Appendix Ten: Head Teacher Dempsey’s Report to the Undersecretary on the Junction Park Pool (25 February and 18 March 1910)

Unofficial Report from J.J. Dempsey to the Undersecretary, Department of Public Instruction, on the Junction Park Swimming Pool, 25 February 1910:


Dear Sir

A few facts re our new swimming pool may prove of interest.  At all events, I feel it due to you to tell you how we are doing; an official report will come in later.

Monday 7th February was a school holiday, and a free day; 210 "went through".  It was a red letter day for them, + for the district.  The daily average since has been 8.30am and 9.15am; 12.30 to 1.10; 1.10 to 1.45; & 4 to 4.45pm; giving an average of 25 in each batch.  This week we have restricted the numbers to 20 in a batch.  Boys: Mon & Wednesday.  Girls: Tuesday & Thursday.  Mr McPhail & Miss Charlton respectively take charge.  They are making new swimmers rapidly.  Friday is Swimming Club Day.  Boys, [?] Girls, afternoon.  Any girl swimming the length is [?] the rest of the season. (on Swimming Club days only) It [?] Bath tickets 6 a dozen.  New swimmers who passed the test between 7th & 25th February:  Boys, 31.  Girls, 11.

Better work is being done "latterly [sic]".  We are getting to know the work.  A large number have passed the test of swimming across; but the length (14 yards) is the test which passes them into the Swimming Club, gives them one extra day a week, and one day a month at the Stanley St baths.

We are all quite satisfied that our bath is the best thing done by our folks up to date.  Please excuse the telegraphic "berevity [sic]", it is meant to save your time, more than to spare my own

Yours faithfully

J.J. Dempsey[1] 


Report from J.J. Dempsey to the Undersecretary, Department of Public Instruction, on the Junction Park Swimming Pool, 18 March 1910:


I have the honour to report the completion of a Recreation Shed at the above school.  The shed was erected to the order of the School Committee, by Messrs Wells and Bennett, Contractors of Woolloongabba.    A sub-committee consisting of Messrs Wm . R. Juster (builder) and Philip Marshall (contractor), with the head teacher, arranged details, drew the specifications, and attended to the work.  The Department of Public Works kindly lent an officer to supervise the work generally, and another to watch the mixing and filling of the Concrete.  The work was faithfully executed and has given great satisfaction.  The Board of Waterworks sanctioned a good supply of water and very favourable terms for same.  The bath is filled in four hours and emptied in the same period.   Appended is a statement of the cost of the Recreation Shed from its inception to its completion.

On 5th February the Swimming Pool portion of the Shed was declared open for use; and since that time very encouraging progress has been made in the teaching of Swimming.  Today, we have 30 boys and 42 girls who have passed their test as swimmers.  Our experience has been that, as soon as the girls loose fear they swim as readily as boys.  We are confident that our promise of one hundred new swimmers a year will be largely exceeded.

In the work of instruction, ready and valuable help has been given by Mr A. G. McPhail (A.J.), and Misses E. Ingham.  M. Charlton and F. Hill (A.Js) , which I value the more since it was voluntarily "proferred[sic]".  The above excellent results are largely due to the sustained and self denying efforts of the teachers named.   We average over two new swimmers per day.

I have under consideration a plan for the removal of a building 24' x 12' from another part of the grounds, where it is little used, and re re-erecting it on the north side of the  swimming pool.  We have an entertainment-gallery that we could put into this building overlooking the swimming pool.  It is here that I hope to give lessons in life-saving and ambulance work next summer.  The cost of the removal [?]  will be about six or seven pounds, and so we are obliged to wait awhile.

I have the honour to be,


Your obedient servant

JJ Dempsey H[?]

Cost of Recreation Shed

Trimming & leveling after Completion2.11.0
Advertising tenders for Shed (about)1.16.0
Fencing the ground2.1.6
Preparing ditto & testing for rock2.0.0
Contract for Shed & Swimming Pool148.17.10
Extra pipes for outlet1.5.0
Concrete margin instead of asphalt5.0.0
Extra contract for dressing room11.12.0
Extra for filling round the Concrete work
Excavating clay & filling with rock3.0.0
Total Cost of the Work178.3.4

In addition a good deal of labour was done gratuitously.

J.J. Dempsey  [?] Teacher of No.514[2]


[1] Letter from Dempsey. 25 February 1910 QSA School Files (Correspondence) 15017 for Junction Park 1890-1919, NDB  Document No. 053-054.

[2] Memo from Dempsey. 18 March 1910 QSA School Files (Correspondence) 15017 for Junction Park 1890-1919, NDB  Document No 048-051.