13 March 2020
Les Stone was the headteacher at Derby SS in 1949. Previously he taught at various schools including Buckrabanyule and at the time of marriage in 1949 was posted to Tahara SS, a one-teacher school where all students from grades 1 to 6 sat in the one class in a single-room schoolhouse. This was a common feature of remote and rural education Australia wide in those times. Tahara SS was 8 miles east of Merino in the Western District of Victoria. In November 1949 Tahara was closed and consolidated with Merino SS. Les and his students travelled daily by bus to Merino Consolidated School for the remainder of the year. With the closure of Tahara in November 1949 and move to Merino, circumstances changed again. Les was appointed to Derby, a one-teacher school located on the Calder Highway, Loddon Shire partway between Bridgewater on Loddon and Marong not far from Bendigo in early 1950. This time there was a school residence. Shane Stone was the firstborn Stone on 25 September 1950 at Bendigo Base Hospital in country Victoria. Les was still at Derby as the teacher in charge but that was about to change. In late 1950 Les was advised he was to be transferred to Cornishtown SS near Chiltern in North East Victoria. Photo of Shane Stone 68 years on at Derby where he spent the first months of his life.