We are the Lukis family. We began our association with the Correspondence School in 1941 when Jean, the eldest of our family, began correspondence lessons at White Springs Station near Marble Bar. This association continued through the 1940s and 1950s as Dorothy and then John, the youngest enrolled with the school.
The mail came fortnightly from Port Hedland on the mail truck to Woodstock Station 16 miles away. If the creeks between the two properties were dry, someone would drive across to collect the mail and our lessons in a Dodge car. If the creeks were high after rain they would be impassable, and we would be delayed in receiving and sending our lessons. Once the waters went down, and were not too high or strong, we could ride across them on horses to collect the mail.
We remember the copybook for our handwriting lessons especially the ‘pot hooks’; ‘j’ with an ‘i’ and ‘J’ with a cross. We learned our times tables using coloured dots, for example, for 5 x 3 we had five coloured dots in three rows and then counted them. Jean has a strong memory of the geography books and the countries of the world. Each set in geography featured a story about a country accompanied by a picture that students coloured in, and a verse. She can still recite the verse for Holland!
In 1951 when John commenced lessons while we were living at Mundabullangana Station near Port Hedland, Jean returned from high school to help at home and supervise John’s Correspondence lessons.
We vividly remember the lessons that arrived rolled up and in white wrappers printed with the letters OHMS (On His Majesty’s Service) from the Correspondence School. Return wrappers were also provided. The materials were sent rolled up so that there were no creases on the workbooks, however it was very difficult to flatten them so that we could write on them, and then when it came time to post them back to the School, it was extremely difficult to roll them small enough to fit into the small wrappers we had been sent. As we didn’t see our teachers we looked forward to the yearly visit of the itinerant teacher who brought lots of books with him and looked at our work.
Jean’s family has continued a relationship with distance education schools over the years. Her four daughters attended Kalgoorlie School of the Air from 1964 to 1978. One of her daughters married and lives on Glenflorrie Station near Carnarvon so two of her grandchildren attended Carnarvon School of the Air, and another daughter lives at Yuinmery Station and her children attended Kalgoorlie School of the Air.
Jean's daughter - Susan's story (Three generations – Continued)