History

The first thoughts of a Lutheran Primary School begun with a conversation between Merv Harch and Pastor L Otto in approximately 1967 when they were clearing the allotment after moving Trinity Church from Kroombit Street in Biloela to Theodore. With the allotment vacant, it was suggested that a Kindergarten be started, but this idea was rejected due to the fact that the Government was taking Kindergartens over. It was then that the Primary School was suggested.  The idea of a Lutheran Primary School in Biloela was openly discussed for a long time.

Merv Harch recalled, “It was hard to get the congregation interested as a whole, and it was not until Bob Maczkowiack and his wife Anne came to join the congregation that things started to go ahead. They were both very interested and sought information wherever possible, including going south to various schools to get firsthand information.”

Following a revision of the Congregation’s constitution in 1973 a Christian Education Committee was elected in 1975 with Mr Bob Maczkowiack as chairman. This committee under the encouragement of Pastor Jarick began investigating the feasibility of establishing a Lutheran Primary School in Biloela. At the end of the investigation it was considered that provided that enough members appreciated the importance of passing on the Christian faith to the children of the congregation the establishing of a Lutheran Primary School in Biloela was distinctly feasible.

It was estimated that a school could be operated and paid off over ten years at a cost of under $100 per child per annum. Approximately $70 000 would need to be donated or deposited with the LLL to get the project off the ground. As proposals for the Lutheran Primary School and Aged Persons home were running simultaneously two funds were established.

At this stage two obstacles still confronted the new Education Committee of Bob and Anne Maczkowiack, Merv Harch, E Purcell, Joan Behrendorff, Fred Johnson, Les Pfeiffer, Gordon Jensen and Frank Toomey.

  1. Finding of suitable land
  2. Whether to commence using Trinity Hall, seek registration and build on land later with a Government grant, or erect a modular unit on a suitable suit.

It was initially proposed to acquire land behind Bulk Grains Qld as a site for both the Rest Home and School. After considerable discussion locals did not recommend the block of land as a suitable site for a school or a rest home, due to the land being flood prone.

Some congregation members doubted the ability to finance both projects and the advisability of proceeding with two major undertakings simultaneously. This resulted in a requirement for a 2/3 majority by a secret ballot before acceptance in principle of the proposal. At the congregational meeting held on the 25 July 1976 members were provided the details covering the aims of the school, operating costs and relative issues. The Chairman Bob Maczkowiack explored exhaustively all foreseeable difficulties and expected action. Pastor H Krenske and M Schuller were scrutineers. Due to the controversial proposal a motion to accept the proposal in principle was approved with 31 in favour and 13 against. The School Committee was authorized to negotiate loans totalling up to $50000 provided suitable land was available and the congregation budgeted $2000 in 1977.

One of the biggest hold ups in the establishment of a school was the inability to find suitable land. The committee was very excited when Mr Tom Price Jones offered his house and land (5 ½ acres) for sale as a prospective site for a Primary School. Mr Tom Price Jones could not work out why the committee had not been to see him earlier. The location, being in close proximity to existing schools, was ideal.

The School committee recommended the property be purchased for $40 000 and a loan from LLL was sought to secure the purchase. Meanwhile subcommittees investigated finance, location and building, policy and publicity and promotion. As no finance was available from the Government until a classroom was built and the school proved viable, some members of the congregation agreed to give money (some $1000) each year for three years, to service repayments. A total of $20000 was promised.

The Banana Shire Council was approached and Council building approval was given on the 29 March 1977.
Costs of a modular unit to be used as classrooms were investigated and eventually a unit was purchased from Lloyd Taylor of Moura for $7390. The building was 16 x 8 metres and would consist of two classrooms.

By the end of June 1977, Church Council of the Queensland District had approved of the loan from LLL to purchase the property but not without some misgivings. Meanwhile the Congregation had approval for a loan of $20000 to cover an elevated Modular Unit complete with toilet facilities. Ted Rosenblatt was engaged to erect the Logan Modular unit and the call went out for willing hands to present themselves on Saturday 13 August 1977, at his workshop, Dawson Highway, and on site the following weeks.

By this time the first call to Mr N Auricht to be Principal in 1978 had been declined and prospective candidates were being supplied by Mr J Zweck of Adelaide.

Pastor Clarence Schefe recalls,” Plans were then set in motion for the erection of the first building. The foundations were dug. Since metric was a new concept to us all, it was not surprising that Ted Rosenblatt and his volunteers would have a few hassles. To our wonderment after the backhoe had gone, the trenches were found to be about six inches out. Frank Toomey and myself were then given the task of rectifying the problem with a bar and shovel.” September was very busy, timber was carted from Mulgildie and many working bees presented themselves.

While the building progressed well, the call for a Principal did not, with three declining in a row. The uncertainty surrounding a Principal was not conducive to firm enrolments and a final and successful call was sent to Mr W Schick late November 1977.

On the 23 January 1978 the Redeemer Lutheran Primary School became a reality with just thirteen pupils and a teaching Principal. Redeemer Lutheran Congregation had moved into an exciting area of work- establishing a Lutheran School in the Callide Valley. The challenge was immense sometimes frustrating and bewildering but under the blessing of God, the school grew.

In 2012 the school received accreditation to expand to Year 10. The Middle School Campus Year 7 -10 was built over two years. The first Year 7 and 8 classes began in January 2014 and the school was renamed Redeemer Lutheran College, Biloela.

1978

Principal – Mr Bill Schick
Enrolments – 13
Staff – 1
‘The Parents and Friends Association of Redeemer came into being at an Inaugural Meeting on 17 February 1978, A collection was taken at this meeting to enable a bank account to be opened with a ‘HUGE’ balance of $10.’
‘The support of the community was evident in the 1,300 dozen lamingtons sold by the children and their parents.’

1978

Principal – Mr Bill Schick
Enrolments – 23
Staff – 1
‘Pa Mallory and some parents provided swimming instructions during the year.’
‘Mid-year, Mrs Beth Toomey agreed to be honorary librarian. The library was moved downstairs, with a sickbed being provided in the same room.’ ‘At the end of 1979, the first grade seven student, Colin Searston, graduated and was presented with a Bible.’

1980

Enrolments – 31
Staff – 2
‘On 10th July 1980, McSweeney and Co. advised the school that an agreement had been reached between Mr Brian Giles and Mr Ted Rosenblatt regarding a steel shed situated beside the Barber shop in Callide Street. It was agreed that the shed would be removed by congregational members. The letter also stated “Agreement has been reached that the shed is valued at $500 for removal purposes and Mr Giles is prepared to donate the value of the shed to your church.”
In 2003, the ‘shed’ was the Year Seven Classroom
In 2008 it became the Arts Room.

1981

Principal – Mr Bill Schick
Enrolments – 32
Staff – 2
‘Amendments were made to the Congregational Constitution’s By-laws to cater for a Lutheran P&F representative. The Lutheran congregation and the P&F of the school combined to run a fete. Tent frames were borrowed from St Joseph’s Catholic School.’
‘Nine children from the upper grades attended the Lutheran Schools Sports at St Peter’s College, Indooroopilly.’

1982

Principal – Mr Bill Schick
Enrolments – 52
Staff – 3
‘The School’s 5th birthday celebrations were held on the 7th March, the same day that the new Resource Building was dedicated. It was at this time that Stage II building commenced.’
‘Mr Ted Rosenblatt constructed a shed on the School grounds for extra storage. Iron was salvaged from Mr George Rosenblatt’s piggery which had its roof blown off in a storm.
‘The Lutheran Youth laid the cricket pitch, boldly scratching their initials, and the date “AUG 28 ‘82”, in the wet cement. This encouraged the boys and soon they played their first home match of interschool cricket.’

1983

Principal – Mrs Marilyn Wall
Enrolments – 65
Staff – 4
The completion and dedication of Stage II was the highlight of the year. The dedication service took place on Sunday, 29th May with Pastor R Mayer, President of the Qld district, officiating.’
‘Both Pastor Tom Reuther, National Director for Lutheran Schools and Terry Armstrong, Qld Director for Lutheran Schools, paid a visit to the school during the year.’
‘Probably the only comment I would like to make is that it took an all-male school committee some time to adjust to a female Principal. It was certainly a new experience for them and one which turned out very well for the School and the community.”

1984

Principal – Mrs Marilyn Wall
Enrolments – 70
Staff – 4
‘…The P&F purchased the School’s first photocopier, a KIP LE123 and the Priority country Area Program (PCAP) donated a video.’ ‘After a competition amongst school families, ACACIA and GREVILLEA were selected as the School’s two sports teams. The first sports day on 10th August, saw the yellow Acacia team shine victorious on 675 points to Grevillea’s 609. Qld Lutheran Schools Director, Terry Armstrong, presented the shield, constructed by grade 3/4/5 teacher, Mr Doecke. The Acacia and Grevillea motifs also designed by Mr Doecke, were screen-printed on the new banners and children’s t-shirts by capable parents.’ ‘The Callide/Dawson Valley Speaking Competition, established in 1984, saw grade 6 pupils Stephanie Taylor and Andrew Hines reach the final. Andrew Hines gave an excellent speech and was judged the winner out of twelve finalists.’ ‘The school year drew to a close with a Swimming Carnival where Acacia’s 182 points put its name on the shield first. (Grevillea 167 points).

1985

Principal – Mr Neville Doecke
Staff – 7
‘Children’s regular weekly Chapel offerings began to support a World Vision needy child. Eleven year old Metakai Kingi, from Kenya, began receiving $21 per month.’ ‘June 16th was a significant day in the life of the School and Lutheran Congregation. It was Dedication Sunday for the new Principal’s residence at 8 Bell Street. The four-bedroom plus a study, brick veneer building was erected in six weeks by Irwan Homes. The old manse at 70 Kroombit Street, which has been the home of the Doecke Familiy for eighteen months, was sold so the new residence could be built.’ ‘The children were delighted to receive a short visit from the Queensland Premier, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen.’ ‘Under the guidance and direction of Allan Clifford, a new double-wicket cricket practice net area was erected, much to the delight of the aspiring cricketers in the School!’

1986

Principal – Mr Neville Doecke
Enrolments – 84
Staff – 7
‘The School’s first “Buzz Book” was printed. It was welcomed as a quick School information reference and telephone book of School families.’ ‘In the sporting arena, Grevillea turned the tables and won their first Interhouse Sports Carnival. Later, at the Interschool sports day, Redeemer wore their new blue sports t-shirts for the first time.’ ‘Over 100 walkers participated in the June walkathon. The six kilometre hike raised over $1,300, some of this helping to send the grade 5/6/7s to the Maroochydore Lutheran Sports.’ ‘Excitement ran through the school when Ruth Hudson won the 1986 Interhouse Speaking competition.’ ‘During August, a new awning was erected along the front of the School. Adequately covering the staircases, it enabled students to move up and downstairs without getting wet.’

1987

Principal – Mr Deville Doecke
Enrolments – 94
Staff – 10
‘Collard Street became a ‘real’ street when it as curbed in March. With the pedestrian crossing and bus zones, safety has been increased.’ ‘The 10th anniversary Fete was held on 8th August. It was officially opened by the chairman of the Banana Shire, Mr Alf O’Rourke.’ ‘The Grade Seven graduating class for 1987 were: Bronwyn Dennis, Lisa Jarius, Fairlie-Ann Taylor, Damien Brown, Grant Hall, Craig Madsen and Allan McLaughlin,’

1988

Principal – Mr Deville Doecke
Enrolments – 96
Staff – 10

1989

Principal – Mr Deville Doecke
Enrolments – 105
Staff – 11

1990

Principal – Mr Deville Doecke
Enrolments – 118
Staff – 12

1991

Principal – Mrs Cecilie Koch
Enrolments – 113
Staff – 12

1992

Principal – Mrs Cecilie Koch
Enrolments – 113
Staff – 10
The new administration Building was opened on 14 March 1992.

1993

Principal – Mrs Cecilie Koch
Enrolments – 113
Staff – 16
1993 saw the printing of the first School Magazine. It was a collection of reports from committees, and writing and art work by the children in the School. ‘Class concerts were introduced to give all children the opportunity to speak in front of an audience in a non-threatening atmosphere’.

1994

Principal – Mrs Cecilie Koch
Enrolments – 110
Staff – 17
This year the Parents and Friends Association’s main aim was to supply two evaporative coolers for the classrooms. The coolers were installed during the September holidays by Klease, Meredith Plumbing just in time for the hot spell.’ Ian Wilkie, P&F President.

1995

Principal – Mrs Cecilie Koch
Enrolments – 128
Staff – 15
‘At the first P&F Meeting, parents were able to approve the purchase of a new CD ROM Macintosh computer ($2680) and to increase memory in one existing computer ($160).’ Ian Wilkie, P&F President. ‘The steel playground equipment was taken away mid year because it didn’t conform to safety standards. It is being replaced with new equipment.’

1996

Principal – Mr Paul Letts
Enrolments – 119
Staff – 15
‘The new eating area has been very useful to the children in Redeemer….The eating area replaces the old sandpit. The parents of the School laid the pavers with the help of Terry Wissemann. They also put down new seats for the children to sit on, and there is enough room for every child to sit on these seats.’ Steven Harch, Year Seven. ‘Finally, after a period of ten years, the School received permission from the Lands Department to purchase this land (four hectare block). The School purchased the block for $15,000. This land is now planned to be converted into an athletics oval for the future children of our School to enjoy.’ Adam Pitman, Year Seven

1997

Principal – Mr Paul Letts
Enrolments – 147
Staff – 16
No magazine was produced the year, but instead a Literary Competition was held and all winning entries were published in a booklet called the “Literary Competition 1997”. ‘In 1997 the P&F established a “hard Court Fund” and pledged a figure of $2,000 to be put into this fund annually.’ The School Council are matching this pledge.’

1998

Principal – Mr Paul Letts
Enrolments – 183
Staff – 22
Twentieth Anniversary of Redeemer Lutheran Primary School. ‘In 1998 our new junior block was constructed. The buildings will take us forward into the next generation.’
Currently in 1998, the P&F are committed to paying for the construction of the new sandpit which used very enthusiastically by the students in the lower year levels.’

1999

Principal – Mr Paul Letts
Enrolments – 193
Staff – 24
‘The year has been a busy one with the relocation and refurbishment of Trinity Chapel. This project was high on School Council’s agenda. With this project completed and the hard court nearing completion we will be planning ahead with our five years goals.’

2000

Principal – Mr Paul Letts
Enrolments – 190
Staff – 24
‘The Uniform Committee was formed to oversee the implementation of the new sports uniform and they’ve done a wonderful job.’

2001

Principal – Mr Colin Hayter & Mr Kerry Hutton
Enrolments – 187
Staff – 25
‘The new master key system, a project initiated by Colin Hayter, has been a great benefit to the School…The embankment project was completed in the second half of the year. The final results are very professional.’

2002

Principal – Mr Kerry Hutton
Enrolments – 189
Staff – 26
‘The UNICORN Program has been the major curriculum initiative for 2002. This project, headed by Mrs Kerrie Kirwan, Enrichment Teacher, and ably assisted by Mrs Jenni Krenske, Miss Genelle Baxter and other members of staff, sought to write a number of teaching units that were differentiated. ‘Differentiated’ means that within the body of the unit, there were activities written for gifted students in the class. Redeemer School was one of ten Schools selected in Queensland to be part of this funded program.’

2003

Principal – Mr Kerry Hutton
Enrolments – 173
Staff – 27
It has been my delight, although sometimes tinged with frustration, during 2003, to be able to prepare the School for its first preparatory Class in 2004. The Lord has provided us with a building suitable for our purpose. This building was bought at a much-reduced price from the Catholic Diocese of Rockhampton. The building was previously the Catholic Church in Jambin. Mr Mark Wessling was awarded the contract to renovate and extend this building. He undertook the oversight of its removal and relocation to its site at Redeemer.