Fifth generation school journey 105 years in the making
FIVE-year-old Meika Hanson is excited for her school adventure to begin on Tuesday, as the soon-to-be Prep student follows the footsteps of four generations before her.
Meika will be the fifth generation in 105 years to walk through the Tewantin State School gates just as her mother, grandmother, great-grandfather and great, great-grandmother did.
While a few tears are sure to be shed by mother Rachelle Marian, she said it only seemed fitting to send her daughter to Tewantin.
“I don't think I got a choice,” Rachelle laughed.
“I always thought it would always be lovely to send my daughter to the same school all my family went to.”
Rachelle began Tewantin State School in 1992, her mother Sue Marian in 1971, grandfather Des Bickle in 1941 and great grandmother Marjorie Martin in 1915.
The family said they have seen a lot of change in Tewantin across the decades, particularly when reminiscing on school days.
“When I went to primary school there was one class of Grade 1, one class of Grade 2 all the way up to once class in Grade 7,” Sue said.
“Now there’s four classes!”
“I remember when I started preschool, that was the first year back then, there was only two little, small classes,” Rachelle said.
“When I left primary school, Grade 7 there was seven kids in my class,” Des said.
He also remembered the daily school life being a little different to today.
“It’s changed a little bit, just a few more buildings,” Des said.
“When I went to school there was no such thing as a hall, there was a shelter shed, a large shelter shed which you could sit in for little lunch and big lunch if the weather was inclement, otherwise you would sit under the tree.”
“There was a few kids who used to ride horses to school when I was at school, they just roamed in the schoolyard. That’s back in the days when cows roamed the street too.”
Meanwhile Sue recalled a time when students were provided with milk.
“They brought in the crates and every student would get a bottle of milk for little lunch,” she said.
The family history in Tewantin dates back to 1896 when Des’s grandfather moved to the area from Gympie.
There they owned and ran Martin’s Hotel near where the current Noosa Marina stands.
“That hotel burnt down in 1940 and that was my earliest recollection, because we had to vacate the house we lived in because of the possibility of it going up too,” Des said.
“I can remember sitting and watching, so I must have been four at the time.”
Over his lifetime Des spent 19 year with the air force moving around Australia and to the United States, but always knew Tewantin was home.
“I spent 19 years in the air force, came back here for 15 years, took off for 17 years and been here ever since,” he said.
“It’s always felt comfortable and despite the increased traffic, the increased population,
change is inevitable, but it’s still a nice place.”
As Meika prepares to put on her uniform and Frozen themed sneaker, Rachelle said she will likely shed a tear as her little girl heads of to big school.
“I’m getting choked up thinking about it, but she’s ready, she’s very ready,” she said.
“I don’t think I’ll cope all day until I pick her up, but im excited for her.”
Meika said she was excited to learn to read and write.