Thursday, November 16, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Mackay West State School Centenary


There’s always some debate about how long you must have lived in Mackay before you can call yourself a local. I can trace my family back to my great-great-grandfather, George Hardwick, who arrived in the Pioneer Valley in the mid-1860s. Generations of my family have lived here, with me being fifth generation, and my children and grandchildren also born and raised here.

My mother and her brother attended Mackay West State School, as did myself and my siblings, and then my four children. It’s a great school that has produced many outstanding community members who have gone on to do great things.

Mackay West State School will celebrate their centenary in 2024. The school, originally known as South Ward State School, opened in 1924 at the Bridge Road campus. The campus later became known as West Mackay Infants School, and the Pinder Street site as West Mackay Primary School with grades three to seven. In 1994 there was an amalgamation of West Mackay Infants School and West Mackay Primary School to become Mackay West State School.

The Centenary Committee, of which I’m the Treasurer, meets monthly and are coordinating events, memorabilia and displays for the community. We are inviting local families and businesspeople to sponsor a page in the centenary book or sponsor an event during the centenary celebrations, being held from May 24 to 26, 2024.

The weekend celebrations will begin on Friday, May 24, 2024, where past and present staff, students and family members will gather under the trees of the junior campus. A static display will be set up at the senior campus, giving attendees an opportunity to walk down memory lane and reminisce. A Meet and Mingle will be hosted at Harrup Park that night. Tickets will be available for purchase early in the New Year.

On Saturday, May 25, the school grounds at Pinder Street will come alive with our annual Mayfair. This traditional fair has been bringing the West Mackay Community together for over 50 years.

On Sunday, May 26, we will be welcoming families to have a picnic at the Pinder Street campus and have a look through the static display.

A centenary book is being produced by a dedicated team of past students and teachers. Local historian Lyall Ford is collating information to include an accurate history of the school and its community.

For more information, please email or check out our Facebook page – I went to Mackay West SS 1924-.

Councillor Belinda Hassan

Mackay Regional Council

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