Library News | Junior School

Library News | Junior School

The 19th of March is the Sydney Harbour Bridge’s 90th birthday. Many activities have been planned in Sydney to celebrate this milestone. Year 3’s Library lessons over the last few weeks have looked at some stories that surround the opening of the Harbour Bridge in 1932.

We have been learning about the story of Lennie Gwyther, the nine year old boy who rode his pony, Ginger Mick, solo from his home in country Victoria all the way to Sydney for the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. He rode 1000 kilometers, braving fires, floods and fog. He camped alone in the bush as well as with families that offered him food and shelter. Lennie met many people along the way, including the Prime Minister of the time, Joseph Lyons, when he rode through Canberra on his way to Sydney.

The books that helped us inquire about Lennie’s incredible story were To the Bridge: The Journey of Lennie and Ginger Mick by Corrie Fenton; and Lennie the Legend, Solo to Sydney by Pony by Stehanie Owen Reader. Both these books are on the Premier’s Reading Challenge list. (Years 3 & 4 and Years 5 & 6 respectively).

We also read Samantha Tidy’s book, The Day we Built the Bridge. This was helpful as it gave some perspective as to what was happening in Australia at the time and why building the bridge was so important. (This is a Premier’s Reading Challenge book for K-2)

We looked at an original invitation to the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Our wonderful Green Patch teacher, Mrs Bargwanna, has this item of history at her house and she kindly brought it in for us to have a look at.

Trinity also has some of the ribbon that was used for the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in our archives. It was given to the school by an Old Trinitarian who had inherited it from his Grandfather, who was Private Secretary to the Minister for Works when the contract was signed.

Mrs Alison Doran, who works in Archives at Trinity, came over and spoke to the boys about it on Thursday afternoon in their lesson.

The Central Idea for Year 3 in Who We Are is that Personal characteristics and personalities shape identity. We have been exploring how the character traits of Lennie allowed him to be courageous, brave and humble. His experiences of looking after the family farm while his father was recovering in hospital with a badly broken leg allowed Lennie to grow in strength, maturity and responsibility. Can you imagine many nine year olds (Year 3 students) being responsible for feeding the chickens, chopping the firewood, milking the cows, and ploughing the soil for growing crops?

Lennie’s story was a helpful one for thinking about which IB Learner Profiles he fitted. The boys thought that he was a Risk Taker; Inquirer; Knowledgeable; Thinker; Principled and Reflective. Quite the list!

There is a statue of Lennie and his pony, Ginger Mick, on display in his hometown of Leongatha in Victoria that was unveiled in 2017.  If you go to YouTube, you can even find a song that has been written about his adventure. and there are radio interviews and podcasts about his story. It is truly amazing!

Mrs Nikki Bowden | Teaching and Learning Librarian

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