TALLANALLA SCHOOL


Compiled by M.W. Smith from records at the Archives.


The school at Tallanalla was a product of the decision to set up a Forestry town there and was built on a Forestry Reserve by the Education Department. Building was completed on June 8th 1935 and the schoolmaster, Mr Francis Hoad, had been appointed on July 2nd 1935. To furnish the new school with books, excess stock from Manjimup had been sent on rail to Wokalup station - but a mix up occurred as to the location of Tallanalla. They should have been sent to Harvey, or to Hoffman's via Yarloop, which would have been close to the rail link. So the packages waited at Wokalup while they were searched for elsewhere. However, after several letters and further delays, this was sorted out.


Tallanalla town began on 1st March 1935 when the Public Works Department contracted to build seven cottages there and the school. The school was described as a "standard Public Works Department type, 20 feet x 20 feet", and the approximate cost of erecting this small school was 250 pounds (about $500 in 1981). The prime purpose of this township was a programme of regeneration of the forest area around it, and it was to be a "public works" project to employ workers who needed relief, due to the Depression.


When the teacher began at the school, he asked the Department to fence an area of the grounds, so that the children could make a garden, but this was refused and he was told there was no "money available", as these were the post-depression years when the Treasury was still suffering from lack of funds.


In April 1937 Mr Hoad wrote to the Department to say he was now married and asked to be transferred to another school, which had married quarters available. However, no other position was open at the time. A Forestry cottage was vacant and the Forest Department agreed to rent it. Mr & Mrs Hoad finally moved into this cottage on the 4th of June 1937, the rent charged being 6/- a week. Mr Hoad complained of this cost to the School Teachers' Union, saying it was against the regulations to pay so much. The union rate was 12 pound a year, but this was for Education Department housing and did not apply to the Forest Department. The Forest Department claimed they had added an extra room and installed an extra tank at the house, while the new room had even been lined and ceilinged. As well, Mr Hoad had asked that the bathrooms should be lined, but this had not been done; though the Forest Department felt their rent was justified for the premises.


While sorting out his affairs, Mr Hoad found the school growing quickly and in November of 1937, there were 15 children enrolled. Not enough seats were available or forms for the children to sit on, so six children had their enrolment postponed until more seats could be brought. There were none to be borrowed in the settlement. The seating was to hand by November 18th, a week after the request, and the six extra children were enrolled. These were John Thomas, Rita Thomas, Bernard Hall, Roland Hall, Beryl Thomas, Kenneth Wilshusen, as well as Meroine Thomas and Phyllis Sawyer. The Thomas family was from Mornington and the Hall children had been on correspondence lessons. In July of 1938 there was an enrolment of 13 and an attendance of 12 children.


A new teacher arrived in 1940, Mr J.A Osbern, who had been teaching at the Vasse school. He too, was anxious to have the bathroom of the house lined, but his request was refused by the Forest Department as they resolutely maintained that they rented him a "standard Forestry Department house", and if any improvement was made to the bathroom - then all the other houses would have to be done and they were not prepared to do that.


The numbers at the school dwindled and on October 17th 1941 the Department instructed Mr. Osbern to close the school. There were only five children of school age left. From then on Shedley, the Forester supervised and protected the building. All furniture and effects were forwarded to the Public Works Department in East Perth, by Millars on their rail trucks at a cost of 10/-.


In March of 1945 it was suggested that the school building should be removed or sold. Negotiations went on for some time, and it was sold to the Forestry Department at Harvey on November 15th 1955. The head teacher at Treesville had requested that the building should be used there, but nothing came of it. The parents at Tallanalla had arranged, through the Education Department, to subsidise a bus run so that their children could go to school at Hoffman Mill, as only six houses were occupied in Tallanalla and the Forestry Department was finding it difficult to get workers.


The school building was re-erected at the Forest Department site in Harvey and remains in use there, while at Tallanalla it is impossible to visualise that a township, though small, ever existed. The Forest Department removed all traces of the buildings and have planted the area with trees. A marker by the side of the road is the only sign that this land was once occupied.


Activity, once again, is going on at Tallanalla as the Worsley Alumina Company works near the site building part of its conveyor belt for the alumina refinery at Worsley.




 


 


 


SITE OF

TALLANALLA SCHOOL

2nd July 1935- 17th October 1941

Headmasters:

Francis Hoad

July 1935- December 1940

John Osborn

January 1941 -October 1941

Families attending the school: - Balgera, Bond, Collings, Davidson, Denham, Du Plessis, Foy, Hall, Holmes, Johnson, McGrath, Moriarty, Osborn, Papalia, Pennington, Sawyer, Sturrock, Thomas, Wilshusen

Plaque unveiled on 26th October 2003


Directions given for Unveiling 26/10/2003


Turn off Southwest Highway at Weir Road, Harvey. (Set odometer at 0)

This goes past the Weir. When you come to gravel Weir Road becomes Harvey -Quindanning Road.


Landmarks to pass by are:


11.3 km - overhead wires

13.1 - Stirling Dam 5km sign

15.5 Hoffman Mill - to the left

19.6 - overhead wires

22.1 - Old Tallanalla Road to the right

23.3 - Road to the right that goes to Collie. This is not signposted but there are 3 signs on the left hand side of the road. (Harvey- Quindanning Road, Water Catchment Protection Area & Stirling Catchment).


Either park in the area at this corner and walk down the track which has just been cleared or drive your car down the track to the site.

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