130 years of teaching in Carlingford

CARLINGFORD Public School celebrated its 130th anniversary on Thursday.

Among the guests of honour on December 11 were the Pendlebury family, who have had six generations attend the school since its opening in 1883.

Principal Neil Hinton said this family's "amazing" history was unique.

"The Education Department is unaware of this achievement being matched in any other Australian school," he said.

"It speaks volumes about the quality of the service we provide."

Heber Catt was one of the original students in 1883, followed by his son Harrie Catt, grandson James Catt and great-granddaughter Helen Pendlebury (nee Catt).

Her son Mark Pendlebury, who was a school captain and the fifth-generation student in the family, enrolled his daughters Alanah and Lauren, now in years 5 and 3, respectively.

Mrs Pendlebury (fourth-generation student) has wonderful memories of her time at the school.

"We used to walk to school and it was all rose gardens and orchards around here and I have a picture of my father [James] planting a fruit tree in the school grounds," she said.

"I had good friends and good teachers but I remember them being stricter in my day.

"These days they're very approachable and the kids do a lot more things."

She volunteers at the school canteen and uniform shop.

Lauren's favourite school activities are playing with friends and making collages.

"We learn a lot here and go on excursions and we've been learning about other people's beliefs," she said.

To mark the milestone, commemorative pavers are on sale for past and present families and they will be used in a path to be laid around the original school bell.

In 130 years, Carlingford Public School:

■ has educated more than 10,000 students;

■ enrolled its record of 1348 pupils in 1958;

■ seen in 28 Australian Prime Ministers; and

■ witnessed major wars like the Boer War, World Wars I and II and the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Share your school memories in the Comments section, below.

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