Living on Lord Howe Island


First day of school on Lord Howe Island

Posted by Dani Rourke – Thursday, February 06, 2014

Elsie's first day of schoolElsie started school this week at the Lord Howe Island Central School. I still can’t quite believe it!

Elsie went to a Transition class at the school for half a day each Wednesday last year, so she knows the school and the kids well and there were no tears at the school gate. We were also lucky to have a quick visit from the ever-reliable Nanna and Pa who came all the way from Sydney to help with last minute preparations for the big day. Nanna is a school teacher, and she quickly produced her own permanent marker and labelled all of Elsie’s uniforms and other school things in perfect black teacher-writing. She also has extensive knowledge of kindergarten etiquette. Nanna was the one who bought the bottle green undies to go under the school uniform. She thinks of everything.

We had a slightly nervous discussion the night before school about another item on Nanna’s list: the black Clarks school shoes. The Lord Howe school uniform does not include shoes. The kids go to school barefoot. To be honest, I’d prefer it if Elsie wore shoes to school, because I can clearly remember the countless foot-related injuries I received at school. I had lots of bee stings, stubbed toes, bike-crash-gravel-scrapes, a tetanus shot after stepping on a rusty nail … and I spent most of my lunchtimes reading books in the library! But in the end, peer pressure got the better of me and I signed the dreaded permission note and release of liability form and let Elsie go to school without shoes. Stay tuned for photos of the gory stubbed toes, they can’t be too far away.

So, tell me, what should I do about the length of Elsie’s uniform? (Can I fix it with a stapler?). And, where was your first school? Do you remember your first day?

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About Dani Rourke

HELP! I have 2 children, 25 staff and up to 75 guests. I was a lawyer for 10 years, but escaped. My husband and I moved from Sydney to beautiful Lord Howe Island to run Pinetrees Lodge, which has been in my family for 6 generations. I'm writing about family business, island life and the whole work/family disaster. Did someone say balance? When I'm not writing, my lovely staff do it for me - they see more of the island than I do.

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