December 1873 seating accommodation had risen to 300, but the attendance was, by then, almost double that number.
Nor did his problems end there, the initial sulphur fumigation of the rooms, had been unsuccessful. Mr. Jones repeatedly made urgent requests to the Department, that the buildings were, 'swarming with bug' and 'needed careful stopping of the joints and seams in the places where the vermin are most noticeable', and that 'in heavy rain the water poured through the roof,. He stated that 'wherever a board was taken up the under surface was damp and mouldy'46 It was not until 1875, however, that plans for a new school on the site were approved, and a further 3 years before the plans were implemented.
In 1875 Mr. Jones was succeeded by Mr. James Lewis. The latter was a small, lame man but what he lacked in stature he made up for in his persistent tenacity in the care of 1252 Carlton Stockade School.
As with most headmasters of his time, the cane was the chief disciplinary method. No bending over a desk for Carlton Stockade boys as the punishment was dealt out at the bell-tower ladder heads through the rungs and discipline metered out to the hind quarters.
During Mr. Lewis' appointment, the school was reported as 'general conduct good, discipline and order excellent'.47
For five years, from 1875-1880 he wrote a stream of correspondence regarding the state of his residence. "I could not take possession because the repairs to the kitchen roof etc., were not completed and for four days, from the 17th-21st we were obliged to have our cooking done in the bedroom" . . . "In "one room in particular the floor is one sheet of water, this is not only
inconvenient but the steam from it is positively injurious to our health, and the smell after the house is closed at night, is disgusting." His letters culminated in the despairing cry,48 "the residence walls are in danger of collapse". Repairs were then carried out to the double-fronted, bluestone house, although it was not actually demolished until 1913. The infant School was partly housed in a gallery in the large building and in a small, stone room at the eastern end of the site. The latter building could have been the former constable's house in the old stockade or it may have been a storeroom. It was 25' x 16' and 10' in height and persisted as a classroom until approximately 1914.
Foundations for the new school were obtained from materials available on the site and in 1877 a Mr. Pigdon undertook to complete State School 1252 for £5999.13.4. The present school in Lee Street, was officially opened by the Minister for Education, at noon on the 28th June, 1878. The School covers the site of the Stockade entrance hall, two dormitories, office, surgery and hospital. The present grounds of the school encompass almost all of the area of the stockade buildings including cells, dormitories, closets and attendants' quarters.
Houses now bordering O'Grady Street from R.O.W. to Canning Street and back to Newry Street are built over the asylum laundry and a large unspecified, rectangular building from the convict era. The large asylum vegetable garden is also covered by houses, occupying a rectangle from the R.O.W. at the western end of the school to Rathdowne Street and from Lee Street almost to Newry Street. The grounds attached to the asylum were covered by the area between Lee, Canning, Princes (formerly Reilly Street) and Rathdowne Streets. At no time in its history is there any mention of a graveyard. The dead could have been interred in the Melbourne General Cemetery, but they could as easily have been buried in the grounds in unmarked graves. Perhaps time will solve the mystery.
In October 1878 Mr. Lewis opened a night school for males and in the following months building materials on the site were gradually sold.50 On the 4th January, 1879, the Carlton Stockade School was offcially authorised to be re-named Lee Street State School No. 1252.
In 1881 the old bluestone wall which was then in disrepair was finally demolished. The lane which runs from O'Grady Street to Newry Street was constructed in 1886.
Mr. William Field succeeded James Lewis as headmaster and continued in this capacity until 1907. He was greatly respected and is remembered with affection by many past pupils.
A number of teachers in this era made a lasting impression: Monkey Mitchell, so-named because of his facial whisker growth, 'Son' Morrison. Rod McGregor (who played for Carlton in the premierships of 1906, 1907.,1908!)
Miss McCallum, who married John Worrall (Test Cricketer and coach of Carlton Football Club Premiership victories of 1906, 1907., 1908)
Unlike other more opulent schools, Lee Street was now greatly cramped for playing area, football and cricket being banned in the school grounds. The children invented a game of handball, based on football rules, using a tennis ball hit with a closed fist. "Cat" was another popular, but dangerous game, in which a small piece of broom handle, sharpened at both ends, was struck by a longer piece of broomstick and then travelled in uncertain directions.
At the turn of the century there were a large number of Jewish pupils. Twice weekly these students were dismissed early and attended Hebrew lessons at the Model School (now the site of the College of Surgeons) at the city end of Nicholson Street.
On Arbor Days the Lee Street pupils were marched to the Exhibition Gardens where they planted trees.
At this time, what is now the San Remo Ballroom in Nicholson Street, was the site of the Jubilee Cycling and Roller Skating Rink, where to the strains of an orchestra, skaters could 'gracefully' glide across the floor. This building, with alterations and renovations, later became the Adelphi Picture Theatre where, at first, silent movies were shown. On Sunday nights film entertainment was also provided with no set admission price as it was against the Law, but for a donation of a small silver coin, entry could be gained. Many a small silver button or metal washer found its way into the admission box.
In 1907, Mr. Fields was succeeded by Mr. James F. Gibson. Rooms at this time were described as 'dark, dull and gloomy'. This was partly due to the fact that there were no central corridor through the school and that windows on the inner side, housing the galleries, were very small and placed high in the walls. Children entered by the entrance hall in Lee Street and had to walk through successive classrooms to reach their own. Green baize curtains were used to divide the larger rooms separating one class from another. Additional ornamentation was provided by the students . . . numerous nibbed pens studded the ceilings. The galleries, tiered platforms, mainly used for the Infants, were situated at the eastern and western ends of the school building. Children were summonsed into school by a bell situated in a tower over the main entrance in Lee Street. Years later, during alterations, the bell fell from its tower and disintegrated, the tower itself was removed in 1937. Assemblies during this era were accompanied by a bugle band and drums, outside the brown and cream brick walls of the building.
Students recall teacher, Mr. 'Bobtail' Sweetnam, so-named because of his habit of wearing a tailed Beauford coat with an easily accessible rear pocket to hold his strap.
Rathdowne Street at this time, was a thriving shopping centre with cable trams running from Park Street to St. Kilda. Many a past pupil remembers the aniseed balls and silver sticks purchased from Mrs. Bulley's and Mrs. Montgomery's sweet shops, and the variety of toys available at Holst's corner store. During this pre-World War I period several vantage spots, that could be adapted in various suburbs, were used in summer months for outdoor silent movies. One such site was one the corner of Newry and Rathdowne Streets, where the present Council depot and Library are situated. The open area was surrounded by advertising hoardings and a screen was painted on the side wall of the two-storey terrace house next to Strover's chemist shop.
In 1911, when compulsory military training was introduced, the school grounds were acquired for drill purposes. Junior cadets 12-14 years, Senior cadets 14-18 and Citizen Forces 18-26. The junior cadets received drill and physical training at school whilst the senior cadets and citizen forces eventually established their headquarters at Princes Hill . . . then known locally as the 'Prairie'. However, until this base was made available, the cadets held night parades under electric arc lights in the grounds of Lee Street. With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, many of these senior cadets and citizen forces joined the A.I.F. and served their country with distinction. Mr. Ralph Taylor and Mr. Robert Craig were headmasters during this period.
At this time, Grades VII and VIII were retained for girls only, the boys being sent to Alfred Crescent North Fitzroy or Princes Hill.
In 1913, the bluestone caretaker's house bordering Canning Street and formerly the residence of the penal Superintendent, was demolished. Whilst clearing away the rubble, workmen found several underground cells which could have been used for the detention of particularly unruly prisoners but more likely, for convict servants. The present school Infant Department is built over this site. This Infant Department was to become one of the prize training grounds for students teachers from Melbourne Teachers' College. With its larger rooms and spacious hall Lee Street took on a new dimension.
The 1920's saw the birth in the inner suburbs of the local 'mobs' or 'pushes'. In Carlton, these groups of boisterous local lads, aged in their teens to mid-twenties, could often be seen loitering on street corners and in the reserves. They actually interfered very little with the local residents but would often invade each others 'territories' and fights with bicycle chains and other weaponry, would ensue. Names of local hotels were adapted by the mobs, eg. 'The Woolpack' and the 'Brandon'. Other pushes prevalent in the area at the time were the 'Rileys' and the 'Wanderers'. Ringleaders of the latter, took to hanging around the school premises, but teacher, Camberwell cricketer and returned soldier of the First World War, Mr. Frank Hurry proved to more than a match for them and on more than one occasion put them to flight.
There was a definite toughness in some of the pupils of this time, but under the guidance of Mr. William Empey (headmaster 1917- 1931 -) this fighting spirit was channelled into productive school energy. Many friendships forged during this period have lasted to the present day and the majority of pupils remember the school with great affection. William Empey has been described as a 'wonderful, understanding man' whose interest in his pupils
I continued long after they had left the school. His son Ralph later taught in the upper school along with Fitzroy footballer, Mr. Charles McKinley. Students also recall Miss Cleary, a very good teacher, who was only a short lady, but her lack of size did not prevent her from having a particularly powerful right arm action, the 'lovely' Miss Chisholm who took the children out on excursions and Mr. Long a 'gentlemanly' teacher.
During this time, the students were given sections of the garden to tend, a practice which continued for many years, and they derived much pleasure from this.
Sloyd classes for the boys were conducted at Princes Hill as were the cooking classes for the girls, under Canadian teacher, Miss Durbar. The latter classes obviously provided a great deal of fun and the final products were sampled by brave members of the staff. Sewing classes during this time were held firstly at Faraday Street and later at Rathdowney Street.
Ex-pupil Zara Bort recalls how warm and friendly classmates were to her as one of the first Jewish immigrant children in the school in 1926-27. Zara's main difficulty was learning the language, in particular, the sound 'th'. After intensive coaching by a classmate, Zara and her sister came to the despairing conclusion that the only reason the other girl could pronounce it, was that she had buck teeth.
The Depression years hit Lee Street badly, the sight of shoddily dressed children an all too familiar occurrence. Teachers recall the number of children who had to come to school in winter, bare-footed; many a sixpence that was given by the staff, to the parents and pupils to help make soup for the families. Free milk was provided by the Education Department to supplement the diet of the poorer children, whose fathers were on 'sustenance' . . . unemployment relief (about 14/- a week). Milk supplies to schools these days are taken for granted, but staff of the time recall what a noticeable difference there was to the children after only a few, short weeks. Even several years after the Depression there was still a lot of unemployment in the district and the milk, which was dispensed by the volunteer Mothers' Club, was firstly warmed in an urn in the staff room and then distributed in the shelter sheds. This made it much more pleasant for the 'poor, frozen, little children&emdash;who used, literally, look blue with cold on bad days'. In many cases strong family pride and smiling faces masked the poverty and dire needs behind. One ex-pupil remembers how her mother had to hand-sew her shoes for her visit to the school dentist. Her last impression before being overcome by the gas was, 'laughing and laughing and the sight of my hand-sewn shoes.' Mrs. Sylvia Lee Dow, a teacher in the Infant School, who is remembered with great warmth and affection, recalls that these were 'hard times' but 'sweet children'.
It would seem that at its lowest ebb Lee Street reached some of its greatest heights.
These years produced a great sense of unity, respect and comradeship amongst pupils, which has outlasted the years. Tough some of them were, but there was a good-natured, warm-hearted roughness about many of them. As one ex-pupil remarked, 'They were always willing to knock you down, but they were often the first ones to pick you up'. They knew how to take care of themselves and those who did not, soon had to learn. What often promised to build into a major confrontation often ended in a lasting friendship.
During this period, the Infant Department, under Miss Mary mince, was considered to be the best in the State. It provided a top training ground for student teachers and experimental group work in its classrooms. Many high achievers in school records come from this era. Miss McNiece has been described as a 'gracious, lady of 'Macchiavellian diplomacy', who always made sure there were cream cakes for the Inspector, in the hope of speedy acquisitions for her department. The sentence method of reading was introduced in this period, with great success.
Discipline in the school was excellent, Mr. McKenzie being headmaster at the time, later followed by Mr. Cecil. A former student teacher recalls, ' I saw some of the most advanced teaching methods being expertly carried out'. The work of Miss Joyce Birrell stands out at this time, with her Grades III and IV making 'remarkable' villages and models for their Social Studies course, the children working in group assignments. 'I have never seen better work or watched more interesting lessons conducted by the pupils themselves', recalls a former student teacher. Mr. Kennedy was an 'outstanding' asset to the Senior School with his work in Grade VII and VIII. Miss Moroney was at the school for many years and is remembered with great respect by her former pupils. Many an old Lee Streeter remembers Mr. Crocker, who spent a long period at the school. A 'good, fair man' whose unfortunate task on occasions was to deal out the 'cuts'. With the best of good humour, an ex-pupil of his, whilst serving in New Guinea during World War II, sent a coconut and a note to his nephew, then a pupil at the school. "Here's a coconut to bounce off Crocker's baldy head."
Possibly due to years of poverty through which some of the families had suffered, there was a percentage of retardation in the school. An Opportunity Grade, conducted by Miss Butler, was held in the Upper School where children were organised into groups according to their mental ability. This practice was innovative for those days.
In 1937 the Senior School was renovated; the old brown and cream hand-made bricks, which by then were crumbling and weather-worn, were cement-rendered. Alterations were carried out to the interior of the buildings, when the long passage was constructed, doing away with the parallel lines of connecting classrooms.
Holidays to any pupil are a welcome relief, but there was always a mild sense of resentment when the strong core of Jewish pupils had a holiday. One Jewish pupil remembers with fun how this rebounded on her. Because her mother was unable to write English, this necessitated the girl to write her own note. Not looking particularly Jewish, she found herself hauled out in front of the class and made an example of as a iron-Jewish girl' faking advantage of a Jewish holiday. Many of these Jewish pupils have wonderfully happy memories of the school and the friendly assimilation within the classroom and in the playground. Some however, felt alienated and unfortunately fell the victim of anti-semitism. As one ex-pupil recalls, 'I had to fight every day of the week, except on Fridays, when the whole school fought St. Brigid's. Another ex-pupil added, 'Oh no, we NEVER fought them (St. Brigid's) . . . we just threw rocks!' This latter traditional school rivalry continued up to the 1950's, with many a pitched battle in Lee and Canning Streets.
In the polio epidemic of the late 1930's, the attendance dropped from 980 to 796.
With the advent of political and economic unrest in the world of the late 1930's and the subsequent explosion of Nazi Germany across Europe, there was a substantial migration of Jewish families and refugees to Melbourne. One typical Polish-Jewish family at the school, who had fled Poland on the last boat before the German invasion, virtually had the clothes they stood up in and one prized possession . . . a sewing machine . . . which was to help provide a livelihood and clothe many a young, Carlton, Jewish bride.
By the 1940's the school had a high proportion of Jewish pupils. Carlton itself had acquired a European Jewish flavour in its bakeries, shops, factories and social life. A people fighting for survival . . . they had found the opportunity for a new beginning, a sense of belonging and an ethnic security. Children of all faiths and backgrounds mixed freely and happily at school whilst at home the Jewish pupils strictly observed their orthodox traditions. Hebrew was taught at the Peretz School at Kadimah in Lygon Street.
During the war years all pupils at the school had knapsacks, cut from a school pattern, containing essentials in case of evacuation. An elementary drill was carried out with the children to prepare them for air raids.
Due to the lack of heavy traffic and serious crime within the area, Carlton streets were filled with playing children. Indispensible telegraph poles became cricket wickets, newspaper footballs soared into front gardens and the streets were chalk-scored with multi-coloured hopscotch.
After the Battle of Guadalcanal, the American Army acquired a military base at Royal Park (later Camp Pell . . . temporary housing used for the destitute through unemployment). American soldiers and their army bands had regular route marches through the streets of Carlton. Search lights from Royal Park swept the night skies, air raid sirens sounded unexpectantly and local windows were covered with screens or dark paper for compulsory blackouts. Curtain Square Gardens had deep trenches dug in preparation against possible air raids by the Japanese.
School however, had its lighter moments..
. . . the social event of the year, the School Ball at the Melbourne Town Hall. In some cases families found difficulties in providing suitable clothing because of war-time rationing. 'Madame' Binley, an unforgettable personality, made her weekly visits to the school hall to instruct on 'dancing' techniques to the enthusiastic and unenthusiastic alike, with her rousing cry of, 'Now then chickics'
Presentation Day (Break-up day) was held for many years at the Adelphi Picture Theatre in Nicholson Street. The owner, Mr. G. F. Carden, a Melbourne City Councillor, provided a film show for the children. There was also the annual event of the visit to Melbourne Teachers' College for their puppet show, trips to the museum and zoo.
At this time the school still retained the VII and VIII Grades of mixed classes, although many pupils preferred to go on to Princes Hill. In the 1950's the practice of these classes ceased and students were obliged to attend Forms I and II at Central or Secondary Schools.
During the 1940's the Infant Department under Miss Smith and her successors, was very efficient. Miss Downard, (later Toorak Teachers' College) conducted experimental work in her Country Infant Room and is affectionately remembered by her many pupils. There was also Miss Crow and her inviting tin of boiled sweets distributed at the departure bell. The Upper School, under the fine, but strict leadership of Mr. Alfred Thompson (headmaster 1939-1950), was well-regimented. For the troublesome pupil an enforced trip to the office could well result in "six of the best" from "Thommo". Teachers like Miss White in Grade VI and Mr. Rourke for his stimulating work in the Rural School, are affectionately remembered. Ex-pupil Leon Mann (Professor) recalls, "Mr. Rourke&emdash;a reserved, fair and patient man, he drew out the best from his pupils. The Rural School had a deep influence on my life. The class was like an extended family. As you moved from being a "little-y" to a respected senior, you took responsibility for assisting younger children with their work. You learned that the classroom was a place for sharing and co-operation. Students worked through projects and assignments at their own pace. When finished, you could get advice from admired older children who were your guides and mentors. You could also learn a great deal by eaves-dropping the instruction given to older students and from reading the more difficult books shelved in the room. The Rural School was also a natural field laboratory of human growth and development. You marvelled each year as classmates grew taller and blossomed. The Rural School was also a regular placement for trainee teachers intending to work in country schools. We learned to tolerate and even admire the young trainees as they took their place in front of the class under Mr. Rourke's watchful eye. I remember the Rural School as a happy place. I do not recall a single vendetta, and no child was unmercifully teased or scape-goated". Mr. Hulett, a colourful, energetic personality conducted school assemblies with all the enthusiasm of a sergeant-major. One teacher who deserves special mention is Mr. Jack Joyce, a familiar figure riding to school on his bicycle. Not only did he teach at the school for many years and later become involved with migrant teaching, but he returned as an Inspector. He went on to become Staff Inspector of the Northern Division and was later promoted to assistant Director of Primary Education and finally, Deputy Director. He showed great interest and enthusiasm in the school and was later of valuable assistance to many teachers.
The tone and morale of the school were excellent, pupils were taught to play hard and learn well. The playground pulsated with life and the corridors buzzed with the spill-over of classroom activities. House competitions provided a fine sense of teamwork. Visual aids, singing and speech classes were conducted in the upper school. For many, whose fathers were at the War or who had lost their lives, the school provided the discipline they lacked at home.
There was always a game of marbles in progress on the sandy ground near O'Grady Street and many an irate pupil lost his favourite marble to a teacher in class. Paper planes soared across temporarily unattended classrooms and many a past pupil can still remember how to make a water bomb from a paper bag. Plaits were dipped in ink-wells and many a girl's ribbons were tied to the backs of desks.
Lee Street was always a sports-conscious school; many trophies were recieved for swimming, football and basketball, and at inter-school competitions rivalries were fierce. With high school spirit, North Carlton ' resounded with marching feet and kettledrums.
Throughout the 1950's many Australian and Jewish families left Carlton and migrant families moved in. The area became multi-national . . . its new arrivals bringing with them their distinctive cuisines and colourful customs, enlivening the general surroundings. Lygon Street became a Mecca for Melbourne gourmets and its yearly Festa continues to attract many thousands of citizens. For a while the streets of Carlton seemed to be devoid of children, until these migrant young had grown to school age.
In the late 1950's a school choir was commenced by Mr. N. Dewan and Miss J. Barratt. The children performed successfully on many occasions, with appearances on Channel 9 and at the Dandenong Eisteddfod.
Lee Street like all other schools in the area, was badly overcrowded. Migrant teachers were used in the hope that this would alleviate conditions in the classrooms. A night school for the teaching of English to migrant adults was opened to assist in assimilation. By 1969 there were sixteen different nationalities, including Finnish, represented in the school. The majority of children, however, were of Greek and Italian origins. They found many problems at first in their bi-lingual environments of home and school, the settling-in period, for the whole of Carlton, was not without difficulties.
The school, nevertheless, was remarkably free of racial squabbles with most Australian children befriending the newcomers. Despite their ethnic differences, the children worked and played amicably together. Teachers encouraged them to talk of their homelands and customs, which they were only too willing to do. International days were held, including a cake day and children participated in school plays and concerts held in the school hall. Creative drama classes were commenced throughout the school and all nationalities joined in the fun of expressing themselves through mime and movement. Many of these children had particularly sunny dispositions and were eager to learn.
During this period full enrolment was over 800 children, so Mr. Ackland the Headmaster, arranged for all the Grade IV children to travel daily by bus to Princes Hill State School. Several portable classrooms were also acquired, the old shelter shed was removed to provide additional playing area.
Due to the many difficulties to be met and the strong, cohesive leadership of headmaster Mr. 'Bill' Ackland, and First Assistant, Mr. Tony Ryan, there was a wonderful rapport among the young, enthusiastic staff and in teacher/pupil relationships. Staff-pupil lunchtime basketball matches were held and the grounds rang with cheers . . . usually for the pupils' team. Many teachers gave long hours of their private time to the many pupil activities within the school and weekend sporting meetings. It is very difficult to individualise among a staff that carried no passengers, but many pupils will remember Mr. Bernie Finnigan for his work in Grade VI and school sport; Miss Lorenda Carlin (Mrs. Gracey) for her outstanding work in the Opportunity Grade and Little Athletics; Mr. Ray Pitman who spent all of his available free time at school with the pupils.
Special mention should be made of Infant Mistress, Miss Wallace, whose capable department bore the brunt of the language problem within the school.
In 1969, while teaching at Lee Street, I received a phone call from a Carlton resident, who said she had something she would like to donate to the school. On arrival at her home we were shown a bluestone slab half-buried in her back garden. It bore a monogram and the date 1859 ornamentally encircled by a facsimile of a buckled belt. We concluded that the initials belonged to M. H. Smith, the former Superintendent of the penal stockade. Our donor's father had been a builder engaged on reconstruction work at the school in 1913. Mr. Ackland ordered a truck and crane and a piece of the Collingwood Stockade returned to its original site. The only other remnants are the bluestone flaggings (now cement-rendered) at either end of the main corridors and the foundations.
With the opening of the Neill Street School, the 1970's saw a large reduction in the enrolment at Lee Street, the school at the moment (1981) has two hundred children. With the moves of the City Council to re-route traffic, the school now stands in quiet, tree-lined streets. Under the present headmaster, Mr. Morrison, spare rooms are used for creative purposes and gymnastic activities and Italian has been introduced as a subject. Miss Liz DJokovic, present librarian has seen many changes in the school and the system in the last ten years she has spent on and off at Lee Street.
Since 1973-74 Carlton has been changing yet again. Many migrant families have moved out and young, professionals with smaller families have moved into the inner suburbs. Real estate values have soared and Carlton is a hive of activity with its current restoration of terrace houses. An after-school activities programme, from 3.30 p.m. to 5.00 pm., was introduced in 1973, to occupy the children whose parents are at work. A Community Education Officer is in charge of the programme assisted by paid volunteer workers. Since 1975 there have been a number of inter-change American teachers at the school. In the 1970's greater emphasis was placed on the development of the individual, and for a time, competitive sport was out of vogue. There has, however, been a revival in this area of recent years and inter-school sport and team games are again part of the school curriculum. Children now attend clubs of their own choice within the school, for example, the photography class for which a dark room has been provided.
Lee Street School has serviced Carlton for over a century, the site on which it is erected is unique. Many well-known people have had their origins in the area. Whether in the ordinary work force or the professional spheres its pupils have shown tenacity, fighting spirit, perseverance and a long record of high achievers. They have had the benefit over the century of some of the best and most innovative teachers this State can offer. As a former teacher at Lee Street, I know there will be many future citizens of whom we will be justly proud. A school is a small community reflecting the events and changes taking place in the larger community: her pupils were and are, Carlton.
Many former pupils have achieved recognition in various fields.
1. PROFESSOR EDWIN S. HILLS - Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Melbourne University.
2. Dr. ABRAHAM YOSSE &emdash; Dr. of Science. Reader at Cambridge University.
3. Mr. MAX TEICHMANN&emdash; B.Phil. Oxford, M.A. Melb. Senior Lecturer in Politics, Monash University.
4. Professor HARRY LEVY&emdash;Professor of Mathematics, Perth University.
5. LEON MANN&emdash;Professor of Psychology Flinders University, South Australia.
6. Dr. ALAN RICE&emdash; Professor of Phil. Monash University, Lecturer in Politics Monash University. Currently lecturing at the University of California.
1. Mr. CLAUDE WESTON&emdash;Q.C. One of the leading Constitutional lawyers in N.S.W.
2. Mr. H. RENFREE, O.B.E., C.B.E., Commonwealth Crown Solicitor. Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria.
3. Mr. G. STEVENS&emdash;Consulting solicitor of the firm ofm 'Dugdale, Dimmick and Stevens'.
4. Mr. LEON FREEDMAN &emdash; Solicitor of the firm, 'Rockman, Janover, Freedman'.
1. Dr. DORA BIALESTOCK &emdash; Fulbright Scholarship Winner.
Dr. Bialestock became Maternal and Child Welfare Officer with the South Melbourne Council; Medical Officer in the State Health Department; Honourary Research Fellow to the Research Foundation of the Royal Children's Hospital; Honorary Paediatrician to the Jewish Kindergarten Carlton; she will long be remembered for her wonderful work at 'Allambie' with under-privileged and mistreated children.
2. Miss GERTIE MILLER (Mrs. BORNSTEIN)&emdash;Graduate of Melbourne University. Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australia. Cytopathologist Queen Victoria Medical Centre since 1960.
3. Dr. HUGH MELVILLE&emdash;qualified in medicine and became Medical Officer at the Repatriation Hospital Caulfield.
4. Dr. HARRY LIPP&emdash;spent several years as instructor on the Staff at the University of Chicago, now visiting physician at Prince Henry's Hospital Melbourne.
1. Mr.REUBEN HAVIN&emdash;widely experienced editor and publisher "The Australian Jewish Herald", 1942-1961. Publications Officer Monash University, 1962-1978.
2. Mr. SAM LIPSKI&emdash; eminent political journalist, broadcaster, former editor of 'Quandrant Magazine' now editor of the 'Australian Israel Review'.
Public accountants Miss GOLDA BIALESTOCK: Mr. SOL. GOTLIB;
Mr. JACK KIOS.
Technical: Mr. BILL JOHNSON &emdash; Assistant Director Technical Education Curriculum; Mr. BEN GOTLIB.
Secondary/Primary/Domestic Arts&emdash;Mr. A. ROSENBERG,
Misses VALDA & DOROTHY RAGG; Miss YVONNE MORRISON;
Miss LESLEY BROWN; Miss BETTY GRAY; Miss ADA SHARP;
Mr. LYLE DENT.
1. Mr. RUPERT H. C. LOOF, C.B.E. &emdash; Usher of the Black Secretary to Parliamentary Delegations; Australian Representative Plenary Sessions of Association of Secretaries-General of Parliament in Bangkok 1956, London 1957, Warsaw 1959, Tokyo 1960, Brasillia1962, Copenhagen 1964.
2. Mr. ALBERT E. HOCKING}&emdash;President of the Victorian Country Party.
3. Councillor RALPH BERNARDI&emdash;Lord Mayor of Melbourne.
4. Mr. WILLIAM TOWNSEND &emdash; City of Melbourne Councillor; Solicitor and Vice-President of the Carlton Football Club.
5. Mr JOSEPH REDAPPLE&emdash;Mayor of Brighton 1934-1935; Member of the A.L.P. Committee East St. Kilda; President of the Jewish Council to Combat Fascism and Anti-Semitism; Treasurer of the Victorian Peace Council and Vice-President of the China-Australia Society.
1. Mr. JOHN GLICKMAN&emdash;In 1949 aged 19 years he was outright winner of the Carl Flesch Gold Medal for violinists in London; soloist with both the A.B.C. and the B.B.C. Symphony orchestras; Senior Lecturer in violin and viola at Melbourne University Conservatorium of Music.
2. Mr. PERCY CODE&emdash;became resident conductor of both the N.S.W. and Victorian Symphony Orchestras. Australian champion trumpeteer and composer. His brother STANLEY, was leading trombonist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
3. Madame AUSTRAL&emdash;world famous Wagnerian Opera singer in the 1920's-1930's. She performed in New York and London, auditioning for Covent Garden, where from 1922 she became one of the world's best known Wagnerian opera singers. She was acclaimed as 'another Melba'. From 1952-1959 she taught at the Newcastle Conservatorium
4. Mr. JOHN BROWNLEY&emdash; opera singer.
5. Miss JOAN CARDEN &emdash; One of Australia's most distinguished sopranos. She was a Stuyvesant Scholar at the London Opera Centre in 1967, sang recitals and operas for the B.B.C. and was prizewinner at the Munich International Music Competition, before joining The Australian Opera in 1971. She made her Covent Garden debut in 1974, performed at Glyndebourne in 1977. In 1978 she toured America with the Metropolitan Opera, followed by performances with the Scottish Opera, Washington's Kennedy Center and the English National Opera North. In 1981 she made her Victorian State Opera debut to be followed by a performance with the Miami Opera.
6. Mr. RONNIE ROSENBERG&emdash; Musical Director for many years with Channel 9.
7. Mr. ALEX EMMANUEL&emdash;Television Director for many years.
8. Mr. GEORGE SPARTELS&emdash;Actor. First came to public notice in 'Godspell', which was followed by the leading role in 'Equus' for the South Australian Theatre Co. Other roles include performances in 'Dracula', 'P.S. Your Cat Is Dead' and on television for Crawford Productions and the series 'The Bluestone Boys'. He has appeared with both Sydney and South Australian Theatre Companies and for J. C. Williamsons. He is currently appearing in the hit musical, 'Chicago'.
1. Flight Lieutenant LESLIE DYKE&emdash;completed his training in Canada during World War II and was then sent to England and served with the RA.F. He was mentioned in many dispatches and was awarded an M.B.E.
2. Flight Lieutenant LUDER&emdash;a former 'Mr. Australia'. He was awarded a D.F.C. for his services in World War II. Whilst engaged on flying duties with No. 21 City of Melbourne Fighter Squadron R.A.A.F. in 1953, he heroically lost his life in a flying accident.
3. Group Captain RON COOK&emdash;an engineer with the RA.A.F. went to England in World War II and was amongst the first Empire troops to land in Britain on Boxing Day 1939. He served with the 10th Squadron, "Sunderland Flying Boats".
ALAN GALE (Fitzroy); FRANK 'Derby' MUNRO (Carlton Richmond); LAURIE SHARPE (Richmond); RALPH EMPE (Richmond . his father was a former head teacher); RO McGREGOR (Carlton, one of the first football radio announcers HARRY CURTIS (Collingwood); OSCAR PORTER (President of the Fitzroy Football Club); FRED & GEORGE STAFFORD (Carlton LESLIE MILLS (Fitzroy); WILLIAM WOOD (Carlton); GILBER BARKER (Fitzroy); HARRY 'Bubs' TOOLE (Carlton); LEO. GEMMELL (Fitzroy); GEORGE COATES (Fitzroy); HARR CASPER (Carlton); GOLDSMITH 'Goldie' COLLINS (Fitzroy JOHN DOUGLAS (Association); Dr. ERN SHIELS (Carlton, President of the Ballarat Football League); JOHN GIST (Fitzroy, Carlton); ALAN WHITE (Carl/on/Fitzroy); ERIC LITTL (Carlton/St. Kilda); CHARLIE RODWELL (V. F. L. Umpire).
NORMAN BLUNDELL (District cricket for Essendon and Coach Footscray; Victorian State Cricketer and A.B.C. and A.B.V.2 crick/ commentator. His brothers ARTHUR and JACK played for Sub District teams; HARRY BUSSELL (Secretary of the Fitzroy Crick' Club and Manager of a Test Tour of England); TOM BURREL (Fitzroy).
ARCHIE KEMP&emdash; as a child he won many football trophies for Lee Street. In 1939 he won the Amateur Bantam-weight Championship; In 1940 he became Amateur Featherweight Champion; after Army service in 1946 he won the Amateur Welterweight Championship; in 1948 he was selected for inclusion in the Olympic Games, but instead he turned professional. In 1949 whilst fighting for the professional title of Australian Lightweight Champion, it was to prove to be his last fight, as he tragically lost his life at the age of 24. Ironically, Archie was not happy in the fighting game and would have preferred to follow a football career.
1HEATHER RICE&emdash;won many swimming trophies for the school. She later held every State freestyle title and swam in the Australian Championships. Winner of the City of Melbourne Swimming Medal.
2. GRAEME WHITE&emdash;won many swimming trophies for the school. Holds two 2nd place medals for the Australian Juniors in Brisbane and Tasmania. Swam in the Open Australian Senior Championships in Perth and holds a number of Junior and Senior Victorian Championship medals. He made interstate trips with the Victorian Swimming Team and is now a coach at Moreland baths and a Secondary Teacher. Graeme is the son and grandson of Lee Street caretakers for many years Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan and Tom and Fay White, who will be remembered by many old pupils.
1. Lee Street has also had its share of winsome lovelies. In 1922, the 'Herald' newspaper ran the 1st Victorian Beauty Contest and of the 3000 entries, two Lee Street girls made the finals. BETTY MONTGOMERY (Mrs. Tyrell) was awarded 1st prize and GLADYS JESSIE PRATT came 6th. (Winner of the Lord Mayor's Beauty Contest and later Mayoress of Moorabbin).
2. Not every State School can boast of nobility, but FRED HAY later became Sir FREDERICK HAY as he was in direct line to an English Hereditary Title.
3. ALBY PENNINGTON &emdash; a well-known ballroom dancer and an outstanding exponent of the Charleston.
4. The 'arch villains' and 'school terrors', who have lived on in the memories of their fellow pupils and the nightmares of their teachers.
Henry Jones 28.7.1873-31.3.1875
James Lewis 1875-94
William Field 1895-07
James F. Gibson 1907-10
Ralph H. W. Taylor 1911-12
Robert Craig 1912-17
William A. Empey 1917-31
Ernest McKenzie 1931-35
Charles V. Cecil 1935-39
Alfred H. Thompson 1939-50
William Whittle 1950
George J. C. Marshallsea 1951-55
Lewis Wheeler 1955-58
Marshall S. Sprake 1958
Matthew J. Corcoran 1958-62
John O'Brien 1962-66
Edward J. Delaney 1966-69
Gilbert F. Ackland 1969-72
Keith E. Herten 1972-74
Bates Douglas E. Langley 1974-75
John Monk 1975-76
Beverley A. Cooper 1976-77
Clement F. Widdison 1976-78
John E. Marsh 1976
Noel T. O'Brien 1977-79
Denis Cronin 1979-81
Leo Morison 1981