South Lismore Public School

I still remember the sounds of the pile drivers as they constructed the “new buildings” for South Lismore Public School.

And when I say “new buildings”, the “new school” was opened in 1978, the year I started high school. Many of the school’s previous timber buildings were replaced with “modern” brick buildings.

The school was a construction site between the third and sixth classes for me.

And I remember the sound of the pile drivers was a constant annoyance for students and staff alike.

When the “new school” was opened, it was very modern, and much appreciated.

Fast forward to 2022, and most school buildings were seriously damaged in the flood.

South Lismore Public School underwater in February/March. Pic from the school’s Facebook page.

“Unsalvageable” was the word used today in a series of school meetings. My niece attended one of these. Her mother went to the school, she went to the school, and now her two daughters attend the school.

Their grandmother, Nancy attending the school, centre, holding the sign, in 1954, the year of “the big flood”.

“She hasn’t really had much experience of the school. First, there was COVID, and then there was the flood”, she told me about her youngest daughter. For the last few months, they’ve been attending another nearby school.

That’s me, second left in the front row, attending South Lismore Public School, 3rd Class, 1974 with teacher, Mrs Wilson, the year of the next “big flood”.

When my niece mentioned what was happening today, I felt pretty sad. As I was in the office, I told a few colleagues, but I knew from their reactions, no one quite understand how sad I felt.

Current building assessment in the brochure given to parents today.

A few weeks ago, they made a similar announcement about Richmond River High School, the high school we both attended.

“They’re talking about rebuilding Richmond River further up the hill, behind the showgrounds”, she told me.

In the meantime, they’re installing demountable classrooms on the nearby sports field opposite South Lismore Public School (the official name is Lismore South Public School, but no one ever calls it that). And they’ll soon commence a building project which may take 2-3 years, according to the brochure handed out today. They’re promising something new and better, which was great to read about.

But still, there’s sadness, about memories, and the rough time the students and staff have had over the last few years.

#proudsouthie

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