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100 years for Broken Hill High

Saturday, 1st May, 2021

By Nardia Keenan

‘Palma non sine pulvere’, or ‘no palm without dust’ is the Latin motto of Broken Hill High School and its meaning is that there is no reward of the victory wreath of palm leaves without effort.
Last year marked 100 years of reward and effort for the school and, due to COVID restrictions being lifted, proud former students will be able to celebrate this week with the school tour, Roulettes’ aerobatic flyovers and tonight’s Centenary Ball.
The ball at the Civic Centre will be attended by former students “from away”, including Tasmania, Sydney and Adelaide.
Organiser, Marg Burrowes, said that some former students couldn’t travel home because of COVID restrictions but she expects many locals to join the school tour on Monday from 4.30pm to 6pm because “they still have the passion for the school.”
Marg studied for two years at Broken Hill High School, then two years at newly-built Willyama High School and her passion for the former is evident. “Back in our day, we were outside because we didn’t have phones.”
For Marge, the downside of being outside was that they also had to be outside in the rain. “But we didn’t have to worry about that too much because it rarely rained.”
Marg expects tour attendees to also rekindle their school memories. “Ex-students are really looking forward to seeing where they used to sit in the classrooms and if the halls they walked down are any different.”
The halls are generally the same but the blackboards have gone and students who beguiled the free times with handball will notice that the courts have moved.
Marg said that students became too competitive in A quad, especially when a teacher challenged them to a game. “We didn’t want the office ladies to have a ball come through the window.”
After A quad was repurposed as a passive area, which is a quiet sitting area for students, squares for games were marked out in E quad near the historic Maths building, which was built in 1907.
The school’s historic buildings will feature on the Monday’s school tour with assistance dogs Banjo and Cooper escorting the tour group. Interestingly, the 15-week-old pups have workers’ rights and are only allowed to work three days a week.
Their training will commence on Wednesday, and then all students will be shown how to treat dogs correctly, including not leaving food scraps out.
Later, they will meet year 11 and 12 students and then RSL members.
This will be followed by a Roulettes flyover above Broken Hill Racecourse on Saturday at midday, with the opportunity for the general public to meet the pilots in the Gary Radford Pavillion.
Marg applied very early for the Roulettes to travel to Broken Hill for the school’s centenary.
“It was in 2018, to make sure I was on top of the list.”
After waiting two years for the confirmation telephone call, which could only be two weeks before the event, Marg was dismayed when she missed it.
Marg has a poignant reason for inviting the Roulettes to mark the centenary.
“A lot of Broken Hill people had to go to war, including being conscripted.
“Broken Hill people were in the Rats of Tobruk and Z Force and on the Kokoda trail.”
Principal Ross Mackay said that people at the school are passionate about every ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day being honoured and there is always a formal assembly.
“We are honouring that in our celebrations with our ex-students.”
Principal Mackay believes that the school’s strength lies in its strong connection to the students and families and in providing an education that accommodates all students.
“For the high academic kids, we’ve certainly got things in place for them. For the kids that struggle a little bit, we certainly accommodate them and we know, value and care for every kid.”

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