Preston Market

SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY

Darebin City Council

Preston West School has enjoyed a long and cordial relationship with the present Council, as well as its predecessors Preston City Council and Preston Shire Council, over the past century.

The President of the Shire Council was involved in a deputation that met with the Minister for Education on April 28 1910 to request that a public school be built in West Preston. The Council continued to lobby the Department until October that year, at which time the Department advised that approval for the new School has been granted subject to the location of a suitable site.

On 10 February 1919 the School was converted to an Emergency Hospital to cater for patients contracting influenza during the world-wide pandemic. Children were relocated to temporary premises arranged by the Shire Council until 24 March, when the school was reopened for educational purposes. However a second, and for more serious, pandemic broke out in April, and on 2 May the School was again converted to an emergency hospital until 8 September. Several hundred patients were treated at the hospital at an average stay of ten days. Three patients died during this time; however the mortality rate for this hospital was far lower than the average rate of 15% that other hospitals had incurred. The cost of using the School as a hospital was shared between the Shire Council and the Health Department.

Preston West School was instrumental in the formation of the Preston City Baths in St Georges Road by the Preston City Council in the late 1920s. Members of the School Committee (now known as School Council) lobbied the Council to open a pool for instruction in water safety following several drowning deaths of local children in the creeks and waterholes in Preston. The Water Safety Program still forms part of our curriculum, and is conducted annually at the Reservoir Leisure Centre, which is operated by Darebin Council, each November.

Over the years the local Councils have provided generous financial support to the School, by providing grants to support various educational programs run by the School, such as Bike Education.

Darebin Uniting Church

Our optional Religious Education program is conducted by members of the Darebin Uniting Church, located in Murray Road west of the School. This has also been a long and fruitful relationship. The forerunner of the present church, the West Preston Methodist Church, was established about the same time as the School was opened in 1915. Their Sunday services were held in the School building until their own building was completed in 1917. Additionally, their Sunday School classes were also conducted at the School for many years until the church purchased their own premises.

The Religious Education program is a long established tradition at Preston West School, and the contribution by the Uniting Church has been, and still is, invaluable to the development of our children.

Preston Mosque

Located in Cramer Street just around the corner from the School, the Mosque and the school have enjoyed a harmonious relationship since the 1970s. The increase in population of people of the Islamic faith in the Preston district, coupled by their desire to obtain the best education possible for their children, has seen a marked increase in the number of Islamic children attending over the past quarter of a century.

Preston Market

Since its opening in 1970 on the site of one of the tanneries that dominated the Preston area until the 1960s, Preston Market has been the focus of the ‘People Who Help Us’ component of the curriculum for Preparatory Grade children. Each year the Preps enjoy a walk to the market to view the various items that stallholders offer for sale. Many stallholders generously offer their expertise in assisting children to identify some of the more exotic wares that are available for purchase. There have been several children of market stall operators and employees who have attended this School.Over the years, several of the businesses located in the market have donated goods to the School, either for consumption by the children or prizes awarded in our annual raffle. 

 
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