In 2011 reception student Harry William McGregor represented the fifth generation of the McGregor family to attend Crafers Primary School. His great-great grandfather, William, attended the first official premises on Cox Creek Road. The history of the school, however, goes even further back.
Crafers Primary School was initially licensed by the Education Department in 1866. With no school building available, Head Teacher Edward Smith taught from his home on Atkinson Road, Crafers. Two years later the first school room, known as Paxlease, was built on Cox Creek Road overlooking Crafers village. By 1871, over ninety students had enrolled.
During the early years of the 20th century numbers continued to grow, so a new school was built at the current site on Piccadilly Road. When it opened on Friday 31 August 1928, it was described in The Register newspaper as ‘a handsome stone-and-brick building’ which could accommodate 180 children. This brick building still remains.
The gardens and trees that are remarkable features of the school’s grounds owe their existence to a number of former Head Teachers, including Hamilton Pillar (1946-1959). An industrious gardener, Pillar spent evenings working in the gardens and building the stone wall terraces. He also planted hundreds of pine trees with the help of the school community.
During the late 1970s new buildings were added to the school. This included the Ruth Beare Hall, named after a teacher who had taught at the school for over 35 years. In 1980 a two-storey classroom block, library and gymnasium with adjoining kitchen and canteen facilities were added.
The year 2008 saw the addition of the John Nielsen Building, established for the Out of Hours Care Program and Indonesian language studies, and acknowledging the long-term contributions made by current Deputy Principal.
During 2009 to 2011, a Library/Resource Centre was built. Funding from the Federal Government also enabled the renovation of the original administration area and art rooms. In the pine forest, a Fun-Pack sports court was installed.
The history of Crafers Primary school is more than the development of its buildings and grounds. Like the McGregor family, other local families have retained connections with the school. Crafers has been known throughout its history for its strong sense of community, the social awareness and creativity of its students, the tireless voluntary contributions of parents and guardians and the dedication of its teaching staff.