In 1892, 15 selectors on the Blackall Range signed a letter addressed to the Honourable Minister for Lands, asking for a portion of land in Montville to be set aside as reserve for school purposes. The closest school at the time was in Palmwoods, which was “seven miles below the Range”.
A further request in 1893 expressed concern that “the roads are of a very dangerous and precipitous nature” to Palmwoods, making it “impossible to send the children there”.
There was a great deal of back and forth, denials and requests, until finally the school, originally called Razorback Provisional School, was approved in 1896. In 1904 the name changed to Montville Provisional School.
In 1908 the new school was built, and ‘Razorback House’ was moved and incorporated into the new residence, as the kitchen and adjoining room. The school officially became Montville State School.
Fast forward to 2021, and Principal Adam Montgomery is very happy to be at the helm for the 125-year celebrations of this charming school. Coincidentally, renovations have also been completed on Razorback House, thanks to a Buildings Communities Grant.
“The rot, asbestos, termites and borers – all gone. We’ve removed some internal walls to create a large learning area for our Kitchen Garden Program and STEM projects,” said Adam.
“The Blackall Range Lions Club helped us make garden beds, along with the P&C, and locals Eric Anderson and Diana O’Connor came in on National Tree Planting Day and helped the kids to plant all around it.”
Adam is incredibly grateful for the parents and volunteers in the community who have done so much for the school, from physical help to donations.
“There are so many people with different skills and abilities we can tap into, and they do everything from writing grants to running bike clubs to volunteering for the Rapid Reading program. We have 16 volunteers come in who regularly support or extend 30 students a week with their reading.
“Half of our students learn instruments on top of music classes, and this is partly thanks to a very generous community donation, which helped us buy more instruments.
“Everyone goes above and beyond to help the kids and the school, from our skilled staff to our invested P&C and the kind-hearted community,” smiled Adam.
The 125-year anniversary celebration is happening on September 16, 11am-4,30pm, and Adam said, “It’s a time to recognise the past, look to the future, and ensure the kids can celebrate. We have an activity day, high tea, a school concert, and memorabilia on display in the classrooms.”
The Montville State School Facebook page has more information on the celebrations, including details of the P&C fundraising raffle with over $6,000 of amazing prizes donated from local businesses.
“We are really looking forward to celebrating 125 years,” said Adam. “This is a fun and engaging place for students to learn, in a safe and beautiful environment, and we are so proud to continue its legacy.”