7 July, 2022
Herberton students to return home
WHILE some people would rather leave their school day memories behind them, a group of almost 800 past students of Herberton State School Woodleigh College and Methodist Hostel can’t wait to meet once again in September to relive the good times.
Woodleigh College and the Methodist Hostel hosted many students during their schooling years, most coming to Herberton from rural Queensland, Papua New Guinea and the Torres Strait Islands.
At the time, Herberton was renowned for its education facilities and was one of only six secondary state schools in Queensland in the late 1800s to the early 1900s.
Going from seven boarders to 200 boarders aged between two and 17 years old in only a few years, the school was recognised by the Queensland Government at the time as a highly successful education facility.
With half of Herberton State School’s students being hosted in the boarding homes, many of them quickly formed friendships that would last a lifetime.
This September, those memories will be explored and relived, with hundreds of past students coming from all corners of the world to catch up with each other and reminiscence about old times.
After 20 years since the last get-together, organiser and coordinator of the event, Kaye Dutton, put the word out via a Facebook Group created by a past Woodleigh College student.
Many people responded enthusiastically, keen to visit their old boarding home again and meet with people who they thought they’d never hear from again.
“Many of the children came from PNG, the Torres Strait, the Cape or remote areas of Queensland and looked on Herberton as their second home, with many from PNG only going home for the Christmas holidays,” Kaye said.
“Children formed lifelong friendships during their time in Herberton, which has made linking up with old friends and friends of friends on Facebook an easy task.
“I can hardly wait to meet up with old friends that I haven't seen in years and reminiscing about the good times and the not so good times we had when we were kids in Herberton.”
Now, only two years after putting the call out to Facebook, Kaye has connected with several of her school peers through social media, inviting them to the reunion in September.
Teaming up with classmates still within the area, including her mate John Baldwin and the local Lions Club, they have tracked down former classmates and organised a long weekend of festivities.
So far, almost 800 people have responded to the event with many more expected to come along on the 23-25 of September.
On 23 September, the reunion will kick off at the golf club with some friendly competition, a welcome to country and a meet and greet at the local pubs.
The next day will be filled with a tour and then a dance to be hosted at the Herberton Hall at 7pm.
The festivities will culminate on 25 September at 11am with a sausage sizzle at Lions Park. Kaye is reaching out to anyone who has attended the hostel and college since it was established to share their stories and relive their schooling days.
To RSVP message the Herberton Methodist Hostel School Reunion on Facebook or contact Kaye via email at firstname.lastname@example.org