6. Room 14

Supascoota 6

Room 14

Room fourteen was different now.
I sat quietly on my Supascoota,
Surveying the room, pensive,
Remembering another time.

Fifty-eight years ago in May,
When I first set foot in this room.
Then, there were no fantasy hangings
Adorning these hallowed walls,
Or football jumpers stuffed on shelves.
No, this was my first classroom,
A room filled with desks and
Thirty plus grade six students,
Full of energy, keen to learn.

Room 14

I began my teaching career
In this room in nineteen sixty three,
Aged nineteen, young, keen,
Enjoying my first class.

One day, in my first week,
A suited man approached me
During assembly, before class.
He said, “Stubbs is my name.”
I said, “Edmunds is mine.”
He said, “Where’s the Headmaster?”
I said, “Inside, in his office.”
He entered the school building.

I found out later
He was the Regional Superintendent,
The Mr L O Stubbs.
Ah well, he didn’t hold it against me.

I played football, as a ruckman,
For the Penguin Two Blues
Second eighteen football team.
The Acting Principal, John Brook,
Played football for Devonport.
My students were quite partisan
When the two sides met.

My coach at Penguin was
The legendary Graeme Fish
Who went on to become
A leader in Tasmanian education.

I had coffee in what was the quadrangle,
Where the kids would assemble
Each morning before class time.
Most of the area is built over now.

Coffee in the quadrangle

The asphalt yard where I kicked
The footy with the boys has gone.
A market uses the school buildings now,
But, as the market has grown,
Sadly, it’s quality has diminished.
I had seen enough.

I turned the Supascoota
And rode away,
Deeply saddened by what this
Once proud school had become.

This would be my last visit to the site.
My memories remain,
Forever etched in my mind,
The beginning of my
Fifty years in education:
A forty year career in schools,
Plus ten years as a researcher
At the University of Tasmania.

Penguin Primary School,
Was but the beginning!

A week before the end of term
I was transferred to
Smithton Primary School,
But, that is another story.

Bill Edmunds
January 2021