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.
At 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.