Vince Reynolds sits in the former Kalapa School, which is now located at the Rockhampton Heritage Village. Photo Michelle Gately / Morning Bulletin
Vince Reynolds sits in the former Kalapa School, which is now located at the Rockhampton Heritage Village. Photo Michelle Gately / Morning Bulletin Michelle Gately

Celebration to remember old Kalapa school centenary

THERE was once a time when every small community had a bustling school at its heart.

Although it's been almost 20 years since the Kalapa School closed, former students and the community will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the opening of the school in the region on July 11.

Rural schools like Kalapa often housed anywhere from 10 to 50 students from Prep to Year 7, all taught by one capable teacher.

Yet Kalapa resident Vince Reynolds said this didn't stop students from getting a good education, with many going on to good careers, including one state Member of Parliament.

"They weren't lacking for quality education," he said.

"I don't know how the teachers did it."

The original school, then named Woodend, was a basic, open-air building with canvas curtains rolled down to keep out the elements built in 1915.

The school was relocated after two years and a new school house built.

Vince moved to Kalapa in 1981 and saw the number of students decline from 11 to nine before the school was eventually closed.

The school house is now on display at the Rockhampton Heritage Village, where modern students get a taste for life in the past.

Although Vince didn't attend Kalapa, he was part of the team who helped organise for it to be moved to the village.

It's something he said was disappointing, as there was always something going on at the old school when it was operating.

"They were a gold mine in the early days," Vince said.

"(The school) was where everything happened."

Vince said he hoped future generations would be proud of the area in 100 years to come.

Part of the centenary celebrations will include the opening of the time capsule buried at the 75th anniversary.

Celebrations start on July 11 at 10am at Kalapa.



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