The origins of Mount Waverley North Primary School
On 18th August 1997, following the 1992-1994 period of state governance in which there were school closures and mergers across the state, school number 5430, Mount Waverley North Primary School was officially opened. The school forming as a product of a merger between the school located on the site, Syndal North Primary School, and the school located on the current Junior School Campus of Mount Waverley Secondary College, Waverley North Primary School.
Both schools were rich in their own history with Syndal North Primary School, school number 4946, officially opened 2nd Oct 1967 and Waverley North Primary School, school number 4884, officially opened on 6th Feb 1962. Both schools had previously inherited enrolments from Syndal State School and Narmara State School which were both closed some years earlier.
The early years of Syndal North Primary School
The name ‘Syndal’ means ‘sunny dale’. With the first origins of the Syndal name associated to ‘Syndal Farm’ which was owned by Judge Sir Redmond Barry and his partner Louisa Barrow. The first purchase of 20 acres was in May 1855, with Louisa Bridget Barrow being the registered owner. The second purchase of 40 acres registered in Barrow’s name occurred in July 1868. The third and fourth purchases belong to Sir Redmond Barry who held the freehold of 54 acres, which he purchased in his own name in March 1872 and November 1873. In 1873 the ‘Syndal’ Estate occupied 114 acres of land North-East of High Street Road and Stephensons Road.
Justice Redmond Barry is recorded in history as the man that sentenced Ned Kelly to death by hanging in Nov 1880, albeit passing 12 days after Kelly’s execution. In 1881 and 1884 Louisa sold the land as separate titles to the Coleman (Henry, son Harry and then grandson Charles Trevor Coleman), Muir (Malcolm) and Lechte families. These names are reflected in the school to this day as the ‘House’ groupings that all students belong to.
Josephine Avenue was named after a variety of Pear grown on Trevor Coleman's orchard. And Trevor Court is named after Trevor Coleman himself! Muir Street is named after Malcolm Muir, the first President of Mulgrave Shire, who had a 40 acre orchard directly on the North East corner of High St and Stephensons Rd. This land was subdivided into the Park Vista Estate.
Lawrence Rd is named after Robert and Richard Laurence who were part owners of Crown Portion 66 in 1853. Not long after purchase the lot was further subdivided into 15 lots. Later the road was widened and extended south over High Street Rd. West of Lawrence Road became the Milliara Housing Estate. Geoff Coleman MP who opened MWNPS in 1997 was the great grandson of the owner of the land (Henry Coleman).
On 2nd October 1967 Syndal North Primary School, school number 4946, was officially opened by Acting Principal K. Adamson. Built on what was reportedly a ‘mud pit’, not surprisingly given the land’s previous life as an orchard, the school consisted of twelve classrooms, a library and 304 students. In 1968 the school had its first permanent principal, M.L. O’Rourke which coincided with the completion of the permanent site works. A further two portables were added in 1969 as the enrolments rose over 500. A new wing of the school was completed in 1970 and by 1972 the school enrolment reached 650 students.
The early years of Waverley North Primary School
On the 6th February 1962 Waverley North Primary School officially opened with 294 Pupils and 11 staff, including the Head Teacher Walter A. Lee. The Waverley North Primary School site was initially part of the Market Garden belonging to the Alcock Family. The school’s enrolments quickly grew with students flowing out of the classrooms in the main buildings and into portables, and, at times into the corridors. By 1967 the school had peaked at 894 enrolments. The initial Principal was succeeded by Leo L. Monaghan in 1964 with subsequent Principals:
1966 Eric L. Shelley
1977 Carmel M. Curtis
1980 Kenneth C. Eames
1982 Kevin Rigby
1985 Keith Ough
Waverley North Primary School was known for its attractive gardens which made for a pleasant environment for staff and students. The uniform, basic grey with maroon and some green and white was accompanied by the school motto ‘kindness and courage’.
Waverley North Primary School closed in 1993 which marked the beginning of a four year transition period and merger with Syndal North Primary School on the current site of Mount Waverley North Primary School.