2019 marks the 140th anniversary of the opening of Kinglake Primary School - or Kinglake State School No. 2188 as it was correctly known when it opened in 1879. It was sometimes referred to as Kinglake East State School but that was not its official title.
The records show that it had taken several years and much pleading by the residents of Kinglake to get this school for their children. Land had been selected in the area from as early as 1872 and families began to settle here from that time, clearing their land and developing farms. The first petition to the Education Department was sent in 1876 from Kinglake residents asking for a school and this was followed by further petitions in 1877 and 1878. On each of these documents, the names of the families and the numbers of children in each were listed with the following request:
"We, the undersigned Parents and Head of Families residing in the Eastern Portion of the Parish of Kinglake, beg most respectfully to call your attention to the entire absence of schools in this district. ... We beg most respectfully to attach our names with the numbers of our children eligible for tuition under the Education Act."
In 1876, ten families were listed with a total of 22 children and the numbers were similar on the next two petitions. No doubt there was general rejoicing when the school finally opened on 24th October 1879.
Original Kinglake school 1879