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NMIT Milestones – 1940s


Defence Training Scheme classes begin at Collingwood Technical School in 1940 with the training of toolmakers. This continued until the end of the war and was a major defence training activity. The School ran night and day classes in theory and drawing, which went from 9pm to 11pm, Monday to Thursday while workshop practice commenced at 11pm and finished at 6am the next morning.

1940: places at Preston Technical School are in great demand and the School spills out to temporary classrooms in local state schools.

1941: Preston achieves Senior Technical status with the addition of senior evening and apprentice classes.

June 1943: Fire ravages Collingwood Technical School destroying the Boot and Shoe Building, Plumbing and Sheetmetal Departments. Gone were all the expensive boot and shoe making machines given to the School by British United Shoe Machinery Company of Australia. Classes had to be re-accommodated to premises in Palmerston Street and the effects of this fire were felt into 1946. Although building materials were scarce during the war years, a new three storey building of workshops was erected on the site of the old burnt-out remains and a new footwear building, costing £30,000, was completed by February 1945.

1947: workshop block opened at Preston Tech – catering to carpentry and joinery, fitting and machining, and plumbing and gasfitting.

1948: Eastern section of Johnston St (Collingwood) Building F completed.

1948: C.H. Beanland takes over from Mr J Aberdeen as Principal of Preston Tech.

1949: deputation to the Minister of Education successful in its request to establish a girls’ technical school, and for Preston to be able to offer tertiary level Diploma courses in the areas of engineering and science. Land had already been purchased in Cramer Street in 1944 with a frontage of 380 feet, in anticipation of the girls’ school being established in the future.

1949: Preston Tech Engineering workshops open.

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