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Breaking ground a family affair

WORK is about to commence on a major redevelopment of the Emmanuel Christian School courtyard.

School Principal Scott Winkler said it was great the project was nearly underway and was looking forward to having parents involved in a ground breaking ceremony’.

“We had the idea to involve parents who originally laid the pavers more than 25 years ago to come and help us kick the project off,” he said.

Local builder and Emmanuel parent and grandparent Steve Gillie was one individual to assist the school when called upon, having also helped with the original paving.

Mr Winkler said the spirit of the founders of the school was very much alive today

“We’re grateful for the input of Steve and his team back in the day in nurturing our community,” he said.

“Without his and others’ hard work we wouldn’t be here today.

“We still welcome and encourage parents and carers to get involved at Emmanuel.”

Mr Gillie said things were different when they did the original work.

“The building committee raised $25,000 to do the work, it was a huge effort and everyone got involved,” he said.

“Even the students and kids from the community helped out.

“At one point we had eight hours to get 8000 pavers laid.

“In all, it took about six Saturdays, but we managed to lay 32,000 pavers by hand with wholly volunteer labour.”

Mr Gillie said helping out was part of a lifelong relationship with the school, with son-in law Ben now Emmanuel’s maintenance manager.

“I’m proud my grandchildren attend Emmanuel – that’s three generations of our family who have been associated with the school,” he said.

“At Emmanuel, parents were encouraged to be part of their children’s education.

“Being involved meant you knew what was going on in your child’s life, and the school was great at reaching out into the community.”

Caption: From left, principal Scott Winkler, Zoe Hill, Christine Gillie, Jess Hill, Scott Hill and Steve Gille, with Ryan Hill, front left, and Cody Hill.