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The history of early schools in Humpybong (Redcliffe)

Updated: Jan 6

When the survey of the western part of Redcliffe was drawn up on March 24th 1864, a school reserve was made. The site today is surrounded by MacDonnell Road, Elizabeth Ave and Snook St.

The first provisional school was erected and opened on February 1st 1876 on a southern section of the site fronting Duffield Road - The "bark shanty" structure was made of slabs with a shingle roof and was 10ft x12ft in size.

27 Pupils enrolled during the first year with 18 enrolling on the first day.

Ethel Leonie V. Dodds (8yrs) and Ida Gertrude Dodds (4 yrs) were the first to enrol at the new school.

To download a free PDF file of the original 1876-1893 Humpybong School register click on the following file:

Download PDF • 1.21MB

Other students included: Ida Dodds, Mary Long, John Long, Elizabeth Long, Catherine Long, Alice Cutts, Annie Cutts, Lucy Cutts, Mary Kroppe, Sophia Kroppe, Ernest Kroppe, Isaac Salisbury, Ellie Salisbury, John Adams, Ellen Adams, Mary Adams, Alice Adams, Frederick Tubbs, Harry Tubbs, Florence Tubbs, Frederick Elliott, Emily Elliott, Henrietta Elliott, Alfred Elliott, Ada James and William Williams.

The first teacher was Thomas Arkins who began on the opening date February 1st 1876 and left 4 months later on 31st May 1876.

Joseph Fred Elliott then taught at the school from 13th July1876 to 31st March 1878.

Old residents mention "Mr Brosnan" who was in charge temporarily for a few weeks until the school closed in 1878.


The Queenslander Sat 9 Jun 1877 :


ON Monday, May 28, a meeting was held in the temporary schoolhouse for the purpose of taking into consideration the best means for furthering the erection of a new schoolhouse J.J. Noble, Esq., was called on to preside. A committee had been appointed about twelve months ago to raise funds, but from various causes they had not succeeded in obtaining sufficient to justify them in building. Mr. Board, the treasurer, laid a statement of the amount of funds available before the meeting. There not being, it appeared, a sufficient number of children resident in the district to constitute a State School and the present humpy where the children are now being taught proving totally inadequate, being only 10 by 12 feet in size, the secretary, Mr. H. J. Tubbs, stated that in January last an allotment had been granted by the Government for school purposes ; and the meeting having taken these various matters into consideration, unanimously decided to make additional efforts. It was then agreed to divide the work of collecting together suitable building materials, and to clear the ground, and with a determination to

"put back to back, and in a crack We'll mak' our warld better yet."

And after a vote of thanks to the chairman, to whose tact and affable manner the success of the meeting was greatly due, one of the most agreeable and enthusiastic gatherings, held here was brought to a close. Some little time ago a meeting was held at the residence of Messrs. Tubbs, of parties interested in the erection of a place for holding public worship, and we believe the Sum of £18 was then subscribed, which was considered encouraging as a start A building for this purpose is very much required, more particularly bo as at present these meetings are held in the small room described above ; and with the barometer in the summer months often standing at 80° and 90°, it may be easily judged that the meetings are truly melting. The situation calls for energetic steps being taken before hot weather again sets in; indeed at present, with the cold, high westerly winds, it requires some screwing up of the nerves to sit for nearly two hours in such a place."

In 1877, a second school building was erected on a site at the northern end of the school reserve and fronted what is now Macdonnell Road. It measured 20 ft by 12ft 3 in.

  • The Queenslander Sat 10 Nov 1877

REDCLIFFE November 6.

"OUR new primary school was formally opened on Saturday, the 3rd instant. The children met at an early hour, and after enjoying themselves at racing, swinging, &c., tea, cakes, lollies. &c., were served, after which the parents and others partook of an excellent tea provided by the ladies of the district. When tea was concluded, the children recited in a manner which reflected much credit on their teacher, Mr. Elliott. Mr. H. J. Tubbs then read the committee's report, which was further explained and enlarged on by the chairman, Mr. J. J. Noble, who has taken a very active part in having the building completed. Some practical remarks were made by Mr. A. Cameron and others. Mrs. Joseph Tubbs kindly presided at the harmonium. Altogether so pleasant and agreeable a meeting has never been enjoyed in this district. There never was so large a meeting of white people collected in Redcliffe the room being quite full, some having to stand. We trust it will be the precursor of many such convivial meetings, as tending to produce harmony and good feeling. The meeting broke up about 10 o'clock at night. We may add that the building is erected on a fine elevated piece of ground, and no debt left as a burden on the committee."

The first teacher at the new school was John Dowling, from Sept 1st 1878 to April 4th 1879. Other teachers were Jacob N Jones (June 11th 1879 to March 3rd 1880) Thomas Pearce (Aug 16th 1880 to Dec 13th 1885) Dennis Spillane (Feb 15th 1886 to 1st March 1889) Julia Connolly (8th July 1889 to 7th April 1896) , then Marguretta Stevenson ( 17th April 1896 to 26th March 1909) was the last teacher until it closed.

A map comparison of the area in 1956 and 2020 - it looks like the 2nd old school building is roughly where the ploughed field is in 1956.

Another Provisional School was opened on May or June 1888 in a reserve closer to the township (where the hospital grounds are now located)

1888 - Arthur Ashmole's class at Humpybong Provisional School:

Photo from the Moreton Bay Library Collection: RMPC-100\100907

To download a copy of the 1895-1939 Humpybong School register click on the following link:

Download PDF • 24.58MB

Arthur Ashmole (Arthur St and Ashmole Rd are named after him) was the first and only teacher at this school and when he retired after 20 years on December 1908 the school was closed.

Photos from The Pictorial History of Redcliffe book 1824-1949 :

Arthur Ashmole and students in 1888:

The current Humpybong School was opened on March 29th 1909 between Ernest and Mabel St. The school room was 40ft x 20 ft with 2 verandahs 9ft wide. The first teacher was William Thomas Bradfield (29th March 1909 to 15th August 1916, followed by Arthur John Stapleton (1st October 1916 to 1930), and the first student to enrolled was Eliza Pikett.

Humpybong School class c. 1928

To download a pdf file of the 1939-43 Humpybong School register click on the following link:

humpybong 1939
Download PDF • 16.58MB

Scarborough State School was opened on March 9th 1925

To download a pdf file of the 1925-1934 Scarborough State School register click on the following link:

Download PDF • 7.66MB

Clontarf Beach School opened on Feb 1st 1950

Redcliffe State High School opened on Feb 1958.

Photos from out book The Pictorial History Of Redcliffe 1950s-80s available at the following link :

A page from The Pictorial History of Redcliffe book 1824-1949 :

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