The Old Castlemaine Schoolboys Association

This photo appeared in Table Talk on 26th February 1920 recording an event which had taken place on Feb 15th.  Just a group of men having a dinner and Smoke Night in the Melbourne Town Hall.  But the interesting fact is that they all went to school within a few miles of the Castlemaine Post Office  and that there were enough of them to fill the Hall

old boys reunion Table talk Melbourne 26-2-1920

The Association was formed in 1912   Prominent people like Harry Lawson MP and Frank Tate the well known Director of Education were among the early members.  So too was Colonel Fields, whose granddaughters attended the High School later on and are remembered by  some of us who are still around. Mostly the annual reunions were held in Castlemaine but occasional ones were held in Melbourne.

I took the next photo in the front hallway of the North Castlemaine State School in 2003.  It shows the Dux of School, i.e. Grade 6,  a prize awarded each year from 1928 to 1973 by the Old Castlemaine Schoolboys Association.  It was a small  school with only one class for each level from Prep to Grade 6.  But political correctness took over after 1973 when the teachers refused to set the examination to decide the prize winners.  Notice the  emblem for the Association was the blue orchid which grew locally each Spring  in the harshest of grounds

2003 Reunioin Old Schoolboys Association board b


This is the prize awarded in 1940, a leather bound copy of the Poems of Adam  Lindsay Gordon..  The Association’s emblem is on the front cover and a keepsake of one of the real blue orchids has been kept pressed inside the book

The first winner for this school in 1928 was H.L.Stacey.  I’m hoping that someone can tell me about that family.

13 thoughts on “The Old Castlemaine Schoolboys Association

  1. boobook48

    I wonder if the Association still exists in some form? I love that you’ve kept and treasured the book all these years and the pressed real orchid is very sweet.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. hmchargue

    I don’t understand why the teachers didn’t want to participate after 1973. What’s not politically correct any longer? The poetry book is a lovely prize.


  3. Little Nell

    What a wonderful prize, and leather-bound to sustain many years of handling too. I’ve just been given a treasured poetry book, also leather-bound, that was a gift to my Mother in 1940. Sadly, the dementia has robbed her of all interest in reading. I will make sure the pages are regularly turned, though I don’t think there will be a pressed flower there.


  4. Jude Russell

    My grandmother was a Stacey, and her grandmother arrived at the goldfields after travelling by ship from Ireland. She was 16 years old at the time and travelled with a girlfriend. My grandmother’s father was Peter Stacey (a miner who was very proactive for miner’s rights). He was from a large family and after his death, my grandmother moved to Melbourne. When the first prize was awarded to H L Stacey, my grandmother would have been 28. I believe that most of the Staceys moved from the Castlemaine/ Maldon area and I think that one became the mayor of Bendigo at one stage. My sister has done quite a bit of research through so I can do a bit of checking with her.



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