An obvious subject to be tackled next was the story of education in the parish. Over 250 photographs were collected from around 60 contributors, however, trying to identify every last cherubic face had tested the distant memories of many a committee member to the limits! Even up to that night, contributions continued to roll in, so the work was still not completely over, even then!
Committee member, Betty Faassen de Heer, the instigator of the tableau scenes was now in her stride. She expanded on the previous year’s single row to make a stunning centerpiece of a scene from a schoolroom in around 1900, with life-size models of a teacher and pupils. Authentic fixtures and fittings completed the scene, and these included a blackboard, slates and even the dreaded strap!
John MacDonald, retired headmaster of Brora High School and Brora Primary School, had been invited to officially open the exhibition. In a short address, and with many former pupils in the audience, he outlined the changes he had witnessed in state education in his working life. When he had entered the teaching profession, he recalled, the incredibly low figure of only 6% of pupils made the transition from Primary to Secondary education. Nowadays, 50% of pupils gained access to the world of Higher Education and this represented a tremendous improvement in the availability of education to the majority of children in the country.
The photographs on display covered the schools which have existed in the parish over the last 100 or so years, including the Doll Public School, Gordonbush School, and the various guises of schools in Brora, from Clyne Higher Grade Public School to the present day Brora Primary School. Interspersed with the photographs were many extracts from various school log books which made for fascinating reading.