Thirsty Merc's Phil Stack returns home for Centenary of Public High School Education in Dubbo

Let the celebrations begin: Bindyi Club president Jill McCann, Robert and Penny Dews, Dubbo College principal Stacey Exner and teacher Kerrie Walters gather for the Centenary of Public High School Education in Dubbo. Photo: Mark Rayner.
Let the celebrations begin: Bindyi Club president Jill McCann, Robert and Penny Dews, Dubbo College principal Stacey Exner and teacher Kerrie Walters gather for the Centenary of Public High School Education in Dubbo. Photo: Mark Rayner.

Poignant tributes and chances to rekindle old friendships are on the program of celebrations to mark 100 years of public high school education at Dubbo this weekend.

Sunday’s service to honour current and former defence personnel who spent their early years in the city’s classrooms is one of a series of events planned for the occasion.

Governor of NSW David Hurley and hundreds of people coming from near and far are expected to take part in the Centenary of Public High School Education in Dubbo.

New memories are set to be made as the event draws current and former students and staff of “all high schools” of the city, which started with Dubbo High School’s opening in 1917.

From the solemn service at the cenotaph to a showcase of the schools’ performing arts achievements, the centenary has a full and varied program.

Saecularia - A Celebration of Performance will feature Thirsty Merc’s Phil Stack, The Australian Ballet’s Ella Havelka and country music singer-songwriter Sarah Head among about 100 performers.

Tickets to the Sunday afternoon show at the Dubbo Regional Theatre are still available and can be bought at www.123tix.com.au or at the door.

Stack, who graduated from Dubbo South High School in 1995, was looking forward to the unique gig.

“It’s a lovely honour given the amount of talent to have come from Dubbo,” he said.

“It will be great to see some old friends again.”

The musician started playing at country jazz festivals with teachers and doctors while still at high school.

“I had really good support from family and teachers who were open to me using the facilities and encouraged me to think I could do it as a career,” Stack said.

Co-chair of the centenary celebrations organising committee and former Dubbo High School principal Jim Carey encouraged people to take part.

“The luncheon [on Saturday] will be great, the service at the cenotaph will be memorable and the concert will be spectacular, the array of talent on show would rarely be seen in this city,” he said.

An official opening will be held on Friday evening at Western Plains Cultural Centre (WPCC), featuring the launch of  the centenary publication called Milestones and Memories.

The lunch on Saturday will be followed by tours of the three campuses of Dubbo College and a “gathering from all years and all schools” at Dubbo RSL Memorial Club at night.

On Sunday, services at Holy Trinity Church and the Cenotaph will be followed by a performing arts spectacular called Saecularia at DRTCC from 2pm.

Elston Park will host families on Monday.

The program can be found at www.bindyi.com, the website of the Bindyi Club made up of former students of Dubbo High Schoool and Dubbo College. The Bindyi Club has underwritten the centenary celebrations.