Denmark Ag staff, students honoured at new gazebo

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Denmark Old Collegians Association chair Don McCausland places his name on the gazebo.
Camera IconDenmark Old Collegians Association chair Don McCausland places his name on the gazebo. Credit: Denmark Old Collegians Association/Denmark Old Collegians Association

The names of hundreds of former staff and students from one of WA’s big agricultural colleges have been immortalised on a new gazebo in Denmark.

The 3.1m x 5m gazebo features small plaques with the names of more than 750 staff and students who attended the school between 1942 and 2000.

It was built at South Regional TAFE’s Denmark campus on South Coast Highway, the original site of the school for 58 years.

The college was formed in 1942 and was located at what is now the South Regional TAFE Denmark Campus, before it was moved to its present location in 2000.

The gazebo took two months to complete and was officially finished in May.

It will be unveiled at an afternoon tea on September 19.

The gazebo at South Regional TAFE’s Denmark campus honouring the names of former WA College of Agricultre - Denmark staff and students.
Camera IconThe gazebo at South Regional TAFE’s Denmark campus honouring the names of former WA College of Agricultre - Denmark staff and students. Credit: Don McCausland

Denmark Old Collegians Association chairman Don McCausland said the project was the brainchild of the collegians, and about two years in the making.

The association experienced a drop in income when interest rates started to fall a few years ago, and had to think up new ways to fund their annual scholarship.

In a normal year, the $500 George Elliot Scholarship was funded by interest generated via a trust fund financed by life memberships.

“We needed to think outside the box and this was a good way to raise some money,” Mr McCausland said.

“It’s important to recognise the people that attended the school when it was a senior high school, district high school, and an agricultural college.”

Mr McCausland said the gazebo would be called the Buckingham Memorial in honour of founding head, Charles Buckingham, who led the school from 1942 to 1952.

Mr McCausland, who graduated from the school after two years in 1954, said he felt touched to be able to honour former students and staff in this way.

After finishing at the school, Mr McCausland went on to have a long career, including working as a studmaster in Keysbrook.

He also worked as a livestock agent in Waroona, Hyden, Kondinin and Busselton and at a Dardanup dairy.

The gazebo
Camera IconThe gazebo Credit: Don McCausland/Don McCausland

Now retired, the 81-year-old has a small farm in Dardanup. He said he was looking forward to the milestone event.

“This is just a really nice way to honour those students and staff,” he said.

Those wanting to have their names on plaques will need to have their orders in by mid-August.

Plaques cost $50 each or are included in a life membership fee.

For more phone 0428 526 398, 9848 3165 or email hisylvi@bigpond.com.

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