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)


Greg on a smaller scale reunions are going on, I myself have been seeing some of mine on a 3- to 6 month basis. It has on one occasion been as large as about 10 people, but on average it is only the core four who started the catch ups from my times, & there is a Face Book site for both the Dover Gardens Primary School as well as the high school, but because I am from the very earliest years of those schools I find very few are on there from my times. The older folk like myself who are close to 60 years old, or above are not so into Face book, or if they do they dont venture outside their immediate pages. I am already in contact with all of my era that are on the two school sites. It would be nice to have more of the ones I knew, but I cant trace most because they were female & of course changed their surname. I have gone into Friends United, & one other site, but still very hard to find the older students. I might add I have gained a Face Book friend who went to same high school via this site & it turned out I did know her older sister, but she is not on Face book, so I only get feed back second hand, so I think for my age bracket I am in the minority for being able to do any kind of organizing of reunion via the Fc bk groups.

Christine, I had the same issues trying to track down the women from our year but ended up having a lot of success finding them via brothers, who of course don't change their names, and the old fashioned way using the phone book and the electoral roll. We had 272 in our year at Glengowrie and I've found 187 so far with 9 having passed away in the intervening years. I actually had far more success finding the girls than the guys overall.

Our first reunion had about 120 attend and we average 30 - 40 for everything else.

Hello Cynthia, I'm glad you enjoyed the DVD and it has been a catalyst for the conversations between yourself and Christine and for searching out your old photos etc. Thank you for your kind comments too.
Perhaps 'The Closed Schools of Marion' FB page would be a good idea, people do seem to be discovering this page quite easily and I'm not sure I have the time to devote to running a FB group, it does take commitment and effort as Greg knows.
A young lad from Brighton HS came and purchased a copy of the DVD. For his year 12 project he is working on a DVD to commemorate Brightons 60th and he just wanted to see what I'd done. There are a lot of great young people out there and they are a lot more switched on than I was at there age. There's a lot of idiots out there too and I feel society has more extremes than it used too. Personally I have a positive outlook for the future and feel it's in good hands with the great young people coming through.

omg I remember so many times getting sprung smoking in the loos and my sister Donna and I would sneak trips down to the tunnels, removing the vents in the hallway and going down and bludging omg them were the days. Also getting sprung smoking by Mr. Kuchel and dragged up to visit Mrs. Masters oh wow would love to grab this, so many many fantastic memories :)

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