James Ruse Pioneers index
Email us:- jamesrusepioneers@westnet.com.au
This page was last updated: July 29, 2018
James Ruse Agricultural High School, circa 1959-62
1958 Badge
This web site has been produced by and for, a bunch of ex pupils who are now all in their 70's. It is independent of James Ruse Agricultural High School..
Gesta Non Verba Deeds not words
James Ruse Agricultural High School Pioneers Inc.
James Ruse Agricultural High School, 40 years later
1959 - 1961 photographs

This internet project was initiated in 2009 to assist in locating pioneers of James Ruse Agricultural High School and to record memories of its early years. It soon became a valuable description of the school’s early history.
Significant highlights of the Pioneer period.
Agriculture students in Years 1 to 3, all boys, transferred from Carlingford District Rural School to its Felton Road annex in August 1956. When these students arrived, the annex consisted of Barrengarry House and stables, a magnificent two-story home built in 1885 by the Felton family, early owners of the land. However, by 1956 both were in a state of disrepair. There was also one 5 classroom weatherboard block and a toilet block. These initial students left the school following completion of the Intermediate Certificate and virtually all by the conclusion of 1958.
The intake of First Year students in 1957 became the first to complete five years of high school education at the Felton Road location and had the unique experience of being the senior year for their last three years at the school.
In 1959, the Felton Road annex became an autonomous high school and named James Ruse Agricultural High School. The first principal, James C. Hoskin, was appointed and he remained principal for the following 20 years.
By 1959, Barrengarry House and stables had been renovated with the house being used for administration purposes and the old stables for farm machinery and tool storage. In addition, weatherboard manual arts, library and science blocks had been completed as had a canteen. Gardens around the school were being developed based on a plan devised by the Sydney Botanical Gardens, a school oval had been established and good progress had been made on the farm’s development.
At the conclusion of the 1961 academic year, after having sat for the Leaving Certificate Examinations, James Ruse Agricultural High School produced its first full high school graduates. Most of these students, in the following or subsequent years, moved to tertiary education institutions.
A unique aspect of these early years was that students attended the school from across the Sydney Basin. From along the coast, from Broken Bay in the north, to near Botany Bay in the south and from the foot of the Blue Mountains and many suburbs in between, they travelled daily.
James Ruse Agricultural High School was officially opened on 21st September, 1962
For the purpose of the project, a pioneer of James Ruse Agricultural High School, is defined as:-
  • A student who was a member of one of the three Years which transferred to the present school site, Felton Road, in 1956.
  • Also included, are students who enrolled into their First Year in either 1957, 1958 or 1959 and any subsequent enrolments into these Years.
  • Teachers from this period are also included as Pioneers.
  • The last student Pioneer, unless they repeated a Year, had left the school by the end of 1963.