Mannum Community College celebrates 50 years of schooling at its present site

Past students from Mannum are invited to come back this weekend and see what their old school has become, 50 years after it was established.

Mannum had an area school prior to 1969, the year a modern brick building was built across the road and Mannum High School was born.

Past students Christine Hassam, Bill and Mary Nehmy and Mike Clark recalled parading across Walker Avenue to the high school on its opening day, returning every day to get lunch orders from the primary school canteen, picking rocks off the new hockey field, and travelling elsewhere to matriculate in the early years because the high school only offered leaving, the equivalent of year 11.

"We've all had our journeys outside Mannum," Mr Nehmy said.

"Growing up, I knew so many people for whom the only thing they wanted to do was leave Mannum, but so many have come back.

"They say 'that's where I grew up, where I got educated, but more than that, I actually developed there'."

Visitors will be able to tour the school and check out historical displays during an afternoon tea from 1.30-3.30pm on Friday, and a family fun day from 11am-3pm on Saturday.

Catering, wine, games and activities will be available on Saturday as local musicians play and commemorative items are offered for sale.

A sold-out dinner will also be held at Mannum Community Club on Saturday night, with guest appearances by three former students come good: economist Darryl Gobbett, former Australian soccer captain Sonia Gegenhuber and motocross star Brett Metcalfe.

Funds raised over the weekend will be put towards a middle school trip to Canberra planned for next year.

Given how fleeting and subjective were any child's impressions of their school years, principal Kylie Eggers said, it was important to come back with the benefit of hindsight.

"Because we have such transience, it's good to remember that people do have fond memories of this place," she said.

"It's good to know your home town and where you come from."

The school had been through rough patches during the past 50 years, she acknowledged; but it was now a positive, progressive place to be, as evidenced by the opening of its new STEM facilities in May.

The high school and the old primary school merged into the current community college in 2006.

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