30 years of history was celebrated at the Peregian Beach Community Kindergarten last weekend, with hundreds of past and present students and their families gathering to enjoy a fun-filled day of entertainment and festivities.
The not-for-profit, community-owned organisation was officially founded in 1982, but its early history dates backs to 1976, when a group of Peregian parents formed a playgroup in what was then just a tiny coastal village.
Sunday’s festivities saw a few of the original parents and their children return to the centre for an historic look at how far the popular Kindergarten has come.
Co-director Carmel Desjardins has taught at the school for 25 years and believes the reasons for the kindy’s longevity are many.
“Well, there is a certain magic about this place,” she said. “I could feel it when I first walked through the gate all those years ago, and I still feel it every morning when I arrive.
“Not only that, I’ve heard parents and even visitors mention the same thing. It’s green, shady and tranquil and it really is a paradise for children.”
Mrs Desjardins said children in 2012 are more confident, social and accustomed to change, but some things don’t change.
“They love to imagine and create and they are still fascinated by the simple things, such as insects, a flowering plant, a seed growing in a cup,” she admitted.
This year Mrs Desjardins has 17 boys and five girls in her group. “I was bracing myself for quite a big year but they are absolutely delightful,” she said.”The boys are certainly quite physical and can be boisterous but they are so sensitive and caring and give me great hope for a better world.”
Sunday’s celebrations included special tree plantings and the laying of a commemorative mosaic, as well as entertainment by local musician and former student, Sahara Beck.“Sahara was my first student when I started here in 2001 and she was always into the drama and music side of play,” Kindy co-director Lisa Stanley said.
“It’s wonderful to hear her playing here today and to see how far she’s come.”
Sahara’s sweet melodies provided a fitting backdrop to what was a magical and fun day for families, with the child-friendly activities including an animal farm, face painting, balloon making, aboriginal performers and cakes and treats galore.
The fun will continue for the kindy students this coming Monday morning when they head over to the nearby ‘Veggie Village’ Community Garden and spend some time with celebrity gardener and ABC presenter, Costa Georgiadis.