Yandaran State School centenary celebrated

Yandaran State School's oldest and youngest students cut 100th birthday cake


Hundreds of people gathered to celebrate the Yandaran State School centenary on Saturday including many former teachers and students.

The oldest past student Norma Petersen, 103, was joined by the youngest current student Isabelle Perkins to cut the birthday cake.

Norma started her schooling at Yandaran and followed it through until Year 8, which was normal at the time.

Yandaran State School teacher aid Helen Mellross said it was remarkable to have one of the original students there for the 100-year celebration.

“To have Norma, and then all of the other generations that followed, here is amazing,” Mrs Mellross said.

“Her daughter Kay Row is on the committee and helped organise the event.

“Kay also attended the school along with her siblings – it’s a big family!”

Mrs Mellross said her children had also attended the school and that was one of the reasons why she was driven to pursue a career in teaching.

“It’s a beautiful school and is very community minded, the surrounding community of big and small groups all pitched in to help with the centenary,” she said.

“We are very lucky to have this school and everyone from the SES and the local rural firefighters and the CWA are all here helping.”

Thousands of students attend Yandaran State School

Over the years thousands of children have passed through the school gates, with the number fluctuating each year from the 27 students in 2019 to more than 100 when the school was at its busiest.

Yandaran State School principal Sheree McMahon said the celebration was a great success, with the opening of the two buried time capsules a highlight of the day.

“We had two cylinders full of stuff that spread across five tables, which could have easily been 10 to be honest,” Mrs McMahon said.

“There were old cassette disks, money and children’s artwork and names from the year 2000 – so a lot of the past students could be heard saying that was their art piece.

“It really did bring back a lot of memories for the students.”

Mrs McMahon said the second capsule was buried in 2000 after the first from 1975 had become water damaged and they were only able to salvage a small amount of treasures.

Mrs McMahon said a tree planted at 3pm would commemorate the 100-year centenary as she thanked everyone involved in making the event happen.

“It was a fantastic turn out and I was overwhelmed with the amount of people who came through,” she said.

“A huge congratulations to the committee, without them it wouldn’t have been possible.”

Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey attended the event.

“It's wonderful to see so many people from across several generations reflecting with pride on the education they received at this special place,” Mayor Dempsey said.

“Schools are the heartbeat of small communities and the heart of Yandaran is beating strongly.”

  • Earlier report: Organising 100 year celebrations at Yandaran State School