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Hands up who remembers going to Orange's Trinity Preschool?

March 19, 2024


Images: Supplied. Artwork: Orange News Examiner.

By Peter Holmes


It’s possible - but unlikely - that somewhere in Orange, or beyond, is a 104-year-old who attended Trinity Preschool when it was founded in 1924.


As the preschool turns 100, director Sarah Evans is putting the call out to former attendees of any age.


She’s hopeful that around Orange, NSW and Australia, in storage boxes in garages and photo albums on shelves, and on smartphones and in hazy memory banks, there are enough pictures, clippings and recollections to paint a vivid image of life at the preschool over its 100 years.

Its name and location may have changed a few times, and there is a little fogginess around exactly what it was called, and when, and what age groups were enrolled at different times, but what has remained constant is the preschool.


Trinity Preschool. Google.

According to its own history, the preschool “evolved from a Girls Grammar School, started by the Anglican Church at the old School of Arts in Byng Street in 1924”. Two classrooms

were “under the tutelage of Rev Canon Taylor”. 


“There was a move to the Bluestone Trinity Preschool Church building in 1927 (when boys up to nine years old were enrolled) and then another location in Kite Street in 1952.



Trinity Preschool. Supplied.

Trinity Preschool. Supplied.

“For the next 20 years, the Trinity Preschool Memorial Grammar School educated young girls and boys from preschool through to intermediate standard. In the early 1970s … the board of directors chose to focus on preschool education.”


In 1976 Trinity Preschool opened at its present site in Kooronga Avenue, with 200 children attending each week.


Today about 160 kids are enrolled, Evans told The Orange News Examiner, and there is a waiting list of more than 400. While long daycare has become more common, Trinity operates from 8:30am to 4pm.

Orange Anglican Grammar School’s website states that its origins are in Orange’s “Trinity Grammar School” (1924-1952).


Trinity Preschool. Supplied.

It's taken for granted in 2024, but when the preschool in Orange opened in 1924, Australia was only just starting to take seriously the role of educating children from a young age, with a focus on health and wellbeing.


A 2013 Charles Sturt University study “75 Years of Early Childhood Education Australia” stated: “Throughout the 1920s … children’s health and wellbeing became a topic of discussion and debate in the Australian media, and in academic and government circles.

“In particular, World War I had stoked concerns about Australia’s isolation from other ‘Western’ countries and its susceptibility to invasion. It was argued that Australia needed a strong local population capable of defending the country.


Trinity Preschool. Supplied.

“Attention was drawn to the need to stem the ‘wastage’ associated with the high infant mortality and morbidity of the times. There was a dawning recognition, informed by scientific discoveries, that providing for children’s health and welfare could have not only lasting positive effects on their wellbeing but also flow-on benefits for the nation.


“There were also those who believed that given the ‘correct’ type of education, children were the best option for ensuring the development of a ‘brotherhood of man’ and ensuring lasting world peace.”


Aside from seeking out photos and other memorabilia from over the years, Evans hopes to be able to film interviews with people who remember their time at Trinity Preschool. 



Trinity Preschool. Supplied.


“Over the last 100 years we’ve learned so much about the role that early education plays in

lifelong learning outcomes,” said Evans.


Trinity accepts children aged three to five years old, but gives precedence to those about to start school.

Evans describes the not-for-profit preschool as a community asset.


“We pride ourselves on the relationships we have with our families and the fact that we are deeply embedded in the life of our community. 


“We know that many successive generations of families have attended Trinity Preschool and we want to capture those memories and celebrate them.


“We want to know, who has the longest connection to Trinity? How many continuous generations from one family can we establish? Where have our Trinity alumni ended up? We’re interested in every story, every memory.”


As it happens, the person with one of the longest connections to Trinity Preschool might be found working at … Trinity Preschool. Evans says one teacher has not only worked at the facility for around 30 years, but was herself enrolled as a young girl.


You can email photos, clippings and memories to 100YearsofTrinity@gmail.com.


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