TAKARI HISTORY (The first 25 Years – 1969 to 1994)

Takari Primary School began in 1969. At first, students were enrolled in junior and middle years only, as there were no upper primary classes. For the first six weeks students were taken by bus to Balga Primary School, as the buildings at Takari were not yet ready. Indeed, even after classes had begun on site, cupboards were still being constructed and electricity was not connected for some months.
The first buildings to be completed were the administration block and the western block, nearest Jones Street, consisting of classrooms one to six. Within two years the eastern block, with rooms seven to twelve, was completed.
Student numbers increased rapidly. Besides new enrolments, middle school pupils advanced through years six and seven. By 1971, the numbers were such that the school was reclassified, so besides a new headmaster (the term principal became official at a later date) a deputy and first mistress were appointed.
By 1973, a demountable was needed to accommodate the growing numbers of students. The first demountable stood where the library now stand. The library and canteen were built in 1974. The northern block, with rooms thirteen to fifteen followed, but still numbers of students exceeded accommodation. At one stage, besides the fifteen permanent class rooms, there were three demountables and one transportable classroom on site, and a class taken in Area C.
With the opening of West Balcatta Primary School in 1977, the overcrowding at Takari was eased. However, numbers remained high for some years before gradually diminishing so that the school was again reclassifted at the beginning of 1990 necessitating changes in administration.
Takari’s first headmaster was Mr Reg Firns. He was soon followed by Mr Bernard Smith. When the school was reclassifted in 1971, Mr William Day (Chilly) was appointed. Mr Day was in charge for two years before he moved to a bigger school. Mr Theo Joel took the helm at the beginning of 1973 and remained there for nine years after which time he, too, accepted promotion to a larger school. Mr Ted Jones became principal, a post he held from 1982 to 1985 inclusive, when promotion beckoned him. Mr Brian Dick came next in 1986. His reign at the top ended when Takari was reclassifted and Mr Alan Kennedy became principal in 1990.
Miss Julie Lowther holds the distinction of being Takari’s on! Principal Mistress, the title later becoming Deputy Principal, Female. Miss Lowther joined the teaching staff at Takari in 1970 and was appointed Principal Mistress the following year. During her twenty years at Takari, Miss Lowther taught many different year levels and for a time worked in the support role. It was with regret that the school community farewelled her when the school was reclassified.
The longest serving male deputy at Takari was Mr Brian Jones. Mr Jones was appointed deputy in 1971 and he remained at Takari in that role until his retirement at the end of 1987. During that period, he acted as principal on a number of occasions when Mr Joel and later Mr Ted Jones were acting in the role of district superintendents. Mr Alex Raszkawajski was deputy in 1988 and Mr Milton Wilde in 1989. When Takari was reclassified in 1990, Mr Brian Marie was appointed Deputy Principal.
Throughout the years, a number of teachers have acted in the position of deputy principal when either of the deputies was on long service leave or relieving the principal. These have included Miss Lyn Williams Miss Anne Williams, Mr Ian Sherhorne and Mr Paul Sleight. In 1990 Mrs Lorraine Reitze wa deputy for a semester while Mr Kennedy, the principal was on leave and more recently, Mrs Barbara Shearer relieved Mr Marie when he was as on long service leave.
There have been many teachers at Takari during its twenty five years. In this brief overview it would be impossible to list them all but it seems appropriate to mention several who stayed and taught for a longer than average time. Among those teachers are: Mrs Maree Goldsmith (fifteen years), Mrs Lorraine Reitze (fourteen years), Miss Selma Brouwer (ten years), Mrs Doris Ericson (seven years) Messrs Ian Sherborne and Keith Emery (eight years) and Mrs Di O’Grady. Mrs Margaret Meaney is still there after twenty-two years.
While Takari staff and students have always striven for a sound academic performance, other activities have not been overlooked. Sport and physical education have always been important. Prior to the appointment of physical education specialists, Mr Brian Jones, as deputy, organised the sports and physical activities. When the student population was very large, the middle school (years four and five) had sport on Wednesday afternoon and the senior students (years six and seven) on Fridays. Another hour a week was given to activities such as folk dancing, gymnastics etc with different groups rotating between the teachers responsible.
When physical education specialists were appointed to the primaty schools, Takari joined the scheme. Phys ed specialists have included Mr Ian Logan, Mrs Sandy Foley, Mr Darryl Bell, Mr Russell Bembridge, Mr Gary Bishop, Miss Janette Brown and Mr Craig Patterson.
Over the years, Takari teams have won many pennants and trophies for foothall, netball and athletic in interschool competitions. The schools with whom Takari has competed have varied, but always the emphasis has been on competing in a sporting spirit.
The house or faction competition within the school has always been hard fought. The factions include,Blue, Gold, Green and Red became Jones, Nugent. Paskin and Rickman in 1973 when Mr Joel came to Takari. The names were taken from nearby streets which had been named after people who had been early residenls in the area.
Music is another tradition at Takari. In the early years, Mr Day played his accordion at assemblies. His successor, Mr Joel was very keen on music, and encouraged it at many levels. Recorder was taught in year four for several years and visiting tutors gave instrumental instruction to several students. Choral items were performed in musical festivals (remember Miss Platt and Mrs Stopher!). When Mrs Goldsmith joined the staff in 1977, music became a more important part of the school programme. Singing was taught at every year level and the band was begun in 1978. At first, band practice was at lunch time only, but later, Mr Ted Jones allocated school time to the band. He himself joined the band playing alto saxophone, then tenor sax. Two other teachers, Mr Raszkawajski on saxophone and Miss Brouwer on flute, were also band members.
Lunch time sessions were also given to guitar tuition, Mrs Goldsmith being assisted by Mrs Reitze and later Mrs Nolis. Several students were being taught by the visiting instrumentalists. Over the years, pupils have had the opportunity of learning French horn, trumpet, trombone, clarinet, flute and violin. In the early eighties, violin was taught by the Suzuki method to younger students who progressed to the more traditional method in middle school.
The school band has been an important feature of the school for many years. The band has played at assemblies, concerts and musical festivals. It has visited retirement homes to entertain the residents, and entertained dignitaries at Princess Margaret Hospital. This year, the band performed at Innaloo Shopping Centre as part of Takari’s contribution to Education Week.
Even before the formation of the band, Takari had weekly assemblies. In the early seventies, the upper school students sat on the banks outside rooms 9 and 10 and the class items were performed on the flat area of grass outside the classrooms. Incursions also used this area. Peter and the Wolf was perfomed there by the Western Australian Ballet Company.
When the library and canteen were built in 1974, the concrete area was covered and assemblies were held in that area. While school numbers were very large, the upper school assemblies were held Friday mornings, and the junior school had their assemblies after lunch. In the late seventies, both groups combined. Initially, the upper school assemblies were house or faction responsibilities with classes in tum presenting an item. This soon changed so that classes took turns presenting the whole assembly as they do today.
Besides the weekly assemblies, the covered area was used for some school concerts. Children remained in their class areas and crept around behind the buildings when their item was due to begin. Other concerts were held at High School halls – Tuart Hill, while Mr Ted Jones, was principal and two at Carine, including a farewell to Mr Brian Jones, while Mr Dick was principal.
Anzac Day services were also conducted in the covered area, with the wreath laid by the school captains on the flag pole. Besides parents and friends, visiting dignitaries including politicians and RSL members were invited to these solemn occasions. When the four term year was introduced, Anzac Day fell in school holidays, so our school ceremoney was no longer observed. However, the band is still a very important aspect of Takari assemblies and since Mrs Goldsmith has left music specialists Mrs Bev Flint and Miss Donna Cianciosi have continued the tradition.
In November 1993 the whole school was involved in a concert held at the Octagon Theatre. Mrs Mary Petrou was the producer and all staff contributed to making it a success. Takari students love to perform!
Another popular tradition at Takari is the school camp. In the early years, Mr Brian Jones and Mr Alan Gray took their year seven students to various locations in the state – (Geraldton, and the south west being early venues. Later, the Goldfields became the chosen area. Takari Safari was the catchcry for years. Mrs Reitze. Mrs Foley and Mr Sherborne all taking their charges there in pursuit of knowledge if not gold. The nineties have seen a change as Mr Wood and Mrs Petrou have taken their classes to Busselton. One year a group of year five students went to York for a few sweltering November days.
Since Mr Wood joined the staff the “Speak Up” has become a new tradition for the senior students. Each year seven student competes at school level, then finalists at district level speaking for three minutes on a subjects of thteir own choice. To assist the students to analyse their own efforts, their speeches are videotaped. The video camera is also used to record assemblies, so that children can see their own as well as other students’ performances.
Technology has caused changes in many ways. Takari was one of the first school to have the video system through the library to television receivers in other locations. We no longer use that system but have more mobile televisions and video recorders. Computers have become part of the everyday lesson format. Even the pre-primary students visit the computer room.
The pre-primary became part of Takari at the beginning of 1992. The northern building was modified and the pre-primary classes occupy what was room 15 and area E. Their play area is fenced and has their play equipment safely in view of their staff. Currently, the year six students in nearby room 11 interact frequently with their “buddies” in pre-primary. Mr Patterson, the physical education specialist, has his Perceptual Motor Programme operating with the pre-primary students as well as with years one and two.
Sport in the senior school, as well as PMP in the junior area has been very successful over the past few years due to parent help. Takari has been very fortunate in its twenty five years in having wonderful parent support. This has been evident in sport, craft and other activities as well as volunteer help in the canteen and library, and a very active Parents and Citizens Association.
The P&C has done a great deal of fund raising over the years to provide resources for the students and improve playground facilties. In 1981, the old adverture playground was replaced by an exciting Joel Park (named after the Principal at that time). The junior adventure playground down on Jones Street side was also set up.
The years have seen the two playgrounds deteriorate and Joel Park was refurbished during 1992/1993.
The P&C raised funds to assist in building the canteen and employ the organiser to prepare lunches for the students. In the early days at Takari, a band of mothers prepared lunches in the staffroom. The staffroom, then, was a small area which now houses the principal’s and deputy’s offices. It was also where the school secretary did her work. At morning recess, the volunteer lunch staff took themselves (and the food) outside while the teachers had morning tea. Since the canteen opened in 1974, there have been four organisers – Mrs June Dunne, Anne King, Mrs Kathy Batch and Mrs Merrilyn Faulkner. Mrs Batch was in charge for over eight years and left for Queensland earlier this year. The canteen relies very much on volunteer helpers.
Also opening in 1974 was the school library resource centre. Teacher librarian have included Mr Frank Papaserio, Mrs Karen Horn, Mrs Mare MacGowan, Mrs Sue Stopher, Mrs Jean Speed, Mr Wayne Cronin, Mr Alex Raszkawajski and Mr Brian Marie. They have been assisted through the years by volunteer helpers as well as by library aides Mrs Susan Moore and currently, Mrs Diane Rowe.
Other people have contributed to the efficient running of Takari. Over the years there have been several cleaning staff but two have been here for over twenty years and have seen their numbers and hours greatly reduced. They are Mrs Chelle Clifford and Mrs Maria Franz. Our fulltime cleaner for many years was Mr Bill Ricketts. He began as a gardener then became head cleaner until the department made further cuts and he moved to a larger school this year. Mr Jack Baird was gardener for several years until his retirement in 1989 when Mr Dominic Germano was appointed.
The clerical side of administration has become more complex with modern demands. In the early years, Mrs Doreen Lockwood had to manage in a corner of the much smaller staffroom. Later a “cubby hole” was erected in the foyer, as the current office was the principal’s office. Mrs Robyn Terrill managed there too. After Mrs Glen Roger’s appointment some changes were made. Room 7 became the staffroom and the office space changed. The increased workload and need for equipment such as computers mean further changes are still neccssary. It is anticipated that building modifications will be carned out soon. Mrs Roger the registrar, and Mrs Sue Edwards, her part time assistant, look forward to these alterations.
Other equipment which has changed and improved conditions for administrative and teaching staff are copying machines. Over the years. newer and more efficient models of photo copiers have replaced the old ink and spirit duplicators. During her many years at Takari as Teachers’ Aide Mrs Gloria Murrowood must have run off thousands of stencils .
In a quarter of a century many changes have occurred. The school colours remain blue, but uniforms have been updated. Woollen jumper and cardigan have been replaced by tracksuits and windcheaters. Boys no longer wear grey shorts and shirts nor do girls don whitc blouse and dark blue gored skirts. The little girls’ blue and white checked frocks have also gone. Students now wear pale blue tee shirts or polo shirts, with boys in blue shorts and girls in pleated sports skirts or long blue shorts. On sports day,. Fridays, children are encouraged to wear their faction coloured tee shirts. All uniform shirts – pale blue Takari and faction tee shirts have the Takari emblem printed on them. This emblem also appears on the honour certificates – the Guest of Honour awards given at assembly. In the seventies and early eighties, these certificates were all pale blue, but are now printed in faction colours. The Takari logo was designed by Mr Peter Powell, a former P&C president.
Graduation certificates have changed too. The school emblem has replaced the photograph of the administration block on the front and the inside has been modifed too. A photograph of the graduating class is still included.
Graduation ceremonies have changed little over the years. Visiting local and state politicians present their awards and other awards are presented. Each graduating student receives a certificate, then the principal addresses the group. The year seven students sing a graduation song then the. year six students sing a farewell to them. The ceremony is followed by social for the sixes and sevens. In recent years, the older style social has given way to a disco.
This year’s graduation marks another milestone not only for each student and his or her family, but for the school itself. Alecia Farley will be completing seven years at Takari, the second generation of her family to do so, as her mother Kaylene (formerly Panzich) completed her seven years of primary education at Takari in 1977.
Takari has been successful because of the caring and commitment of students. parents and staff. To all of those who have been involved during the last twenty five years – thank you. To those still involved and yet to come, continue the effort into Takari – tomorrow. May the school community continue to strive for future generations.