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At the Open Day celebrating the Centenary of distance education in WA, the family of Mr Clarence Eakins made a surprise donation to SIDE.

Clarence Eakins was the foundation headmaster of the Correspondence School. Geraldton-born Mr Eakins suffered a riding accident when a teenager which resulted in him having an artificial leg. This misfortune did not stop his active involvement in many varied activities, and later he became a headmaster in small country schools. His leadership of the Correspondence School for over 30 years meant that quality educational programs were offered to children and young people across the state who would once have missed out on schooling.

While the SIDE archives contain many items related to Mr Eakins, his daughter Mrs Gwen Spencer decided to present to SIDE, on the occasion of the Centenary, a retirement gift presented to her father by the Correspondence School staff in 1951. The presentation of this gift, a walking stick, was made by his granddaughter Carole O’Brien to SIDE during Mr Eakins induction into the Hall of Fame.

The walking stick including the presentation plaque is now on display in the Hall of Fame adjacent to Mr Eakins citation and photograph.