TRADITION: (From left) Braith Hermann, 5, Adam Hermann, 33, David Hermann, 65, and Janice Hutchinson (nee Hermann), 78, are four of the five generations of family who attended Frenchville State School after their ancestors used to own the land.
TRADITION: (From left) Braith Hermann, 5, Adam Hermann, 33, David Hermann, 65, and Janice Hutchinson (nee Hermann), 78, are four of the five generations of family who attended Frenchville State School after their ancestors used to own the land. Shayla Bulloch

5 generations, 114 years: Family's history at Rocky school

DRESSED sharp in his new uniforms, Braith Hermann couldn't wait to start his first day of school today as the fifth generation to attend Frenchville State School.

The five-year-old was part of a proud family tradition and could walk into the classroom knowing his ancestors had special connections to the land before the Rockhampton school was built.

Braith's grandfather, David Hermann, told of how their family migrated from Germany in the 1800s and was sailed into Keppel Bay, setting out for a new life in Australia.

Mr Hermann, 65, was proud of the family heritage linked to the school saying the acreage was the first piece of land bought by his great-great-grandfather, Fred Fehlhaber.

"He met my great-great-grandmother shortly after he moved here and they bought the land,” he said.

Before the school was built, Mr Herman recalls stories of the family living in a house at the far end of the land where they held cattle.

But in 1899, Fred decided to sell up part of his property to the Queensland Education Department.

"The school was then built in 1900 and my great-grandmother was the first to attend in our family in 1904,” he said.

Frenchville State School students at the Federation Day celebrations in 1901.
Frenchville State School students at the Federation Day celebrations in 1901. Contributed

More than 100 years later, the Hermannn family had seen countless family members attend the school, calling it a family tradition.

Mr Hermann recalls some of the smaller memories at Frenchville State School as his favourites.

"It was a bush school when I went so I used to love going up to Mount Archer on our excursion days,” he said.

"Kids go on these extravagant excursions now but I used to enjoy just walking up the mountain.”

Janice Hutchinson, nee Hermann, was the last of the second generation standing but was proud to have such connections to a magnificent school.

Mr Hermann said the decision to also enrol his son, Adam, was instinctive.

Now with another generation starting today, Mr Hermann said he was proud to see his grandson don the same uniform but wasn't sure how long the tradition would keep.

"The kids are all thinking of moving away as they get older,” he said.

"So Braith could be the last one in our family to graduate from here.”

Now living just down the road, Mr Hermann said either way he was proud of their long family history and was excited to pass on that history to the school.



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