Little did Lyn McCluskey know when she started kindergarten at Towradgi Public School in 1957 that her life would come full circle and she would be teaching there almost 60 years later.
The school will celebrate the 60th anniversary of its official opening on April 30, 1954, with a special assembly on April 4 and a community celebration on April 5. Classes began at the school in February 1953.
Ms McCluskey spent her primary school years at Towradgi. After starting her teaching career at Berkeley Public School in 1972 and teaching in far western NSW, England, the Far South Coast and the Illawarra, she was transferred to Towradgi Public School in 2012 to teach a support class for children with multiple disabilities.
‘‘I was absolutely elated. It’s quite magic, it’s a beautiful school. It’s calm, the kids are fabulous. I feel like I’ve
really come home...it’s five minutes away from Fairy Meadow where I bought a house 20 years ago.
Ms McCluskey is on the organising committee for the anniversary along with friend Vicki Smede. They went to kindy together and Mrs Smede is one of three generations to have attended the school.
Ms McCluskey has fond memories of Towradgi Public School in the late ’50s and early ’60s.
‘‘There weren’t very many houses in Murranar Road where I was. It was a lot of bush and dirt roads. we walked to school,’’ she said.
‘‘My biggest memories were of the migrant hostel next door. We would get intakes of children into the school who couldn’t speak the language. We had Italians, Germans, Greeks, English, Spanish. Children would arrive in the country and within a day or two come to school. It made it interesting.’’
Ms McCluskey said there were lots of differences, such as food, and migrant students bringing backpacks rather than Globite school cases.
Despite these differences, over time the children picked up English, found acceptance and made friends.
‘‘It was wonderful. We have a rich history here in Towradgi and Wollongong of mixing with other nationalities.’’
That multicultural history will be a focus of the 60th anniversary celebrations at the school on April 5, with a multicultural food fair, cake and book stalls, rides, big slide, barbecue, live entertainment and memorabilia display. All are welcome to the event, from 11am to 3pm.
Information: 4284 4527