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)


we haven't scratched the surface Pauline :)

I must have a warped sense of humour because that mouse story makes me laugh a lot, I don't reckon she would've laughed or forgotten. We had a librarian at GHS in the 80's who was well past retirement age (in fact she had taught my Mum at Brighton High too). Her hearing was not the best and she'd turn down her hearing aid so people would stand behind her saying "excuse me Mrs ...." which she wouldn't hear, gradually the request would get louder and louder until the student was nearly screaming her name. Eventually she'd turn around oblivious to any of it. Maybe she turned her hearing aid down so no one would bother her.

Ha ha..she was there when I was there too Ash...we fought back by 'mouthing' conversations to her or slowly talking quieter and quieter as she'd adjust her hearing aids furiously. Another librarian, a scottish lady, made a trip home to Glasgow when we were in 2nd Year. Several of us asked her every day religiously for over a year how her trip went.

I thought she must've been there in the 70's too, she certainly had a long career. Our conversation here has just proven that memories can arise when the discussion begins because I have just recalled that we used to make out we were talking when we were not and she'd be adjusting that hearing aid - you'd think she would've cottoned on eventually. As you said in the fiilm most of our pranks were quite harmless, just juvenille stuff. Badgering that teacher everyday for a year would've be enough to send someone over the edge....I'm still laughing though. I reckon teachers have it pretty hard these days , particularly with parents as opposed to students but somehow I don't think the students are quite as creative as we were with our pranks.

I agree Ash, and to illustrate how creative some of my schoolmates could be it has retrospectively been 'suggested' that a certain individual started stealing cars for profit when we were in 3rd they weren't stealing cars to sell them to some underground vehicle re-birthing syndicate as may happen today....noooo, our lot were cleverer than that! They were stealing cars so they could ram them into phone boxes to get the coins that spilled out. This person now has a Masters Degree.

A Masters Degree wow, from humble beginnings hey. Well I guess he was thinking laterally and creatively even back then. Glad he was able to find a more respectable outlet for his intelligence. Must be something about Glengowrie but I also have a car tale. In 3rd year one of my classmates parents went on an overseas holiday. Now this lad was always at the top of the class and never got in trouble but whilst his 'olds' were away he decided to drive the his family car ( a big Holden Belmont ) to school everyday . No licence of course, not even a learners. Then he'd offer to take us for rides around the neighbourhood after school. I was often in trouble back then but I never would've dared drive my parents car around like that. It's so funny looking back because he was such a nice guy and top scholar but I guess he just felt he needed to do something a bit outrageous. In line with his personality he didn't speed , he was a very careful and good driver but although he was smart driving around our local area wasn't too smart particularly when his neighbours saw him driving it - whoops. He's a successful dentist now.

Hello, it really interesting, thanks

I just stumbled across this aticle, I went to Tonsley Primary and Dover Gardens girls tech in the 60's and 70's. Yes I remember the horrible warm milk, I still eat bush biscuits if i can find them, but I'm not sure if it was from school or we just had them. My main recollections of late primary school was the boys branding the girls, those tennis balls hurt. At secondary school the main teachers I remember were Mr. Douglas, Mr. Wayne Smith and Mrs Hassam a lovely Art teacher. We also had to get down on our knees and have our dresses measured and they made sure we had no make-up on, which we used to go to the toilets after inspection and put on after we hitched our dresses up. And yes there always was that flat somewhere. Being a girls school we had a lot of boys hanging about, I can still remember names. I wasn't a good student back then,but I was young. My 2 sisters also attended Dover girls but went to sturt primary. I live in victoria now but I went back a few years ago to see my primary school and house gone in Mitchell Park also the house we lived in, in Seacombe Gardens. The whole area has totally changed. I found your article very interesting and shall pass it on to my sisters. I will buy the DVD. thank you. Cynthia Merrett(maiden name)

I'm glad to know people are still stumbling across this site as one of the people interviewed for this DVD my contribution being for the Dover Gardens Primary & the Girls Technical High as it was in the early days, I hope the interest in this site & the DVD continues into the future years. Ashley did a great job with his production of this Historical collection old past students & even a teacher. I still see many of my old school friends as I am sure many other do also, so it would be a good thing to spread the word about this site & also the DVD, I'm not sure if there has to be a certain number of orders to do a re run of the Discs, but the more the better I'm sure in keeping costs down. So please keep spreading the word.

I can give you a current example of how the dvd has had a flow on effect Christine: Last week via the dvd via a former school friends dad, I had the great pleasure of attending my old school site (now Glengowrie Retirement Estate) to talk about the old days to the residents, many of whom had kids at GHS and other schools in the area, as they commissioned their new community centre, which was the library in our time. There were a lot of conversations generated after the crowd had watched the dvd and many happy memories recounted.

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