-Dagun State School 75th Anniversary -
The Sixties decade brought important changes in Education. The Scholarship Examination was abolished in 1962 and in 1964 all Grade eight pupils started the first of their five years at high school, Grade 7 being the final year of primary school education. 1970 was the last year students sat for their Junior Examination Certificate and 1972 for the Senior Examination Certificate.
The school numbers fluctuated and by the beginning of the sixties Mr Thorne was the sole teacher, but with new enrolments on the books Mr Mulholland was appointed in March as the second teacher. But by the May vacation the numbers no longer warranted another teacher and the headmaster was again without an assistant.
Dawn Johanson (nee Thompson), Enrolled 1959:
The girls went with Mrs Thorne for fancy work and stitching under the huge Camphor Laurel tree which grows on the fence line between the school and the residence. Mr Thorne was a great teacher and had a sympathetic ear if you had any problems.
With a decline in pupil numbers, Mr Thorne transferred to Gympie High School in 1961, where he taught senior mathematics and held the position of acting subject master for some time. He was also the coach of the first football team and for many years the union secretary and council representative for the district.
Dagun Fife Band (1962)
The new headmaster, Mr Peter Behan, came from Pelican School to Dagun having taught at Inala and Woodleighton School (near Oakey).
Mrs Jean McClintock (nee McLeish) past pupil and parent, Enrolled 1931:
Mr Behan was a tall young chap. He was a teacher who embraced the open area style of teaching, which allowed students greater flexibility and independence. This style of teaching placed more responsibility back on the student to learn at their own pace. I remember he and his wife organized a fashion parade at the school.
Coming from the city the students knew Mr Behan was terrified of snakes and one day they put a snake in the toilet to surprise him.
My daughter Nola was one of five in the grade 8 scholarship year when Mr Behan was headmaster. The five students went to Amamoor School to sit this important examination.
At this time a very energetic Ladies Auxiliary was formed. These ladies excelled themselves in raising funds for the school.
Mr Behan transferred to Gowrie Junction in June 1963, then returned to Brisbane where he was stationed at Nashville. From there he applied for a post at the Open Area school at Petrie Terrace. He was employed at central office in the Department for some years before retiring in 1992. The new headmaster, Mr Shuttleworth, came from Hawkins Creek, arriving in Dagun in 1963.
Queensland Governor, Sir Alan Mansfield meeting Mr & Mrs Merv Collins with Mr Shuttleworth on the right (1967)
Recollections from My Familys Time at Dagun by Rose Shuttleworth, wife of Albert (Nugget) Shuttleworth (Principal of Dagun State School 1963-1970):
My late husband, Albert (Nugget) Shuttleworth, was appointed to Dagun State School in the middle of 1963. It was winter when we and our three children, Derek, Alan and Sue
arrived. The boys were in Years 3 and 4 respectively and Sue of pre-school age. Dagun winters were something we were unaccustomed to as we had come from Hawkins Creek near Ingham. The frosts we experienced on our arrival at Dagun were initially a novelty. The crunch of grass underfoot was a new experience to our young children.
Our arrival at Dagun is something which will always remain fresh in my memory. The local people made us feel extremelywelcome and friendships made then still exist today.
The people of Dagun were not only very friendly towards us, they were extremely supportive of Nugget and the work he did at the school. If anything was needed for the school or if any work was needed on the school grounds, the people of Dagun were right behind him. This made Nuggets job that much easier.
Dagun had a very active School Auxiliary. This is another testament to the support provided by the community. The Auxiliary ran a school tuckshop once a week. Mothers ran it on a roster basis. Students were provided with such culinary delights as mince rolls and baked bean rolls. These were washed down with a 1/3 pint bottle of milk, which was in those days provided for school students by the Government.
The School Auxiliary had, prior to our arrival in the district, published a cookery book. I remember that it was decided that a second run of this was to take place. I was nominated to print it. It was me, lots of paper, an old ink duplicator, very dirty hands and lots of long days, but I did it.
As a small country school, money had to be raised whenever it could be and the facilities at the school were pride of place within the community. One particular year, approval had been given by the then Department of Education to replace the timber stumps under the school with concrete ones. The timing of this could not have been better as far as the students were concerned. The work was completed just before April Fools Day. It was probably the delegation of every student in the upper part of the school running into the classsroom prior to school yelling, that "The posts are cracking" that drove Nugget to jump out of his chair and virtually fly down the stairs to investigate. Needless to say, for a good part of that day, things were a little tense between teacher and students.
As you can see, we had a very memorable time in our seven years at Dagun. From having the entire school in our lounge room to watch the first landing on the moon and being visited by Sir Henry Abel Smith, the then Governor of Queensland, to receiving gifts of produce from the local people. Who was that mystery person who left a lettuce on our back steps in 1963? To this day I dont know their identity and therefore have been unable to thank them.
In closing, I would like to say that Nugget always recalled his time at Dagun as being one of the most pleasant and rewarding stages of his life.
Queensland Governor, Sir Alan Mansfield addressing pupils (1967)
Alan and Shirley Lund, past parents and members of the P&C, remember Mr Shuttleworth:
Nugget Shuttleworth was short but very solidly built hence the nickname. He was a very good tennis player and with parents and teachers from Lagoon Pocket he played fixtures in Gympie. He was also an excellent hockey coach. He was well liked, a great teacher and very thorough in everything he did.
(aged 5 years),
first day at school(1964)
Jenny Edwards (nee Collins), Enrolled 1964:
I have many wonderful and special memories of my primary school days at Dagun. I believe I had the best teacher. For six and a half years of my seven years at Dagun, Mr Nugget Shuttleworth was my teacher.
He taught all grades and was the Head Teacher. Always strict, a firm disciplinarian, but very fair. We had great respect for him. Mrs Rose Shuttleworth would come over to school and teach us sewing techniques.
Break-up days were so special. We always looked forward to them with slices of watermelon and stone fruit, an ice block and lots of fun races and, of course, your prize book.
They were real family affairs and the whole community joined in for tennis matches and indoor bowls at the school throughout the year. I was proud to be part of Dagun School and the community during my growing up years. They were wonderful.
John McClintock, Enrolled 1967:
One of the things I hated at school was dancing on the parade grounds, which was grass at the time. It was awful, but the girls loved it.