Next month marks 130 years since Lochcroistean School was first opened, under the first headmaster, John Smith from Valtos, and accommodating children from the bays district: Enaclete, Ungeshader, Geshader and Carishader. The first entries in the school log:
Thursday 5th June 1879
School was opened by the Rev John Campbell F. Ch. Minister with prayer. Present Mr Mackay, Chairman and Mr Kenneth Macleod, member, of the School Board. A great number of the Parents were present, and addressed by Rev Mr Campbell and the Chairman, and their duties with regard to their children enforced. Also Mr John Smith, Certificated Fourth Class, from Strathcanaird School, Loch Broom, was introduced as Head Teacher to the School. The duties of the School to commence on Monday the 9th.
Friday 13th June 1879
Commenced on Monday morning the duties of this new School. Understanding the arrangement of classes has occupied nearly the whole of the three days on which we had school this week. This being a communion season there has been no school on Thursday or Friday. Attendance fair.
Friday 20th June 1879
Attendance a shade better this week. Six new scholars (three boys and three girls) came this week to school. Other three (two boys and one girl) were absent during the entire week. We are yet labouring under a great disadvantage – want of books. On Friday forenoon had a visit from the Rev Mr Campbell, School Board member.
Indifferent attendance, largely caused by illness, continued to bother the teacher in spite of the efforts of the compulsory officer but the books had begun to arrive by the end of July. There were no summer holidays but the whole month of October was a harvest holiday.
The school closed in 1973, served as the home of the Comann Eachdraidh for some years, and is now refurbished and a thriving cafe. It will host a reunion for all former pupils on Saturday 30 May, from 6.30pm, with a buffet (BYOB).
Booking not required but if you need further information, please contact Marianne at Lochcroistean (01851 672772) or Finlay Maciver in Carishader (01851 672224).