Fond memories of Harcourt

Maggie Wham is pictured with the mud-spatted Chev dubbed ‘Miis Wham’s Bomb’ which she used to travel to Harcourt.

The family of former Harcourt Primary School teacher Margaret Ball (nee Wham) are seeking help from the local community to track down school photos from the old Harcourt Primary School 1967-68. 

Margaret’s husband Glenn Ball is compiling a photobook on her life and said his late wife was a teacher at the Harcourt Primary School during these two years.”This was her first appointment as a teacher fresh out of her three year stint at Frankston Teacher’s College. We’d love to feature some images from that time and the early days of her career,” he said. 

“I have contacted George Milford at the Harcourt Heritage Centre but they have no photographs on record for those two years,” Glenn said. 

“Harcourt Valley Primary School is trying to find someone who would have attended the school during those years, without any success, so far, and Castlemaine Historic Society Inc have also been unable to assist,” he said. 

‘Maggie’, as she was affectionately called by Glenn, taught at Harcourt but boarded at Castlemaine during the week with a friend and fellow teacher Lucy Capewell of Elmore. 

“Maggie drove to and from Castlemaine to the school during the week in my 1930 red and black Chevrolet sedan, which became known as ‘Miss Wham’s Bomb’ (Wham is pronounced ‘Wom’). The school kids all vied for the chance to pile into the Chev and and travel to various sporting events around Harcourt. There was no OH&S in those days,” Glenn said. 

“Each Friday afternoon she would drive back to Melbourne and stay with me at my parents’ home in South Oakleigh for the weekend, returning to Harcourt on the following Monday morning,” Glenn says. 

“She became quite a popular sight on the Calder Highway, and was, I think, looked after by the police and truck drivers,” he said. 

“Margaret and I married in 1969 and she continued teaching around Melbourne until her retirement in 2000.” 

Sadly Maggie died of pancreatic and liver cancer on the March 27 this year. 

Glenn told the Mail the Eastern Palliative Care facility where Maggie was treated have a volunteer service which works with terminally ill people to write their biography. 

“This was completed before Maggie died and I’m in the process of creating a commemorative photobook combining the biography text with many photos of her life. However, the two years in Harcourt have escaped me,” he said. 

“I am hoping this photo of Maggie and the Chev might trigger some memories and maybe assist in finding a photograph or two of her time at Harcourt,” he said. 

Anyone who may have a class photo from the year’s 1967-68 or any other images from that time are urged to contact Glenn on 0448 583 788 or email glenn@glennballdesigns. 

Castlemaine Mail
Your source of independent local news in the Mount Alexander Shire.