Henry Howard Payne was an early pioneer in The Gap district. The road named after him was called Payne Road, and was a main thoroughfare during the early days of the suburb's development. The Paten home was called 'Walton' and this name was given to the historic Walton Bridge, which was constructed in 1900.

(Reference: L. Jenkins, BRISbites, 2000.

Opening year 1970

 Payne Road State School opened in 1970

Principal:  Clive Cook

P&C President: Edwin Earle

Auxiliary President: Barbara Midwood

Enrolments: 88 (In 1971, enrolments were 173. Enrolments briefly exceded 500 in 1978)

Information from “Payne Road State School Silver Jubilee – A Perspective 1970-1995.” (Fran Morrison and Julie Dickinson) p 5 – 7

New school for bi-centennial

The Gap South State School opened for business on Monday 26 January 1970, 200 years after Cook landed on our shores.

82 pupils, from grades 1 – 7 shared the historic day with four teachers, the new Principal Clive Cook, and an assortment of builders and tradesmen who were still struggling to get the school ready for occupancy.

Name change

After a request from the Principal, the Department authorised the name of the school be changed to Payne Road State School. Mr Cook then hand painted the change on the sign himself.

Grand opening

The school was officially opened on 7 November 1970 by the Hon Max Hodges, MLA, Minister for Works and Housing.

The celebration was attended by a host of dignitaries, many in the community and all of the 108 pupils.

The highlight of the day was the Tinickling dance. It involved the girls dancing in and out as long bamboo poles were clapped around their feet, a deft, and if you slip, painful dance which went off without a hitch.

Playground: a real adventure

There were tunnels, a suspension bridge and an obstacle course that would slow down many a soldier. The playground was designed by Clive Cook and Edwin Earle (first P&C President), and constructed with volunteer (i.e. fathers’) labour, from the builders’ leftovers, scrounged concrete pipes and poles.

Eighty at P&C meeting

During 1970, there were regularly 70 or 80 people at the P&C meetings…is this a record for a school of barely 60 families?

The P&C funded an 850 book library, a radiogram, PA system, piano, sports equipment and the adventure playground during that first year.

Uniform chosen

It took three long meetings to choose a style and fabric for the school uniform. First Auxiliary President, Barbara Midwood recalls:

“When we picked the blue and white check, with the brown line through it, it was quite an unusual fabric, and it would suit both the girls’ dresses and for boys’ shirts worn with brown shorts and shoes.

There was also a winter uniform for girls, consisting of a navy pinafore with a dropped waist and inverted pleats. It was worn with a white blouse and a lovely little French schoolgirl’s hat. It looked very smart.”

In the beginning

Apart from the Principal, four teachers arrived to begin teaching duties on the first day. Kay McCarthy was the Grade 1 teacher, Margaret Chapman Grade2, Rod Lanham Grade 3/4/5 and Rod Roemermann was to teach Grade 6/7. As soon as the Education Department got wind of the lower than expected numbers, Rod Roemermann was whisked away to Oakleigh State School. Mr Cook took over as the Grade 6/7 teacher.

Mr Cook reported: “The children had never before had a teacher who was forever disappearing to enrol new pupils, to show delivery people where to put the new furniture and books (which eventually arrived) and to confer with building supervisors. They grew used to it and developed self-reliance and I believe they subsequently made normal progress at High School after all.”

Tuckshop opens

The P&C decided early that food was a good fundraiser. The enterprising Marion Golding didn’t let a little thing like no facilities stand in her way.

“In the days before hot bread shops, only stale bread was available for Monday lunches. So we decided to open a Monday lunch bar. Golden Circle gave us a drinks van with push out sides, and lunch orders were made up by a few mothers in our kitchen at home at 208 Payne Road, and then sold from the van.”

More history on Payne Road State School

The information below is from “Payne Road State School: A Short History of the School 1970 – 1980”

The Payne Road State School commenced on 26 January 1970, as The Gap South State School. Later in the year the name was changed to its present name. The Hon A M Hodges (MLA), Minister for Works and Housing, on 7 November 1970, officially opened the school. The first Principal to be appointed was Mr Clive Cook. Enrolments initially were below expectations with the result that the initial staff of five was reduced to four. This was increased as enrolments improved. It was not until 1974, however, that at least one class in each level occurred. The classification, as a result of increased enrolments, changed in this year from Class III to Class II, thus necessitating a change in Principalship.

Mr E Kohnke replaced Mr Cook as from the commencement of 1974…

In 1977 two Pre-school units were added, each being staffed with a teacher and teacher aide. These units necessitated the removal of two residences in 1976. Hon J Greenwood (MLA), Member for Surrey, officially opened the pre-school on 5 November 1976.

Two additional blocks of land were resumed to increase the school boundaries in 1976 – one of which is occupied by the Activity Hall. The Hon W D Lickiss (MLA), Minister for Justice and Attorney General on 1 April 1978, officially opened the Hall.

Over the years, playground has been provided, a ground beautification scheme implemented including planting of trees and shrubs. The motif of planting has, since 1974, been limited to Australian natives.

Special Events, 1970 - 1980

26 January 1970 – First day of school.

7 November 1970 – Official opening by A M Hodges (MLA)

1971 Cricket pitch provided by The Gap Apex Club

Adventure Play Area constructed (cost - $100)

Goal Posts (provided by The Gap Pastime Club)

Basket Ball posts (provided by The Gap State High School)

Radiogram – Gift from The Gap Lions Club

First Fancy Dress Ball – Methodist Hall

1972 (January) Completion of A Block – first team rooms

1973 Tennis Court construction

Inter communication system provided

Electric Kiln installed

New Block (one team room)

1974 The ’74 floods in February forced school closure for four days.

1975 Centenary Celebrations and Tree Planting (S.G.A.P. tree planting)

November – Demountable erected.

Block C extended and occupied (2 team rooms – one single unit and withdrawal room)

Houses removed for Pre-school

Instrumental teachers appointed

1976 (March) Visit by Regional Director, Mr Hooper

1977 D Block occupied – one team room

(August) First unit of pre-school opened

(November) Pre-school officially opened by Hon J Greenwood (MLA)

Two block of ground acquired (Mr Cooper; Mr Matthews)

1978 Second pre-school unit opened

Activity Hall erected and occupied (cost $40 000 – PCA and Subsidy)

(April) Activity Hall officially opened by Hon W Lickiss (MLA)

1980 Covered Way linking Blocks B & C constructed

In case memories fade

1. The original land was Best’s dairy farm. The original house occupied by the Bests is 85 Payne Road.

2. A house occupied by Mr and Mrs Herricane was removed. D Block is built on this site.

3. The two houses removed for Messrs Bopp and Keyes owned the pre-school.

4. BCC trucks from Manson’s Pickle Factory at no cost delivered the granite boulders.

5. Mr and Mrs B Cooper initiated the fernery fronting the Administration Block at the school’s foundation.

6. The (original) Adventure Playground was designed and built by Messrs Cook and Cooper.

7. The good officers of Mrs Herricane saved the large gum tree below the present library from removal.

8. The smaller gum tree below the library was a commemoration tree planted at the school’s opening.

9. Three Buckinghamias on the Pre-school were planted by Mr J Greenwood (MLA), Mr J Andrews (Alderman) and Mr M Wills (PCA President).

10. Centenary Plantings in 1978 were planned and trees supplied by SGAP (Society of Growing Australian Plants). Local representative, Mrs Ford.

11. The document states a windmill was obtained by Mr Clive Cook and placed at the top of the school drive way, to better identify the school entrance.

Last reviewed 11 February 2020
Last updated 11 February 2020