The shire’s rich history has inspired the renaming of Pakenham’s newest primary school.
Previously referred to as Pakenham South West Primary School, the Henry Road school has now been officially renamed the John Henry Primary School after a prominent community figure.
School principal Tanya Roberts said the build was on track for classes to commence in term one next year for Prep to Grade 6 and that the school uniforms were ready.
She said that the majority of the 330 children who had enrolled lived within walking distance of the school, or would be able to ride their bikes and scooters.
“We’re thrilled to have a school name that reflects a local figure known for his generosity and deep involvement and connection with his community. This same spirit will be embodied by our school,” Ms Roberts said.
“We’ve been running a transition program every Wednesday this term from 4.30pm with our 23 teaching staff, parents and students to talk about our school values.
“We’ve also had fun activities for the kids to get to know each other – a teddy bear picnic, reading time and we have a disco coming up.”
The Henry Road Primary School will have an early learning centre, a multi-purpose space, an expanded gymnasium, embedded environmental sustainability education and meeting rooms for community use.
Eastern Victoria Region MP Daniel Mulino visited the construction site on Friday 21 October.
“John Henry Primary School will be more than just a great local school, it will provide a thriving hub that brings families and community groups together,” he said.
“We are proud to unveil this exciting new school’s name, a name that acknowledges Pakenham’s history as part of a school that will help build its future.”
John Henry was a local land and station owner who was renowned for his community spirit, along with his wife Lavinia.
The couple were described as “untiring workers for every worthwhile movement in the district” and many charitable organisations benefited greatly from their active help and generosity.
The Henry family gave the school permission to use their ancestor’s name.
Originally published at Pakenham Gazette.