HISTORY

by CAROLYN SLADE 

Genealogy Sunshine Coast 

Little is known of Margaret Catherine Hare. Records show she was teaching at Rolleston Provisional School from 1892-95 and was appointed to Rosemount Provisional School at Sylvania in 1896 to replace Henry Miller, who had been transferred to Nambour State School. By 1900 she was teaching 19 children and boarding with a local family. In 1903, her address was “The School Teacher, Sylvania”. 

At Rosemount Provisional School she encouraged the children to be neat and clean, behave morally, truthfully and politely, and taught them the principles of patriotism, citizenship and government. In 1904, Margaret was also given charge of the Sylvania Receiving Post Office. 

On August 26, 1907, Margaret Hare married Luke Theodore Love, a local cane farmer, and because of the government restriction on married women teaching, she worked at home and on the farm for six years.

In 1913 Margaret Love applied to teach again and the Department of Public Instruction assigned her to Blackall Range School near Maleny. To be closer to home, she applied to the department for a position at Bli Bli School and was appointed in September 1913. 

Living on a farm on the Nambour-Bli Bli Road, each day Mrs Love dressed in a divided skirt and rode side-saddle on her horse the two miles to school, where she let the horse loose to graze in the school grounds. The older children often caught and saddled the horse for her in the afternoons.

After 1914, the horse was kept in a fenced-off horse paddock. A bucket to hold water for the horse was placed in the paddock and proved an irresistible target for stones thrown by the boys. When Mrs Love discovered holes in the sides of the bucket she taught the class a lesson on actions and consequences, telling each boy responsible he was to contribute a sixpence to replace the bucket or be caned. One of the boys was too frightened to ask his father for sixpence so the other boys paid the money for him.

According to the inspector’s reports, Margaret Love’s government of the school in 1914 was mild, kind and effective. But after 1915, when many male schoolteachers had been called to fight in the Great War, she struggled to teach large numbers of pupils on her own. By the beginning of 1918, she was still single-handedly teaching 51 pupils spread over six grades. The school committee requested that an assistant teacher be appointed to help, but with a second teacher the school was classified at a higher level and Mrs Love’s qualifications did not allow her to retain the position of head teacher. In August 1919 she handed the school over to the “fully qualified” Edward Wheeley and took up the appointment of assistant teacher.

In 1922 the school committee called for Mrs Love to be replaced by a “young, vigorous, classified assistant teacher”. She resigned and Miss Annie Carroll was appointed in her place. 

Margaret Love died in Brisbane at the age of 59 on January 23, 1932.  Her husband died in Brisbane on December 1, 1947, aged 75.

Story from the book People of Maroochy published by Genealogy Sunshine Coast; research by Berenice Alcorn.

The Genealogy Sunshine Coast Resource Centre in Petrie Park Rd, Nambour, is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9am-4.30pm. Visit sites.google.com/site/genealogysunshinecoastinc or facebook.com/gscnambour, phone 5329 2315 or email genealogysc@gmail.com.