Torquay Primary School

Torquay School No 3368
In 1896 the residents of Torquay petitioned the Education Department for a school to be commenced and sent a list of children who would attend. The request was declined. District Inspector Jackson had advised against the establishment of the school as he considered the educational needs of the area could be met by travelling to Jan Juc or Mt Duneed. Again in 1899 a request for a permanent school was sent saying there were nine children of school age, four under school age and three more who would attend if a school opened. In 1900 the school opened in the new Presbyterian Church under the guidance of head teacher Alice Meagher with 16 students. The Education Department took a lease for six months at rental of £7.10.0. In 1901 Alice wanted the school closed due to the lack of ventilation in summer and heating in winter as ‘it was so cold the children could not hold their pens’. The school was then moved to the recreational hall. In 1905 the Education Department purchased land in Boston Road from John Baensch and Adolph Pohl for £150 as the site for a new school. However, it was not until 1910 that the building was completed. It was set on 5 acres and was a weatherboard building containing a single classroom measuring 21ft x 20ft. The first school committee met in January 1912 and comprised Mrs Coutts, Mrs Rosser, Mr Seiffert, Mr Baensch and Mr Laity. By 1915 the number of students enrolled was 49 and the building was now too small. In August 1916 the classes moved again to the recreational hall whilst extensions to the school were completed in October 1916 for a cost of £130.14.3. In 1930 a team of four boys and four girls accompanied Mr Brown, the head teacher to a district school competition at Barwon Heads where they won the shield. In 1949 the problem of limited space again arose owing to increasing enrolments. Classes were moved the ‘Beach Kiosk’ from September to November 1950 whilst extensions were undertaken, and a five roomed head teachers residence built. The Mothers Club was formed in 1951. The Torquay Community Library, a joint project between the Education Department and City of South Barwon, was opened in a new building at the school in 1979. In 1983 another major rebuilding program commenced and was completed in 1984 and included an arts and physical education room, resource and first aid centre, new toilet block and six relocatable classrooms. By 1985 there were 330 students and 18 teachers. In 2001 Torquay Primary School left its Bristol Road site and moved to Grossmans Road as the Torquay P-6 College.

Torquay Primary School (TPS) Centenary Committee. (2000). Torquay Primary School: committed to children in our community 1900-2000. TPS: Torquay.
Torquay School Committee 1915
L to R Standing: Mr. Essington, A. Edmond, (Head) William Rice, Leslie Austin, David Austin
L to R Seated: Mrs. Jack Smith (Violet), Mrs. Felix Rosser (Florence)
TDHS Collection
Torquay Primary School 1929
Back L-R Elvie Berryman, Jean Berryman, Gordon Lofts, Otto Rau, Jeff Austin, Moe Hunter, Floss Charles, Joan Duffield
Middle L-R Joyce Hunter, Marg Drayton, Joan Kelso, Mavis Lofts, Mary Crow, Phyllis Charles, Nancy Austin.
Seated L-R Ron Jarvis, Bob Baensch, Willie Rice, Bruce Lofts
Front L-R Roy Wilson, Max Bray
Teacher Roy Brown
TDHS Collection
Torquay Primary School 1946
TDHS Collection
Torquay Primary School 1950s
TDHS Collection
Head teachers desk c. 1910
Supplied to the school by Public Works Department
TDHS Collection

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