Years of planning are expected to pay off this weekend when visitors converge on Dubbo for the Centenary of Public High School Education.
A committee of former students and teachers, supported by senior Dubbo College staff, has been working towards the three-day Centenary which will start with a book launch at the Western Plains Cultural Centre tomorrow night at 6pm.
The book “Memories and Milestones”, compiled by former student Pam Bell, encapsulates the rich history of all public high schools in the city since Dubbo High School was founded in 1917.
The dedication in the book reads: “It is written in recognition of those who helped shape and were shaped by the Schools Systems of NSW. Their memories are recorded so we may know a part of our heritage.”
The Centenary will continue on Saturday with lunch at the DRTCC, afternoon tours of Dubbo College and a gathering at the Dubbo RSL Club at 7pm.
A church service will take place at Holy Trinity on Sunday morning, with a service at the Cenotaph in Victoria Park planned for 11am
This service will focus on former and present service men and women, paying tribute to those from Dubbo public high schools who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
This is expected to include a special focus on Pilot Officer Rawdon Middleton VC, a former Dubbo High School student who displayed outstanding heroism “unsurpassed in the history of the RAF”.
Middleton joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 1940 and was attached to the Royal Air Force in Great Britain when he effectively saved the lives of five crew members returning from a bombing mission to Milan, Italy in 1942.
Middleton’s selfless feat resulted in the award of a Victoria Cross (posthumously).
Weekend Centenary activities will culminate in a concert at the DRTCC at 2pm on Sunday to include a range of accomplished artists and performers, all former students of public high school education in Dubbo.
Performers will include recent graduates of Dubbo College Nathan Bryon and Billie Palin, actress, singer and dancer Thalia Smith who recently appeared in the stage musical “We Will Rock You”, the Australian Ballet’s Ella Havelka, Thirsty Merc’s Phil Stack and singer-songwriter Sarah Head.
Tickets for the concert will be available at the door on Sunday if not sold out prior to the event.
Centenary committee co-chairman Jim Carey said he expected a large influx of former students and teachers to attend the Centenary.
“There has been a great deal of thought and effort put into the weekend’s activities and I’m sure this will more than pay off,” he said.
“I think one of the highlights for visitors returning to the city will be to see the transformation of the old Dubbo High School site into the Western Plains Cultural Centre, which is now an iconic part of this modern city.”
- story and photo supplied by Dubbo College