A former teacher at Evanston Primary School, Mrs Anne Hausler has called for the placement of a plaque or something similar to mark the location of the former school which is now a residential development.
Evanston Primary School once stood on Para Road at Evanston until it was closed in December 2012 and merged into what is now Gawler and District College alongside Evanston Pre-School.
Mrs Hausler visited the former school site on Friday for the first time since all the school buildings were demolished and a residential development was built in its place. She was surprised to see no plaque on the site to mark its important history.
“Despite teaching at the school for a number of years I would not have been able to find the site of the school as there are no signs or directions,” said Mrs Hausler.
Mrs Hausler visited the site at the invitation of local Member of Parliament, Mr Tony Piccolo who had asked her, his former grade 6 teacher, to help him celebrate the 50th anniversary since he last walked through the school gates as a student.
Mr Piccolo said on Friday the 17th it was 50 years to the day since he graduated from Evanston Primary School and then commenced at Gawler High School the following year, in 1972.
Mr Piccolo agrees with Mrs Hausler’s suggestion that a plaque be erected on the site so we don’t forget the history of the former school and was disappointed that neither the Education Department, the Developer of the site, nor the Council had thought it appropriate to do so when the site was being redeveloped.
Evanston Primary school opened its doors to its first students in February 1962 and the first headmaster was William Turner supported by seven teachers.
The school formally opened on 29 November 1963 amongst much fanfare, and Mr Piccolo said he commenced at the school on 29 June in 1964, a year after he had migrated to Australia from Italy.
Mr Piccolo said he had fond memories of his school days, and while not being able to speak a word of English when he commenced his schooling, never felt out of place at Evanston Primary.
“It was a very working-class school, and I think that helped me fit in very quickly.”
“I will be writing to the Council to see if we can get a plaque or similar formal recognition erected on the site during 2022 as it will be 60 years since the school first opened.”
“It would be fantastic if a former student or teacher at the school could design a suitable plaque for the site.”
“If any former student or teacher have any ideas I would love to hear from them as I do not believe the school’s proud history should be erased and forgotten.”