Our photo this week showing a group of Raglan Public School pupils saluting the Australian flag in November 1924. The practice was carried out each day before filing into class. On occasions God Save The King was sung by the students.
BACK in mid-1913 Raglan locals had again petitioned the Department of Public Instruction which they forwarded to their local member, John Miller, MLA.
In early September he replied to their letter, respecting the decision against the reopening of the Raglan Public School. He informed them that their inquiry had again been made into the matter by the local inspector, and from the report furnished by him it appears that all the families concerned, with two exceptions, lived within a quarter of a mile of the Raglan railway station.
One of the two families referred to, viz., Morgan, lived within three-quarters of a mile of the station and a little over two miles from the Kelso Public School by road, and the other, Bennett, lived one mile from the railway station and under three by road from Kelso.
"From the information furnished, it does not appear that any of the children have to walk five miles a day to attend school, three miles (one and a half each way) being the furthest," letter stated.
"With regard to the train arrangements and hours of teaching, in the winter months, owing to the irregular running of the train, the children of the two families already mentioned have to leave home at 7am but on arrival at Kelso all the children have ready access to the schoolroom and a good fire.
"They start work by special arrangement at 9 o'clock, and have an hour for luncheon, and leave to catch the homeward train at 2.55pm, arriving at Raglan not later than 3.30pm. Thus but five minutes is lost daily, the instruction lasting 4 hours 55 minutes, not 3 1/2 hours as stated in your letter.
"I have also to point out that the children's welfare is much better served at Kelso Public School under a classified teacher and an assistant than would be the case in a small school taught by a less experienced teacher.
"Having in view the above mentioned facts, the Minister of Public Instruction cannot see his way to depart from the decision already arrived at, declining to re-open the Raglan Public School."
The decision was finally reversed with increased pupil numbers and the Raglan Public School was reopened with George Baillie as teacher.
On Thursday, April 24, 1924, the pupils celebrated Anzac Day with a short service to remember and commemorate the Anzacs as Friday, April 25 was a public holiday. The students were told of the feat of arms by Australia's soldiers on the heights of Gallipoli on April 25, 1915.
The school's Australian flag was flown at half mast until the end of the ceremony when it was raised to the top of the flagpole. Several Raglan men who had service in the Great War were also in attendance, some dressed in their Army uniforms and all wearing their medals.
The school already had a timber honour board which contained the names of the school's former students who served in the Australian Military Forces in the First World War. A cross marked those who had made the ultimate sacrifice.
Speaking at the Empire Day celebrations in May at the Raglan School, Bishop Long referred forcefully to the "Australia first" advocacy.
"We want you to be big Australians," said the Bishop addressing the children, "but we don't want you to be pettifogging Australians. We want you to love this great Empire and to realise and honour Australia's place within it. When you hear people trying to set up a competitive loyalty between Australia and the Empire, you should beware. They are mischief-makers."
The customary observances were then carried out.
The Raglan Public School had a busy year in 1924.