Empathy, compassion and community spirit have always been the hallmarks of Bulli Public School.
These traits have served the school and its community well for 150 years now.
They came in especially handy when the school was just in its infancy.
In 1887, a gas explosion at Bulli Mine resulted in 50 women becoming widows and 150 children left fatherless.
Current Bulli Public School P&C vice-president Lisa Pearson wrote in the forward for the school's 150th anniversary booklet, that the event would have been extremely traumatic for a small community and school to endure.
School principal Rhonda Morton said Bulli Public was known for its community spirit in good and bad times.
Speaking to the Mercury about the school's upcoming 150th anniversary celebrations, Mrs Morton said Bulli's highlights and lowlights went hand in hand.
"The highlights are is that it is genuinely a community school because it was set up by the Bulli Coal Company and over the years the highlights have strengthened those community involvement through the lowlights of the school," she said.
"Obviously the school has been through two world wars and the depression. But it has also been through two mine disasters.
"So over the course of the years we've lost several fathers through the mine disaster, leaving widows and their children at the school. The wars have also impacted.
"During the depression the school actually turned its grounds over to do a community vegetable garden to feed the local community.
"We still have a strong connection with our community and do a vegetable garden at the school. This is supported by many community members.
"So over the years those lowlights have caused the school to rally together to support the actual local community itself."
Bulli Public School officially opened on July 7, 1869.
Obviously the school has been through two world wars and the depression. But it has also been through two mine disasters.Bulli Public School principal Rhonda Morton
But it wasn't until 150 years ago today, July 12 that students went to school. There were around 50 students that first year.
Nowadays 227 students attend.
Mrs Morton said the recent growth of the Bulli area, notably the three new estates at Sandon Point, Macualey's Beach and Bulli Brickworks, had seen enrolments steadily increase at the school.
Bulli Public School 150th anniversary celebrations:
With students not returning from school holidays until the week beginning July 22, organisers have decided to celebrate the sesquicentenary of Bulli Public School on Saturday, July 27.
The day's activities kick off at 11am. Showing an interview recorded with Lance Brown, who sadly passed away on July 1, is one of many highlights.
"As our eldest surviving former student, Lance was set to cut the cake for us to celebrate the school's 150th. His 94-year-old sister Betty, who is also a former student, will now cut the cake," Mrs Morton said.
The school will also launch its 150th historical booklet and a community cookbook called From the Coals.
Mrs Morton said the cookbook acknowledges the Wadi Wadi people, the traditional custodians of our land.
A section in the book, which has lots of recipes from the community, has been written by Aunty Carol Speechly.
Mrs Morton added a video showing the making of a community mural, which has yet to be finished, will also be shown on the day.
The mural depicts the past, the present and the future of Bulli.
It includes the totems of the Dharawal people - the blue whale, the red-belly black snake and the sea eagle. Students worked with local Aboriginal artists Catherine Moyle and Jason Howe on the mural, with the community to add ideas on July 27.
A school fete wraps up the celebrations.
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