Enid Armstong during her last day in the classroom on September 21, 1982.
Enid Armstong during her last day in the classroom on September 21, 1982. Contributed

Rose City community remembers a popular teacher

BELOVED primary school teacher Enid Margaret Armstrong will be remembered by family, friends and students as a loving mother and grandmother and a dedicated teacher.

She was born in Leyburn on September 21, 1917, and was the second of six daughters born to Jack and Rose Rauchle.

Enid and her sisters Mary, Joyce, Iris, Ilma and Bernice all maintained close connections during their lives and this strength was undoubtedly born of their remote rural lifestyle.

With Enid's father often away for work as a noxious weed inspector, the girls had to take on tasks at home.

They managed a small dairy herd and were somewhat self sufficient.

Eldest son John Armstrong said his mother was fortunate to have been successful in her early school, in part because she was largely relieved of milking duties on the farm.

"Her efforts in school were well encouraged by her parents and she was further fortunate to have been so well supported in her education," John said.

Enid attended Leyburn State School for seven years before she attended Warwick State High School.

"In 1929 she passed a scholarship and received a government allowance to assist with accommodation at the CWA Hostel in Warwick," John said.

Youngest son Jim Armstrong said she graduated as dux of the school and it was that achievement that provided her with the opportunity to attend Queensland Teachers College in Brisbane.

Enid's teaching career spanned several decades and took her to several schools.

"At the age of 17 she completed her three months at college and was appointed to a two teacher school at Miriam Vale where she worked for several months and boarded locally," Jim said.

"Then three weeks after turning 18 she transferred to a 25-student school at Kandanga near Gympie where she was the only teacher and principal."

Before the Second World War Enid taught in schools at Eukey and Wybera.

She also spent time at Warwick East State School, Charleville, Clintonvale and Dirranbandi.

Jim said Enid had a favourite story that she used to recall.

"She used to ride a horse to work and when she was in Cottonvale there was a storm so she had her rain coat on and it kept flapping in the wind and hitting the horse," he said.

"She said she made it home in record time that day."

It was while teaching in Dirranbandi that Enid met husband John, otherwise known as Jack.

John said they married in Murrundai and lived in Surat for three years before moving to Stanthorpe in 1952 for Jack's work.

Jack worked on and supervised the installation of the Stanthorpe water supply, including Storm King Dam. John was born in 1950 and Jim in 1955.

She was always adamant she only wanted two children.

Jim said Enid took time off work to raise her sons and her re-employment was always on a temporary basis after that.

The grandmother of four retired on her 65th birthday.

"She remains a much loved and widely remembered teacher who taught many present day residents of Stanthorpe," Jim said.

Jim also said he thought Enid left a legacy she would have been proud of.

"For her it was about teaching and the good job she did with all her students.

"She dedicated her life to teaching," he said.

"She used to brag about the kids that she taught.

"She was old school and believed in the three Rs - reading, writing and arithmetic."

As well as teaching Enid also prided herself on her community involvement.

She served with the kindergarten committee, the CWA, Red Cross, the Laurel Club, was a secretary of the Blue Nurses, and joined National Seniors and the Stanthorpe Historical Society.

She also travelled extensively throughout Australia during her retirement.

Jim described his mother as a loving woman and highlighted a few personality traits.

"She was a very strong minded woman with her own ideas on everything but at the same time she really did care about people," he said.

"She would also say exactly what she thought about things."

Jim said Enid lived independently in her Denham St home until she was 94 before moving to Carramar Home for Senior Citizens.

At the age of 95 and ever proud of her achievements, Enid peacefully died on March 20.

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