Alma south Cemetery, South Australia

Alma South

Alma, like Balaklava and Inkerman were named after the battles fought during the Crimean war. As early as July 1856 the first Pasturing Licences were granted for blocks in the Hundred of Alma. They were issued to RM Cole, Thomas and Emanuel Howard, Richard Wood, William Barker, JC Potts, John Pew, John Watts and William Kelly. Settlements which eventually were established were Alma Plains, Alma North and Alma South.

The original chapel at Alma South was built in 1862 and the manse in 1863. The first preacher was William Henry Cope who also taught the children. He became the Clerk of the first District Council of Alma in 1870. In 1872 the Church had 140 members. A new chapel was built later which could hold some 200 people. It was demolished in 1941.

The Education Department bought the original chapel to use it as its school and appointed Ester Judd as first teacher. By 1877 the average attendance was 33 students. In October 1878 the Board of Advice for the District of Alma recommended the erection of a porch at the Alma South School but the Council didn't come to the party as 'it could not spare the money'. However in November 1884 tenders were sought for the erection of a shelter shed. Two years later the road near the school was metalled.

In 1885 G. Haines was teaching the children at Alma South. Further improvements were made when repairs to the creek near the school were approved by the Council at a cost of 3. In September 1898 examinations were held and the percentages gained by the children were 'very satisfactory'. Although fairly isolated the school children did take part in socials with other schools in the neighbourhood.

On 2 October 1902, when the eleventh combined picnic was held at Owen they met with their counterparts of Alma North, Alma South, Dalkey Hill, Balaklava, Pinery, Owen and Salter's Springs. About 200 students in all took part and were watched by some 500 parents. Alma South won a prize for singing. On 8 September 1903 Miss M Tamblyn was appointed to the school and Miss M Sorrell, a former student of Alma South School, was appointed to the Sugar Loaf Well School near Terowie.

The children also did their part for the environment as during Arbor Day in 1903, 1904 and 1910 they planted trees around the school. During 1904 the school was also repainted and several repairs made. In August 1905 during Visiting Day the annual examinations were held with a good attendance of parent and visitors. 'Students acquitted themselves creditably'. When the Annual Show was held at nearby Hamley Bridge student from the Alma South School won several prizes.

During her time at Alma South Miss Tamblyn had done some good work. In October 1906 she reported that out of the 27 students examined, 23 had passed. When she left in November general regret was feld as she had won the hearts of the students and respect of their parents. In 1911 Ellen M Dubois was appointed head teacher. She remained until her retirement in 1931 when the school was listed as a Class IV school. The school closed on 29 January 1964.

In 1877 the agents for the Observer, Register and Evening Journal were Harkness & Co Storekeepers. In 1885 it was reported that the just completed harvest had been very successful before the start of some intense heat. In 1904 a bicycle road race of 5 miles was organised on the main road between Alma and Hamley Bridge. There were 6 competitors. It was won by George Watson from Alma.

In 1907 A.L. Jones was the local Post Master, Thomas Kelly and P. Smyth were listed as Resident Justices and Jason Pearce and Patrick Smyth as blacksmiths. Among the farmers listed were James Buckley, Thomas Kelly, Samuel Lake, Owen Madigan, C. Schilling and William Sorrell.

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Below are SOME of the headstones of the Alma South Cemetery. In an attempt to save as much space as possible and increase the speed of downloading, only part of the stone is displayed. Flinders Ranges Research has a full photograph of each of these, and many others as well.

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