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Tuesday, 22 May 2012
Page: 5119


Mr BUCHHOLZ (Wright) (16:00): Recently, I was privileged to be on hand at the Woodhill State School in my electorate of Wright to induct and congratulate student leaders for the 2012 period. Woodhill is a small school which I am proud of and it has been operating for almost 130 years. The original school and teacher's residence were built on donated land by William Everdell at a cost of £208 9s. That was the cost of the entire school. The school first opened its doors in 1873 and was originally known as the Townsvale National School. That name was changed the following year to Veresdale Primary School before taking on its current title of Woodhill in the early 1900s—primarily because the surrounding area was given its name at the time the railway line was being built from Brisbane to Beaudesert. When it first opened its doors, the school had approximately 60 students. By 1974 that number had fallen to just 25. However I am delighted to report that things have picked up considerably and we now have around 180 kids enrolled at Woodhill.

To show how far we have come since Woodhill first opened its doors, I would share with you a few rules that the schoolteachers had to abide by back in 1872. Each morning a teacher would be required to bring a bucket of water and a scuttle of coal for the day's teaching sessions. Each male teacher could take one evening each week for courting purposes, or two evenings a week if they attended regular church. Female teachers who married or 'engaged in unseemly conduct' were dismissed instantly. Any teacher who smoked, used liquor in any form, frequented pool halls, or got shaved in the public barbershop, would be considered to have given good reason for people to suspect his worth, his integrity, his honesty and his intention. However after 10 hours in school, teachers could spend the remainder of the day reading the Bible or any other good book.

However it was not all prayers, coal and beards. The good news was that any teacher who performed their job faithfully in those days and without fault for five years would be considered for a pay rise of 25 pence per a week. You think things were tough back in those days; we can only imagine how tough it would have been on the poor students! However I would like to reassure the House that the current principal at Woodhill, Ms Shelly Lucas, takes a significantly more relaxed approach and attitude.

In conclusion I would like to congratulate Shelly for the fantastic work she does there with the kids. I offer her my best wishes for the coming year and obviously also this year's student leaders: school captains, Chelsea Dickson and Kayleigh Thompson; along with the vice captain, Reece Yunker; and house captains, Jessy Barnes and Jayd Halsey.