Public School Building – Cnr Monaro & Toalla Streets


Pambula school students and teacher Robert Ashworth, C. 1900. Courtesy of the George Family Collection.

Pambula National School- the seventh school established in NSW – originally opened in a hut on the property now known as Oaklands. In 1849 a more substantial brick and shingle school opened on the river flats, but flooding plagued the school and forced its closure on many occasions. In response, this half-acre block was secured in 1867 for a new school – a two-roomed rubble sandstone building completed in 1872.

Unfortunately, authorities failed to take population growth into account when planning the new facility and although extensions, improvements and modifications were undertaken, it could not keep up with demand. In 1898 the local Pambula Voice complained that “It seems monstrous to assert that the present school building is adequate. It was built to accommodate 70 scholars. There are over 100 children on the roll, while several of the children over five years have been refused admission owing to want of room. The school building itself is very dilapidated and last week one of the walls cracked, making it necessary to move the pupils. It must be apparent to everyone that this barn-like building is unsuitable for the purposes for which it is used…”

Pambula school students and teacher, 1887. Courtesy of the George Family Collection.

Pambula School students and teacher William Apsey in front of the school building, C. 1880. Courtesy of the George Family Collection.

Pambula Public School Upper Division 1935

Finally in 1907, Pambula’s school relocated to their new weatherboard school building 400 metres north at the top of Monaro Street where it stands today. In 1912 the local chapter of the Masonic Lodge, led by Worshipful Master Charles Baddeley, bought the old 1872 school building and converted it into their temple.