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150th Anniversary Celebrations

 MORE than 450 people crammed into the Goondiwindi State Primary School multi-purpose centre to take part in the Goondiwindi State Primary School’s 150th and the High School’s 50th anniversary on Saturday 20 September

However there were many more.
Perhaps the biggest was the loudest.
Emotion welled as students sang a new school “anthem” titled “It’s just great at Gundy State. It was a crescendo which peaked with cannon fire of green and gold paper which drew cries, smiles and an over-flowing of pride  from students and teachers, past and present.
“I couldn’t help it. I just burst into tears,”  a former deputy-principal. Despite begging anonymity, she wasn’t alone.
It was pride which drew praise from the Queensland Governor.
Here in full is what he had to say:
Kaye and I are truly delighted to be with you today to mark this historic occasion: 150 years of fine education at the Goondiwindi State Primary School, and 50 years at the Goondiwindi State High School. Today is especially important for us as this is our first visit to Goondiwindi, and indeed our first visit to a town west of the Great Dividing Range, since my being sworn in as your Governor nearly two months ago. 
Both of my parents were teachers, and I spent a significant part of my childhood – so happily – in regional and remote Queensland, including near Kingaroy, in Maryborough and in Longreach. 
The regional schools I attended were instrumental in my own development (not least because my parents were often also my teachers, but) partly because I found these schools – and the regional lifestyle – so animating; I was transfixed by the way the schools cultivated a sense of authenticity of spirit and a sense of community – I still am!
So it is our pleasure to celebrate this significant day with you all, at a school whose own history is so conspicuously entwined with that of our magnificent State.   It was with particular interest that I read in the marvellous commemorative publication1 that our sixteenth Governor (and the first to be born in Queensland) Sir John Lavarack, reportedly granted students of Goondiwindi State Primary School a holiday when he visited in 1949! Regrettably, boys and girls, the Governor no longer has that power, however I trust you will all enjoy the September school holidays which commence today and run for two weeks!
Great schools are the foundations of great communities.
This year, we celebrate 150 years of Goondiwindi State Primary School and 50 of Goondiwindi State High School emulating just that. 
This year also marks 100 years since Australia became involved in the First World War, and Kaye and I pause to remember the 154 Anzacs, and indeed all service men and women who fought from the Boer War to Afghanistan, who were born in Goondiwindi. 
Many of them attended this Primary School, instilling them with an enduring sense of service.
 I particularly applaud the efforts of the schools to remember and reconnect with this sense of service through the ‘Gundy to Gallipoli’ project. 
Kaye and I wholeheartedly congratulate the 150th Anniversary Committee, the principals, teachers and students – past and present – and the wider Goondiwindi community, for your contributions to today’s celebrations; you are all truly wonderful people. 
What a marvellous job these fine schools have done – and continue to do – achieving and fostering exemplary citizenship; Kaye and I truly recognise this and it is our honour to be with you today for these memorable celebrations.