Canterbury South Public School

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Year 1, Canterbury South Public School, 1937. Taken beside the wall of the St James Anglican Church. Courtesy Lawrence Lawler and Pictorial Canterbury.

Canterbury South Public School is located at 20 High Street Canterbury. It opened in 1926 in the school hall of the then St. James Anglican Church, which stood in Cressy Street between Mons and Lorking Streets Canterbury.

This school was provided by the Department of Education after considerable lobbying by local mothers and provided education for Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd Class infants.

In 1937 new school buildings were erected in High Street, Canterbury and provided the same level of education (ie Kindergarten, 1st & 2nd Classes). On Opening Day in 1937, pupils and teachers marched to the new school via Lorking Street, Cooks Avenue and High Street into the new school grounds where a ceremony took place.

To proceed to 3rd Class at that time, pupils were required to enrol at either Campsie or Canterbury Primary Public Schools which catered for education to 6th class.

In 1986 a new building was erected and named after Florrie Ethel Ridgwell in recognition of her efforts to have the school established. The new building was named the Ridgwell Building and was opened by the then NSW Premier Mr Barry Unsworth on a festive day with many former pupils in attendance. Many speeches were made including one Florrie Ethel Ridgwell, then aged 95, after which she was asked to cut the ceremonial cake.

This school now provides education for pupils up to Year 6.


L. Lawler, personal communication, October 30, 2016).

Madden, Brian & Muir, L (1989). Earlwood's Past: A history of Earlwood, Undercliffe and Clemton Park. Canterbury Municipal Council.