No. 1155 - Pawtella (Mount Pleasant) - School and Church

Pawtella is a small farming community approximately 20 kilometres northeast of Parattah. It is situated at the junction of the Pawtella and Nala Roads and is part of the former Mount Pleasant Estate. Pawtella is aboriginal word for "Ringtail opossum".

In 1906 the Tasmanian Government enacted the Closer Settlement Act, which allowed government to purchase large tracts of land and subdivide these into smaller farming blocks which would enable settlers to become self-sufficient. The first property purchased by the Closer Settlement Board was Mount Pleasant, a property which had been owned by the O’Connor family since 1836. In 1908 the Closer Settlement Board began selling subdivided portions of the estate. In 1911 a State School was built and in 1914 the Mount Pleasant Hall opened.

The State School building was also used to conduct church services with Presbyterian and Anglican worship taking place on alternative months. Along the school ground boundary a row of pine trees were planted in memory of those soldiers from the district who died during wartime.

In 1935 plans were made to build an Anglican church at York Plains, 2 kilometres north of Pawtella, but this did not proceed.

In 1938 plans were made to move the Pawtella school building to Oatlands for use as part of the new area school. In 1939 the Launceston Examiner reported that the school's removal was to be delayed:

"Residents considered the building could be used for church services, and that it might be difficult to get another school should circumstances ever exclude the district from the area school".

After the school's closure in 1938 the building continued to be used for religious services until the mid 1940s.


Mount Pleasant State School (undated) photo supplied


Sources:

The Mercury, Tuesday 14 April 1914, page 8
The Mercury, Saturday 24 December 1938, page 11
The Examiner, Saturday 28 January 1939, page 9

https://www.southernmidlands.tas.gov.au/towns-villages-areas-pawtella/




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