The Parents and Friends group was originally known as the Lenswood Primary School Welfare Club.

On August 7th 1935, 37 mothers gathered at the school to form the “’Forest Mothers’ Welfare Club” with encouragement from the Headmaster, Mr Shaw.

“Right from the start the club was very industrious, and their first year set the pattern for the next 50 years. There were sewing bees – desk bags were made for the Infant Room, and concert costumes cut out and sewn. Pasty days were held, and a busy bee to brighten up the school fence.”

The P&F are still organising lunches for the students, these have varied from soup days to the present Monday Munchies, once a fortnight. Food served has included spaghetti Bolognese, chicken curry, tortillas, wraps, healthy burgers and pasta dishes.

“That first year, Easter Eggs were provided for the children on the suggestion of Mrs Mason, and this has now become a tradition in our school.” This tradition is still carried on by the present P&F an unbroken line of 82 years of Easter Eggs!

In 1940 despite many restrictions, the group raised money to buy First Aid equipment, sports goods and library books. In 1944, the mothers supported the introduction of a rest period for Year 1 children and each child had a sleeping mat and cushion which were hung up on hooks around the room. The committee received much praise for this innovation.

In the 60’s the Welfare Club arranged a 21st birthday party for a Miss Langmead, who we know as Kay Stafford.

“A crowd of over 200 gathered at the Church of England Mission Hall, which was delightfully decorated by members of the Welfare Club. The social part of the evening comprised dancing, games and items by Miss Ruth Green, Mr J Stafford and Mssrs. R and D Green. During the evening Miss Langmead received a further surprise when her parents arrived from Renmark. Mrs R Mason, president of the School Welfare Club, presented Mss Langmead with a beautiful tea-set on behalf of the Welfare members and friends. The highlight of the evening came when Miss Langmead was asked to cut the magnificent 2-tier birthday cake baked by Mrs. P. Giles and iced by Mrs. Noel Green.” An extract from The Courier covering the occasion

Kay repaid the Community and Welfare Club’s kindness to her as a young teacher by later joining the Welfare Club as a mother and was Treasurer for 7 years.

In the 70’s the Welfare Club started to organise larger scale fund raising projects such as Gala Day and in 1973 new sports uniforms in the school colours were presented to the children. This is another tradition that continues to this day with the present Parents and Friends having purchased 3 sets of sports uniform for students over the last 10 years and the very special Year Seven Jumpers that are given to all students in their final year.

In 1976, Audrey Cellier suggested making the Apple Recipe Book, which was then printed and copies went all over Australia. Over 500 books were sold on the Apple and Pear Grower’s Stall at the Royal Adelaide Show in 1978.

There was and still is a sense of celebration and fun connected with the Parent’s and Friends and the Welfare Club. The P & F hold an annual Christmas Party, and often organise fun family events.

The P&F continue the tradition of supporting the students and staff of Lenswood School and they do it in the words of the Welfare Club constitution:

“To deepen our knowledge of child life,
to further assist the school and
to assist in providing equipment.”

Their generous giving in the form of time and energy to the school, enriches the lives of children in the school and I think enriches the givers too.