HUNDREDS of people filled Liverpool Public School on Saturday to celebrate 150 years of local education and history.
Former pupils travelled from near and far to celebrate the anniversary of one of the oldest schools in the area.
Principal Susan Walkerden said it was great to see former pupils return and share their memories with their former classmates and chat with pupils.
‘‘It was special seeing the eldest ex-pupil connect with a young kindergarten child,’’ she said.
‘‘Ex-pupils connected with each other and it was lovely watching how those relationships were still very strong. People would see each other and pull photographs out of their pockets and start sharing memories.’’
The school in the heart of Liverpool’s CBD opened in 1863.
Former pupils from the past eight decades attended the event. The oldest was a 92-year-old woman.
Visitors walked through classrooms and explored new buildings. There was a formal assembly, an opening of a time capsule, cutting of the cake and market stalls.
Ms Walkerden said it was an honour to be a part of a school with so much history.
‘‘This is certainly one of the oldest schools in the area,’’ she said.
‘‘The school has been here on the original site for 150 years.
‘‘It has been really central to the community’’.
Donald Raymond Chalmers, 82, of Warwick Farm said attending the celebrations was like strolling down memory lane.
Mr Chalmers is a former pupil, who started at the school when he was seven years old in 1938.
He and his two sisters used to walk from their house at Warwick Farm through an old cemetery, now known as Pioneer Memorial Park, to the school.
Mr Chalmers said he could still vividly remember one of his first experiences at the school.
‘‘I didn’t really like the idea of being at school, so one day I crawled into a bush under a school building and hid there,’’ he said.
‘‘When they got me out, I didn’t crawl under there again — believe me.
‘‘The school had beautiful grounds with huge peppercorn trees. We used to have classes outside.’’
Mr Chalmers said there had been many good changes at the school and in Liverpool.
‘‘The staff seemed to intermingle more with the pupils,’’ he said.
‘‘Let’s face it, Liverpool is a really ethnic community and we’re better off for it.’’