Institutional histories tend to be epistles of endless chronological lists, some photographs and occasional information slices. Or… they can be important, brilliantly researched and compiled narratives revealing the emergence and development of essential facilities. No regrets in the evening of life is such a compelling exposé. Explore the world changing events and the state bureaucracy impacting upon the Junction Park community.
Beryl Roberts, Coopers Plains Local History Group and History Queensland
“This is a tale of a school growing, along with the students it nurtured. But it so much more than a story of a school. Dr Buch has captured the flow of Queensland, Brisbane and Annerley’s history, with a school carried on that tide.”
Professor Graeme Orr, UQ Law School
Although a history of Junction Park State School, it is a larger study in the local history of the Annerley-South Brisbane districts, and a socio-political history of Queensland primary school education; with over 150,000 words, and over 1,400 endnotes. The book, in various details, addresses the intersection of 83 historical topics and this unique primary school. It promises to change the way local history is thought about in Queensland, with its precise argument that local history needs to be understood in the shaping influences between local, regional, and global contexts.
The book is available on sale from the Junction Park History website or through the Junction Park State School (+61 7 34264333).
The primary school in Junction Park, Brisbane, is an unusual place. The old community parkland was originally a manure depot with the Junction’s earliest cricket and football ground. For most of its history, Junction Park was simply the State School in Annerley. At its inception the institution became the meeting ground between a well-to-do middle class township, on the hilltop, and the struggling working class estate in the valley below. In its first fifty years it was a place where the school was run by a few of Queensland’s political elite and prominent businessmen, including Premier Digby Denham. That early historical advantage enabled Junction Park State School to build a brilliant reputation, from the site of the first state school swimming pool to top scholarship classes to being a major location for teacher training. And that is all before 1963. In the rapid and continuous whirlwinds of curriculum development since the early 1960s, Junction Park stands as a leading educational innovator. No regrets in the evening of life is the full historical account. And it will put to rest Dempsey’s fear “that things done badly or left undone, regrets which dwell with us old fellows in the evening of life.”
Neville Buch is a Member of the Professional Historians Australia (MPHA), and after receiving his doctorate at the University of Queensland in 1995, he has researched and written in social, intellectual, and educationalist histories. He has a background as a speechwriter and researcher in higher education, working with four Vice-Chancellors, three at the University of Melbourne and one at Griffith University. Dr Buch has published several papers in an international reference book on historic places, and in history conference publications. He has also completed post-doctoral work in local community and institutional history projects, including histories on Catholic secondary education and on Protestant & Catholic organisations. Recently, he has been working as one of the first four Q ANZAC 100 Fellows at the State Library of Queensland. Further information can be found at drnevillebuch.com