Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Puckapunyal Primary School reunion draws plenty

More than 200 past and present students and staff return to the Defence base on Saturday.

CHALPAT SONTI November 28, 2012 4:26am

Puckpunyal Primary School principal Kevin Warne (right) announces the school's BER building is to be renamed after former assistant principal Martin Coffey (left) and former princuipal Ray Pitman.

It’s a little bit different when former Puckapunyal Primary School students and staff want to have a look around their old stamping ground.

Security issues mean it is not really possible, unlike most people wanting to relive their school days.

So what to do? Organise a reunion, of course.

Gallery: See more photos from the reunion here.

That’s what former principal Ray Pitman did — the result was more than 200 people from all parts of Australia at the school on Saturday.

‘‘I contacted Brigadier Mark Holmes in February who was a Colonel here when I was here so I knew him,’’ the principal from 1981 to 2003 said.

‘‘I said let’s do it this year while we’re both here and through Facebook and emails we were able to contact most people.’’

One of the highlights for many during the day was the honouring of Mr Pitman and long-serving deputy principal Martin Coffey, with the renaming of the stunning Building the Education Revolution building which will now be known as the Pitman-Coffey Centre.

And while many were back on the base for the first time in decades, that’s certainly not the case for Katie Atkinson. Going completely against the grain of short-term stays coinciding with Defence postings, Ms Atkinson has almost never left.

Now in her third year of teaching, Ms Atkinson attended the school as a student from 1997-99 when father Ross was posted to Puckapunyal.

‘‘I also did work experience here when in Year 10 (at St Mary’s College) and I did my teaching rounds here when I was in my first year of university in Bendigo,’’ she said.

‘‘I also did casual relief teaching here and my Mum (Helen) is the integration aide here.’’

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