Film footage of Wilston State School (ca.1954)

Among several amateur films recently digitised by State Library of Queensland is an eight minute film of an event held at Wilston State School, purportedly captured sometime between 1953 and 1954.

Dancing around the maypole.
Still from 27398 Wilston State School Archival Footage

The part of the recorded footage may depict the opening of the school’s new visual education centre and library, which took place on 28 August 1954. The £6,000 centre (the equivalent of $200,000 today) was officially opened by Queensland Premier Vince Gair. A man resembling Gair can be seen at one point in the footage giving a speech in front of the visual education centre.

Is this Queensland Premier Vince Gair speaking at Wilston State School? Still from 27398 Wilston State School Archival Footage

According to the Sunday Mail (29/08/1954), the school’s committee had raised half of the funds for the centre’s construction with the State Government contributing the rest.

Wilston State School’s visual education centre and library. Opened in August 1954.
Still from 27398 Wilston State School Archival Footage

“What the Wilston committees have accomplished together with the Government, other committees could do – if they devoted their energies more to constructive plans for self-help and less to carping criticsim and wailing appeals for help”, Gair was reported to have remarked during his speech.

Aside from the formal presentation and speeches the majority of footage shows school children, parents and teachers enjoying the day’s festivities, including dancing around the maypole, a performance by the school band, synchronised dancing and more.

Still from 27398 Wilston State School Archival Footage

The film can be viewed online through our One Search catalogue.

Young boy pointing out the camera.
Still from 27398 Wilston State School Archival Footage

Myles Sinnamon – Engagement Officer, State Library of Queensland