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Community & Business

18 October, 2022

Grand celebrations for 140th

The crowds poured into Cambooya State School recently to celebrate the school’s 140th birthday.

From left: Principal David Wilson, former student Ruby Devonshire (great-grandmother), Karen Devonshire (grandmother), current student Alex Sternberg, P&C President Claire Fogarty, Pat Weir MP and Cr Megan O’Hara Sullivan. Photo, Ashlee J Photography

“We couldn’t have asked for a better day,” Claire Fogarty, President of the Cambooya State School P&C Association, said.

“The weather was perfect, the numbers exceeded our expectations and the atmosphere was just brilliant.  

“Everyone had such a great time.”

There was something to delight everyone including jumping castles, mini golf, more than 20 market stalls, laser skirmish, free birthday cake, school tours, school band performances, hot food, face painting, sweet treats, novelty stalls, historical photo displays, art displays and more.

And there were plenty of bright lights and sirens with the Rural Fire Service, Queensland Ambulance Service and the Mobile Crime Prevention Unit present.  

Toowoomba Region Councillor Megan O’Hara Sullivan officially opened the celebrations and warmly welcomed everyone to the party.  

Member for Condamine Pat Weir extended the welcome and they both joined current student Alex Sternberg and his great-grandmother Ruby Devonshire (nee Bolitho) who attended the school in 1943 to cut the birthday cake.

Ms Fogarty said the support from our local community, and beyond, has been wonderful.  

“When we sent emails out asking for donations to support the event and our raffle, we were absolutely blown away at the response we received,” she said.

“We had so many people wanting to donate so many different things!”

“Thank you to Windmill Bakery, Toowoomba Regional Council, Jacqui Walker Re/Max, Westbrook Family Medical Centre, Beef City and Homestyle Bake for major prizes and donations.”

In the end, we raffled off 66 prizes on Sunday which was fantastic.  We are very appreciative to every single business that donated these prizes.”

Since first opening the school doors on 30th October 1882 with 12 students and one teacher in a small cottage near the railway, the school now has 173 students with 26 teachers and staff situated on 4.5 ha on Harrow Street. 

School Principal David Wilson said it was a huge turnout and it was great to catch up with so many people.  

“Special thanks must go to the organising committee who have spent months planning and coordinating the stalls, activities, programs, layout and everything else that goes with running a successful event such as this,” Mr Wilson said.

“One thing that was obvious was the willingness of these community members (who have significant commitments in their own lives) to devote time, thought and energy into the detail of what needed to be done. Thank you for what you have achieved.”

“I would like to acknowledge and thank the staff who contributed to the day - from displays and stalls to setting up and packing up, it was a significant effort by many to contribute to the success of the day. Everyone massively enjoyed the fun activities across the staff stalls.”

The crowd ranged in age from toddlers, to primary school kids, high school kids, adults, grandparents and great grandparents, with many former students and staff there.

When the organising committee was asked when the next event would be, since this one turned out so great, their answer was, “at the school’s next 140th birthday!”

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