Ogilvies Estate State School SS4393 (a few miles from Mansfield)

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Ogilvies Estate State School SS4393 (a few miles from Mansfield) – consisting of one room, the weatherboard school was opened in 1929 and closed in 1938. Elsa J. Packey was head teacher until 1933. Albert (Bert) Vivian Somerville (1912-1997), was posted to Ogilvies Estate School in 1933. Albert Somerville attended Caulfield Primary School up to grade 5. At age 10, he started at St Paul’s Cathedral “Boys Choir School” in Melbourne. He spent 4 years there as a boy soprano, until his voice broke (1926). He then attended Caulfield Grammar School for 2 years. But the Great Depression was coming, so he had to find employment. He tried the Education Department and started as a junior teacher, but he had to obtain his Leaving Certificate – (night school, etc) In March 1928 began at Murrumbeena State School at 16/10p a week. His pay went up to 2 pounds a week, after 4 years. At age 17 1/2 with only 9 months experience, he had to take art classes, with class sizes of 50 – 70 pupils of grade 7 and 8. The grade 8 kids were as big as he was! He couldn’t get into Teachers College because of the Depression (2 closed due to lack of finances). By 1933 he entered the Melbourne Teachers College for the one year course. By then the one pound weekly allowance was withdrawn, so his parents had to support him through college. When he graduated at the end of 1933 he was posted to Ogilvies Estate School, with 13 pupils. He only had a bike for transport. More or less a raw recruit at age 22. After 2 years, in 1936, he was transferred to another one-teacher school, at Berry’s Creek.

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