New "Closed Schools of Marion" DVD

A new DVD funded by a History SA SA175 grant entitled The Closed Schools of Marion commemorating Marion's nine public schools that were closed between 1987-2009 was launched by the Marion Historical Society last month.  

Using photographs, original footage and oral histories from former teachers, pupils and their parents, the DVD tells the story of the nine schools that were built in the Marion area to cater for the baby boomers of the 1950s and 60s and that were subsequently closed over the last 30 years.  

The film was made by award-winning local film maker Ashley Starkey, himself a former pupil of Glengowrie High, one of the now defunct schools.  

Film maker Ashley Starkey (r) and MHS's Bob Donley (l) with former Marion schoolAt the end of World War I, Marion only had two schools – Ascot Park Primary School and Sturt Primary School - but as it developed into a market garden area and soldiers returned home to have families, there was a great need for more schools.  The Marion Historical Society put together a very successful exhibition and reunion at the Marion Cultural Centre for History SA’s “About Time” History Festival in May of this year.  Hundreds of former students and staff from the closed schools – Dover Gardens Primary, Dover High, Glengowrie High, Marion High, Morphettville Park Primary, Oaklands Park Primary, Sturt Primary, Tonsley Primary and Vermont High – converged on the event, which included displays of 1960s desks, uniforms, photographs and an old school bell.  

Over two afternoons Ashley interviewed and filmed 17 participants, many of whom returned for the launch at the Marion Historical Society’s headquarters at Cooinda Neighbourhood Centre, Sturt Road, Marion.   A second edition of the DVD is available online for $22 plus postage and a 7 minute preview of the film can be viewed here or on YouTube here

Ashley is also the maker of Ute-opia, a 4 part film to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Holden ute, made in conjunction with Holden and the National Motor Museum. 


Average: 5 (4 votes)


Posted on behalf of Lukas.
Hi All - It was a pleasurable experience to be involved in this useful project. It appears it meant a lot to a lot of people. I'm happy it's popular! Like others I was nervous during filming, but it all came across quite well! I will add something else that the teacher was quoted to have said about us in a meeting he had about our class. It was along these lines: "In all of my 25 or 30 years of teaching, this is the most shocking, absolutely terrible class I've ever had". He he he. Long live the legend! Thank you and best wishes to all, Lukas :)

The only regret I have about my contribution to this marvellous work of Ash Starkey's is that I didn't have the presence of mind to recount more Glengowrie High stories. On the day I was interviewed I was at the exhibition with half a dozen Oaklands school friends and I guess my mind was consumed with those thoughts. If I had my time again I could possibly talk about: 2nd year 'Casual Day' when many of us attended in full school uniform/smoking in the toilets/setting 'traps' in the library where you could manipulate the sprung steel book dividers so that if anyone removed a book it popped out and smacked them in the head (it was my entire life's ambition at one point to 'set' the entire library! Alas, I only ever managed about half of it as a best effort)/The 'wine cellar' of stolen produce from Hamilton's Winery kept constantly stocked up underneath the transportables and available to all/being hidden under a girl's bed during a teacher inspection at the 3rd Year camp/ the entire group being slung out of our snow trip camp in Bright for building a giant swastika out of railway sleepers and setting fire to it the night after we'd stolen a kid's clothes and made him run naked across the quadrangle back from the showers while everyone laughed/being told to organise everyone' bags into a classroom in upper C Block whilst the locker doors were being repaired and throwing them all out of the window (that was actually done by one of the nicest, quietest girls in school who revealed a subversive streak that day)/the day one of the Sabato boys cut his finger off in woodwork/when the Concorde was due to fly overhead and do a 'sonic boom' and we all wagged it home to watch Pot Of Gold/the day Lachlan Hall left a dead snake in an unloved teacher's desk....and so on. Poor Ash would have had an editing job on his hands then and I could have gone on for about another 2 hours! Regardless, a great dvd which evoked nice memories of much loved times when we were young. I enjoyed the memories of those who went to other schools just as much as my own and it would be great to see a Closed Schools Of Marion 2!

Thank you Greg. Those stories are hilarious , I think the follow up may have to be titles something along the lines of
The Closed Schools of Marion Uncensored

or unplugged!

Just give me 6 months to get in shape

Is there a Closed Schools of Marion Facebook page? - it would be a great place to gather all these stories for the sequel.

Pauline, I run an Oaklands Park Primary - Class of '73 facebook page plus a Glengowrie High School - Class of '78 facebook page. There is enough stuff on both to produce about 10 dvd's...the GHS one averages 300 messages and comments per night but is closed to non-78ers. There is a whole of school' Oaklands FB page which is quite active and there used to be a 'whole of school' GHS one too but that has recently mysteriously disappeared, just like the school.

No worries - sounds like you've got it under control!

or unhinged!

Thank you to the organisers of the "Closed Schools of Marion" Exhibition and Ash Starkey who did a great job with the DVD.
It was fantastic to bring back those memories of so long ago. Memories I wish I had recalled for the DVD:

Morphettville PS
- Playing marbles in the surface drains across the school
- YoYo's
- Warm milk at morning recess time
- Beach bat tournaments
- Lunchtime cricket in summer, lunchtime footy in winter
- Mid week Mark Mitchell Shield Football (Got to miss half a days school)
- Mr Lance Davis (My Grade 7 teacher)
- Mrs Ruth White (My Grade 1 teacher)
- Mr. Gruda
- Mrs Campbell
- Regular fights at lunchtime (teachers never seem to interfene)
- Grade 7 graduation - such a big thing going to high school

Glengowrie High School
- The strict enforcement of the school uniform on Day 1 and then the gradual decline of those standards
- Getting caned by Principal Mr Doug Thompson (I was innocent)
- Harry Fletcher - Footy Coach
- Mrs Biddle - Ist Year Teacher
- Couldn't wait to leave high school and get a job and then years later wishing I was back at school

Ivan Bayliss
Denny Hudson- Bayliss

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