It’s the preschool that community spirit built.
And today that community gathered at the Stuarts Point Preschool to celebrate its 30th anniversary.
Just over three decades ago a group of local mums decided that what their community needed most was a dedicated preschool.
They formed a working committee and started running the preschool out of the Stuarts Point Community Hall.
“By 1987 there were 18 students and we could see that we were going to need a bigger space,” the first preschool director, Lyn Tyers said.
The committee officially incorporated in 1987 and managed to secure a grant in order to fund the construction of the quirky octagonal building that forms the centrepiece of the Stuarts Point Preschool.
The project employed long-term unemployed locals who were given on-the-job training to construct the building.
Grassy Heads local Terry Parkhouse was the principal architect of the design and oversaw the whole process.
We had such community backing that it was never going to fail.Terry Parkhouse
“But we were mindful that it was a building that was going to be catering for the whole community.
“Coming up with the octagonal shape was my first idea.”
Terry is proud to have been a pivotal part of the preschool’s beginnings and regards it as a legacy piece. All of his grandchildren have now passed through its beloved doors.
“I’m in my twilight years so I’d like to be remembered for my community projects.”
The day was celebrated by cake, speeches, balloons, a birthday feast and a round of ‘Happy Birthday To You’.
The Stuarts Point Primary School made their way over the field to join in the celebration, many of its students having graduated from the very same preschool years ago.
School captain and vice captain Justin Groundwater and Kiah Blanch paid tribute to their old preschool by recounting fond memories.
Current preschool director Jeanette Dening said that it was great to see how many people the preschool had touched.
“Some of the staff and parents here attended this preschool when they were young—it’s now the second generation of kids that are going through,” preschool director Jeanette Dening said.