W .H. (Bill) Rourke’s 50 years adventure in education
by W. H. Rourke
Carroll’s Pty. Ltd. 1980, [First Edition] [SIGNED], ISBN 0967670002, black and white photographs, illustrated endpapers (maps), hardback, dustjacket
Very Good Condition, Signed by author on front flyleaf, a little edge and shelf wear, a little rubbing and bumping to edges and corners, (see photographs)
“Bill Rourke was born at Two-Mile, Albany in 1898. His paternal grandparents migrated from Ireland to Victoria in the 1840s. His father crossed from Ballarat to Fremantle in 1890. He and Bill’s mother, born in Bendigo, were married at St Patrick’s Church, Fremantle in 1895.
Bill’s early education was divided between schools at Albany, Guilford, Moonies Hill and Tambellup.
His attendance at the first of these involved a four-mile walk each day, and at the last a longer journey on a pony. He began his teaching career as a probationer of fourteen, two years earlier than was then the normal age for selection. In 1917 he gained admission to Claremont Teacher’s College. Teaching was not the only part of his career he made an early start on. His military service in World War One began as a Citizen Forces gunlayer when he was sixteen. At eighteen he joined the artillery. In France he survived the carnage of the Somme but was later severely wounded in both legs during an attack on the Hindenburg Line near Mont Quentin. Between then and the armistice he remained in military hospitals in England. War has been the seedbed of imagery in many an author. Bill Rourke belongs to this band.
“I remember one captured gun”, he says, “whose muzzle was split open like a radish in a salad.” He returned home in 1919 and spent the rest of the year in a base hospital at Fremantle. The following year he re-entered Claremont Teachers’ College, thus resuming a career that spanned fifty-one years from Probationer to District Superintendent of Education. Bill Rourke belonged no just to the classrooms but to the whole community.
His vigorous autobiography is absorbing reading for people in all walks of life.”