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Jack Adams

Jack Adams only spent one year at Collingwood Tech but it remains as one of his fondest memories.


In 1948 I came from Cromwell Street Primary State School to Collingwood Tech. School. I could not afford a uniform but was very proud of my cap

All the first year pupils were divided into ten groups of twenty boys per form. The school required us to wear the school uniform. I was one of the very few boys that could not afford to have a uniform, although I had a school cap which I was very proud of. Each boy was issued with his own locker and key. Classes were set for two to four hour periods with a specialist teacher for each period.

Subjects:  English, Maths, Science, History, Technical Drawing, Solid Geometry, Music, Woodwork, Sheet metal work and Sport. I enjoyed all the subjects, but was not the best at English, spelling and reading.

I discovered science and light classical music

There were two teachers that gave me great encouragement over the year. Mr. Haire (Science) taught basic 1st year Science in a very informative way. He also talked about his overseas travels, giving us information on the development of Science in other countries. He told us about a neon sign in New York that went through eight different advertisements on the one sign. The students were amazed that this could happen. Mr. Phillips (Music Appreciation) played on his portable wind-up gramophone a 12 inch vinyl record of “Peter and the Wolf”. Listening to this record the class learned how each instrument made up an orchestra. He gave me an appreciation of light classical music, which I still enjoy today.

I learned to make many useful things, including a copper stick for my mother’s washing

In sheet metal I made a tin mug and a funnel, in woodwork, a match box holder, garden stake and a clothes washing stick for the copper. In woodwork and sheet metal work, before you started to make a practical project, you were required to draw the model, that is, the plan, elevation, side elevation, and either isometric or development of the project. You could not start to make a model until you got at least seven out of ten marks for your drawings. Some boys did not get to make a model all year.

I came 365th in the annual cross country run

Towards the end of the year the whole school, 700-800 boys in all, went into training for the annual cross country run. A number of us trained at the Collingwood Football ground where four times around the boundary was one mile. The run started at the Ramsden Street Oval, Clifton Hill, went along Heidelberg Road to Alphington then on to Ivanhoe, around several parks along the Yarra River and finished back at Ramsden Street Oval. I came 365th (the number of days in a year) and I was stonkered at the finish.

We farewelled Neil Harvey and our photos were in the newspapers

One afternoon the whole school went to St. Joseph’s Church Hall to farewell Neil Harvey, an apprentice plumber. He was the youngest player selected to play with the Australian Cricket Team that was going to England to play test cricket. I was one of the many boys who had their photo taken with Neil for publication in the Sun, Age and Argus newspapers.

I only spent one year at the Collingwood Tech, but I enjoyed every day, learned a lot from the teachers who on many occasions let you use your own initiative, and who were always there to guide and help students.