If you would like your memories of Lyneham Primary to be considered for inclusion on this page please email through memories, contact details and years of connection to the school to email@example.com
Helen Harvie - Staff member 1960 to retirement in 1994. Relief Teacher to present.
I arrived at Lyneham during the 60's. My first vivid memory was of 'The Fire', for although I was on maternity leave, I was given the job of minding the babies of the Staff while they donned raincoats and galoshes to search through the still dripping school rubble for records or anything else of value to the school community. They arrived back, wet, cold and filthy to collect the babies! The other outstanding memory was of the 25th anniversary. At that time we had just run a raffle to buy our first 'Apple' computer which was our pride and a huge mystery. I was installed in the 'Board Room' - opposite the Library where I demonstrated how this machine could sort names, find people etc. Schools are a reflection of our community and as such, Lyneham has changed and evolved. I have found these changes interesting, but my main interest has always been the children. My best wishes for the next 50 years.
Pat Parker (formerly Butt) - 1978 – 2000
In the early eighties Lyneham Primary School began a cooking program for students. A cooking classroom was set up in room 4. The room was well equipped with basic cooking utensils, including electric frypans, mixers and blenders. The stoves and sink were located in what used to be the Infants Canteen adjoining the gym. The students enjoyed cooking, and eating, basic nutritious snacks and easy meals such as toasted sandwiches, fruit smoothies, fruit salad, vegetable soup and pikelets.
Rebecca Eames (Wilson)
I remember Miss Cooper, with her beehive hairdo and stiletto court shoes (always white!), who got a bit confused on the first day back for the school year in second grade, and wrote 1961 instead of 1962. I remember Mr Kaye, who used to make us all sing every morning. What a great way to start a day. His favourite was "Good News Week", before it became a popular show on TV. I remember forging the lunch passes - which were just pieces of paper with a picture of a clock, on which teachers marked the times you were allowed to be away from school. Very easy to change. I remember playing elastics. I remember having a tennis ball in the toe of a stocking and some game where you bounced it off the brick walls. Don't know why. I remember being the marbles champion of the school. As a vertically challenged girl, it was the only sport I was ever any good at. I remember being banned from PE until I washed the blue eyeshadow and five coats of mascara off my face. That was some standoff. I remember warm milk in tiny little bottles at recess. I remember standing at an outside assembly in the quadrangle, and Dana Znajtnas - whose father worked at the mint - showing me the first ever 1 and 2 cent decimal coins. I remember singing "in come the dollars and in come the cents" to the tune of Click Go the Shears, around 14 February 1966. I remember having a sister in each grade at primary and then high school - there were five of us. As the youngest, I didn't realise at the time how reassuring that was. I remember when the school burnt down. I was in high school then, but used to pass LPS every day. Very sad.
After a great school life, then marrying and moving around Australia, I remember returning home to Canberra and enrolling my own kids at LPS. I remember my son was the youngest child enrolled in 1990 - his fifth birthday didn't come around until 30 April that year. I remember writing a letter to school when some kind child bought him a new bag of popcorn when he spilled his on his first trip to the canteen, and cried.
Gary Edwards - now living in Georgia, USA. 1960 - 1961
My sister and I attended LPS in 1960 & 1961. My father was assigned to the United States Embassy in Canberra at the time and it gave our family the wonderful opportunity to live in another part of the world, although Canberra and Australia in general were not too far removed from the U.S. at the time. When our family first arrived in the A.C.T. there was no television station in town; some of the neighbors on Swainsona Street (about two blocks from LPS) had very tall masts for their TV antennas and could, on a good day receive reception from a station in Sydney. Lake Burley Griffin began construction during my family's time in Canberra. I remember how the landscape was transformed by the work and I regret that we had returned to the U.S. before it was finally completed. I would have loved seeing the end result. The surrounding landscape included a small row of shops where Tilley's now stands. There was a butcher shop, a small drug store (then referred to as a "chemist") a book store and a fish and chips shop along with a myriad of other small businesses.
At the time I arrived at LPS I did not realise how new the school was. I only came to know that by following the schools website most recently. The entire student body would line up in the morning by class and the headmaster, Mr. Slater, would greet us and speak of events that were occurring at the school in the coming days. We had a drummer and a recorder band that would play marching music as we trundled off to class at the close of the assembly. This was something entirely new to my sister and I, since nothing in our experience at American schools was similar. Also, the school uniforms that we wore were a novelty, albeit a pleasant one for us.
One thing of particular interest was the superior level of education that we received at LPS. I had classes that included music appreciation, math (with rudimentary geometry; the likes of which I did not see again until 7th grade in U.S. schools) health & history with a distinctly Australian perspective. LPS at the time was a very sports oriented school and I recall running in some field and track events during the term's athletic day.
In looking over the Newslyne from 1964, I recognised many names of outstanding students from my time in Mr. Harvie's class (4HA). I smiled when I read that he was referred to as the "Terror of Lyneham." He was a witty charming bear of a man; legend has it that we was a former wrestler and his size would have seemed to affirm this. He was jovial until one stepped too far out of line and then he was a force with which to be reckoned. I unfortunately observed this first hand for I was a jokester and sometimes needed settling down. Of most obvious note were the names of Lynette Slater (perhaps my first schoolboy crush) who was renowned for her flawless cursive hand writing, Christine Gray, Neil Christiansen and Marilyn Rees. They were superior students even back then so I was not surprised that they were prominent figures later on in the 6th year.
I look back at my two years in Canberra and especially at LPS and realise what a profound effect those times played for me. There is barely a day gone by when I do not realise that something I said, thought or remembered sprung from my education at LPS. They were truly some of the most formative, happy and fond times of my life. I currently work as a program manager for an environmental certification project in Dalton, Georgia. We are about 75 miles north of Atlanta, the sight of the Olympics in 1996. I spent my younger life living in Southern California and worked as both a fireman and police officer in the Los Angeles area in my 20's and 30's.
I wish for all the students at LPS a successful academic career, a rich, rewarding adulthood. I most fervently hope that they will look back at their time at Lyneham Primary School remembering the good things that they learned and experienced there, in the same fashion as I.
Congratulations on 50 great years and here's to the next 50! Gary would like to hear from some of his old classmates! Email contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Matchett - 1994 – 1997 (student at LPS) and 2007 – present (teacher at LPS)
In Year 4, all the Year 4 classes would gather in Mrs Ford’s room and participate in singing lessons around a piano. However much we enjoyed or didn’t enjoy this activity usually depended on the choice of songs for the week. Little did we know, that the Year 6 classes below us would need to leave their rooms every week when we were singing as the combined noise of the piano and student’s singing was too much to work through! We found this out through experience two years later when we were the year 6 students.
Milena Samal - 1965
My eldest brother Frank Samal commenced at Lyneham Primary in 1963 and my young brother Thomas (Tom) Samal commenced in 1967. Both my parents Bill and Marta Samal were actively involved in the P&C and P&F respectively for many years. My father was the Treasurer of the P&C at the time the school burnt down and was very involved with all the fund raising activities.
The most memorable teachers in my school life were Ms Manwaring and the ever fabulous Mr Bennett - who was also the Choir Master at the time. Mr Sutherland was the Principal at the time and did a very fine job. I clearly remember Stickman parades and marching into school from assembly (He had a military style about things).
Tom is currently living and working in The Hague and cannot make it back for the reunion but Frank, my parents (coming from interstate) and I, will be attending.
Tiina Alvre - Circa 1969
Perhaps my most enduring memory is when the school was burned down in 1969. I was in fourth grade, my younger sister Siiri was in second grade. I recall how disappointed we were at the start of the year that our two grades had been selected to occupy the demountable classroom buildings (the "portables" as they were known), which were hot in summer and cold in winter. However, remarkably, it was only the demountables that were untouched by the fire, so we were delighted to have lost none of our books or other possessions that were stored in our desks in the classrooms. And we were doubly delighted that, despite not having lost anything in the fire, mid-year exams, which had been scheduled to commence the Monday after the Saturday night of the arson, were cancelled for all grades, including ours.
Wendy Elliott - 1982 to 2000
When I arrived at Lyneham Primary I was involved with the cooking program for two years. All students learnt to prepare and cook simple meals. Following this I was teaching on class before taking on the role of physical educator in 1988. My other responsibilities included taking the school bands as well as organising the outdoor education program. My last date at Lyneham Primary was on the 14th August 2001, taking the Combined Practice, as a relief teacher.
Initially Lyneham had a Woodwind Band and was partnered with Turner Primary who had a Brass Band. During this period students started in 4th grade, but only every second year. Many were not happy with this. The ACT Band Program staff realised the problem and so it was decided that all students could participate from 5th grade every year. More schools were included in the program and in 1992 we changed to a Brass Band and our new partner school, Majura Primary, started as a Woodwind Band. I took the bands from 1989 until 1999. We played at many fetes as well as other venues such as Floriade and Glebe Park. One concert at Glebe Park we were packed in very tightly on the rotunda. My conducting baton clipped a music stand and became airborne. I am still not sure how the flautists kept playing as all seemed to be giggling. We were the only band who had the free use of a small bus, from the Lyneham Service Station, complete with conductor driver, for the many combined band practice trips.
Lyneham had a history of many successes with sport. One year we sent a football team to play St Edmunds. Not only did we win but we had a female in the team, Caitlin Munoz. Caitlin is now a successful soccer player for the ACT team. Ben Vincent went to the Olympics as a wrestler. Not that we taught wrestling but hopefully we encouraged his physical activity. Angie Ballard went on to the Para-Olympics. She was part of the World record team, with Louise Savage, in a wheelchair relay. And Paul Crake won the New York Tower stair race many times. Unfortunately, after a cycling accident he now uses a wheelchair. The biggest highlight for the students was when the gym was set up with up to eighteen fun learning activities. There were also many Gross Motor times to help students with special needs.
At one stage over 100 students would have an extra curriculum gymnastic class for an hour before school started. Each year we would compete in the ACT Primary School’s Gymnastic competition. At times we would have two girls' teams and one boys' team. Chris Ellis went one year to Darwin for the Pacific Schools Competition. We were the first school ever to enter a student with sight impairment for a floor routine. For a couple of years we entered teams in the rhythmic competition using balls, hoops and ropes.
My own children attended the St Ninian’s Sunday School and they met on a Sunday at Lyneham Primary in the years before the big fire. I remember after the fire the disruption the school had as the majority of the classes were bussed daily to other schools. At that time the school had over one hundred children who came in from country areas as well as Yass. So many had two bus trips before their class could begin for the day.
One time I saw a second grade teacher running out of the school with a garbage bin on fire. Apparently a science experiment went wrong. Another time our janitor accidently set the fire alarm off while cooking sausages. So the whole school had to follow the fire alarm drill. It was five minutes to three, just before home time, and to top it off the last day of the school term. We had to wait for the fire brigade to give us the all clear before the children could collect their bags. School buses were delayed and the children arrived home late. Another time the children were misbehaving on the bus when travelling home. The driver returned the children to the school and they were marched to the hall for a good talking to.
The Outdoor Education camping program was quite extensive. The program included the whole school starting with a sleep over when in Kindergarden and by sixth grade a five day camp. The venues were varied, some local and others interstate. A favourite for the younger grades was a sleep over at the Principal’s home on Mac Reefs Road. They stayed in a shearing shed with a tarp on the floor and sleeping mats. The stay included sliding down the sheep ramp and a pretend drenching. The night always finished with Stan playing the guitar and the children singing (while snuggled up in their sleeping bags). A favourite was “The Purple People Eater”. We self catered for many camps. The most challenging was a five day bush camping trip on a property near Yass. A wind storm passed through the camp flattening most of the tents and the toilet tents. One tent 3m x 4m became airborne and flew over our food marquee tent. Luckily the evening meal was already cooked in a camp oven. After this traumatic event the students could not believe that they had a hot cooked meal ready to eat. We continued to have high winds for three days and when the parents came to collect the children we had a welcomed treat. One parent brought freshly cooked scones with cream and jam. Although encountering various snakes during camping trips the students always did the right thing.
My husband went to most of the camps as he was the “token male”, male teachers being very thin on the ground in primary schools. But he was far from being a token... on those trips he was often the loved and respected substitute father or grandfather. The students called him the BFG (Big Friendly Giant), a Roald Dahl creation. He was a calming effect for both students and staff.
Lyneham Primary had a variety of students but overall we have had some great results. I am always delighted to hear of the successful careers some of my former students have made.
Ian Read – student 1960 to 1963,
I first attended LPS in 1960 after my father was posted from Amberley in QLD to Canberra as part of his role in the RAAF. Little did I know at the time that only 12 years later he would be Chief of Staff. And little did I know at the time that my brothers and I were enrolling in a school that was practically brand new.
Looking through old class photos from that era always generates a flood of different memories. Unfortunately most of these are either too scant or too personal to arouse widespread reader interest but I'm sure those who were lucky enough to have enjoyed the teaching methods of either Mr Harvie (4th Class 1962) or Mr Fowler (5th Class 1963) would have their own treasured memories.
If any ex student, ex teacher or current administrator can uncover any photographic evidence of which teachers I may have had in my two initial years at the school (1960 and 1961) I would be deeply indebted. It would be kind of nice to be able to fill in the gaps.
If I was pushed to nominate which incidents from those crazy days at primary school have stayed with me the most over all these years I would have to say there are three that stand out.
Firstly there was the famous bubble blowing incident where one particular teacher's unusual means of punishing anyone caught chewing in class meant they were brought to the front of the class to lick soap 10 times. A second indiscretion meant they had to lick the soap 20 times. Who could ever forget the sight of that poor kid who was caught 3 times in the one day? If only teachers had that latitude for discipline these days?
When it came to playground dominance at lunchtime then the game of marbles offered you the golden opportunity to show your stuff. At LPS in the '60s two boys absolutely dominated marbles - but in the interests of modesty they will remain nameless. One day both of these boys were sitting together in a woodworking class when one suddenly cut off the tip of his thumb. On looking up suddenly to see what all the fuss was about the second boy, failing to pay attention to what he was doing, cut off his thumb. Both our thumbs required the biggest bandages you've ever seen and needless to say the rest of the marble playing fraternity were rejoicing for days.
In Brigalow St there was a set of swings we all played on from time to time and although they saved my life one day when a vicious blue cattle dog bailed me up for over an hour, and despite the fact that breed still makes me paranoid, this is not my third most memorable incident.
Instead, this honour goes to a lucky event that unfolded one evening at the Lyneham shops. My family had walked down Wattle St for our regular Friday night ice cream treat. In those days of course TV was sadly lacking any entertainment and a paddle pop was always going to get the nod. On this occasion however the milkbar owner insisted we hold off on our selection for a few more minutes as he was expecting the delivery truck from Sydney to arrive any moment and it was carrying a brand new ice cream the likes of which no Canberrans had ever seen before. Voila, the Drumstick!
Anyway, I'm not sure yet if I can make the trek to Canberra for the reunion but suffice to say I hope all goes well and that LPS is given the acknowledgement it deserves. A safe, fun learning environment it was indeed and I think it would be safe to say it has left something special with all those who have attended her.
Seiji Kawazoe - student 1972 -1975 now living in Luxembourg
Congratulations Lyneham Primary School! I wish I could attend the celebrations, but I am working in Europe (Luxembourg) now and I cannot come. Best wishes to everyone and to the bright future of the school! My family moved to Canberra from Japan for my father's work, and I spent 3 years from grade 2 (Mrs Garvan), grade 3 (Mrs Tibballs), grade 4 (Mrs Dennis/Mrs Wells) and grade 5 (Mrs Tibballs) Please forgive me if my spelling of the teachers names are incorrect. My older brother, Satoshi was in 6th grade and moved on to high school. As it was my first time abroad, my first couple of weeks at the school were catching up English (Australian) for survival, but as months past, I got used to it and enjoyed the school very much. I remember Mr Sutherland, the Principal, with his distinctive pronunciation of 'a-n-d', whenever he made speeches. I left the School in the middle of 5th grade and have not visited again, it must have changed after 30 odd years. But even now, my English carries an Australian accent, which is a product of LPS education. Of course, great memories of the school, and I miss those classmates whom I spent time with. email@example.com
Paula Porritt - Canteen Manageress, 1988 to 2005
During my time as Canteen Manageress, we saw the Canteen renovated from the old fashioned lime green decor to a modern bright working canteen with new appliances, that all the volunteers enjoyed working in. We did numerous special lunches, but the one that stands out most was the Greek lunch, when Tim Boutsis invaded the canteen, caused absolute mayhem, while helping the Mums and I whip up some Greek dishes for the children! The volunteers over my time spent there were fabulous, we had some fun times and many lasting friendships were made. Congratulations to Lyneham, I am proud to have been part of it.
Jo Featherston - (aka Joanna Cruickshank) student 1959-1964
I attended the school from Day One in 1959 when it opened. We had to be bussed to North Ainslie for kindergarten because LPS wasn't ready in 1958. Like my old classmate Gary Edwards who has left a message already, I lived in Swansonia Street, just a block from the school, across what was at the time an open paddock where I learnt to ride a bike, before the Church was built there. I sometimes went home from school at lunchtime for a cooked lunch! I remember practising times tables with Mr Fowler, using little cards that you folded over lengthwise, and then opened out to check against your answers. We had afternoon sewing lessons for the girls in the upstairs sewing room, and I still have my little pin wheel and cotton bag decorated with carefully sewn sample stitches. Marbles and jacks were popular play ground activities. We had library monitors and milk monitors, of which I was one, flavoured straws for drinking the milk at play time, and annual class plays performed in the assembly hall. One year our class, possibly 4A with Mr Harvey, put on an amusing and memorable performance of "Rinse the Blood off my Toga". I also remember the horror of having your name called out in class for a visit to the dreaded school dentist, and marching with the school band (recorders and drums), in the annual Canberra procession, while valiantly playing such tunes as Men of Harlech, English Country Garden, the Can Can, and When Johnny comes Marching Home, not to mention the original school song, sung to the tune of 'The Happy Wanderer', the words being something like this: "To Lyneham School we all belong, in Canberra City fair. We try to learn, progress and serve, and strive with all our care. Lyneham School! Lyneham fair! On we march... We are proud to sing this song", or words to that effect. I would imagine that this is no longer the current school song!
Lynne Rudnev – teacher 1980 to 1981
As a teacher at Lyneham Primary in the 80’s and early 90’s, I organised a trip for the Year 1’s to Taronga Park Zoo in Sydney to see the visiting pandas. A great day was had by all (only one child lost and none eaten). However, a week afterwards, while watching a program on Heron Island and the Great Barrier Reef, one gorgeous young man in the class suggested that in view of the fact that the trip to Sydney went so well, Heron Island might be a possibility for the classes next excursion??? Gareth Upton was the student’s name……and his mother’s was Toni……and his sister was Rhiannon…………and her birthday is on the same day as mine!!!!! Can’t believe I can remember all that.