If The Trees Could Talk

Photo courtesy of Justin Flynn - The Voice 2019

Photo courtesy of Justin Flynn - The Voice 2019

If the gumtrees at Woodlands Kinder could talk, they would recount many years of wonderful stories.

The kinder has been in operation since 1976.

Gumtrees can’t talk, so we asked some past students about the kinder. All the past attendees have current children at the kinder, too.

Kellie Piec (Geerings) – one past child and one current child

I attended Woodlands Kindergarten in 1982 and have always had special memories of my time there. I remember the bag hooks being where the bathroom now is, the back yard including a swing and as a group singing the Grand Old Duke of York on the grassed area. I also remember the horses across the road in the paddock that we would pat and Mitchell’s Dairy down the road. My Mum told me that as a parent helper she would cut fruit and collect milk from the dairy for the children.

When I met my now husband Wayde 14 years ago I thought it was the first time I had met him, but we discovered that not only did we attend kindergarten together, in both group photographs he had, I was directly behind him. I could not wait for our children to attend Woodlands Kindergarten and to become part of the kindergarten community again. Woodlands Kindergarten has continued to be a wonderful place to attend and make special memories. After 34 years I was also pleased to see that both of our children participated in the annual Easter Bonnet Parade, a Woodlands tradition that we were part of as children.

As my second time at Woodlands Kindergarten comes to an end, I am grateful that in the years to come our family can reflect on our special memories at Woodlands and that the four of us will have a special connection to Woodlands Kindergarten.

Anna Metcher (Crapp) – two past children and one current child

Woodlands Kindergarten is happily embedded in my childhood memories. I remember going there to drop off my brothers from a very young age and then was lucky enough to attend there myself in 1984 with my twin. We were lucky enough to live at the end of the street so we would walk there as a family. Mum, my five brothers and I would pass the homemade BMX track on Presidents Ave, cross over to Wyatt St to the dairy where we would pick long grass and feed it to the cows. The dairy had big milking sheds and I think I remember horses too…or maybe not it was a long time ago!

Woodlands Kindergarten was such a happy place for me. Full of fun. My parents were heavily involved and committee members. I remember working bees and family outings. The building feels largely unchanged (however improved and updated significantly) and the fun community atmosphere remains unchanged thanks largely to the fantastic teachers.

Many of my lifelong friends attended Woodlands Kindergarten with me and many still live in Ocean Grove. Many attended my wedding and have supported me through my life adventures. It just goes to show how important kinder can be and that friends made can last a lifetime.

Tim Kiddle – one past child and one current child

I attended Woodlands in 1984. My teachers were Ms Uldrikis and Ms Spoors.

I have very fond memories of Woodlands. I remember walking through the vacant land (now a childcare centre) across the road every morning and climbing through the wire fence on my way to kinder. I spent a lot of time playing in the sand pit and remember taking charge of the water tap. I also have great memories of bouncing around on the boomeroos.

The kinder had a very homely feeling, there were always parents and siblings getting involved with activities as well as all types of pets visiting for show and tell. My mum even bought my new born baby brother in to give him a bath and show him off one day.

Annelie McCall (Blach) – one past child and one current child

I went to Woodlands Kindergarten in 1987 and remember walking down Wyatt Street past the dairy and the horse we would sometimes feed in the paddock across the road which is now the day care. I remember having just a small tote type bag, because we didn’t take our lunch/snack. Whoever’s Mum was on duty would chop up plates of fruit and pour cups of water for all the kids. We had a hook each for our bags with a round picture of an animal. I remember there being no undercover outdoor area and playing with the big wooden building blocks and woodwork with balsa wood. My teacher’s name was Fiona. We took real cake on our birthday to share. And our fundraisers and family socialising was a BBQ in the backyard of the Kinder.