For the past month or so, I have been delving into the history of a place that is very dear to me. My childhood kindergarten. Founded in 1935 and originally known as Williamstown Free Kindergarten, and operated out of the St Andrews church hall on Cecil Street.
A donation of a block of land on Ferguson Street was later made to Council, with the only clause attached was for the land to be used for the children. Before long, the land was developed into a Community Kindergarten. This campus has existed ever since. More recently, the former site has been reacquired and now operates as an early years campus.
Many years later, it was decided to name the Kinder “Robina Scott” after an amazing local lady who would donate her skills, her time and her love for children. A well-earned tribute to a lovely member of the local community.
The historical documents that were digitised varied between Teacher’s Monthly Journals (1935-1978), Annual Reports and Minutes (~1940-1980), as well as many class photos (ranging from ~1940-2010). Documents were all photographed and collated into searchable PDFs (where possible) and of course the photographs were all scanned to above-archival quality, restored and all available information – names, locations, dates etc – were included in the metadata, allowing the photos to be searched by name, year or pupil.
To say that this work held a special place in my heart would be an understatement. I was able to see my amazing kinder teachers again, read about some of the things that were happening behind the scenes at the time I was attending, and look back to where it all began. Hard working parents, determined to give their kids a fun, happy learning experience. Mums that sewed the art smocks or provided snacks for the classes. Dads that built the play equipment, toys and did minor repairs of the building when required.