Bellbrae Primary School

Bellbrae (Jan Juc) School No 319
The area along Spring Creek was settled during the 1840’s and one of the first settlers was Joseph Gundry, and as there was no school nearby he commenced a school in a small wooden room attached to his home. This school was for the Gundry children, and other people paid to have their children taught with them. In early 1861 Gundry had a brick schoolhouse erected in the valley along the Spring Creek and the Jan Juc school was opened on August 26th, 1861 as a National School, with 35 children. William Cook was the first Head Teacher and he taught at the school for 16 years. The Jan Juc school became a vested Common School and received its number 319 in 1863. The school entered a decline during the 1880’s, both in attendance and in the physical condition of the buildings. The monthly average attendance finally fell as low as 4, so in April 1882 the school was closed. However, the closure was only for a short period, and the school reopened in November the same year. The state of the buildings continued to deteriorate and a continual barrage of complaints and requests for a new building on a better site continued until, in 1916, when it was announced that a block of about 4.5acres opposite the Post Office on the old Anglesea Road had been purchased. The construction of the new school was let shortly afterwards. The long overdue move to the new site took place on October 31st, 1916. The children assembled at the old site and marched up the hill to the new building in rows of two. The next 50 years saw the school continue to serve the small rural community, in much the same manner as in many other country districts.

Duval, J. & Moore, H. (n.d.). History of Bellbrae Primary School 125 years. Part 1.
Bellbrae Primary School Jubilee 1911
Bellbrae Primary School 1916

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