Cannington Senior High School

by Kim Stripe
(Lancelin WA)

I started at CSHS in 1972 as a first year high school student, one of many as there were students from various local primary schools. Mine was Beckenham Primary. My first experience at CSHS was a memorable one as we were graded into many classes. The girls were called first and then the boys. Imagine how embarrassing it was, when I was the only girl left sitting and then they called my name in the boys list.

I was never one of the popular kids but I had my own little group of friends who were very loyal and we stayed friends throughout our time there. We studied hard during the week and partied hard on the weekends. Mostly swimming pool partys without alcohol or drugs. We had a wonderful time with lots of fun and laughter. We dated but with shaparones (mainly to drive us around) and our parents knew where we were at all times and trusted us to do the right things.

We had to wear a uniform although some stretched the code a little. The girls sat on the edge of the verandah at break times wearing our "little boy" sandals and sunning our legs that we had covered in baby oil. Our dresses were hitched up as far as we would dare. I only ever wagged school once and it was drama class where I didnt feel comfortable anyway. Michelle Jackson and I took off to a new building estate over the highway and hid in the sand piles while we watched a police car that we thought was after us. To us that was very daring. I never had the courage to try it again.

I loved my all of my teachers and felt sorry for our art teacher who was always in tears. I also felt for our french teacher who spoke very little english and french was his second language so he struggled to teach us anything at all really. In those days us girls did the laps around the school on the verandahs. Usually hoping for a cute guy to spot us. We enjoyed the attention but rarely acted on it. Flirting was harmless fun back then. Sex wasnt even talked about and some of us at thirteen didnt even know of its existence. We walked home without fear of abduction or stranger danger.

Life was great at CSHS. I can only hope that when my two grandsons leave Beckenham primary school (yes they go to my old primary school) that they too will find themselves in the same friendly and safe environment as I felt I was in. I cant think of anything negative as I only have happy memories of my time there. I remember many of my fellow students and have come across several of them over the last forty years. Julie Burnett and Karen Davies (who lives up the road from me now) are the latest two I have come across. I would love to hear from others and listen to their stories and memories. Keep in touch guys as at some stage of our lives all we will have is our memories. Keep making them!


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