Celebrating 130 years of Cambrai education

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Cambrai Primary School has a rich history going back 130 years.

Schooling began in the district in 1876 at the Rheinthal Lutheran Church, north of the township.

The first public school opened in 1888 with 16 students attending Rhine Villa School in the first year.

Rhine Villa Institute was built in 1891 and Rhine Villa Day School opened there on July 1, 1895.

In 1913 Rhine Villa day school moved to the present site on the main road.

The school has had a few name changes over the years and became an area school in 1955.

Sadly, 2016 saw the secondary school end and it became Cambrai Primary in 2017.

Cambrai Primary School school services officer (SSO) Mavis Littlehales said celebrating 130 years of education and being on the present site for more than 100 years is a fantastic achievement.

“Having been a student and working here as an SSO for 34 years, I have seen many changes to buildings and many students and staff pass through,” she said.

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Students and staff from all over Australia are set to return to Cambrai on Saturday, September 22 for the celebrations with current staff and students working hard to ensure the school is looking spectacular.

Approximately 30 stalls on the day will give the atmosphere of a fete and merchandise will be available to purchase, including magnets, calendars and history books.

“It will be an opportunity for old scholars to get together and reminisce about the old days,” Ms Littlehales said.

“A massive raffle will be drawn on the day with fantastic prizes.”

The prizes have all been donated and include printers, hair vouchers, movie tickets, wine and hampers.

The unveiling of the plaque will be 1.30pm by Michael Dunn (ex-principal 1985-1989).

Chris Tillet from Tillets Memorials and Helbig Memorials has donated the plaque and granite.

A time capsule will also be buried on the day.

The school farm, museum, institute, creamery café, Red Cross shop, general store and pub will be open during the day.

The spit dinner is booked out but there will still be food, with steak sandwiches and a sausage sizzle available at the local sports ground.

A live band featuring three ex-scholars, Creatures of Habit, will entertain all on the evening.

“It’s going to be an exciting day that people will be talking about for months to come,” said Ms Littlehales.