Neate family gears up for historic day at Cleveland State School

CLEVELAND State School will welcome another member of the Neate family through the front gates when the first bell of the new school year rings on Tuesday.

WE ARE FAMILY: Allan and Regan Neate are proud to be sending five-year-old Alden to Cleveland State School. He starts prep classes this week. Photo: Jordan Crick

WE ARE FAMILY: Allan and Regan Neate are proud to be sending five-year-old Alden to Cleveland State School. He starts prep classes this week. Photo: Jordan Crick

Five-year-old Alden Neate will become the third member of his family to attend the school, following in the footsteps of his father Regan and uncle Jason who were students during the 1970s.

His grandfather Allan, who lives just a few hundred metres from the campus, taught a range of subjects at the school during the same era.

He said he was pleased to see his family's connection with the school continue into a new decade.

"My son has been around half the world and he is so pleased to be back settled in our lovely area of Cleveland and to see his family starting at a school that offers it all," he said.

"My two sons did all their primary and secondary schooling at Cleveland. One ended up a barrister and the other a civil engineer and both felt that going through the state system gave them an edge when they were at university."

Alden's father Regan said the years he spent at Cleveland State School were some of the happiest of his life.

"I remember waiting with my mother on the verandah outside my first classroom on day one of grade one wondering why other children were crying," he said.

"I walked to school and as was the norm, I didn't wear shoes. I have fond memories of my bare feet on the timber floorboards of the classrooms and verandahs, coping with the hot bitumen of the parade ground and dodging bindis and bees on the oval.

JOY: The Neate family are happy to see their connection with Cleveland State School continuing into a new decade. Photo: Jordan Crick

JOY: The Neate family are happy to see their connection with Cleveland State School continuing into a new decade. Photo: Jordan Crick

"We didn't have calculators let alone computers. They were the days before photocopiers when 'cc' actually meant carbon copy.

"There was no air conditioning and yet somehow we all survived, even in the the cheap, pre-fabricated demountables that were nothing more than sardine tins with louvres."

Alden's grandfather said he was impressed by the changes that the school had made since the 1970s.

"It was always a good school when I was involved," he said.

"It had strong staff and good students (but) the school is even better now.

"...I am amazed, or perhaps bemused, that parents pay high fees, especially for primary education, when a top quality and free one exists right here."

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