Back to School 1931

Photo:  Rosewood State School students, Rosewood, Ipswich, 1927-1928 from Picture Ipswich

Schools Reopen

“The primary schools in southern Queensland reopened on Tuesday last. Most people in Rosewood at any rate, were glad to see the children trooping along the streets to school once again after the long vacation. And certainly times are changing because there was no “creeping snail-like” to school on the children’s part. They hustled along, full of animation and vigour after the holidays, all brand new with well scrubbed shining faces, hands and legs. Several of the “fivers and sixers” were in evidence under escort, fearfully facing the ordeal of the first day at school. Soon the youngsters were flitting about the green grassy playgrounds at the state school and Convent, which had been freshened by the recent showers – the girls in their pretty bright frocks in all the colours of the rainbow, and the boys mostly in the much favoured and serviceable blue shirt waists, and one was reminded of a typical spring scene when gay butterflies emerged in their hundreds on the landscape. The further thought arose of gratification at the bright happy conditions surrounding child life generally in our sunny State and the evidences of thoughtful consideration on all sides for their welfare and comfort.

There are a few changes in the personnel of the school staffs in the district. At Rosewood State School, Mr H Perina has been appointed on the staff. At Marburg State Rural School Mr D C O’Sullivan (recently of Norman Park) and Miss Scott, of Coorparoo, take the place of Mr. J Brennan and Miss Greenhalgh transferred. Mr R V Callanan is relieving at Mount Walker in the absence of Mr T A Forbes.” (1)

This report from 30 January 1931 in the Rosewood Register and Marburg Mail shows a very different start of school compared to 2023. Children are not in uniforms, and there is no mention of being driven to school. Older children who had younger siblings walked them to school.

In the school inspector’s report of 1931 it was recorded that  in the early part of the year the ground was parched and the garden almost dried out of existence. (2) So was the reporter painting a glorified version of the school grounds or did it dry up afterwards?

In memories of Harold Jacobs, he recalls that in 1931 singing was a feature of the school under the tutelage of Mr Hugh Perina, with songs such as Cherry Ripe and Where the Bee Sucks. Harold thought the choir won a trophy in a competition at the Ipswich Town Hall. (2)

The Head Teacher that year, Mr John Wilson, bordered at Sloane’s Rising Sun Hotel. (2)

Note: Electricity was connected to the town in December 1931. (2) So schools would have had no electric lights and certainly no air-conditioning that students enjoy today.


1. Rosewood Register and Marburg Mail, 30 January 1931

2. 1875 Rosewood State School 2000 (125th anniversary book) published by Erinport, 2000

Compiled by Jenny Stubbs



  1. Times have certainly changed! Good reading,thank you Jenny

  2. Such a great photo! But what a shame we don’t have the names. I wonder could we ask readers to identify people?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.