Appendix Eight: An Account of Junction Park State School Silver Jubilee Celebration (4 March 1914)

A very pleasant ceremony took place at the Junction Park State School yesterday afternoon, when Mr J. J. Dempsey (head teacher) and Miss T. E. Brown (one of the lady teachers) were made the recipients of valuable gifts from the teachers, parents, and scholars, past and present, in recognition of the attainment of the silver jubilee of then service in the school. Those present included the Hon. and Mrs W. H. Barnes, Mr. J Stodart, M. L. A., Hon. W.H. Stephens (first chairman of School Committee), Mr. J. D. Story (representing the Minister for Public Instruction who was at Rockhampton), Rev H. T. Molesworth (first secretary of School Committee), Mr and Mrs J. J. Dempsey, Mr and Mrs F. Carter, Mrs E. Down, Mrs Juster, Misses J. E. Brown, E. Mudveney, K. O'Brien. M. Charlton, G.Walker, E. Reimer, A. Huxley, C. Sherwood, M. Moore, E. Rowton, R. Kelly, H. Young, Messrs J. Campbell, W. Stewart, W. H. Clarkson, A. Edmiston, T. Lind, T. Quinn. N. Kelly, L. Griffiths, Mr and Mrs G Flay, and a large number of parents and children. Apologies were tendered for the unavoidable absence of Mrs W. Stephens and the Hon. J W. Blair. The gift of Mr. Dempsey took the form of a magnificent case of cutlery suitably inscribed, while Miss Brown received a lady travelling case beautifully fitted and inscribed. Mr Barnes, to the accompaniment of cheers, made the presentations and referred to the valuable services rendered during a quarter of a century by the guests of honour. He spoke of the pleasure it always gave him to come to Junction Park and of the influence wielded by the school in the building up of the State's manhood. He humorously took a vote on the question as to How best to make this event remembered.” Mr Stodart was called upon to declare the result and amid applause and cheers declared “A whole holiday on Friday next, carried on the voices. Mr Dempsey in responding paid a tribute to the many co-operators whose help was involved in the making of a successful school to the cheerful and loyal staff, the enthusiastic committee, the generous public who supported their work, and the departmental officers who tried to give them the best facilities for carrying it out. He was glad that Miss Brown was associated with him in the event of that day as it testified to the important part placed by the assistant teachers in the conduct and work of the school. Furthermore the gift was one in which Mrs Dempsey would share and that earned with it appreciation of her encouraging influence in all his work. He traced the history of the school from January 1889, when it was first opened in a four roomed cottage. Since then every year has seen its growth, the registers to date showing that upwards of 5000 had passed through the books. He closely watched the career of the young people on leaving school, and proudly claimed that none had ever been called upon by a magistrate to show cause for breaches of the country's laws. They were rearing good and law abiding citizens (Applause). Mr J Campbell on behalf of Miss Brown thanked the donors for their gift. He took the opportunity to add his quota of praise to the influence of Miss Brown for good. Mr Stodart commended all concerned for the building up of this educational pile, the largest in his electorate. Mr J. D. Story bore testimony to the far-reaching influence of Mr Dempsey's work, and to the estimation in which the school and its staff are held by the department. Even on that day he was in receipt of a letter from New South Wales concerning one of the school's progressive measures. Cheers for the visitors and the guests of honour terminated the proceedings. The presentation committee (Medames F. Carter, W. Stephens, and E. Down) generously entertained the teachers and visiting officials to a dainty afternoon tea.[1]


[1] The Brisbane Courier. Thursday 5 March 1914, p. 9.