STUDENTS both young and old helped celebrate the 135th birthday of Eppalock Primary School yesterday.
About 300 people turned out for the celebration and opening of a new $1.55 million classroom.
Among the current students were past pupils, including 86-year-old Moira Mace (nee Mannes), who attended the school from 1931 to 1939.
“It was nothing like it is now,” she said. “When I went here there were 12 people and it used to go to grade 8.
“It was wonderful... we all knew each other and I remember playing hide-and-seek and tunnel ball in the playground.”
Ms Mace attended the event with her sister Eileen Clohsey and both caught up with old friends.
“Five generations of Mannes’ went here and there are four here today,” Ms Clohsey said.
Principal Emily Ryan noted how much the school had changed, especially with the new classroom.
“There are interactive white-
boards, computers, open spaces... it’s all really good,” she said. “It’s a fantastic community here.
“There are only 39 students at the school and we don’t have a pub or anything so the school is the hub of the Axe Creek community.”
Irene O’Halloran, 78, was a former pupil who liked the school so much, she came back to teach.
“I spent 15 years here altogether,” she said. “It’s lovely to catch up with everyone and I was here for the last birthday.
“There’s another one here in 14 years so hopefully I’ll be here for that one, too.”