It’s 50 years ago this week that Cobar High School first opened its gates to students.
Built in 1966, the multi-million dollar facility had a sporting oval and spacious grounds and could accommodate 500 students when they first commenced their studies on May 9.
According to the school’s history, as documented in the Cobar Copper Centenary 1869-1969 book, prior to Cobar High School opening, after finishing primary school any students wishing to continue their studies only had the option of a continuation school.
Evening continuation classes began in 1911, but were rescheduled into day classes in August 1912 due to poor enrolment numbers, with no boy aged over 14 and very few girls enrolled in classes.
Enrolment numbers fluctuated with the town’s economy until 1946 when it became a Central School and was then raised to the status of an Intermediate High School in 1948 which operated as part of the Cobar District school (on the current Cobar Public School grounds).
Cobar’s Tourism Officer, John Martin, was one of the students in First Form class (Year 7) in 1966 when the school first opened.
“It was a big thing for Cobar at the time,” Mr Martin said.
According to Mr Martin there were approximately 60 students enrolled in First Form and only three students in Sixth Form when it first opened in May 1966.
He estimated there were approximately 190 students enrolled at the school under the guidance of the principal Jim Rutherford.
Cobar High School’s current principal Sue Francisco said the school community has plans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the official opening of the school which occurred in September 1966.
She said they are planning an Open Day and dinner/dance and will be inviting former students, teachers and staff members to join them in the 50 years celebrations.